THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS AND CLASSICAL RHETORIC: Parts 1 & 2Summary
Researcher, Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge
Is it a useful or valid approach to St. Paul's Epistles to analyse them in terms derived from the classical Greek and Roman rhetorical theorists? In the following three-part exploration of this question, of which the first two parts appear here and the third is to be published in the next issue of Tyndale Bulletin, the main focus of attention is the Epistle to the Galatians. Part 1 presents a demonstration that rhetorical criticism of a quality which deserves the attention of modern readers is applied to Paul's writing in the Commentary on Galatians by St. John Chrysostom. Part 2 re-examines with necessary scepticism the general question of Paul's relation to pagan Hellenic culture as a whole and rhetoric in particular. Evidence is found for consciousness on Paul's part of sophisticated rhetorical concepts, but it remains debatable whether, in his youth, he had studied any non-Jewish Greek literature. Part 3 begins with a close reading of Galatians in relation to classical theory on proems, narratives, arguments and conclusions, and poses the question, 'What justification did Paul have for regarding his discourse as somehow distinct from the sofia of this world?' It often proves possible to parallel Paul's rhetorical strategies in pagan theory and practice. However, it emerges that at the most fundamental level, notably in the bases of his argumentation, his approach was genuinely quite distinct from pagan sophistic.
JERUSALEM IN HEBREWS 13:9-14 AND THE DATING OF THE EPISTLE
Research Fellow, Tyndale House, Cambridge
In this article it is suggested the author of Hebrews had a developed critique not just of the Temple but also of the city of Jerusalem, and that this is close to the heart of his concerns as expressed in a pivotal passage in 13:9-14. The traces of this theme in earlier chapters are then noted, leading to the conclusion that the author is writing before the Fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 but with a prophetic awareness of what lies in store for the Jewish capital. The consequences of this view for our study of Hebrews and other parts of the New Testament are highlighted in a concluding section.
BLIND ALLEYS IN THE CONTROVERSY OVER THE PAUL OF HISTORY
Mark A. Seifrid
Assistant Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville
E.P. Sanders' reading of Paul against the backdrop of 'covenantal nomism' is badly flawed, since it obscures Paul's coming to understand the cross as working the justification of the ungodly. Two important extensions of Sanders' paradigm also fail to illumine Paul in his context. 'Works of the Law' are not simply ethnic boundaries, as J.D.G. Dunn claims, but marks of piety as well. N.T. Wright's proposal that Christ provided the solution to Paul's experience of exile reverses the manner in which exilic language appears in Paul's letters. Contrary to the common assumption, Luther's theology of the cross and justification is not barren or irrelevant, and more closely accords with Paul than recent attempts to understand him.
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN TRANSJORDAN
Bastiaan Van Elderen
Formerly Professor of New Testament, Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids
Considerable archaeological field work is currently being conducted in the area of the Decapolis, including the author's involvement in the excavations of Abila. This article reviews the few references to northern Transjordan in the New Testament and the references in early Christian literature which suggest that Jewish Christianity flourished in Transjordan in the early Christian centuries. Archaeological evidence indicates a rich floruit of Byzantine Christianity in Transjordan. A study of literary allusions relating to this area and the current archaeological work promise new light on this little-known phase of early Christianity.
THE IMAGERY OF BIRTH PANGS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Lecturer in New Testament, London Bible College
It is perhaps surprising that in the patriarchal culture of first century Palestine, male teachers such as Jesus and Paul should speak or write to ostensibly predominantly male audiences using as an image a pain that has never been felt by males. The reason for this particular image is often presumed to be that birth pangs are a pain that lead to a positive result, but, especially given the Old Testament use of the image, this is unlikely to be the primary meaning for the image. Alternatives are explored: birth pangs, as well as being a 'productive' pain, are an 'intense' pain, a 'helpless' pain, and a 'cyclical' pain that once begun must run its course.
ETHICS AND AESTHETICS IN THE SONG OF SONGS
University of Cambridge
While readings of the Song of Songs tend to focus on the extent of its licencing of pre-marital sex, the Song's message on the nature of sexual and human loving is to be found in its choice of metaphors for that activity. These, while not revealing the divine nature, direct the readers' gazes towards heavenly love (in the Christian tradition, He is 'seated at the right hand of the Father') so as to be better able to hear revealed instructions for loving.
IN ORDER THERE TO FIND GOD: KIERKEGAARD AND OBJECTIVE REVELATION
Minister, Alford Place Church, Aberdeen
Kierkegaard is widely regarded as having no time for the objective, with all that this would imply for his view of God's revelation of himself. This article suggests that Kierkegaard's rejection of the objective will be misunderstood unless it is placed within the context of his debate with Hegelian rationalism. This suggestion is then brought to bear on how Kierkegaard has been interpreted by Don Cupitt and by Robert Adams. There is a brief final section on the Kierkegaardian princi-ple that the truth is personal.
THE AMBIGUITY OF CAPACITY: A REJOINDER TO TREVOR HART
University of Cambridge
This brief rejoinder challenges Trevor Hart's suggestion that Karl Barth may have misunderstood Emil Brunner's notion of 'a point of contact', and rejects the claim that Barth's own theology requires a positing of human 'capacity', defined in a passive sense. The essay begins by sketching the broader context of the Barth-Brunner debate, which makes the proposal of mutual misunderstanding between the two less likely. The second section explores Hart's concept of 'capacity', and seeks to show that this is incompatible with Barth's theology. An exposition of Barth's doctrine of the incarnation forms the third part of the essay, and is an attempt to demonstrate that what stood at the heart of the debate from Barth's point of view was divine freedom. Then the rejoinder concludes with a rarely cited account of Barth's attempt at personal reconciliation with Brunner.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ANTI IN 1 CORINTHIANS 11:15
Alan G. Padgett
Department of Religion and Philosophy, Azusa Pacific University
After discussing two readings of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (the traditional view and an alternative) the article explores the importance of a right understanding of the preposition anti ('instead of') in verse 15. It is argued that various lexical choices make no logical difference in this case. Paul is simply stating that nature has given women hair instead of (or, as the equivalent of) a covering. This conclusion adds probability to the alternative reading being proposed.