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Library of New Testament Studies: 2017 (16 vols.)
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Overview

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.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • 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

Product Details

Individual Titles

Christ, Shepherd of the Nations: The Nations as Narrative Character and Audience in John’s Apocalypse

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Does John’s Apocalypse envision destruction or salvation for the nations of the world? Scholarly views on this issue range from extreme (total destruction) to extreme (universal salvation). Jon Morales maintains that the question must be reframed to highlight, not only the destiny of the nations, but also their dilemma within the drama of world history. Using narrative methodology, Morales asks four key questions concerning the nations: What is John’s story of the nations? How does he tell this story? What is John’s message to the nations? And what is his message to the church concerning the nations?

Literary characters cannot be understood in the abstract, but must be rather discovered sequentially in the development of an entire narrative. The nations in Revelation are no exception. Understanding that previous studies have neglected to situate the nations within Revelation’s larger plot, or in interaction with other narrative characters, Morales concludes that John’s purpose is to show that the nations belong to God. John achieves his purpose in part by deploying a novel metaphor, virtually unexplored until now—Christ, shepherd of the nations.

Jon Morales is campus pastor at Woodside Bible Church in Royal Oak, MI, USA, and adjunct professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA.

Holy Terror: Jesus in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas

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The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (or Paidika) is one of the most unusual gospels in the Christian tradition. Instead of revealing the compassionate Jesus so familiar to us from the biblical Gospels, it confronts its readers with a very different Jesus—a child who sometimes acts like a holy terror, killing and harming others for trifling faults. So why is Jesus portrayed as acting in such an ‘unchristian’ fashion? To address this question, Cousland focuses on three interconnected representations of Jesus in the Paidika: Jesus as holy terror, as child, and as miracle-working saviour. Cousland endeavours to show that, despite the differing character of these three roles, they present a unified picture. Jesus’ unusual behaviour arises from his ‘growing pains’ as a developing child, who is at the same time both human and divine. Cousland’s volume is the first detailed examination of the Christology of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and provides a fresh and engaging approach to a topic not often discussed in representations of Jesus.

J.R.C. Cousland is Associate Professor in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Jude on the Attack: A Comparative Analysis of the Epistle of Jude, Jewish Judgement Oracles, and Greco-Roman Invective

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Alexandra Robinson examines the letter of Jude in the light of repeated scholarly references to this source as an invective, a polemic, and an attack speech, with a dependence on both Jewish and Greco-Roman sources. Moving beyond the ‘Hellenism/Judaism divide,’ Robinson specifies what these elements are, and how they relate to the harsh nature of the discourse.

This study shows how, where, and why Jude borrows from these contemporary genres, with a detailed survey of Greco-Roman invectives and Jewish judgment oracles; comparing and contrasting them to the epistle of Jude with consideration of structure, aims, themes, and style. Robinson argues that Jude has constructed a ‘Jewish invective,’ and that his epistle is a polemical text which takes the form (structure, aims, and style) of a typical Greco-Roman invective but is filled with Jewish content (themes and allusions), drawing on Israel’s heritage for the benefit of his primarily Jewish-Christian audience.

Alexandra Robinson has studied theology at Sydney Missionary and Bible College and St Mark’s Theological Seminary. She recently completed her PhD in the Ancient History department at Macquarie University.

Mark 15:39 as a Markan Theology of Revelation: The Centurion’s Confession as Apocalyptic Unveiling

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In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ arrest, trial and execution ends with the Roman centurion who oversees the death process proclaiming Jesus as God’s son. Gamel explores two key questions in relation to this moment: what does the centurion mean when he says that Jesus is God’s son, and why does he say it? The confession is not made on the basis of any signs nor from any indication that he perceives Jesus’ death as honourable or exemplary. This apparent lack of motivation itself highlights a key Markan theme: that this insight is revealed by an apocalyptic act of God, signalled by the tearing of the temple veil. Thus the confession, which we can understand to be made sincerely and knowledgeably, is the result of an act of God’s revelation alone.

