Articles in TynBul 68.1 (Mar. 2017)

A New Codex from the Scribe behind the Leningrad Codex: L17
Kim Phillips (Tyndale House, Cambridge)
Samuel b. Jacob was the scribe responsible for the production of the so-called Leningrad Codex (Firkowich B19a), currently our earliest complete Masoretic Bible codex. This article demonstrates that another codex from the Firkowich Collection, containing the Former Prophets only, is also the work of Samuel b. Jacob, despite the lack of a colophon to this effect. The argument is based on a combination of eleven textual and para-textual features shared between these two manuscripts, and other manuscripts known to have been produced by the same scribe.
'We Really Should Stop Translating nir in Kings as "Light" Or "Lamp"': A Response
David B. Schreiner (Wesley Biblical Seminary)
This essay responds to Deuk-il Shin's recently published 'The Translation of the Hebrew Term NI?R: "David's Yoke"?' I contend that Shin's argument does not do enough to counteract Douglas Stuart's call to stop translating nir in Kings as 'light' or 'lamp'. Among other things, Shin does not consider important contributions to the discussion, which therefore renders his argumentation deficient. All things considered, Ehud Ben Zvi's suggestion of territorial dominion is most appropriate.
'Behold, There Were Twins in Her Womb' (Gen. 25:24-26; 38:27-30): Medical Science and the Twin Births in Genesis
John Makujina (Erskine College, Washington)
Eran Viezel claims that the book of Genesis is ignorant of the fundamentals of childbirth, particularly the presenting foetal member. While the head normally emerges first, Genesis mistakenly thinks that the hands present, as they do in livestock deliveries. Therefore, the veracity of the twin births in Genesis 25:24-26 and 38:27-30, where a hand exits the womb first (Jacob and Zerah), should be rejected. The present article, however, exposes significant inaccuracies and unsupported assumptions on Viezel's part. Moreover, while maintaining that both births are anomalous, this article proposes medically realistic scenarios for the parturitions of the twins in Genesis.
Grant Slaves Equality: Re-Examining the Translation of Colossians 4:1
Murray Vasser (Asbury Theological Seminary)
This essay offers a fresh challenge to the widely accepted translation of Colossians 4:1. Though isotes normally means 'equality', most scholars insist that in Colossians 4:1 the term must instead mean 'fairness', for the author evidently assumes the continuation of slavery in the Christian community. Thus English versions render the command 'Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly' (RSV). In support of this translation, scholars routinely cite a handful of texts that are purported to demonstrate that the term isotes could mean 'fairness' instead of 'equality'. In this essay, I challenge such an interpretation of these texts. Furthermore, by demonstrating that a first-century moralist could exhort masters to treat their slaves as equals without thereby recommending the abolition of slavery, I challenge the assertion that the context of Colossians 4:1 requires a meaning of isotes other than the one well attested in the extant Greek literature. I conclude that Colossians 4:1 should be rendered as follows: 'Masters, grant slaves justice and equality.' This conclusion has important implications not only for Bible translators, but also for scholars attempting to reconstruct the situation at Colossae or describe early Christian attitudes towards slavery.
Motif-Semantic Differences in Paul?: A Question to Advocates of the Pastorals' Plural Authorship in Dialogue with Michaela Engelmann
Jermo van Nes (Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven) and Harro Koning (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg)
New Testament scholarship is witnessing a growing number of studies advocating the plural authorship of the Pastoral Epistles (PE) on the basis of their mutual differences. Among them is the recent study by Michaela Engelmann highlighting 'motif-semantic' differences between the PE in terms of their Christology/soteriology, ecclesiology, heresiology, and image of Paul. While Engelmann and others challenging the common authorship of the PE offer significant contributions to the study of the PE's origins, their overall approach also raises methodological questions. By way of illustration, 1 Thessalonians and Philippians are studied in a way similar to that of Engelmann. Both letters are shown to exhibit a good number of motif-semantic differences, which might bring into question their explanatory power.
The State and Marriage: Cut the Connection
Daniel Hill (University of Liverpool)
I argue that the connection between the state and the institution of marriage should be cut. More precisely, I argue that the state should not (i) solemnise or purport to solemnise any marriages, (ii) register any marriages and (iii) make any laws, civil or criminal, respecting marriage. I advance several arguments for this thesis, and then respond to many possible objections. I do not argue for any change in any of the typical Western laws respecting sexual intercourse; in particular, I do not argue for any change in the laws regarding rape, the age of consent to intercourse or intercourse with a minor.
Could Marriage Be Disestablished?
Julian Rivers (University of Bristol Law School)
In this paper, I respond to Dr Daniel Hill's argument that English law should cease to recognise marriage. Rather than focusing on general arguments of political theory for and against such a proposal I consider practical arguments based on the development of the law in response to injustice in family relations. A law of marriage of some sort seems inevitable. This conclusion is reinforced by the arguments of libertarian and feminist writers who seek to 'abolish' marriage. Looked at more closely, they do nothing of the sort; they redefine it. Finally, I discuss the problem of unregistered marriages among British Muslims as an already existing example of marriage without the state. I conclude that law has to respond to existing social forms according to an idea of justice in domestic relations, and for that reason marriage cannot simply be 'disestablished'.
Dissertation Summaries
Ethics in the Gospel of John: Discipleship as Moral Progress
Sookgoo Shin (University of Cambridge)
This study seeks to challenge the dominant scholarly view of John's ethics as an ineffective and unhelpful companion for moral formation. The Gospel of John has been an unwelcome outsider when it comes to the discussion of ethics since it has been accused of being morally bankrupt, not ethical enough to be included in New Testament ethics, and a puzzling book – indeed, a major challenge – for ethical enquiry. No one has been, however, more sceptical about the value of John's ethics than Wayne Meeks, whose criticisms have contributed significantly to this negative view. In order to demonstrate the inadequacy of such claims, this study aims to identify the undergirding ethical dynamic that shapes John's moral structure by bringing out the implicit ethical elements that are embedded throughout John's narratives, and thus suggests a way to read the whole Gospel ethically and appreciatively of its literary characteristics.

