The Shema and The First Commandment in First Corinthians

waalerThe Norwegian scholar Erik Waaler now has his dissertation published at Mohr-Siebeck. I was one of the opponents at his final exam – what we here in Norway call disputation – in 2005, and it will be interesting to see how our praises and criticisms have been dealt with in this revision of his thesis.
Erik Waaler,
The Shema and The First Commandment in First Corinthians
An Intertextual Approach to Paul’s Re-reading of Deuteronomy.
WUNT II 253. 2008. XIII, 563 pages.

The publisher presents his work in this way:
“Erik Waaler takes a somewhat modified intertextual approach to the relationship between Jewish monotheism and Pauline Christology. His focus is on Paul’s Christological reuse of Shema in 1Cor 8:1-6. He argues that the statement “there is no God but one” (8:4a) is a combined echo of Shema and the First Commandment, and that v. 4a might be associated with the Second Commandment. This fits with Paul’s constant use of Deuteronomy in 1Cor 5-10. Admittedly first century non-Christian Jews did not use the term one about other beings together with the one God, thus combined phrases such as ‘one God the Father and one Lord Jesus Christ’ are without Jewish parallels. Apart from this Christological twist, Paul’s reuse of such phrases is in line with Jewish custom. He uses phrases like one God and one Lord as arguments for unity, although he speaks of unity in the Church. In the Old Testament, themes like God’s fatherhood and His oneness are associated with creation and salvation. Paul echoes this, but when Shema let the phrase ‘one Lord’ signify Yahweh, Paul let it signify Jesus, who like Yahweh is contrasted to the idols. Additionally, both Shema and 1Cor 8:1-3 speak of love directed at God. The Christological twist is supported by Paul’s Christological re-interpretation of the divine epithet the Rock (Deut 32). In the context, Paul makes membership in the Christian in-group dependent on the confession: “Jesus is Lord.” Erik Waaler concludes that Paul in 1Cor 8:1-6 sustains a relatively high Christology. Paul achieves this effect by a contextual and binitarian re-reading of Shema.”

Philemon readings

I have now posted to my review of

Larry J. Kreitzer

(Readings: A New Biblical Commentary
Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2008
It will probably appear there in 2-3 months.

I personally found this book very helpful, and I think it will be useful too as an introduction to the letter to Philemon both for students of the New Testament and for lay people in general. I especially appreciate his integration of scholarly New Testament studies with a presentation of the letter’s ‘wirkungsgeschichte’ in literature and film. The present volume is the seventh in a series called “Readings: A New Biblical Commentary.” The publisher does not state who are the intended readers of the series. If the other volumes are tailored in the same way as this one, they might very well serve a wide range of readers, and spark an interest in a further reading of the biblical text itself. And that, in my view, is no small purpose and reward at all.

Developments at the NT Gateway

As announced on Facebook as well as on his Blog, Mark Goodacre is working on a major change and development of his NTgateway.  According  to a recent posting on his Blog, “the NT Gateway is partnering with Logos. Logos will be providing hosting for the site as well as installing a CMS and giving it a design facelift. I will continue to be the Editor.”

I think Mark is to be congratulated. This is quite a new development in the history of blogging; so far there are very few blogs- if any, authored by private persons, that cooperate in this way with commercial companies. Of course, several companies have their own blogs, like Logos, BibleWorks (Forum) or Accordance. But this is nevertheless something new.  Time will tell how it will work out.

Jesus and the God of Israel

Somewhat unexepectedly, the most recent book of Richard Bauckham appeared in my mailbox today. Another interesting volume to read is on my desk:
Richard Bauckham,
Jesus and the God of Israel.
God crucified and other studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity.

Grand Rapids; Eerdmans, 2008. 285 pp.

It turns out that his famous, but brief study; God Crucified (1998), is included as the first chapter of this volume (pp. 1-59), then we have the following studies included as separate chapters:

Biblical theology and the Problems of Monotheism (60-106),
The ‘Most High’ God and the Nature of Early Jewish Monotheism (107-126),
The worship of Jesus in Early Christianity (127-151),
The Throne of God and the Worship of Jesus (152-181),
Paul’s Christology of Divine Identity (182-132),
The Divinity of Jesus in the Letter to the Hebrews (233-254
God’s Self-identification with the Godforsaken in the Gospel of Mark (254-268).

Some of these chapters have been published before, but are now revised, others are not yet published; some of these will also appear in other volumes.
Finally, it turns out that this is not Bauckham’s final work and words on these issues. He admits that he is still working, and will be for some time to come, on a larger study, provisonally entitled Jesus and the Identity of God: Early Jewish Monotheism and New Testament Christology. Hence those who like the thesis set forth in this collection of minor studies still have something to look forward to from the desk of R. Bauckham.

Sophia and her world

The doyen of Finnish scholarship on Philo, Karl-Gustav Sandelin, just had a collection of his articles published. I received the volume yesterday:

Karl-Gustav Sandelin,
Sophia och hennar värld.
Exegetiska uppsattser från fyra årtionden
(Studier i exegetik och judaistik utgivna av Teologiska fakulteten vid Åbo Akademi Nr. 6; Åbo 2008). 305pp.

This is a collection of articles published in the last four decades, and all of them are here given in Sweedish. The following articles are most relevant for Philo studies:

s.77-81: Måltidens symboliska betydelse i den alexandrinska judendomen. Ett bidrag till frågan om den kristna eikaristiens bakgrund.

s.82-100: Vishetens måltid

s. 141-159: Dragning till frammande kult bland judar under hellenistisk tid og tidig kejsartid

s.160-170: Filon från Alexandria och den grekisk-romerska kulturen

s. 199-212: Kejsaren och hans bild i Uppenbarelsesboken och hos Filon.