Gamel explores the theory of Mark depicting a story in which all human characters exhibit varying levels of blindness to the spiritual realities that govern their lives. By making a thorough examination of Mark’s Gospel—while placing primary focus on the centurion, the study is unlimited and presents a serious examination of the whole Gospel—Gamel concludes his argument with the point that, at the foot of the cross, this blindness is decisively confronted by God’s apocalyptic act. The offer of sight to the centurion demonstrates the reconciliation of God and humanity which are otherwise in Mark’s Gospel repeatedly presented as antagonistic spheres. Finally, the fact that revelation is offered to a Gentile highlights the inclusion of the nations into the promises of Israel.

Brian K. Gamel teaches at Baylor University, USA.

Mimesis in the Johannine Literature: A Study in Johannine Ethics

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Mimesis is a fundamental and pervasive human concept, but has attracted little attention from Johannine scholarship. This is unsurprising, since Johannine ethics, of which mimesis is a part, has only recently become a fruitful area of research. Bennema contends that scholars have not yet identified the centre of Johannine ethics, admittedly due to the fact that mimesis is not immediately evident in the Johannine text because the usual terminology for mimesis is missing.

This volume is the first organized study on the concept of mimesis in the Johannine literature. The aim of the study is to establish that mimesis is a genuine Johannine concept, to explain its particulars and to show that mimesis is integral to Johannine ethics. Bennema argues that Johannine mimesis is a cognitive, creative process that shapes the believer’s identity and behaviour within the context of the divine family. Besides being instrumental in people’s moral transformation, mimesis is also a vital mechanism for mediating the divine reality to people.

Cornelis Bennema is Senior Lecturer in New Testament at Union School of Theology, UK. He is the author of The Power of Saving Wisdom: An Investigation of Spirit and Wisdom in Relation to the Soteriology of the Fourth Gospel (Mohr Siebeck, 2002), A Theory of Character in New Testament Narrative (Fortress, 2014) and Encountering Jesus: Character Studies in the Gospel of John, 2nd edn (Fortress, 2014).

Muted Voices of the New Testament: Readings in the Catholic Epistles and Hebrews

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Pauline- and Gospel-centred readings have too long provided the normative understanding of Christian identity. The chapters in this volume features evidence from other, less-frequently studied texts, so as to broaden perspectives on early Christian identity. Each chapter in the collection focuses on one or more of the later New Testament epistles and answers one of the following questions: what did/do these texts uniquely contribute to Christian identity? How does the author frame or shape identity? What are the potential results of the identities constructed in these texts for early Christian communities? What are the influences of these texts on later Christian identity?

Together these chapters contribute fresh insights through innovative research, furthering the discussion on the theological and historical importance of these texts within the canon. The distinguished list of contributors includes: Richard Bauckham, David G. Horrell, Francis Watson, and Robert W. Wall.

Katherine M. Hockey is Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK.

Madison N. Pierce is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Tyndale University College, Toronto.

Katherine M. Hockey Francis Watson is Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Durham and was formerly a holder of the Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis in the University of Aberdeen (1999-2007), as well as a Reader in Biblical Theology, King's College London. Previous publications include: Paul, Judaism and the Gentiles, Text, Church and World, Text and Truth and Agape, Eros, Gender.

Paul and the Greco-Roman Philosophical Tradition

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Paul and the Greco-Roman Philosophical Tradition provides a fresh examination of the relationship of Greco-Roman philosophy to Pauline Christianity. It offers an in-depth look at different approaches employed by scholars who draw upon philosophical settings in the ancient world to inform their understanding of Paul. The volume houses an international team of scholars from a range of diverse traditions and backgrounds, which opens up a platform for multiple voices from various corridors.

Consequently, some of the chapters seek to establish new potential resonances with Paul and the Greco-Roman philosophical tradition, but others question such connections. While a number of them propose radically new relationships between Paul and Greco-Roman philosophy, a few seek to tweak or modulate current discussions. There are arguments in the volume which are more technical and exegetical, and others that remain more synthetic and theological. This diversity, however, is accentuated by a goal shared by each author—to further our understanding of Paul’s relationship to and appropriation of Greco-Roman philosophical traditions in his literary and missionary efforts.

