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Library of New Testament Studies 2016 | LNTS (29 vols.)

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Formerly the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement, a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches. The series places Christianity in its social, cultural, political and economic context.

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  • Delivers top-end studies on New Testament critical and theological discussions
  • Includes contributions from young scholars as well as seasoned experts
  • Explores historical, social-scientific, literary, theological, and contextual perspectives
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Ancient Education and Early Christianity

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What was the relationship of ancient education to early Christianity? This volume provides an in-depth look at different approaches currently employed by scholars who draw upon educational settings in the ancient world to inform their historical research in Christian origins. The book is divided into two sections: one consisting of essays on education in the ancient world, and one consisting of exegetical studies dealing with various passages where motifs emerging from ancient educational culture provide illumination.

The chapters summarize the state of the discussion on ancient education in classical and biblical studies, examine obstacles to arriving at a comprehensive theory of early Christianity’s relationship to ancient education, compare different approaches, and compile the diverse methodologies into one comparative study. Several educational motifs are integrated in order to demonstrate the exegetical insights that they may yield when utilized in New Testament historical investigation and interpretation.

In a welcome development, biblical scholars are increasingly devoting their attention to ancient literary education. The various essays in Ancient Education and Early Christianity contribute to this end, foregrounding topics such as the texts used for educational purposes (including the Torah, Paul’s letters, and the Didache) and the influence of the progymnasmata on the composition of early Christian narratives....Librarians should add this volume to their collections on early Christianity.

Religious Studies Review

Matthew Ryan Hauge (PhD, Claremont Graduate University) is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University in California, USA. A revised version of his dissertation, The Biblical Tour of Hell, is currently under review for inclusion in the Library of New Testament Studies Series (T&T Clark) and he is scheduled to contribute to the edited volume, New Testament and Empire, which is forthcoming in the SBL Resources for Biblical Studies series (Society of Biblical Literature).

Andrew W. Pitts is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Arizona Christian University, USA.

Bowing Before Christ

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Does the apostle Paul sponsor political conservatism? A growing number of scholars dispute this perception, arguing that Paul’s political imagery and in particular the confession that “Jesus Christ is Lord” directly challenge the proud Roman emperor.This book critically engages these proposals, seeking to point out with greater precision the function of political imagery within the Pauline narrative. Dorothea H. Bertschmann starts by conversing with the works of John Howard Yoder and Oliver O’Donovan, two modern political ethicists and theologians. She argues that both thinkers in all their distinctive emphases wrestle with a similar difficulty: How can Christ the Lord be meaningfully related to earthly lords without betraying the otherness of Christ’s Lordship? But how does Paul deal with this problem?

In order to answer this question Bertschmann offers a close reading of two key texts, Philippians 2:5-11 and Romans 13:1-7.She argues that despite the many-faceted political imagery of the “Christ hymn”, Paul does nothing in his explicit narrative to engage existing rulers positively or negatively with the message of Christ’s rule. Paul’s focus is entirely on the church, which he seeks to construct as a “community under authority”. While there is no emperor in the Christ hymn, there is no Christ in Paul’s political admonition of Romans 13. Paul deliberately keeps political rule at the periphery of God’s salvific actions in Christ, while not totally disconnecting it from the overall divine act. This strategy has its limitations, but also the potential to offer fresh impulses in theological deliberations about “church and state.”

Carefully crafted ... I particularly enjoyed ... the spirit of serious and scholarly Christian discipleship found in this work.

Regent’s Reviews

Dorothea H. Bertschmann is Lecturer in New Testament at Durham University, UK.

Characters and Characterization in Luke-Acts

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Like all skilful authors, the composer of the biblical books of Luke and Acts understood that a good story requires more than a gripping plot—a persuasive narrative also needs well-portrayed, plot-enhancing characters. This book brings together a set of new essays examining characters and characterization in those books from a variety of methodological perspectives.

The essays illustrate how narratological, sociolinguistic, reader-response, feminist, redaction, reception historical, and comparative literature approaches can be fruitfully applied to the question of Luke’s techniques of characterization. Theoretical and methodological discussions are complemented with case studies of specific Lukan characters. Together, the essays reflect the understanding that while many of the literary techniques involved in characterization attest a certain universality, each writer also brings his or her own unique perspective and talent to the portrayal and use of characters, with the result that analysis of a writer’s characters and style of characterization can enhance appreciation of that writer’s work.

The volume offers a useful primer in possible methods in approaching characterization, with a set of worked examples, along with a useful up-to-date bibliography.

The Expository Times

Frank E. Dicken is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Lincoln Christian University, USA.

Julia A. Snyder is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of Regensburg, German.

