A New book from Karl Olav Sandnes

sandnesThe Norwegian scholar, Karl Olav Sandnes, professor in New Testament Studies at the Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo, Norway, has another new book coming out these days.

Prof. Sandnes has by now a distinguished list of publications, and in the last ones in particular, he offers new perspectives and manages to draw on a great variety of sources,  thus coming up with several interesting topics and views. For his Bibliography, see here.

The last (so far..) volume, now announced by Brill, has the following exciting title:

Sandnes, Karl Olav. 2016. Early Christian Discourses on Jesus’ Prayer at Gethsemane. Courageous, Committed, Cowardly? Novum Testamentum, Supplements 166. Leiden: Brill.

The publisher presents the book thus:
“From early on, Christians passed down the account of Jesus’s agony at the prospect of his own death and his prayer that the cup should pass from him (Gethsemane). Yet, this is a troublesome aspect of Christian tradition. Jesus was committed to his death, but as it approached, he prayed for his escape, even as he submitted himself to God’s will. Ancient critics mocked Jesus and his followers for the events at Gethsemane. The ‘hero’ failed to meet the cultural standards for noble death and masculinity. As such, this story calls for further reflection and interpretation. The present book unfolds discourses from the earliest centuries of Christianity to determine what strategies were developed to come to terms with Gethsemane.”

Two new books on Philo


The first of these two books is primarily about Paul, but there is also a chapter devoted to Philo as part of the background material for understanding Paul:

Wells, Kyle B. 2015. Grace and Agency in Paul and Second Temple Judaism. Interpreting the Transformation of the Heart. Novum Testamentum, Supplements 157. Leiden: Brill.

“Following recent intertextual studies, Kyle B. Wells examines how descriptions of ‘heart-transformation’ in Deut 30, Jer 31–32 and Ezek 36 informed Paul and his contemporaries’ articulations about grace and agency. Beyond advancing our understanding of how these restoration narratives were interpreted in the LXX, the Dead Sea Literature, Baruch, Jubilees, 2 Baruch, 4 Ezra, and Philo, Wells demonstrates that while most Jews in this period did not set divine and human agency in competition with one another, their constructions differed markedly and this would have contributed to vehement disagreements among them. While not sui generis in every respect, Paul’s own convictions about grace and agency appear radical due to the way he reconfigures these concepts in relation to Christ.” (publisher’s note)


McFarland, Orrey. 2016. God and Grace in Philo and Paul. Novum Testamentum, Supplements 164. Leiden: Brill.

“In God and Grace in Philo and Paul, Orrey McFarland examines how Philo of Alexandria and the Apostle Paul understood divine grace. While scholars have occasionally observed that Philo and Paul both speak about God’s generosity, such work has often placed the two theologians in either strong continuity or stark discontinuity without probing into the theological logic that animates the particularities of their thought. By contrast, McFarland sets Philo and Paul in conversation and argues that both could speak of divine gifts emphatically and in formally similar ways while making materially different theological judgments in the context of their concrete historical settings and larger theological frameworks. That is, McFarland demonstrates how their theologies of grace are neither identical nor antithetical.” (publisher’s note)



Some more new books

Here are some books I would like to have my hands on during the coming year 2016. They are, perhaps, not directly relevant to a study of Philo of Alexandria, though having a closer look at them might make you change your mind about exactly that relevancy.
The books are just announced by their publishers.

Here are the titles, and the publishers note about the books:
Nässelqvist, Dan. 2016. Public Reading in Early Christianity. Lectors, Manuscripts, and Sound in the Oral Delivery of John 1–4. Novum Testamentum, Supplements 163. Leiden: Brill.

“In Public Reading in Early Christianity: Lectors, Manuscripts, and Sound in the Oral Delivery of John 1-4 Dan Nässelqvist investigates the oral delivery of New Testament writings in early Christian communities of the first two centuries C.E. He examines the role of lectors and public reading in the Greek and Roman world as well as in early Christianity. Nässelqvist introduces a method of sound analysis, which utilizes the correspondence between composition and delivery in ancient literary writings to retrieve information about oral delivery from the sound structures of the text being read aloud. Finally he applies the method of sound analysis to John 1–4 and presents the implications for our understanding of public reading and the Gospel of John.”

Ligt, Luuk de, ed. 2016. Migration and Mobility in the Early Roman Empire. Studies in Global Social History 23/7. Leiden: Brill.