Joseph R. Dodson is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at the Ouachita Baptist University, USA.

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

Reading Acts in the Discourses of Masculinity and Politics

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This book looks at the Acts of the Apostles through two lenses that highlight the two topics of masculinity and politics. Acts is rich in relevant material, whether this be in the range of such characters as the Ethiopian eunuch, Cornelius, Peter and Paul, or in situations such as Timothy’s circumcision and Paul’s encounters with Roman rulers in different cities. Engaging Acts from these two distinct but related perspectives illuminates features of this book which are otherwise easily missed. These approaches provide fresh angles to see how men, masculinity, and imperial loyalty were understood, experienced, and constructed in the ancient world and in earliest Christianity.

The essays present a range of topics: some engage with Acts as a whole as in Steve Walton’s chapter on the way Luke-Acts perceives the Roman Empire, while others focus on particular sections, passages, and even certain figures, such as in an Christopher Stroup’s analysis of the circumcision of Timothy. Together, the essays provide a tightly woven and deeply textured analysis of Acts. The dialogue form of essay and response will encourage readers to develop their own critiques of the points raised in the collection as a whole.

Eric Barreto is Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, USA.

Matthew L. Skinner is Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary, USA.

Steve Walton is Senior Lecturer in Greek and New Testament Studies, and Director of Research at London School of Theology, UK

Reading Revelation as Pastiche: Imitating the Past

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Scholars have often read the book of Revelation in a way that attempts to ascertain which Old Testament book it most resembles. Instead, we should read it as a combined and imitative text which actively engages the audience through signaling to multiple texts and multiple textual experiences: in short, it is an act of pastiche.

Fletcher analyses the methods used to approach Revelation’s relationship with Old Testament texts and shows that, although there is literature on Revelation’s imitative and multi-vocal nature, these aspects of the text have not yet been explored in sufficient depth. Fletcher’s analysis also incorporates an examination of Greco-Roman imitation and combination before providing a better way to understand the nature of the book of Revelation, as pastiche. Fletcher builds her case on four comparative case studies and uses a test case to ascertain how completely they fit with this assessment. These insights are then used to clarify how reading Revelation as imitative and combined pastiche can challenge previous scholarly assumptions, transforming the way we approach the text.

Michelle Fletcher is Associate Lecturer at the University of Kent, UK, She completed her doctoral studies at King's College London, UK.

Representations of the Afterlife in Luke-Acts

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Questions regarding the afterlife are many, and the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts pay a great deal of attention to them: why does Luke speak about several different forms of the afterlife? Why is resurrection described as a person’s transformation into an angelic being? How many abodes are appointed for the righteous and the wicked after death? Alexey Somov addresses these queries in relation to the apparent confusion and variety found in the text, and in respect of the interrelatedness of these issues, and their connection with other eschatological issues in Luke-Acts, and in relation to the wider cultural context of the Mediterranean world to which Luke belonged.

Every culture expresses its beliefs by means of special metaphors that allow it to comprehend supernatural realities in terms of everyday experience. Belief in the afterlife was part of this metaphorical system which Luke shared with the ancient eastern Mediterranean culture. Somov takes his analysis one step further by applying Cognitive Metaphor Theory to selected metaphorical aspects of the afterlife. While the inconsistencies and incoherence of the combined metaphors may seem jarring to a contemporary Western reader, Somov’s reading enables a recognition of the specific religious metaphors used, which for Luke would have been current and widely accepted.

Alexey Somov has produced a carefully written investigation of the notion of the afterlife, specifically in Luke-Acts, but he also advances our understanding of this complex issue among Jews, Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans in the first centuries BCE and CE. His research draws helpfully on the most important ancient sources, beyond the usual listing of sources, and shows considerable awareness of the most informed and up-to-date secondary literature as well. The arguments and interpretations of ancient texts are presented with clarity, balance and fairness. This volume is helpful in understanding both biblical and and non-biblical notions of life after death and it will likely become a standard resource for all subsequent research in this important subject. I highly recommend this volume.