Early Church Understandings of Jesus as the Female Divine: The Scandal of the Scandal of Particularity

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Central to debates about Jesus is the issue of whether he uniquely embodies the divine. While this discussion continues unabated, both those who affirm and those who dismiss, Jesus’ divinity regularly eclipse the reality that in many of the earliest strands of the Christian tradition when Jesus’ divinity is proclaimed, Jesus is imaged as the female divine.

Sally Douglas investigates these early texts, excavates the motivations for imaging Jesus as Woman Wisdom and the complex reasons that this began to be suppressed in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The work concludes with an exploration of the powerful implications of engaging with the ancient proclamation of Jesus-Woman Wisdom in contemporary context.

A detailed yet accessible treatment of a complex issue in the history of Christian theology. Douglas has made a valuable contribution to continued discussions about use of language associated with the female divine in relationship to Jesus, demonstrating that such terminology and concepts are a valuable, early, and even essential part of the Christian tradition. Those wishing to explore the concepts of the female divine, Woman Wisdom, and the development of Christology in the first three centuries CE will find an excellent resource that presents and interprets the textual evidence with scholarly acumen and clarity of thought.

Reading Religion

Sally Douglas is an Honorary Postdoctoral Associate and Adjunct Lecturer at Pilgrim Theological College, University of Divinity, Melbourne and is a Uniting Church Minister with an inner city congregation.

Honour and Conflict in the Ancient World

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In this volume, Finney argues that the conflict in 1 Corinthians is driven by lust for honour and Paul’s use of the paradigm of the cross. Studies in contemporary social anthropology have noted the importance of male honour and how this is able to generate ideas of social identity within a community and to elucidate patterns of social behaviour. Finney examines the letter of 1 Corinthians, which presents a unique expose of numerous aspects of social life in the first-century Greco-Roman world where honour was of central importance. At the same time, filotimia (the love and lust for honour) also had the capacity to generate an environment of competition, antagonism, factionalism, and conflict, all of which are clearly evident within the pages of 1 Corinthians. Finney seeks to examine the extent to which the social constraints of filotimia, and its potential for conflict, lay behind the many problems evident within the nascent Christ-movement at Corinth. Finney presents a fresh reading of the letter, and the thesis it proposes is that the honour-conflict model, hitherto overlooked in studies on 1 Corinthians, provides an appropriate and compelling framework within which to view the many disparate aspects of the letter in their social context. Formerly the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement, this is a book series that explores the many aspects of New Testament study including historical perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and theological, cultural and contextual approaches.

The book is an excellent study of the notion of honor in ancient literature and provides the reader with important and interesting background material for the study of Pauline letters. It is a must to read for the scholars and students working on 1 Corinthians. It will also be appreciated by the critical followers of Bruce Malina and Jerome Neyrey, as well as by those who use social history and anthropology of culture to read the New Testament texts.

The Biblical Annals

Mark T. Finney teaches in the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Institutions of the Emerging Church

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The contributors to this volume address the key institutions of the first and second Church, considering the development of rituals and sacraments, and the development of Church leadership, and of the Church itself.

The first part of the book looks at the offices of the Church—the Apostolate and the development of other religious authorities—as well as the notion of Apostolic Tradition. The second part looks at the sacraments, with in-depth consideration of the Eucharist, and of Baptismal texts from the early Church. The essays are of interest to scholars researching the development of the early Church and of Church rituals and practices.

Institutions of the Emerging Church has my unqualified endorsement…the eminently admirable methodology, the many provocative theses the essays present, and the perfectly lucid readability of the collection ought to be enough to recommend the volume to any serious scholar of early Christianity. I myself am deeply grateful to the authors for their excellent contribution to early Christian scholarship

Reading Religion

Sven-Olav Back is a member of the Theology Faculty at Åbo Akademi University, Finland.

Erkki Koskenniemi is adjunct professor of Biblical Studies at Abo Akademi University, Finland. He is author of The Old Testament Miracle-Workers in Early Judaism (2005) and The Exposure of Infants among Jews and Christians in Antiquity (2009).

Jesus and the Scriptures

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The four Gospels unanimously present Jesus as someone who quoted from, commented on, and engaged with the Scriptures of Israel. Whether this portrayal goes back to the historical Jesus has been a hotly debated issue among scholars. In this book, eleven expert researchers from four different continents tackle the question anew. This is done through detailed study of specific themes and passages from the Scriptures which Jesus, according to the Gospels, quoted or alluded to.

Among the various topics investigated are Jesus’ use of Genesis 2 to bolster his teaching on divorce, his reference to the Queen of Sheba story in 1 Kings, the significance of the Book of Zechariah for Jesus’ self-understanding, and his enigmatic quotation of Psalm 22 on the cross. These and other contributions result in a common understanding of Jesus’ use of the Scriptures. Not only did Jesus engage with the Scriptures, according to these scholars, but his mode of engagement has to be placed within the early Jewish interpretative framework within which he lived.

