Robin PARRY (University of Gloucestershire)
The article begins by outlining the challenge feminist hermeneutics poses for traditional notions of biblical authority. Genesis 34 is set out as a case study for displaying feminist interpretations that read with the narrator but against patriarchal interpreters and those which read against the narrator himself. I argue that a 'high view' of Scripture can accommodate many of the concerns raised by feminist critics of biblical narrative. It is, however, maintained that an evangelical hermeneutic will not easily be able to endorse an interpretation that stands over against the stance of a biblical narrator
A Revised Date for Pentateuchal Texts? Evidence from Ketef Hinnom
Erik WAALER (Norwegian Teachers Academy, Sandviken)
The trend of OT scholarship is to date Pentateuchal texts to exilic or post-exilic times. The silver amulets from Ketef Hinnom may challenge this conclusion. Based on archaeological and palaeographic studies, the amulets are dated between 725 and 650 BC. The amulets contain material from the Priestly source (Nu. 6:24–26) as well as from the frame of Deuteronomy (Dt. 7:9). It is argued that the person who inscribed the silver plates is likely to have used a single source for these two quotations, a source that probably included more Pentateuchal material. Thus disparate Pentateuchal texts existed and were conjoined prior to the reform of Josiah. If it is reasonable to posit a lapse of time for this early version to become influential and the accidental inscription of the amulets to occur, the extended source text must be yet earlier.
Contextual Influences in Readings of Nehemiah 5: A Case Study
Gary R. WILLIAMS (Seminario Teológico Centroamericano, Guatamala City)
A survey of the literature on Nehemiah 5 reveals how contemporary context influences the interpretation and application of the text, for good and for ill. Application must adapt to contemporary needs, but our context may blind us to a passage's most obvious implications. Interpretation is both illumined and skewed by contextual concerns. Some principles are offered for reading aright the Scriptures in light of text, content and contextual differences.
Early Traces of the Book of Daniel
Roger BECKWITH (Oxford)
In three intertestamental works, dating from before the time when the Book of Daniel is commonly supposed to have been written, a knowledge of the book seems to be reflected. We were formerly dependent on translations of these works, which made such an inference less certain, but we now have access to sufficient parts of the original to confirm that the translations are reliable. We also have a clearer idea now when one of the works (the Book of Watchers) was written.
The Exception Phrases: Except porneiva, Including porneiva or Excluding porneiva? (Matthew 5:32; 19:9)
Allen R. GUENTHER (Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, California)
This paper examines the Matthean 'exception clauses' to determine whether they should be interpreted inclusively ('if a man divorces his wife even though she has not been unfaithful'), exceptively ('if a man divorces his wife, except if she has been unfaithful'), or exclusively ('if a man divorces his wifeporneiva is a separate issue'). In this grammatical study the author draws on a broad sample of classical and Koine texts from which he concludes that parektov~ in Matthew 5:32 should, on syntactic grounds, be read as marking an exception, whereas in the later account (mh; ejpiv, Mt.19:9) Matthew presents Jesus as excluding the matter of porneiva. The enigma of the meaning of porneiva, however will not go away. The author then summarises his reasons for interpreting porneiva as incestuous relationships and marriages.
The Eschatology of the Warning in Hebrews 10:26-31
Randall C. GLEASON (International School of Theology - Asia, Philippines)
The absence of NT damnation terminology in Hebrews calls into question the widely held assumption that the author's purpose was to warn his readers of eternal judgement. Furthermore, to limit the warnings to a distant future judgement overlooks its nearness and diminishes its relevance to the first-century audience facing the dangers arising from the first Jewish revolt. There are many clues throughout the epistle that point to the physical threat posed by the coming Roman invasion to those Christians who lapsed back into Judaism. These clues point immediately to the destruction of Palestine, the city of Jerusalem and the Temple. These conclusions are confirmed by a close examination of the OT texts cited or alluded to in Hebrews 10:26–31. Rather than eternal destruction, the OT examples warn of physical judgement coming upon Israel because of covenant unfaithfulness. If they sought refuge in Judaism, the readers could suffer the same fate of the Jewish rebels by the Romans. However, the readers could avoid God's wrath coming upon the Jewish nation by holding firm to their confession, bearing the reproach of Christ outside the camp (13:13), and looking to the heavenly city instead of Jerusalem now under the sentence of destruction (13:14).
