L.W. Hurtado in Oslo

Hurtado290816mfThe seminar at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo, mentioned in an earlier posting, found place today. As it was in honor of the New Testament professor Reidar Hvalvik, it was good to see both former and present colleagues and not a few students being present.

The first main speaker was Larry W. Hurtado, prof.em. at Divinity School, University of Edinburgh (see picture). His topic was An Early Christian Book and its Story: P45 as Early Christian Artefact. Hurtado presented and characterized the P45, then discussed its importance for 4 different aspects of early Christianity; 1) the importance that it contains the four (now) canonical gospels, 2) the placement or location of Acts in the collection, 3) the codex format used, and then 4) the importance of p45 for its use of nomina sacra.

Then there were two other lectures (Professor Kristin Bliksrud Aavitsland (MF):Representations of Church and the Synagogue in Ecclesiastical Art, and  Postdoc. Dr. Ole Jakob Filtvedt (MF): Picturing the Father in the Gospel of John?). What I found particular interesting here was a picture shown by Aavitsland, of Christ carrying his cross in form of a tree (cf. Deutr 21:23; Gal. 3:13). I have never seen that before!  That may be due to my lack of knowledge of art, but, nevertheless, or in particular for that reason- interesting to me!   🙂

Nice day in the auditorium!   Congratulations to Prof. Hvalvik!



Review of Rabbi M. L. Samuel, Torah from Alexandria

My review of  Torah from Alexandria: Philo as a Biblical commentator.
Volume III: Leviticus, Edited by Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel, New York: Kodesh Press, 2015, has now been published by Review of Biblical Literature.

Description of the book (taken from the backpage of the book) runs thus:

“The third volume of Torah from Alexandria sets on display how Philo interpreted the role of the Temple, offerings, festivals, dietary practices, marital laws, and laws of purity. While Philo always remains firmly committed to the importance of the actual religious act, he consistently derives ethical lessons from these ritual practices, thus putting him alongside the great Jewish philosophers of history. Reading Philo alongside Rabbinic wisdom, Greek philosophy, Patristic writers, as well as Medieval and modern authors, breathes new life into the complexities of Leviticus and reinstates Philo’s importance as a biblical exegete. Reclaiming Philo as a Jewish exegete puts him in company with the great luminaries of Jewish history—a position that Philo richly deserves. Philo remains as one of Jewish history’s most articulate spokespersons for ethical monotheism. Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel has meticulously culled from all of Philo’s exegetical comments, and arranged them according to the biblical verses. He provides extensive parallels from rabbinic literature, Greek philosophy, and Christian theology, to present Philo’s writing in the context of his time, while also demonstrating Philo’s unique method of interpretation.”

You can download the review here.


Prof. dr. Reidar Hvalvik 65

Upcoming Monday, Aug 29th, there will be a held a seminar (symposium) at the Norwegian School of Theology (Menighetsfakultetet) in honor of prof. dr. Reidar Hvalvik, who has reached the age of 65.

The theme of the gathering will be: Picturing the New Testament, and the international  (non-Norwegian) lecturer will be Larry W. Hurtado:

10.30–11.00       Professor Karl Olav Sandnes (MF): Reidar Hvalvik – a presentation

11.00–11.45       Emeritus professor Larry W. Hurtado (University of Edinburg): An Early Christian Book and its Story: P45 as Early Christian Artefact

11.45–12.45       Lunch.

12.45–13.30       Professor Kristin Bliksrud Aavitsland (MF):Representations of Church and the Synagogue in Ecclesiastical Art

13.30–14.00       Coffee/tee

14.00–14.45       Postdoc. Dr. Ole Jakob Filtvedt (MF): Picturing the Father in the Gospel of John?

14.45–15.00       Summary, thanks etc.

Logos 7 and Loeb’s Philo

Logos Bible Software , now produced under the wider company name of  Faithlife.com, has this week launched a new version of their program; now named Logos 7. In addition to an expansion of the variety of packages (?) and contents of most of their packages (there is an impressive range of various packages available), it was also announced that the Loeb Philo edition (English and Greek) would be included in one of them!

It turns out that the Loeb Philo edition will not be included in the two cheapest packages called Starter (361 dollars) and Bronze (700 dollars), but in the ones called Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Portfolio and Collectors edition (with a range of prices from 1200 to 12000 dollars!). For a comparison of the contents of the various packages, see here.

The Loeb Philo edition can also be bought as a separate book collection for those having older versions or not wanting to upgrade to a more expansive Logos 7 package. The collection has been open to pre-ordering for some time now, and according to this page, it is now under development. But now fixed date is given for its publication.

Reading Philo

The volume I edited, Reading Philo. A Handbook to Philo of Alexandria (paperversion publ. 2014), is also under development. Hopefully, both the Loeb edition and Reading Philo will be available ‘soon’!  🙂


Philo conference in UK

Summertime  is the when several conferences related to biblical studies are held, and the summer of 2016 is no exception. My own participation in such conferences this summer , alas, has been non-existent, due to several reasons.
One of those I would have liked to attend was the Philo symposium held in UK last July.

Sean Adams has written the following comment on this conference:
“The first UK Philo colloquium was held at the University of Glasgow on 21 July 2016. In this one-day event, twenty scholars from three continents (Europe, Africa, North America) came together to hear nine papers on various aspects of Philo scholarship (listed below). Of particular note was the presentation by James R. Royse (cf. picture to left), who shared his findings and new textual emendations resulting from his recent work on the Coptos papyrus in Paris. Future colloquia are expected to run bi-annually, with the next meeting to be held at King’s College London in 2018 and Oxford in 2020.

Presenters and Papers include: Joan Taylor (KCL), ‘The Therapeutae, Gender, and the Synagogue’; Erlend MacGillivray (Aberdeen), ‘Primitivism in Philo of Alexandria’s Thought and his Perception of Non-Jews’; Mina Monier (KCL), ‘Reception of Philo in Epistle of Barnabas’; Ekaterina Matusova (Tübingen), ‘Cognizing God in Philo: between Hellenistic Platonism and Parabiblical Texts’; Sean A. Adams (Glasgow), ‘Philo’s Literary Forms and Genre Adaptations’; Joshua Carroll (Aberdeen), ‘Philo’s Education in De congressu’; Elisa Uusimäki (Helsinki), ‘Jacob’s Spiritual Exercises in the Context of Philo’s Pedagogical Programme’; James R. Royse (Claremont), ‘Philo’s Biblical Quotations according to the Coptos Papyrus (Cohn-Wendland’s “Pap”) with Some Newly Discovered Readings’; Hindy Najman (Oxford), ‘Transcendence, Immanence, and Revelation in Philo of Alexandria’.”

SNTS in Montreal

James McGrath provides summaries of various lectures at rhe SNTS meeting in Montreal this week here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ 

See also his input on Facebook and the SNTS 2016 Montreal group on Facebook.

Philo?? No, I did not see any mention of Philo in the titles of the main lectures or in the seminar sessions……