Gary Yates (Liberty University, Virginia)
Seeking to contribute to the discussion of the book of Jeremiah as a literary unity, this study examines the contrast between the promise of new exodus in Jeremiah 30–33 and the experience of the remnant in Judah after the fall of Jerusalem that is recounted in Jeremiah 40–43 as a reversal of the exodus. This contrast of 'new exodus' and 'no exodus' serves as both a promise and warning to the exilic community in Babylon – the promise that they are to be the recipients of the blessings of restoration and a warning that continued disobedience to Yhwh will bring further judgement.
Pistis Christou in Galatians 2:16: Clarification from 3:1-6
Debbie Hunn (Dallas Theological Seminary)
Because grammar alone is inadequate to determine the meaning of , whether 'faith in Christ' or 'faith[fulness] of Christ', some scholars now observe that exegesis must judge between the theories. This article is an attempt to use exegesis to determine the meaning of in Galatians 2:16. The argument proceeds in two steps: the first is to confirm that in Galatians 3:2, 5 refers to the faith of the Galatians ('hearing with faith'), and the second is to establish the link between in 3:2, 5 and in 2:16. The article concludes that in Galatians 2:16 refers to human faith.-
Method and Old Testament Theology: Barr, Brueggemann, and Goldingay Considered
Tim Meadowcroft (Bible College of New Zealand, Waitakere)
In the past several years two of the English speaking world's most influential Old Testament scholars, Walter Brueggemann and John Goldingay, have produced lengthy volumes of Old Testament theology. In the same period James Barr has produced a comprehensive methodological reflection on Old Testament theology. Barr raises a number of key issues which continue to inform the discipline. The theologies of Brueggemann and Goldingay each in different ways illustrate these methodological issues, and may be critiqued in their light. What emerges when this is done is an appreciation of two Old Testament theologians whose rigorous readings of the final form of the text produce significant insights for both the church and the academy. In the opinion of this reviewer the particular methodological strengths of Goldingay are those that are most likely to prove helpful both for the ongoing development of Old Testament theology and for the church's reading of the Old Testament.
The Glory of God in Salvation Through Judgment: The Centre of Biblical Theology?
James M. Hamilton Jr. (Southwestern Seminary, Houston)
Does the solar system of biblical theology have a sun? Many conclude from the numerous proposals that one theme cannot hold sway as the centre of biblical theology. This essay briefly discusses the basis for, worth of, and meaning behind the idea of a central concept in the Bible's theology. Having summarized previous proposals, exegetical and thematic evidence is put forward in an attempt to discern whether the gravitational force and emanating brightness of the glory of God in salvation through judgment can order and enlighten the world of biblical theology.
Josephus' Retelling of 1 Kings 1 for a Graeco-Roman Audience
Christopher Begg (Catholic University of America)
1 Kings 1 relates the tumultuous circumstances which eventuated in Solomon's being designated David's successor. This article offers a detailed comparison between the biblical account and its retelling by Josephus in hisAntiquities 7:343-362. The study focuses on two overarching questions: (1) which text-form(s) of 1 Kings 1 did the historian utilize? and (2) what kinds of retelling techniques has he applied to the biblical data and with what purposes and effects did he employ those techniques?
Justification as Forensic Declaration and Covenant Membership: A Via Media Between Reformed and Revisionist Readings of Paul
Michael F. Bird (Highland Theological College, Dingwall)
The emergence of the New Perspective on Paul has led to renewed debate concerning Paul's statements on justification. Discussion is divided over whether being 'righteous' signifies a legal status before God or represents a legitimisation of covenant membership. This study argues that both elements are necessary for a comprehensive unde rstanding of Paul. Proponents of the New Perspective attempt to squeeze all 'righteousness' language under the umbrella of 'covenant', whilst Reformed adherents divorce Paul's talk of righteousness from the social context of Jew -gentile relationships in the Pauline churches. I argue that, in Paul's reckoning, justification creates a new people, with a new status, in a new covenant, as a foretaste of the new age.
Codex, Roll, and Libraries in Oxyrhynchus
Don C. Barker (Macquarie University, Sydney)
The fragmented discards of a library from the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus in middle Egypt provide us with an excellent 'sample' to conduct a comparative analysis with the contemporary Christian books from the same city. Both the secular and the Christian books in general share common features except for their construction: the library books are rolls whereas the Christian books are in the codex format. What led the Christians to choose this 'new technology'? Could it be that the driving reason was the protection of the contents against tampering?
Mark 16:8 and Plato, Protagoras 328d
Nicholas Denyer (Trinity College, Cambridge)
What we have of the Gospel of Mark comes to an abrupt halt at 16:8 with the words , ('And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid'). Such a cliff-hanger was felt intolerable by some ancients, who composed and transmitted to us various passages that bring the Gospel to a more satisfying close. Plato, Protagoras 328d provides further confirmation that ('for they were afraid') is an astonishingly abrupt end. But it also provides proof that so astonishingly abrupt an end could well be deliberate.
Dissertation SummariesA Study of 2 Timothy 4:1-8: The Contribution of Epistolary Analysis and Rhetorical Criticism
Craig A. Smith (Trinity College, Bristol)
The traditional reading of 2 Timothy 4:1-8 by scholars, regardless of their view of authorship, has been that Paul is writing his farewell speech or last will and testament to Timothy because his death is imminent. Their reading of 2 Timothy 4:1-8 in turn becomes the key text in understanding the situation of the letter. These scholars believe that Paul is passing the baton on to Timothy. Some understand the events and situation recorded to be historical but others suggest they are a creation of the author. The primary aim of this study is to show that 2 Timothy 4:1-8 is not a farewell speech or last will and testament but is a particular literary form and when interpreted as such it leads to a very different understanding of the situation behind the text and the letter. The premise is that if this text is a farewell speech or last will and testament as these scholars suppose, then it must have the same formal features characteristic of these respective types of literature.
Wealth and Wisdom in Matthew 6:19-34
Batara Sihombing (Abdi Sabda Theological Seminary, Medan, Indonesia)
This dissertation has three objectives. First, it demonstrates that the background to Matthew 6:19-34 can be found in the Jewish wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, and Dead Sea Scrolls. Parallel ideas about money include that those who love money will never find satisfaction (Prov. 8:17-21; Eccl. 5:9-11); they will be taken captive by it (Sir. 31:5; 4QInstructionb, II, 17-18); the love of money will lead to idolatry (T. Jud. 19:1; 17:1; 18:2); and the love of money is the mother of all evil (Ps.-Phoc. 42-47). Other parallels include Wisdom literature's encouragement to pursue wisdom because it is greater than any earthly value (Wis. 7:7-14; cf. Matt. 6:33); to share possessions with others in need, according to the principles of willingness and proportion (Tob. 4:6-7; cf. Matt. 6:22-23).
The Leading of the Spirit and the Curse of the Law: Reassessing Paul's Response to the Galatian Crisis
Todd A. Wilson (College Church, Wheaton, Illinois)
This study examines the rationale for Paul's four references to the Law in 5:13–6:10 in light of a fresh appraisal of the Galatian crisis. It contributes to the continuing debate over the relevance of this section of the letter for the rest of Galatians and for the situation in Galatia. In addition, this study offers a refined understanding of how Galatians functioned in its original setting: it argues that, with the letter, Paul confronts his apostatising converts with the stark choice between blessing and curse.