The Condemnation of Jephthah
Tamie S. Davis (Dodoma, Tanzania)
This paper argues that literary context, commonly used by evangelicals, and intertextuality, often championed by feminist scholars, are complementary tools for understanding the story of Jephthah and his daughter in Judges 11:29-40. The lack of comment from the narrator on the morality of the story has perplexed many readers but, when viewed together, these approaches build a compelling case for Jephthah's condemnation. The literary context gives warrant to the feminist horror at the events of Judges 11:29-40. Intertextual contrast relating to gender can alert the reader to other differences between the stories which then present Jephthah as an inversion of Abraham: unfaithful and abhorrent to YHWH.
'May the Lord Make the Woman like Rachel': Comparing Michal and Rachel
John Dekker (Melbourne)
The portrayal of Michal in the book of Samuel is similar to that of Rachel in the book of Genesis. Both have an older sister who is their rival for the affections of their husband. Both have an erratic father who pursues their husband. Both possess household idols called teraphim, which features in the story of their deceiving their father. Both have at least a period of barrenness. Yet there are also differences between the two women, which can be explained in terms of the portrayal of Michal as an even more tragic figure than Rachel. Careful consideration of the points of similarity and difference yields the conclusion that the allusions to the Rachel story in the book of Samuel are intentional.
'I Will Save My People from Their Sins': The Influence of Ezekiel 36:28b-29a; 37:23b on Matthew 1:21
Nicholas G. Piotrowski (Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis)
Matthean scholars are nearly unanimous that LXX Psalm 129:8 [MT 130:8] is the allusive background to Matthew 1:21 notwithstanding formidable semantic differences. Ezekiel 36:28b-29a; 37:23b, however, provides a more convincing and more fruitful conceptual background for Matthew's programmatic verse. Semantic and thematic considerations bear this out. The result of reading Matthew 1:21 through the lens of Ezekiel 36:28b-29a; 37:23b is the selection of frames for reading the rest of the gospel in terms of the prophet's vision for Israel's restoration from exile.
Review Article: The Deliverance of God: an Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul by Douglas A. Campbell
Bruce Clark (Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge)
Campbell launches a sustained attack against traditional theological conceptions of justification and aims to free Romans 14 (on which these conceptions seemingly rest) from a widespread rationalistic, contractual, individualistic (mis)reading, which gains its plausibility only by the modernistic theological superstructure forced upon it. Campbell then presents an in-depth re-reading of Romans 14 (as well as parts of chs. 911, Gal. 23, Phil. 3), in which Paul engages in a highly complex, 'subtle' polemic, creatively employing 'speech-in-character' as a means of subverting a Jewish Christian 'Teacher' whose visit to Rome threatens to undermine the Roman Christians' assurance of salvation. Campbell argues that justification is participatory and liberative: Christ's death and resurrection constitute the 'righteousness/deliverance of God', by which he justifies, or delivers, an enslaved humanity from the power of sin. This article concentrates primarily on Campbell's own exegesis, concluding that, while important aspects of Campbell's critique of both "justification theory" and traditional readings of Romans 14 must be carefully considered, his own exegesis is not only ingenious, asking too much of Paul and the letter's auditors, but altogether untenable at key points.
Jewish Pilgrim Festivals and Calendar in Paul's Ministry with the Gentile Churches
Jin K. Hwang (Fuller Theological Seminary)
It is quite remarkable that Paul explicitly mentions two of the Jewish pilgrim festivals, namely, the Passover and Pentecost in 1 Corinthians (5:7-8; 16:8). This study argues that such festivals played a key role not only in providing Paul with the biblical foundations for his exhortations in 1 Corinthians (as indicated in ch. 5) but also in shaping his ministry with the Gentile churches at Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia, and Macedonia, and his collection project in particular, which entails the pilgrimage to Jerusalem by representatives from his Gentile churches, most likely during a Jewish festival (as indicated in ch. 16).
The Temple in the Apocalypse of Weeks and in Hebrews
Philip Church (Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand
Several Second Temple texts make no explicit mention of the temple, but it cannot be assumed that this silence indicates a lack of interest. While the Apocalypse of Weeks reveres Solomon's temple and describes it in ways that indicate that it anticipates the eschatological temple, the Second Temple is ignored, implying a strong polemic against it. Hebrews makes no explicit mention of the Second Temple, but several texts reflect a critique of temple, priesthood, and sacrificial system. Hebrews claims that the temple and its associated rituals were a symbolic foreshadowing of the eschatological dwelling of God with his people in the last days, now come with the exaltation of Christ. Since the reality has now come, the readers can no longer be occupied with the symbols.
Lexicography and New Testament Categories of Church Discipline
Andrew D. Clarke (University of Aberdeen)
A range of circumstances, which were formative in the crises prompting the Protestant Reformation, resulted in heightened emphasis on ecclesiastical discipline, with some Reformation Confessions elevating discipline 'according to the Word of God' to one of three significant 'marks' of the 'true church'. However, the Bible prompted no similar consensus among either the Reformers or the Reformation Confessions as to how, when, by or to whom such discipline should be exercised. Although the New Testament has no dominant vocabulary for 'discipline', the fixing on this term in the Sixteenth Century and subsequently nonetheless became a controlling principle in identifying and interpreting certain New Testament passages as 'disciplinary' in focus. Latin lexical roots pose an additional disjunction between first-century and post-Reformation legacy understandings of 'discipline'. Revisiting New Testament categories of discipleship, education and Christian formation may offer a constructively holistic approach that reaches beyond now traditional views of church discipline.
Israel and the Universal Mission in the Gospel of Matthew
Tae Sub Kim (Seoul National University)
This study investigates the relationship between Israel and the universal mission in the Gospel of Matthew. The previous views of scholars deal with this relationship unilaterally proceeding 'from Israel to the Gentile (or the universal) mission' alone, but the relationship in the other direction has not yet been discussed. Thus, while introducing new perspectives aiming for a fuller understanding of the reciprocal relationship between Israel and the universal mission in the First Gospel, this study attempts to demonstrate how the completion of the universal mission is associated with the re-establishment of Israel in the Gospel of Matthew.
The Greek Perfect Active System: 200 BC AD 150
Robert Crellin (Greek Bible College, Athens)
What does the ancient Greek perfect stem (covering both perfect and pluperfect forms) mean? This has proved a controversial question for at least a century, as it has been recognised that traditional accounts leave the form performing functions associated with present and past tenses in certain other European languages. Thus to say 'I know' and 'I stand', both present forms in English, a perfect is used in Greek. By contrast, the sentiment 'I have made' also corresponds to a perfect in Greek. In addition to this aspectual problem the perfect is also involved in a transitivity problem: some perfect actives in Greek are functionally passive. For example, the active perfect 'apolola' means 'I am lost', and not 'I have lost (something)' which might be expected.