In the Forword, Sandelin is reflecting on his scholarly career, and characterizes it as focused on three fields of interests:

1.  His work with interpreting a particular chapter in the New Testament, namely 1 Kor 15, as demonstrated by his PhD from 1976 on Die Auseinandersetzung mit der Weisheit in 1 Korinter 15;

2. investigations of the Jewish Wisdom as a provider of Nourishment, an interest that resulted in his study Wisdom as Nourisher (1987), and several articles published in the volume mentioned above, and

3. studies of how the Hellenistic religion attracted Jews and Christians at the beginning of the first century CE. Several of these studies are published as articles, and it is good to read that he is planning to publish these in another volume. I am looking forward to that, and congratulate prof Sandelin with this present volume on Sophia och hennar värld.

Here is a complete list of the various articles of this volume, and where they have been previously published:


* Den religionshistoriska skolans syn på 1 Kor 15. Teologisk Tidskrift
2/1978, 73-81
* Vishetstradition såsom bakgrund till 1 Kor 15. Teologisk Tidskrift
3/1978, 148-155
* De dödas uppståndelse: lectio praecursoria den 4.12. 1976. Finsk
Tidskrift 3, 1977, 118-126
* Måltidens symboliska betydelse i den alexandrinska judendomen. Ett
bidrag till frågan om den kristna eukaristins bakgrund. Kommunion och
kommunikation. Teologiska studier tillägnade Helge Nyman på hans
70-årsdag den 15 juli 1980, Åke Sandholm på hans 60-årsdag den 14 juli
1980. Utg. Fride Hedman et al. Åbo, 1980, 128-134
*Vishetens måltid. Judendom och kristendom under de första århundradena.
Nordiskt patristikerprojekt. Red av Sten Hidal et al. Stavanger etc.
1986, 268-283
* Gemenskap med Kristi kropp: realpresens hos Paulus? Teologisk
Tidskrift 95, 1990, 378-386
* Realpresens och bibelutläggning. Religio et bibliotheca. Festskrift
till Tore Ahlbäck 14.3.2001. Red. av Nils G. Holm … et al. Åbo: Åbo
Akademi, 2001. 171-190


* Dragning till främmande kult bland judar under hellenistisk tid och
tidig kejsartid. Nordisk Judaistik 10, 1989, 27-38
* Filon från Alexandria och den grekisk-romerska kulturen. Finsk
tidskrift 6, 1999, 367-380
* Urkristendomen: En strömvirvel i religionernas flod. Finsk tidskrift
5, 1997, 245-252
* Minnesrik resa till Grekland. Helikon 4, 1998, 10-12.
* Hur det kristna gudstjänstlivet i Korint fick sin början. Teologi och
gudstjänstliv. Festskrift utgiven med anledning av Teologiska
fakultetens vid Åbo Akademi 75-årsjubileum. Red. Ingvar
Dahlbacka, Birgitta Sarelin. Åbo: Åbo Akademis förlag, 1999, 41-60
* Kejsaren och hans bild i Uppenbarelseboken och hos Filon. Ej tidigare


* Tradition och uppenbarelse i några vishetstexter. Festskrift för
Helmer Ringgren. Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 41-42, 1976-77, 206-213
* Textkritik: Att kritisera en text? Sphinx 1998-99, 81-86
* Runeberg – klassiker och teolog. Hufvudstadsbladet 5.2.1989
* Adam, Eva och djävulen. Reflektioner. En vänskrift till Ulrika
Wolf-Knuts. Red. Gabi Limbach och Lena Marander-Eklund,
(Religionsvetenskapliga skrifter 70). Åbo: Åbo Akademi, 2007, 82-87
* Kan man förstå Jesus? Att förstå inom humaniora, utg. R. Gothoni,
Finska Vetenskaps-Societeten, 2002, 285-307
* Metafor och liknelse i Bibeln. Avskedsföreläsning i Teologiska
fakulteten vid Åbo Akademi den 9.5. 2006. Ej tidigare publicerad

GNT27 and BHS for Iphone

Great news for all users of Iphone; Greek New Testament (N27), and Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia are finally now available for Iphone, in an acccented and vocalized version.

I have commented on this in earlier postings (see here and here); now both GNT27 and BHS are available form

I have not tested the BHS version, but have downloaded and installed the Greek New Testament, and it works fine. You can find more info about the BHS here.

The procedure for using GNT27 on Iphone is this.
1. Install the free BibleReader from iTunes.
2. Make an account on Olivetree
3. Within the iPhone BibleReader view your Olive Tree account and install titles. You get further info about this procedure here.

The GNT27 version includes a Three step Verse Chooser to easily navigate to any verse, and a Word search to quickly find any word in the document.

If you have comments on these or other versions for Iphone, please use the comments field below.

Greek NT still to come on Iphone

Some are more informed than others: Mark Hoffman over at Biblical Studies and Technological Tools Blog can reveal “that it is now possible to conduct searches in Greek on the beta of the Olive Tree iPhone Bible Reader,” and over at This Lamp blog there is even a screen shot on how the Greek on the Iphone looks like. It is still in Beta version, and I have found nothing about it on the company’s webpages. But it looks pretty cool, and I am looking forward to its official release. But I presume it will not be possible for me to get this new ‘toy’ for Christmas. 😦