This is a stimulating collection and gives good insight into the variety of work that is being done in this area.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

Tobias Hägerland is Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies at Lund University, Sweden. His recent publications include Jesus and the Forgiveness of Sins: An Aspect of His Prophetic Mission (2012) and The Mission of Jesus (co-edited with Samuel Byrskog, 2015).

Luke’s Literary Creativity

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A combination of two classic discussions in New Testament scholarship, the contributions in this volume shed light on the still unsolved synoptic problem by using the well-coined concept of rewriting to describe the relationship between the synoptic gospels. The contributions work with the hypothesis that the synoptic tradition can be conceived of as a process of rewriting: Matthew rewrote Mark and Luke rewrote Mark and Matthew. This approach to the synoptic problem dismantles the grounds for the otherwise widely accepted two-source theory. If it can be shown that Luke knew Matthew’s Gospel the Q-hypothesis is superfluous.

One group of articles focuses on the general question of Luke’s literary relation to the other gospels. In these essays, the concept of rewriting describes Luke’s use of his sources. The second part of the collection examines a number of texts in order to shown how Luke rewrites specific passages. In the final section the contributions concern Luke’s relation to Roman authorities. It is shown that Luke’s literary creativity is not limited to his predecessors in the gospel tradition. Rewriting is his literary strategy.

The essays are timely, appropriate, well-researched and thought-provoking. Well recommended.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

Mogens Müller is Professor of New Testament Exegesis in the University of Copenhagen.

Jesper Tang Nielsen is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Matthew and Mark Across Perspectives

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The essays in this volume present a state-of-the-discipline snapshot of current and recent research into the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. The contributions showcase wide range of methods and perspectives on Gospels study.

The Gospels are viewed from a traditio-historical perspective, and with an eye on history of interpretation. Literary and social-scientific analysis of the Gospels, as well as theological and spiritual readings are also presented. The collection presents chapters by experts in the field of Matthean, Markan, and Jesus studies that freshly examine the core texts. The list of highly distinguished contributors includes: James D.G. Dunn, Francis Watson and Donald Hagner.

Kristian A. Bendoraitis teaches at Spring Arbor University, MI, USA.

Nijay K. Gupta is Assistant Professor of New Testament at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, USA.

Mockery and Secretism in the Social World of Mark’s Gospel

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Having established the context of mockery and shame in Ancient Mediterranean cultures, Dietmar Neufeld shows how Mark presented Jesus as a person with a sense of honour and with a sense of shame, willing to accept the danger of being visible and the mockery it attracted. Neufeld also considers the social functions of ridicule/mockery more broadly as strategies of social sanction, leading to a better understanding of how social, religious, and political practices and discourse variously succeeded or failed in Mark.

Finally, Neufeld investigates the author of Mark’s preoccupation with ‘secrecy’, showing that his disposition to secrecy in his narrative heightened when the dangers of scorn and ridicule from crowds or persons became pressing concerns. In a fiercely competitive literary environment where mocking and being mocked were ever present dangers, Mark, in his pursuit of authority gains it by establishing a reputation of possessing authentic, secret knowledge. In short, the so-called secrecy motif is shown to be deployed for specific, strategic reasons that differ from those that have been traditionally advanced.

Neufeld effectively argues that Mark’s secretism is not a ‘secrecy motif’ aimed at hiding Jesus’ identity, nor is secrecy employed as a mode of revelation. Rather, the secretism in Mark’s Gospel is a literary device the author uses to shield Jesus from situations in which he could be vulnerable to mockery … a viable and engaging alternative to the ‘Messianic Secret’ as an explanation of the motif of secretism in Mark’s Gospel.

—Sharon Betsworth, Oklahoma City University, Biblical Interpretation

Dietmar Neufeld was Associate Professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

New Testament Texts on Greek Amulets from Late Antiquity

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Brice C. Jones presents a comprehensive analysis of Greek amulets from late antique Egypt which contain New Testament citations. He evaluates the words they contain in terms of their text-critical value. The use of New Testament texts on amulets was common in late antiquity. These citations were extracted from their larger Biblical contexts and used for ritual purposes that have traditionally been understood in terms of the ambiguous category of ‘magic.’ Often, these citations were used to invoke the divine for some favour, healing or protection. For various reasons, however, these citations have not played a significant role in the study of the text of the Greek New Testament.

As such, this is the first systematic treatment of Greek New Testament citations on amulets from late antique Egypt. Jones’ work has real implications for how amulets and other such witnesses from this era should be treated in the future of the discipline of New Testament textual criticism.

This is a fascinating and carefully conducted study of one class of non-continuous Greek New Testament texts, the amulets ... This volume will serve as an important reference work for those interested in early Christian amulets in their own right, but more widely it opens up larger discussions about the use of non-continuous texts for understanding the transmission of the early text of the New Testament, and for contributing more evidence concerning how the New Testament text was used by some early Christian believers.

