Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Monthly Archives: February 2013

A new volume from prof. K.-G. Sandelin

Among the Philo volumes I bought at SBL last November, was also the quite new volume by Karl-Gustav Sandelin, Finland.
In 2008 he was able to published a collection of his articles originally published in Sweedish. You can read more about this volume here.
Now there is another volume out.

Karl-Gustav Sandelin,
Attraction and Danger of Alien Religion. Studies in Early Judaism and Christianity
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 290
Mohr-Siebeck; Tubingen, 2012.

This volume contains 11 articles, originally published in the years from 1991 to 2006. Two of the articles are not previously published.
The complete list of studies published in this volume can be given thus:

Jews and alien Religious Practices during the Hellenistic Age (2006)
The Danger of Idolatry According to Philo of Alexandria (1991)
Philo’s Ambivalence towards Statues (2001)
Does Paul Argue against Sacramentalism and Over-Confidence in 1 Cor 10:1-14? (1995)
“Do not be Idolators!” (1 Cor 10:17) (1995)
Drawing the Line: Paul on Idol Food and Idolatry in 1 Cor 8:1-11:1 (2003).
Does Paul warn the Corinthians Not to eat Demons?
Philo and Paul on Alien Religion: A Comparison (2005)
The Jesus-Tradition and Idolatry (1996)
Attraction and Danger of Alien Religion in the Revelation of John
Conclusions

As the publisher says on the frontleaf page:
“Early Judaism and early Christianity emerged during the Hellenistic and early Roman imperial era. They were, naturally, confronted with the Hellenistic and the Roman religion. The question therefore arose as to whether Jews or Christians were free to participate in religious activities alien to the religious heritage of their own. In his articles, Karl-Gustav Sandelin presents documentary material showing that this problem was a burning issue within Judaism from the beginning of the Hellenistic period until the end of the first century C.E. Several Jewish individuals converted to the Hellenistic or the Roman religion. Such behavior was also discussed and generally condemned, for example by the Books of Maccabees and authors such as Philo of Alexandria and Flavius Josephus. A similar problem is to be found in the New Testament, notably in the letters of Paul, especially in the first letter to the Corinthians and in the Revelation of John.” This description of the issues dealt with in the nice volume is so accurate that it can hardly be bettered.
Congratulations to prof. Sandelin on this new collection of articles!

The First Readers of 1 Peter

At the end of this year, if the printing process goes well, there is supposed to be published a volume on 1 Peter in memory of Leonhard Goppelt.The volume is now being edited by Prof. Dr. David S. du Toit
Institut für Neues Testament, Evangelisch-theologische Fakultät, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

I was happy to be invited to participate, and have just submitted my piece, a small study discussing the views of Ben Witherington III on the ethnic identity of the first readers of 1 Peter. As some of you may know, Witherington, in his commentary on 1 Peter (Letters and Homilies for Hellenized Christians Vol 11: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1-2 Peter; InterVarsity Academic:2007) argues that the first readers were of Jewish background. I did not manage to fall in completely with his views. Taking the arguments one by one, I must admit, that most, may be all, might be read as possible arguments for an intended or perceived Jewish readership; but taken all together, the comulative value still tips the scale in the Gentile direction for me. However, when working on the article, I became again aware of the strong ‘supersessionist’ tendency in the letter. Another issue I dealt with is the often rather ‘naive’ attitude or view of many commentators that the author really did know much about his readers: Hence, can we, in fact, really speak about the ethnic background of the readers, or can we at best talk and write about how the author perceived them?

Additions to Resource Pages for Biblical Studies

Added some resources to the Philo pages on my Resource Pages to Biblical Studies; in particular the HomePage of René Bloch, and a couple of his articles on Philo. Enjoy!