2 Kings 2-8, containing most of the narratives of the prophet Elisha, are generally held to be somewhat incoherent. Many of Elisha's miracles, in particular, seem both trivial and ill-related to their context. This article argues that the key to 2 Kings 2-8 is provided by the portrayal of Elisha as a 'second Joshua' in ch. 2. In a logical outworking of this chapter, the subsequent narratives set over against each other Elisha's followers and the Northern Kingdom, raising the hope that Elisha's followers will 'conquer' the land, bringing the North back to YHWH. This hope is ultimately not realised. The miracle accounts find their place in this interpretation.
Paul uses the comparative adverb wsautws in Romans 8:26 to compare the Spirit's ministry of helping Christians in their weakness to something he had written previously. Interpreters of this text, however, have not been able to reach a consensus in their attempts to identify the antecedent subject of the comparison. This article proposes a fresh consideration of the view that Paul is comparing the Spirit's ministry in 8:26 to the Spirit's ministry in 8:16.
The New Testament discussions of divorce, both in Matthew 19 and elsewhere, are dominated by a distinction between Permission and Obligation. It is generally assumed that the debate arises from a 'presupposition' of divorce in Deuteronomy 24. An improved syntactic analysis of the Old Testament text shows Moses to have in fact issued a specific directive on divorce, but in such a way that it was open to the kind of misunderstanding that we see corrected by Jesus. This analysis is supported by all the New Testament texts. By applying the categories of linguistic modality to main-clause verbs, verbs of reporting, verbs of divorcing and conditional clauses, it is possible to shed more light on how Jesus and the Pharisees dealt with the Old Testament text, and to show just what was wrong with the Pharisees' understanding of Hebrew grammar.
'Who can refute a sneer?' is a famous quotation from William Paley. It was his reaction to Edward Gibbon's massive The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire with its oblique, ironically delivered critique of Christianity. This article places the quotation in its context in Paley's works and seeks to show how he addressed the sneer in his A View of the Evidences of Christianity in more than one place. In particular, Paley's argument for the candour of the New Testament writers as evidence of their integrity (contra Gibbon) is examined and likewise his argument against the view that the rise of Islam is more impressive in some ways than that of Christianity (contra Gibbon). Paley's response to David Hume's writings has received some scholarly attention, but his response to Gibbon has been hardly explored. This article seeks to fill that lacuna.
The word uperakmos has a male as opposed to female referent and should be translated 'full of sexual passion'. It is based on a survey of this term in ancient literature and the verb aschmonew (to behave unseemly) in the preceding clause. It is further re-enforced by the grammatical constructions following the particles ei and ean (if), the role of kai outws (and thus it is bound to happen) in the following statement, the meanings of thelhma (sexual desire) and anagkh (sexual necessity) in verse 37 and the Greek word for 'past one's prime', i.e., parakmh.
This article explores the impact of postmodernism on Old Testament studies by looking at the recent proposals of Rendtorff, Brueggemann and Clines. Rendtorff discerns a crisis in Old Testament studies with the demise of the Wellhausenian paradigm. He argues for a methodological pluralism in the present. Brueggemann stresses the epistemological shift that postmodernism entails and argues for a hermeneutic that funds postmodern imagination. Clines welcomes the pluralism of postmodernism and articulates a consumer hermeneutic while favouring ideological critique of the Bible. This article argues that some form of metanarrative shaping one's hermeneutic is inevitable and that at its best postmodernism re-opens the debate about a religiously shaped hermeneutic.
In Romans 1-2, Paul argues the justice of divine wrath upon idolatry and upon the one who judges another. Jews and Gentiles enter his argument only as individuals, not as ethnic groups. Only in Romans 3 does Paul bring the charge that all human beings are idolaters. In establishing the justice of God's wrath, Paul claims that even Gentiles without the Law fully possess the knowledge of God's will, through their participation in the created order. Consequently, the advantage of the Jew lies in the possession of the oracles of God, which make known divine judgement and salvation. Correspondingly, a distinctive function of the Law emerges in Romans 3:19-20, namely, the outward and objective establishing of human guilt. It is this aspect of the Law which sets it apart from natural law, and which makes it a witness to the righteousness of God given in Christ.