The Expository Times

Brice C. Jones is an ancient historian specializing in papyrology and Early Christianity. He received his Ph.D. in Early Christianity from Concordia University (Montreal) and his M.A. in New Testament from Yale University, USA.

No Longer Living as the Gentiles

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The starting point of this work is an observed tension in recent scholarly discussion of the ethical content of Ephesians 4.17-6.9. On the one hand, Ephesians 4.17-5.21 has been interpreted as drawing a social or ethical contrast between the addressees and the outside world, and even as encouraging or legitimating social withdrawal or separation from outsiders. On the other hand, the household code in Ephesians 5.21-6.9 has been read as encouraging integration into the wider society in an attempt to curb accusations of social disruptiveness. These social goals seem to be at odds, but rarely is this reflected on or addressed in scholarship. Upon a close and detailed study that utilizes traditional exegetical methods, comparative analysis and social identity theory, this thesis argues that Ephesians 4.17-6.9 exhibits a consistent strategy of promoting group distinctiveness while utilizing Greco-Roman ethical values and traditions to promote internal cohesion among the readers. In Ephesians 4.17-5.21, the author uses a rhetoric of differentiation to distinguish his readers from outsiders yet the ethics he espouses are commonly held traditions and moral values. The household code in Ephesians 5.21-6.9, which is grammatically and conceptually linked to the preceding ethical instruction (4.17-5.21), transforms conventional household morality into group-specific ethics to enhance mutuality among the readers in their households. Thus, the readers are encouraged neither to separate from society nor to integrate further into it, but to live and function within society as members of the ‘household of God’ in one accord.

Darko’s work can be highly recommended to all Ephesians scholars, as well as students of the NT who have an introductory knowledge of Greek.

Religious Studies Review

Daniel K. Darkois an ordained minister. He has worked as Director in Youth for Christ and is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Scranton, PA

Paul Among the Apocalypses?: An Evaluation of the ‘Apocalyptic Paul’ in the Context of Jewish and Christian Apocalyptic Literature

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A vibrant and growing field of discussion in contemporary New Testament studies is the question of ‘apocalyptic’ thought in Paul. What is often lacking in this discussion, however, is a close comparison of Paul’s would-be apocalyptic theology with the Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature of his time, and the worldview that literature expresses. This book addresses that challenge.

Covering four key theological themes (epistemology, eschatology, cosmology and soteriology), J. P. Davies places Paul ‘among the apocalypses’ in order to evaluate recent attempts at outlining an ‘apocalyptic’ approach to his letters. While affirming much of what those approaches have argued, and agreeing that ‘apocalyptic’ is a crucial category for an understanding of the apostle, Davies also raises some important questions about the dichotomies which lie at the heart of the ‘apocalyptic Paul’ movement.

This study reliably conveys the broad outlines for those who know nothing about the ‘apocalyptic Paul’ movement, while adding enough well sourced material to interest those more familiar with it.

Bulletin for Biblical Research

James P. Davies is Tutor in New Testament at Trinity College, Bristol, UK.

Paul’s Large Letters: Paul’s Autographic Subscription in the Light of Ancient Epistolary Conventions

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At the end of several of his letters the apostle Paul claims to be penning a summary and farewell greeting in his own hand: 1 Corinthians, Galatians, Philemon, cf. Colossians, 2 Thessalonians. Paul’s claims raise some interesting questions about his letter-writing practices. Did he write any complete letters himself, or did he always dictate to a scribe? How much did his scribes contribute to the composition of his letters? Did Paul make the effort to proofread and correct what he had dictated? What was the purpose of Paul’s autographic subscriptions? What was Paul’s purpose in calling attention to their autographic nature? Why did Paul write in large letters in the subscription of his letter to the Galatians? Why did he call attention to this peculiarity of his handwriting?

A good source of answers to these questions can be found among the primary documents that have survived from around the time of Paul, a large number of which have been discovered over the past two centuries and in fact continue to be discovered to this day. From around the time of Paul there are extant several dozen letters from the caves and refuges in the desert of eastern Judaea (in Hebrew, Aramaic, Nabataean, Greek, and Latin), several hundred from the remains of a Roman military camp in Vindolanda in northern England (in Latin), and several thousand from the sands of Middle and Upper Egypt (in Greek, Latin, and Egyptian Demotic). Reece has examined almost all these documents, many of them unpublished and rarely read, with special attention to their handwriting styles, in order to shed some light on these technical aspects of Paul’s letter-writing conventions.