The Destiny of the Nations in Revelation 21:1-22:5: A Reconsideration
Dave MATHEWSON (Oak Hills Christian College, Minnesota)
There has been a variety of attempts to account for the presence of the nations in Revelation 21:1–22:5 and their inclusion in eschatological salvation, when their judgement and destruction has already been described in Revelation 19–20. Many scholars have suggested that John envisions the salvation of a segment of the nations, while the unbelieving meet their doom in the lake of fire. A few have suggested that the tension can be resolved by reference to universalism: ultimately even the wicked who are punished will be redeemed. One of the most significant attempts to account for the destiny of the nations is in the work of Bauckham, who suggests that John gives priority to the vision of salvation and envisions the conversion of the nations in fulfilment of OT expectations, while a few who refuse to repent will experience punishment. Through an examination of the key texts in Revelation 21:1–22:5, namely 21:3; 21:24; and 22:2, this article suggests that the tension between the judgement and salvation of the nations must be allowed to retain its full force. Neither side of the tension should be privileged over the other. The tension functions in a rhetorical manner: to present the options available to the nations, and to highlight the reversal of power structures and the absolute sovereignty of God.
John Calvin on 'Before All Ages'
Paul HELM (Oxfordshire)
This brief paper argues that John Calvin's exegesis of pro; crovnwn aijwnivwn in 2 Timothy 1:9 and Titus 1:2 provides no reason for thinking that he rejected the Augustinian account of God's timeless eternity. On the contrary, there is clear evidence in the Institutes that he took Augustine's view. His exegesis concerns whether the phrase means 'before time' (as he thinks is the case in 2 Tim. 1:9) or 'a very long time ago' (its meaning in Tit. 1:2).
Dissertation SummariesModality, Reference and Speech Acts in the Psalms
Andy WARREN (Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation, Kalba, Ghana)
This study takes the results of linguistic and form-critical work on the biblical Psalms, together with some of the findings of comparative linguistics in the fields of modality and speech acts, to look at forms of reference and modality in the Psalms, focussing particularly on Interrogative, Negative, and Imperative sentence-types. Amongst the most significant results are a full reanalysis of the Hebrew verbal system, primarily in terms of modality (Table 2), and a more systematic distinction between different types of cohortatives (Table 1) and jussives.
The Reception of Luke and Acts in the Period before Irenaeus
Andrew GREGORY (Lincoln College, Oxford)
This thesis sets out to ask the question of what evidence is available for the reception ofLuke and of Acts in the second century. Each text is treated separately, for there is no evidence that they circulated together. Each discussion follows a similar structure, which is to examine first the earliest manuscript evidence, and to turn next to the earliest explicit external testimony to either text. The majority of the discussion then addresses the evidence of potential allusions to and citations from each of Luke and Actsin Christian writings that survive from the period before Irenaeus.
A Royal Priesthood: Literary and Intertextual Perspectives on an Image of Israel in Exodus 19:6
John A. DAVIES (Presbyterian Theological Centre, Sydney)
This thesis explores the background, literary setting, meaning and significance within its wider canonical context of the image of God's people as a 'kingdom of priests' in the divine declaration of Exodus 19:6. Most recent interpreters have argued for (or assumed) either a passive understanding of the word translated 'kingdom' (Israel is God's realm) or an active-elite understanding (Israel is a nation with a ruling priestly caste). Adopting a final form or literary approach to the text, this thesis argues on syntactic and contextual grounds for a view no longer fashionablethe active-corporate interpretation. On this view, God's commitment to Israel is seen as a declaration of the privileged position of the elect nation. God's people are his treasurethat is, in distinction to other nations, they enjoy the status of royalty and priesthood, depicted in terms of access to his heavenly court. This active-corporate interpretation is one which underlies many ancient renderings and interpretations of the passage (including those in the New Testament).