Studies in P.Beatty III (P47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text
Peter Malik (University of Cambridge)
The importance of papyri in NT textual criticism, if properly understood, is difficult to overestimate. Despite their state of preservation, they allowed the critics to move beyond the fourth-century 'barrier' of the Constantinian period, in which the earliest 'Great majuscules' were produced. The early papyri thus provided a venue for revisiting previous theories concerning transmission history and even some of the 'canons' of textual criticism. And perhaps of equal significance is the fact that the early papyri have provided the historians with valuable evidence of early Christian material culture and worship. Although to varying degrees this applies to all the papyri from the pre-Constantinian time, it is particularly true of those from Chester Beatty (P45-47) and Bodmer (P66, 72, 75) collections.


Articles in TynBul 67.2 (Nov. 2016)

Abram as Israel, Israel as Abram: Literary Analogy as Macro-Structural Strategy in the Torah
Seth D. Postell (Israel College of the Bible)

The argument is made that through the use of literary devices, the individual stories of the Abram narrative (Genesis 11–15) were strategically arranged to correspond with Israel's story as told in the Book of Exodus. Although previous commentators have observed some parallels between these two stories, this article asserts that the reach of this literary analogy extends further than a few identifiable similarities, and reveals an overarching compositional strategy. Potential meanings of this analogy vis-à-vis its similarities and differences are explored, and the use of this extended literary analogy is considered as a framework for appreciating the NT's figural interpretation of some Pentateuchal narratives.

Counting Witnesses for the Angry Jesus in Mark 1:41: Interdependence and Insularity in the Latin Tradition
Peter E. Lorenz (Universität Münster)

A survey of recent literature on the remarkable reading in Mark 1:41, depicting Jesus's anger at a leper who approaches him to be healed ­ supported by just Codex Bezae, a segment of the Old Latin version, and perhaps the Syriac Commentary on the Diatessaron, attributed to Ephrem ­ reveals a tendency to ascribe the acceptance of the alternative reading depicting Jesus's compassion to the overwhelming preponderance of its support. It is clear though that the UBS3 and UBS4 committee preferred this reading on the basis of the 'diversity and character' of its evidence. The present article examines the implications of the predominantly Latin support for the reading that depicts Jesus's anger in light of the question of textual diversity, considering palaeographical, codicological, and textual evidence of a northern-Italian provenance for its manuscripts and text forms, while arguing that the insular character of the tradition raises serious doubts regarding the independence of its testimony when it differs distinctively in relation to the Greek tradition.

The Route of Paul's Second Journey in Asia Minor: In the Steps of Robert Jewett and Beyond
Glen L. Thompson (Asia Lutheran Seminary, Hong Kong) and Mark Wilson (Stellenbosch University)

Robert Jewett, in his 1997 article on Paul's second journey, explored the geographical dimensions of Paul's travel in north-west Asia Minor as described in Acts 16:6-8. His focus was to investigate thoroughly the road 'down to Troas' mentioned in verse 8. This study will not only renew that investigation from Dorylaeum where Jewett began it, but will also look at the earlier stages of the journey that began at Antioch on the Orontes. In so doing, it will examine the textual and material evidence that provides knowledge of the region's road system. Regarding this route, Johnson observes: 'Although endless scholarly discussion has been devoted to determining the precise route Paul took … it is in fact unsolvable.' Despite such a pessimistic perspective, hodological research in north-west Asia Minor in recent decades has provided fresh data to aid in evaluating alternative proposals for Paul's route. To this end, milestones and inscriptions will be noted especially. Relevant finds from archaeological excavations in the area of the journey will also be mentioned. Lastly, we will review publications since 1997 that have interacted with Jewett's important study and then suggest other alternatives to his thesis. The authors wish to thank Professor Jewett for his innovative work on this subject. His model of doing on-site investigation has inspired us to take up this study, which owes much to his pioneering spirit and example.