A major and definitive step forward... Reece’s specialties in palaeographical and comparative issues have here contributed greatly to Pauline and New Testament studies. It is a necessary read for Pauline scholars and even readers at the advanced undergraduate level will find it both accessible and beneficial.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Steve Reece is Professor of Classical Languages and Patricia Boldt Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities at Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, U.S.A.

Paul’s ‘Spirit of Adoption’ in its Roman Imperial Context

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Robert Lewis examines Paul’s use of the phrase “Spirit of Adoption” in Romans 8:12-17 against the background of its Roman Imperial context in order to shed light on interpretation of Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Whereas other scholars have explored what Paul may have meant when he uses the term “adoption” Lewis instead explores the reasons behind Paul’s coupling of it with the term “spirit”.

Having examined theories for a possible Jewish antecedent for Paul’s use of this phrase, and found them less than persuasive, Lewis unlocks the data within the term’s Roman Imperial context that significantly clarifies what Paul means when he uses the phrase “Spirit of adoption”. Lewis shows that when Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, adoption had become a feature of Imperial succession. Roman religion gave a great deal of prominence to the Roman family spirit—the genius. The Emperor’s genius became identified as a deity in Roman religion and its veneration was widespread in Rome as well as the provinces. When Romans 8.12-17 is read against this background, a very different kind of exegetical picture emerges.

This excellent study brings new clarity to Paul’s use of adoption language. Through a thorough investigation of the notion of adoption in its Roman context, combined with the importance of the Spirit, Lewis has given us a rich, fresh and persuasive perspective from which to approach this central phase in the identity of the people of God.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

Robert Brian Lewis is Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Manhattan College, USA.

Q in Matthew: Ancient Media, Memory, and Early Scribal Transmission of the Jesus Tradition

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Advocates of the established hypotheses on the origins of the Synoptic gospels and their interrelationships (the Synoptic Problem), and especially those defending or contesting the existence of the “source” (Q), are increasingly being called upon to justify their position with reference to ancient media practices. Still others go so far as to claim that ancient media realities force a radical rethinking of the whole project of Synoptic source criticism, and they question whether traditional documentary approaches remain valid at all.

This debate has been hampered to date by the patchy reception of research on ancient media in Synoptic scholarship. Seeking to rectify this problem, Alan Kirk here mounts a defense, grounded in the practices of memory and manuscript transmission in the Roman world, of the Two Document Hypothesis. He shows how ancient media/memory approaches in fact offer new leverage on classic research problems in scholarship on the Synoptic Gospels, and that they have the potential to break the current impasse in the Synoptic Problem. The results of his analysis open up new insights to the early reception and scribal transmission of the Jesus tradition and cast new light on some long-conflicted questions in Christian origins.

It solves age-old source-critical problems convincingly, and shows once again why the Two Document Hypothesis remains the best solution to the Synoptic Problem…I highly recommend this work to anyone interested in the origins and formation of the NT.


Alan Kirk is Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at James Madison University, USA.

Resisting Empire: Rethinking the Purpose of the Letter to “the Hebrews”

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This book offers a fresh reading about the purpose for which Hebrews was written. In this book Whitlark argues that Hebrews engages both the negative pressures (persecution) and positive attractions (honor/prosperity) of its audience’s Roman imperial context. Consequently, the audience of Hebrews appears to be in danger of defecting to the pagan imperial context. Due to the imperial nature of these pressures, Hebrews obliquely critiques the imperial script according to the rhetorical expectations in the first-century Mediterranean world-namely, through the use of figured speech. This critique is the primary focus of Whitlark’s project. Whitlark examines Hebrews’s figured response to the imperial hopes boasted by Rome along with Rome’s claim to eternal rule, to the power of life and death, and to be led by the true, victorious ruler. Whitlark also makes a case for discerning Hebrews’s response to the challenges of Flavian triumph. Whitlark concludes his study by suggesting that Hebrews functions much like Revelation, that is, to resist the draw of the Christians’ Roman imperial context. This is done, in part, by providing a covert opposition to Roman imperial discourse. He also offers evaluation of relapse theories for Hebrews, of Hebrews’s place among early Christian martyrdom, and of the nature of the resistance that Hebrews promotes.

Jason Whitlark’s volume, a recent addition to the Library of New Testament Studies series, move[s] this debate onto new ground, particularly in seeking to uncover the anti-imperial rhetoric that the letter purportedly displays. Whitlark’s familiarity with, and usage of, contemporary classical sources is impressive. Indeed, one of the strengths of the volume is the usage of such material, and the book is as much a ‘classics’ text as it is an ‘NT studies’ one.

—David Allen, The Expository Times

Jason A. Whitlark is an Associate Professor of New Testament at Baylor University, USA.

Saving God’s Reputation: The Theological Function of Pistis Iesou in the Cosmic Narratives of Revelation

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This book pursues the conviction that the cosmic conflict imagery in Revelation is the primary and controlling element in the account of the aspiration of the Roman Empire and the imperial cult in Asia Minor.