—Lee Martin McDonald, Acadia University, Canada

Alexey Somov is Senior Lecturer of the New Testament at St Philaret Orthodox Christian Institute in Moscow, Russia, Research Fellow at the Department of Old and New Testament at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and Translation Consultant with the Institute for Bible Translation, Russia.

Suffering in Ancient Worldview: Luke, Seneca and 4 Maccabees in Dialogue

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Suffering in Ancient Worldview investigates representative Christian, Roman Stoic and Jewish perspectives on the nature, problem and purpose of suffering. Tabb presents a close reading of Acts, Seneca’s essays and letters and 4 Maccabees, highlighting how each author understands suffering vis-à-vis God, humanity, the world’s problem and its solution, and the future. Tabb’s study offers a pivotal definition for suffering in the 1st century and concludes by creatively situating these ancient authors in dialogue with each other.

Tabb shows that, despite their different religious and cultural positions, these ancient authors each expect and accept suffering as a present reality that is governed by divine providence, however defined. Luke, Seneca and the author of 4 Maccabees each affirm that suffering is not humanity’s fundamental problem. Rather, suffering functions as a cipher for other things to be displayed. For Seneca, suffering provides an opportunity for one to learn and show virtue. The author of 4 Maccabees presents the nation’s suffering as retribution for sin, while the martyrs’ virtuous suffering leads to Israel’s salvation. For Luke, the Lord Jesus suffers to accomplish salvation and restoration for the world marred by sin and suffering, and the suffering of his followers is instrumental for Christian mission.

Brian Tabb's Suffering in Ancient Worldview is a careful and perceptive treatment of a topic that is always relevant. Scholars and students of Acts will especially find this monograph richly rewarding, complementing previous studies of suffering in Luke–Acts. Pastors will find much here that will strengthen and deepen pastoral application in ministry.

Themelios

Brian J. Tabb (PhD, London School of Theology) is Academic Dean and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, USA.

Suffering in the Face of Death: The Epistle to the Hebrews and Its Context of Situation

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Suffering and death are two topics that are frequently referred to in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but have rarely been examined within scholarship on this important New Testament text. Dyer redresses the balance in this study of these topics, conducting a thorough investigation using semantic domain analysis. He incorporates recent advancements in modern linguistics, in particular the ‘context of situation,’ and then connects these topics to the social situation addressed in Hebrews. In so doing he is able to reveal how the author is responding to the reality of suffering in the lives of his audience. With this awareness, it becomes clear how the author also responds to his audience’s pain by creating models of endurance in suffering and death. These serve to motivate his audience toward similar endurance within their own social context.

Dyer shows that it is possible to make significant determinations about the social setting of Hebrews based upon an examination and analysis of the language used therein.

Bryan R. Dyer is Acquisitions Editor at Baker Press, USA and Adjunct Professor of Religion at Calvin College, USA.

Texts and Artefacts: Selected Essays on Textual Criticism and Early Christian Manuscripts

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The essays included in this volume present Larry W. Hurtado’s steadfast analysis of the earliest Christian manuscripts. In these chapters, Hurtado considers not only standard text-critical issues which seek to uncover an earliest possible version of a text, but also the very manuscripts that are available to us. As one of the pre-eminent scholars of the field, Hurtado examines often overlooked 2nd and 3rd century artefacts, which are among the earliest manuscripts available, drawing fascinating conclusions about the features of early Christianity.

Divided into two halves, the first part of the volume addresses text-critical and text-historical issues about the textual transmission of various New Testament writings. The second part looks at manuscripts as physical and visual artefacts themselves, exploring the metadata and sociology of their context and the nature of their first readers, for the light cast upon early Christianity. Whilst these essays are presented together here as a republished collection, Hurtado has made several updates across the collection to draw them together and to reflect on the developing nature of the issues that they address since they were first written.

