Articles in TynBul 58.1 (May.2007)

The Gospel of Judas and the Qarara Codices
Peter M. Head (Tyndale House and University of Cambridge)


The recent publication of the Coptic text of the Gospel of Judas has raised a number of questions about the nature, history, date and importance of this ancient gospel. By paying close attention to the context of the find, the other literature within the same codex, and the question of the date, both for the Coptic codex and the original composition, this article helps locate the Gospel of Judas into its proper historical and theological context of the mid-to-late second century.

Martin Hengel: A Life in the Service of Christology
Roland Deines (University of Nottingham, Department of Theology and Religious Studies)


While Martin Hengel has made a huge contribution to the study of early Judaism and emerging Christianity, his work can be seen to have a more specific focus. In celebration of Professor Hengel's eightieth birthday, this retrospective survey evaluates his work in and around the field of Christology, which can be seen as the centre and purpose of so much of his thinking.

A New Analysis of a Key Hebrew Term: The Semantics of Galah ('To Go into Exile')
David Gray (Wycliffe-UK, High Wycombe)


This study is an attempt to update James Barr's work on the semantics of biblical language by analysing one Hebrew term:   II (galah II) 'to go into exile'. The article criticises existing entries in theological dictionaries, as well as providing a new analysis. The writer is one of the researchers on the Key Terms of Biblical Hebrew project. The project should benefit others who would like to dig deeper into the meaning of Hebrew terms as they are used in the Old Testament.

The Accession Narrative (1 Samuel 27 -- 2 Samuel 1)
David G. Firth (Cliff College, Derbyshire)


This paper offers a reading of 1 Samuel 27 – 2 Samuel 1 as a discrete unit within the books of Samuel which consciously acts as the climax of all that precedes it in 1 Samuel. It is marked by a distinctive narrative style, which shows that it is structurally discrete within the books of Samuel, and yet at the same time it establishes links across the whole of the preceding text. These links enable it to offer a profound reflection on the circumstances and interpretation of Saul's death as well as resolving the question of where David was when Saul died. At the same time, these links transcend the classical source-critical analysis of the books of Samuel, suggesting that the books should be read as a tightly-integrated whole.

The Hermeneutics of the Haftarot
Gregory Goswell (Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Presbyterian Theological College)


The excerpts from the Prophetic Books selected to match the weekly public reading of the Torah in the synagogue were not chosen in a haphazard manner. They are supported by verbal and thematic links with the Torah reading and amount to a theologically serious reading of sacred Scripture. This pairing of biblical texts reflects an implied hermeneutic namely a way of interpreting both Law and Prophets, that has its roots in the established patterns of early Jewish preaching and teaching. The survey provided by this article demonstrates that a consideration of the paired readings is of great value to the Christian reader of the Old Testament.

The Jewish Context of Paul's Gentile Mission
James C. Miller (Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology)


Luke consistently portrays Paul going first to a synagogue to preach when entering a new location and only later turning to the Gentiles. Many scholars contest this depiction, claiming that the apostle to the Gentiles would not have preached to Jews. Luke's portrayal of Paul on this point, therefore, must be a product of Luke's theology rather than a reflection of Paul's actual practice. On the basis of evidence drawn from the argument of Romans, this essay contends that Paul's apostleship consisted of bringing the Gentile peoples alongside the Jewish people as one people in united praise of God. As such, the nature of Paul's task necessitated working with Jews whenever possible. Such an understanding of Paul's calling not only requires rethinking common understandings of what 'apostle to the Gentiles' meant, it also lends credence to Luke's depiction of Paul's missionary practice.

On Raising Osiris in 1 Corinthians 15
Nicholas Perrin (Wheaton College Graduate School)


This article examines possible comparisons between Paul's teaching on resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 and the Egyptian myth of resurrection. This involves not only a consideration of the isolated parallels, but an investigation of the degree of coherence between Paul's theological framework and the broad perspective of the Osirians. Recent arguments for Osirian influence in Paul, though superficially plausible, are unsuccessful because they fail to understand Paul and the Egyptians on their own conceptual terms.

More Than Just Numbers: Deuteronomic Influence in Hebrews 3:7--4:11
David M. Allen (University of Edinburgh)


That Hebrews 3:7–4:11 alludes to the events of Numbers 14 has become an apparently established and almost universal datum of  scholarship. This paper, however, argues that Hebrews' rhetoric in the pericope and its exegesis of Psalm 95 is better explained by appealing to a Deuteronomic perspective, rather than that of Numbers. The bipartite structure of the psalm itself evinces a quasi-Deuteronomic choice that echoes the decision which Hebrews lays before its audience, and it utilises language that is quintessentially Deuteronomic. Four key words in 3:7-19 are sub sequently discussed and it is demonstrated that their context and provenance is not Numbers 14, but rather the particular milieu of Deuteronomy. Whilst the contribution of Numbers 14 to the pericope is not to be dismissed, Hebrews' use of the psalm appears to be more orientated towards a Deuteronomic perspective.

P115 and the Number of the Beast
P. J. Williams (University of Aberdeen)


In Revelation 13:18 the occurrence of the number 616 in  115 has been taken as offering support to the view that the number refers to Nero. Here, an alternative or perhaps additional explanation of the number 616 is given by the suggestion that this number visually mimics designations of Jesus

Dissertation Summaries

The Unity of the Church in Acts in its Literary Setting
Alan Thompson (Sydney Missionary and Bible College)

First paragraph:

This thesis examines the Lukan themes of unity and disunity against ancient Greco-Roman and Jewish social and political discourses on concord and discord, in order to better understand the context in which Luke highlights the themes of unity and disunity. The themes of unity and disunity are particularly prominent in ancient discussions con­cerning the reigns of rulers, the evaluation of laws/constitutions/forms of government, and in descriptions of the contrasting effects of unity and disunity in the destruction and preservation of peoples and cities. These themes were grouped under the broad categories of kingship and law (chapters two and three), and the preservation and destruction of cities (chapters four and five). In the context of its literary setting, the theme of the unity of the church in Acts contributes to Lukan christo logical claims that Christ is the true King, and Lukan ecclesiological claims that the Christian community is the true people of God.