Name Giving by Paul and the Destination of Acts
Richard G. Fellows (Vancouver, Canada)

It is proposed that Paul gave new names to the most courageous and prominent founding members of his churches. Crispus, Jason, Lydia, and Titius Justus seem to have received the names Sosthenes, Aristarchus, Euodia, and Stephanas respectively. Epaenetus and Theophilus may also be new names. The names have meanings that reflect leadership roles and a similar cluster of leadership names in Third Corinthians witnesses to the renaming phenomenon. Acts may have been written for the Aegean believers, who already knew that Crispus was Sosthenes and that Jason was Aristarchus.

Hebrews 1:10-12 and the Renewal of the Cosmos
Philip Church (Laidlaw College, Auckland NZ)

The suggestion that the author of Hebrews is indebted to Philo sometimes leads to the assertion that he has a negative bias against the creation. One text where scholars have detected this bias is Hebrews 1:10-12, quoting Psalm 102:25-27, seemingly to predict the dissolution of the cosmos. The text is part of a Psalm that predicts the restoration of Zion and the gathering of the nations there to worship, and expresses the confidence that the descendants of the servants of Yahweh will live securely in Yahweh's presence. This makes it unlikely that verses 25-26 predict the dissolution of the cosmos, and exegesis of the verses in question indicates not dissolution, but renewal after the destruction resulting from the exile. Attention to the context of the quotation in Hebrews indicates that dissolution there is also unlikely. The text supports the claim that the exalted Son upholds all things (Heb. 1:3) and sits alongside a discussion of the dominion of humanity over the world to come (2:5-9). A more remote co-text refers to the gathering of the nations to Zion (12:22-24), itself a further echo of the Psalm. The Psalm quotation functions to predict not the dissolution, but the renewal of the decaying cosmos.

The Masora Magna of Two Biblical Fragments from the Cairo Genizah, and the Unusual Practice of the Scribe behind the Leningrad Codex
Kim Phillips (Tyndale House, Cambridge)

As a rule, no two Tiberian Bibles are alike when it comes to their masoretic notes. Indeed, the masora magna notes can be thought of as part of the unique fingerprint of each individual manuscript. Notwithstanding, this study presents the first evidence of two Pentateuch codices containing identical masora magna, and explores how these codices relate to one another. Both these codices were the work of Samuel b. Jacob, the scribe who wrote the Leningrad Codex. Thus this study contributes to our understanding of the scribal habits of this important figure.

Dissertation Summaries

Death and Divine Judgement in Ecclesiastes
Kumiko Takeuchi (St John's College, Durham)

Ecclesiastes among the OT books is an anomaly, but not without its significance. After all, it has survived inquiries about its questionable content and remains a part of canonical Scripture. The unusual content of Ecclesiastes may be related to certain historical circumstances when it was written. As there is little internal or external evidence, however, it is no easy task to assign the book's date to any particular period. Premised on the current consensus regarding its plausible dating between the 6th and 3rd centuries, albeit mainly based on linguistic evidence, one may well ask: what is the book of Ecclesiastes doing, if it appeared on the cusp of the Persian–Hellenistic transition period, when the traditional idea of theodicy was perhaps becoming a serious issue in Israelite society before full-blown apocalyptic eschatology surfaced? This thesis probes that question.

Eating and Drinking in the Resurrection Body
F. S. Mulder (Winchester University) 

This thesis tests the claims that a reception history approach within New Testament studies can assist in i) evaluating and judging interpretations; ii) identifying unresolved problems; iii) asking fresh, new, penetrating questions, and ultimately; iv) providing the materials that help us journey on the continuous quest for theological truth. Can a new reception history spanning from the early church until modern times contribute towards better understanding and providing new insights into debates over pluriformity and coherence in relation to the resurrection of Jesus and believers in Paul and the canonical Easter narratives?

The Christ-Story of Philippians 2:6-11: Narrative Shape and Paraenetic Purpose in Paul's Letter to Philippi
Richard J. Weymouth (PTEE, Amman, Jordan)

This thesis argues the case that Philippians 2:6-11 represents a Pauline prose narrative (and is not a pre-Pauline hymn), which may be called the Christ-story, and should therefore be interpreted as prose narrative in terms of its form, function, and content; and that doing this provides fresh insights into a much studied and debated passage, some of which have hitherto remained unnoticed (or at least unreported), while providing a framework that now allows some previous major contributions to the study of this passage to be brought together in order to form a comprehensive overall interpretation.