Larry W. Hurtado is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology, University of Edinburgh.

The Testimony of the Exalted Jesus: The ‘Testimony of Jesus’ in the Book of Revelation

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The interpretation of the phrase ‘the testimony of Jesus’ in the Book of Revelation has been the centre of much debate, with no clear consensus regarding its meaning. One of the most important but often neglected issues is whether or not the phrase can be read consistently across each instance of its occurrence. The opening lines of the Apocalypse clearly specify that ‘the testimony of Jesus’ is a moniker for the book of Revelation itself, indicating that the phrase is an internal self-reference to the book’s own message. Nevertheless, most interpreters are reluctant to apply this interpretation to the phrase in other parts of the book, leading to varied and inconsistent interpretations of the phrase.

Following the intratextual pattern of the apocalyptic books of Daniel and 1 Enoch we can see that it is entirely possible that ‘the testimony of Jesus’ is a reference to Revelation’s own message, an interpretation which is then supported by Dixon’s in-depth study of each of the passages in which the phrase occurs. The exploration of the rhetorical impact of interpreting the phrase in this way shows that ‘the testimony of Jesus’ is not just another title for John’s writing, but is something that is given to and even characterizes those who hear the message of the Apocalypse.

Sarah Underwood Dixon is an Affiliated Lecturer for the University of Cambridge, UK.

The Vermes Quest: The Significance of Geza Vermes for Jesus Research

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Geza Vermes is a household name within the study of the historical Jesus, and his work is associated with a significant change within mainstream Jesus research, typically labelled ‘the third quest.’ Since the publication of Jesus the Jew in 1973, many notable Jesus scholars have interacted with Vermes’s ideas and suggestions, yet their assessments have so far remained brief and ambiguous. Hilde Brekke Moller explores the true impact of Vermes’s Jesus research on the perceived change within Jesus research in the 1980s, and also within third quest Jesus research, by examining Vermes’s work and the reception of his work by numerous Jesus scholars.

Moller looks in particular depth at the Jewishness of Jesus, the Son-of-Man problem, and Vermes’s suggestion that Jesus was a Hasid, all being aspects of Vermes’s work which have attracted the most scholarly attention. Moller’s research-historical approach focuses not only on the leading scholars of the field such as E.P. Sanders, J.D. Crossan, J.P. Meier and C.A. Evans, but also sheds light on underplayed aspects of previous research, and responds to the state of affairs for recent research by challenging the rhetoric of current historical Jesus scholarship.

This study challenges the ways that research history has been written and contributes to our knowledge and understanding of Jesus research from the last decades.

New Testament Abstracts.

Hilde Brekke Moller is Director of Academic Affairs at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Norway.

Use of the Third Person for Self-Reference by Jesus and Yahweh: A Study of Illeism in the Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Its Implications for Christology

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While an individual referring to themselves in the third person may sound unusual, this phenomenon (known as illeism) is consistently and extensively reflected in the direct speech of both Jesus and Yahweh. This in turn raises various questions: why are Jesus and Yahweh presented as speaking in such a manner? Who else employs illeism in the Bible? Does it occur in the Ancient Near Eastern texts, and, if so, who utilises it? And lastly, is there a relationship between the illeism as used by Yahweh, and the illeism as used by Jesus?

Elledge addresses an issue in Biblical texts often neglects by scholarship: conducting an extensive survey of the use of illeism in the Bible and the Ancient Near Eastern Texts, and presenting evidence that this phenomenon, as used by Jesus, reflects both royal and divine themes that are apparent across several different religions and cultures. Through Elledge’s examinations of illeism in Classical Antiquity, Ancient Near Eastern texts and the Old and New testament, this book provides a fresh perspective on the divine use of the third person, contributing substantial analysis to the on-going discussion of Jesus’ divinity and self-understanding.

Rod Elledge is Adjunct Professor of New Testament Interpretation Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA.

About Chris Keith

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.