This book was a pleasure to read not only for the way in which he unpacks the essence of the book of Revelation, but also for the articulate way in which he expresses the ideas in beautiful prose. He clearly has a gift for writing.

Andrews University Seminary Studies

Sigve K. Tonstad completed his PhD at the University of St. Andrews. He is Assistant Professor of Religion and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Loma Linda University in California.

Spirit and Word: Dual Testimony in Paul, John and Luke

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A number of New Testament passages depict the Holy Spirit acting in conjunction with gospel preaching or other forms of humanly given communication about Jesus, yet there is considerable disagreement about how these passages should be interpreted. Unresolved exegetical debates about the correlative action (the “dual testimony”) of the Spirit and the humanly conveyed word plague the interpretation of whole writings, extended sections of individual works, and important themes.

This book examines this contested motif in a focused and comprehensive way. It begins by taking the Pauline, Johannine, and Lucan writings in turn, subjecting the central texts that express dual testimony to detailed exegetical analysis. On the basis of this exegetical work it then moves to a big-picture analysis of the way each corpus expresses and uses the dual-testimony motif, identifying individual emphases and tendencies as well as shared elements that can be observed across the three bodies of writing. Two final chapters offer brief reflections on possible developmental scenarios and points at which the preceding exegetical findings may impinge on questions of contemporary theology.

Timothy Wiarda is Professor of New Testament Studies at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, USA.

Structuring Early Christian Memory

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Social memory research has complicated the relationship between past and present because it is a relationship which finds expression in memorial acts such as storytelling and text-production.

This relationship has emerged as a dialectic in which “past” and “present” are mutually constitutive and implicating. The resultant complication directly affects the procedures and products of “historical Jesus” research, which depends particularly on the assumption that we can cleanly separate “authentic” from “inauthentic” traditions.

In Structuring Early Christian Memory Rafael Rodriguez analyzes the problems that arise from this assumption and proposes a “historical Jesus” program that is more sensitive to the entanglement of past and present.

This study is a welcome addition to historical Jesus studies and provides a fresh perspective that deserves careful attention.

Journal for the Study of The New Testament

Rafael Rodríguez is Professor of New Testament at Johnson University, USA.

Text, Context and the Johannine Community: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of the Johannine Writings

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Text, Context and the Johannine Community adopts a new approach to the social context of the Johannine writings by drawing on modern sociolinguistic theory. Sociolinguistics emphasizes language as a social phenomenon, which can be analysed with reference not only to its broad context of culture, but also, through the use of register analysis, to its narrower context of situation.

The Johannine writings have increasingly been seen as the product of a distinct Johannine Community, depicted by some scholars as a sectarian group, opposed both to wider Jewish society and to other Christian groups. This model has largely been constructed on historical-critical grounds, yet given our lack of reliable external information about the origin of the Johannine writings, a more fruitful approach may be to examine their lexico-grammatical and discourse features to determine what these imply about interpersonal relationships. This study compares selected ‘narrative asides’ from the Gospel of John with a passage section from 1 John and with the two shorter Johannine Epistles. It concludes that register analysis of these texts does not support the idea of a close-knit sectarian group.

Lamb has employed what is for many a new method for understanding the “context of situation” behind the Gospel of John... Lamb develops his register analysis in a way which brings clarity to the ongoing discussion of the Johannine Community.

Reading Acts

Revd. Dr. David A. Lamb is a Church of England vicar, a tutor for ministerial training, and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, UK.

The Audience of Matthew: An Appraisal of the Local Audience Thesis

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This book seeks to establish the inadequacy of readings of the Gospel of Matthew as intended for, and a reflection of, a local audience or community. Despite repeated challenges, the local audience thesis continues to dominate a large proportion of Matthean scholarship, and, as such, the issue of determining the Gospel’s audience remains an open question.

This book posits four main critiques. First, the assumptions which underpin the text-focused process of identifying the Gospel’s audience, whether deemed to be local, Jewish, or universal, lack clarity. Literary entities such as the implied reader, the intended reader, or the authorial audience, prove inadequate as a means of identifying the Gospel’s audience. Second, local audience readings necessarily exclude plot-related developments and are both selective and restrictive in their treatment of characterization. Much is lost or ignored, as a coherent and simplified audience context is derived from the complex narrative world of the Gospel. Third, this book argues that many in an audience of the Gospel would have incorporated their experience of hearing Matthew within pre-existing mental representations shaped by Mark or other early traditions. Thus, they would have understood the Gospel as relating to events and settings distinct from their own context, regardless of the degree to which they identified with characters or events in the Gospel. Fourth, this book argues that early Christian audiences were largely heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity, age, sex, wealth, familiarity with Christian traditions, and levels of commitment. As such, the aural reception of the Gospel would have resulted in a variety of impacts. A number of these critiques extend beyond the local audience option and for this reason this thesis does not posit a particular audience for the Gospel.