“Until recently migration did not occupy a prominent place on the agenda of students of Roman history. Various types of movement in the Roman world were studied, but not under the heading of migration and mobility. Migration and Mobility in the Early Roman Empire starts from the assumption that state-organised, forced and voluntary mobility and migration were intertwined and should be studied together. The papers assembled in the book tap into the remarkably large reservoir of archaeological and textual sources concerning various types of movement during the Roman Principate. The most important themes covered are rural-urban migration, labour mobility, relationships between forced and voluntary mobility, state-organised movements of military units, and familial and female mobility.”

Contributors are: Colin Adams, Seth Bernard, Christer Bruun, Luuk de Ligt, Paul Erdkamp, Lien Foubert, Peter Garnsey, Saskia Hin, Claire Holleran, Tatiana Ivleva, Elio Lo Cascio, Tracy Prowse, Saskia Roselaar, Laurens E. Tacoma, Rolf Tybout, Greg Woolf, and Andrea Zerbini.

List of contents
1. Approaching migration in the early Roman empire
Luuk de Ligt and Laurens E. Tacoma
2. The impact of migration on the demographic profile of the city of Rome: a reassessment
Elio Lo Cascio
3. Seasonal labour and rural-urban migration in Roman Italy
Paul Erdkamp
4. Food distributions and immigration in imperial Rome
Seth G. Bernard
5. Migration in early-imperial Italy: Herculaneum and Rome compared
Peter Garnsey and Luuk de Ligt
6. Labour mobility in the Roman world: a case study of mines in Iberia
Claire Holleran
7. State-organised mobility in the Roman empire: legionaries and auxiliaries
Saskia T. Roselaar
8. Peasants into soldiers: recruitment and military mobility in the early Roman empire
Tatiana Ivleva
9. Tracing familial mobility: female and child migrants in the Roman West
Christer Bruun
10. Isotopes and mobility in the ancient Roman world
Tracy L. Prowse
11. Revisiting urban graveyard theory: migrant flows in Hellenistic and Roman Athens
Saskia Hin
12. Migration in Roman Egypt: problems and possibilities
Colin Adams
13. Migrant women in P.Oxy. and the port cities of Roman Egypt: tracing women’s travel behaviour in papyrological sources
Lien Foubert
14. Human mobility in the Roman Near East: patterns and motives
Andrea Zerbini
15. Moving epigrams: migration and mobility in the Greek East
Laurens E. Tacoma and Rolf A. Tybout
16. Dead men walking: the repatriation of mortal remains
Rolf A. Tybout
17. Movers and stayers

Some new Philo books

book boothsStrolling   along the book booths in the great book sales exhibition at the AAR/SBL Annual Meeting in Atlanta i November, I found some recently published Philo books that I hope to be able to have the oppurtunity of getting more acquainted with in 2016.

I list here the following volumes I found interesting:

Of course there is the Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, Volume XXVII (2015)edited as usual by David T. Runia and Gregory E. Sterling, 2015. 282pp, $51.95. I hope to present this further when I get my copy.

Then there was a dissertation, written by a Finnish scholar on a somewhat surprising topic: Sami Yli-Karjanmaa, Reincarnation in Philo of Alexandria (Studia Philonica Monographs 2. Atlanta;SBL Press) 309pp; $42,95. It was in my bag when I left the US, and is now on my shelf, ready to be read.

Third, I saw a new volume on God in Philo’s works: Jang Ryu, Knowledge of God in Philo of Alexandria (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 405; Mohr Siebeck, Tubingen, 2015). This volume, alas, is still not on my shelves.

Finally, I spotted another volume, that probably has a chapter on Philo, and in any case should be interesting to Philo scholars: Esther Blachman, The Transformation of Tamar (Genesis 38) in the History of Jewish Interpretation (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis & Theology 71. Peeters, 2015).. Still not on my shelf..

I might have missed some, but I doubt it… 🙂
– or did I miss some….?

NotaBene 10 Plus offer

In connection with the recent annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion and the Evangelical Theological Society in Atlanta in November, The NotaBene company is offering conference-level pricing to anyone in the field of religion and to their friends. Anyone  interested in Nota Bene? The latest version, Notabene 10 Plus they can be ordered to reduced rates by entering group name “atlanta” at the top of our online order form or by going to this page:


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