This is the second part of a two-part study of Nietzsche and Christianity (TynB 48  219-43). Nietzsche's phrase 'Dionysus against the Crucified' is used as a kind of text for the articles. 'Dionysus' is the principle of life: raw, tragic, joyful, but real, subject to no extraneous principle. 'The Crucified' is the principle of death: anti-natural, symbolising consciousness of sin and foreboding authority of God, imposing a morbid principle on life. This second part is an analytic response to Nietzsche from a Christian point of view. While the course of Dionysus by-passes the reality of human suffering (since attending to it introduces compassion and wrecks joy), the strength of the crucified one lies in his embrace of what is darkest and deepest in reality.
After explicitly naming every other New Testament book but the
Apocalypse, St. Gregory Nazianzen closes his poetical list of 'the genuine
books of the inspired scripture' with the statement, 'You have all. And if
there be any outside these, it is not among the genuine books' (Pavsa"
e[cei". ei[ ti de; touvtwn ejktov", oujk ejn gnhsivai"). Studies of the
New Testament canon commonly understand the omission of any clear
reference to the Apocalypse in the list and these definitive closing
statements to mean that Gregory did not view the Apocalypse as canonical.
If so, then Gregory, whose list comes from sometime in the 380s, did not
agree with Athanasius' judgement in his famous Easter letter of 367 but
took the position of many in the fourth-century eastern church that the
Apocalypse stands among the excluded books. Three pieces of evidence,
however, should caution against coming to this conclusion too
Despite the criticisms of some, the concept of solidarity is an important one in the Old Testament. It is seen in kinship, marriage, common residence and occupations, covenants and, more subjectively, in affection. It applies to Yahweh's relationship with Israel in terms of covenant and representation and has many-sided consequences and implications. In the New Testament it is particularly important for Hebrews, which applies it in its inaugurated eschatology. Christ's oneness with his people as the true human being, high priest and sacrifice are central to the author's thought, and the people of Christ are shown to be one with each other as members of the city of God.
This thesis is an inquiry into the potential impact of Mark's Gospel upon its early Greco-Roman readers. The Gospel of Mark's powerful drama and impact is often acknowledged, but not enough has yet been done concerning the nature of this impact and the means by which it is achieved. In order to examine Mark's 'narrative impact', this thesis is an exercise in literary reception. The last decades have seen a spate of studies which seek to apply literary tools to the understanding of Mark's narrative. Many such studies stop short of the problematic interface between 'text' and 'world' and are often sceptical about whether this divide can or should be crossed. If questions of textual impact on real readers are broached, it is usually modern rather than ancient readers who are in view. This thesis seeks to move beyond the literary study of Mark to its reception in the real world of first-century Greco-Roman society.
This thesis investigates the conflict which existed in Corinth around the mid-first century C.E. concerning Christian involvement in cultic meals. Scholarly attention has focused either on detailed exegesis of Paul's teaching in 1 Corinthians 8-10 or on Greco-Oriental cultic meal evidence from Classical and Hellenistic times. Little attention has been paid to the nature and dynamics of the sacrificial food issue itself, or to the available evidence of Imperial Cult which so dominated Roman Corinth in the early Christian era. Scholarship has paid insufficient attention to the conflicting viewpoints of the Corinthians themselves concerning food offered to idols.
The Peshitta (Syriac version) of the book of 1 Kings has until recently suffered neglect. The only monograph examining it to date was published in 1897. This thesis uses the corpus of 1 Kings as a basis for what is only the second detailed study of the syntax of the Peshitta of the Old Testament. It seeks to examine both those constructions in Syriac that contrast in form with their Hebrew Vorlage, and those constructions that contain variations within the Syriac language as yet unexplained by researchers. For each construction the contribution of previous studies such as those by Nöldeke, Duval, Avinery, Muraoka, and Joosten is summarised.