Cedric Vine is senior lecturer in New Testament Studies at Newbold College, Bracknell, UK.

The Body of Jesus: A Spatial Analysis of the Kingdom in Matthew

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Little attention is usually given to the space or place of the kingdom. Yet Matthew employs the distinctive phrase “kingdom of heaven” and also portrays Jesus as Immanuel (God with us). In this volume Patrick Schreiner argues that by expanding one’s view of space one can see that Jesus’ purpose is to reorder the space of the earth in Matthew as the heavenly king.

Jesus pierces the barrier between the two realms in his incarnation, and the spaces of heaven and earth begin to collide in his ministry. Therefore, in Matthew, Jesus does not just promise a temporal or ethereal kingdom, but one that is located, one that has a sense of rootedness. Jesus is granted authority over this space and inspires people to follow him in this construction project. The spatial kingdom begins in his body, and he extends it to his church by promising his presence.

What makes this volume satisfying is that, so to speak, everything is there … There are reflections on philosophy, anthropology, systematic theology, sociology, and geography. This type of cross-study is certainly commendable, as he digs through an impressively wide range of materials... Schreiner has done a service by bringing a neglected topic to notice. His work deserves attention as a call to examine the “where” or “space” of the “kingdom of heaven,” and broaden our understanding of the space.

Bulletin for Biblical Research

Patrick Shreiner is Assistant Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Western Seminary, Portland, Oregon, USA.

The Davidic Shepherd King in the Lukan Narrative

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In Luke-Acts, Jesus can be seen to take on the attributes of the Davidic shepherd king, a representation successfully conveyed through specific narrative devices. The presence of the shepherds in the birth narrative can be understood as an indication of this understanding of Jesus. Sarah Harris analyses the multiple ways scholars have viewed the shepherds as characters in the narrative, and uses this as an example of how the theme of Jesus’ shepherd nature is interwoven into the narrative as a whole.

From the starting point of Jesus’ human life, Harris moves to later events portrayed in Jesus’ ministry in which he is seen to enact his message as God’s faithful Davidic shepherd, in particular, the parable of the Lost Sheep and the Zacchaeus pericope (19:1-10). Harris uses this latter encounter to underline that Jesus may be hailed as a King by the crowds as he enters Jerusalem, but he is not simply a king. He is God’s Davidic Shepherd King, as prophesied in Micah 5 and Ezekiel 34, who brings the gospel of peace and salvation to the earth.

This dissertation offers much, particularly to those beginning post-graduate study of Luke-Acts.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

Sarah Harris is Lecturer in New Testament at Carey Baptist College, Auckland, New Zealand.

The Ending of the Canon

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Revelation studies have been typically characterized by two very different types of study emanating from academia and the church. Academia has been engaged in historical critical and source critical studies which typically dissect the text. Whilst the methods used in the church treat Revelation as scripture and keep the text intact, these approaches often lack the tools for sound interpretation. Tõniste observes the need for a more holistic and thoughtful methodology to study Revelation.

Tõniste develops an approach that respects Revelation as a part of Christian scripture composed by and for the church, whilst simultaneously making use of respected modern academic methods that support unity (literary, canonical, and narrative criticism, intertextuality, and canonical location) to arrive at theologically sensible and satisfying interpretations. The basic key to unlocking the mysteries of Revelation lies in its abundant use of intertextuality, an area that remains still under-researched. This integrated methodology is explored through a reading of Revelation 21-22.

As a study of Revelation this book is a real asset, showing how the Apocolypse should be understood against the background of the Hebrew Bible.

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

Külli Tõniste PhD, is Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at Northeastern Theological Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, New York, USA. Formerly Assistant Professor of New Testament at Houghton College, Houghton, New York, USA and Visiting Lecturer at Baltic Methodist Theological Seminary, Tallinn, Estonia.

The Fate of the Jerusalem Temple in Luke-Acts: An Intertextual Approach to Jesus’ Laments Over Jerusalem and Stephen’s Speech

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What was Luke’s attitude to the Jerusalem temple? Steve Smith examines the key texts which concern the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in Luke-Acts. Smith proposes that Acts 7 is a fuller discussion of the material contained in the Gospel sayings on this subject, which themselves make frequent allusion to the Old Testament and the interpretation of which thus requires an understanding of Luke’s use of the Old Testament.

Accordingly, in this work, Steve Smith makes a thorough review of Luke’s use of the Old Testament, and proposes that relevance theory is a capable hermeneutical tool to permit the reconstruction of how Luke’s readers would have understood references to the Old Testament. Using this approach, the key texts from Luke-Acts are examined sequentially, and Luke’s apparent criticism of the temple is examined in a new light.

Steve Smith is Tutor and Lecturer in New Testament Studies at St Mellitus College, UK.

The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research

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The contributors to this volume (J.D. Punch, Jennifer Knust, Tommy Wasserman, Chris Keith, Maurice Robinson, and Larry Hurtado) re-examine the Pericope Adulterae (John 7.53-8.11) asking afresh the question of the paragraph’s authenticity. Each contributor not only presents the reader with arguments for or against the pericope’s authenticity but also with viable theories on how and why the earliest extant manuscripts omit the passage.

Readers are encouraged to evaluate manuscript witnesses, scribal tendencies, patristic witnesses, and internal evidence to assess the plausibility of each contributor’s proposal. Readers are presented with cutting-edge research on the pericope from both scholarly camps: those who argue for its originality, and those who regard it as a later scribal interpolation. In so doing, the volume brings readers face-to-face with the most recent evidence and arguments (several of which are made here for the first time, with new evidence is brought to the table), allowing readers to engage in the controversy and weigh the evidence for themselves.

This volume will prove to be the starting point for future discussions of the PA, and is highly recommended for research libraries as well as for all scholars working within text criticism or Fourth Gospel research.

Religious Studies Review

David Alan Black is professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA.

Jacob Cerone is a postgraduate student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA.

The Quest for the Historical Jesus after the Demise of Authenticity: Toward a Critical Realist Philosophy of History in Jesus Studies

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For two centuries scholars have sought to discover the historical Jesus. Presently such scholarship is dominated not by the question ‘Who was Jesus?’ but rather ‘How do we even go about answering the question, “Who was Jesus?”?’

With this current situation in mind, Jonathan Bernier undertakes a two-fold task: one, to engage on the level of the philosophy of history with existing approaches to the study of the historical Jesus, most notably the criteria approach and the social memory approach; two, to work with the critical realism developed by Bernard Lonergan, introduced into New Testament studies by Ben F. Meyer, and advocated by N.T. Wright in order to develop a philosophy of history that can elucidate current debates within historical Jesus studies.

Jonathan Bernier (Ph.D., McMaster University) lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the author of Aposynagogos and the Historical Jesus in John: Re-thinking the Historicity of the Johannine Expulsion Passages. He teaches at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The Son-Father Relationship and Christological Symbolism in the Gospel of John

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This volume examines Johannine symbolism within the lens of Jesus’ relationship with the Father. After demonstrating that the Gospel narrative symbolically portrays Jesus as the Son of God who is relationally inseparable from his Father, the study shows how the Son-Father Relationship (SFR) is at the center of the network of Christological symbols in the Gospel of John. Using an innovative narrative framework, this book unveils the creative and symbolic introduction of the SFR in the Prologue (Jn. 1. 1-18), its development through the words and actions of Jesus’ teaching ministry within the Johannine narrative, and its culmination in the Prayer (Jn. 17); the SFR motif then concludes in the remainder of the Gospel. This narrative framework reveals how the SFR shapes the literary style and theological strategy of the Gospel, and acts as an integrative force by giving structure and cohesion to the Gospel’s symbolic system. Two key features presented in this book are a theory of symbolism and a network of symbols. The specially formulated ‘Theory of Johannine Symbolism’ explains the theoretical and theological underpinnings of the Gospel’s symbolic network, called ‘John’s Christological Symbology’. Through the symbolic network, the author of the Gospel fulfills the theological purpose stated in Jn. 20:31-that hearer-readers believe in Jesus the Christ, as the Son of God, and thereby experience eternal life.

The book locates itself within contemporary debate on the imagery and symbolism of John’s Gospel, and their narrative and theological significance. In this debate, it offers an important contribution to Johannine studies, both in its methodological understanding of symbols and their modus operandi, and in its comprehensive account of the Son-Father symbol across the narrative of the Fourth Gospel. A positive contribution to the ongoing dialogue can be found in Akala’s unfolding of the theological framework, as well as literary art, of John’s Gospel. The book is well written, thoroughly referenced in the relevant literature, and addressed primarily to the scholarly community, yet accessible enough to possess a wider appeal.

Religious Studies Review

Adesola Joan Akala earned her PhD (Biblical Studies) at Asbury Theological Seminary, USA.

Chris Keith is Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity and Director of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, UK. He is the author of The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John and the Literacy of Jesus, a winner of the 2010 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, and Jesus’ Literacy: Scribal Culture and the Teacher from Galilee. He is also the co-editor of Jesus among Friends and Enemies: A Historical and Literary Introduction to Jesus in the Gospels, and was recently named a 2012 Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholar.


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  1. Irving Salzman

    Irving Salzman


    There are only a couple of the volumes in this bundle that I would want. I would especially love to have The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research. Will any of these volumes be available for sale individually?


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