Review of Biblical Literature Newsletter (May 1, 2015)

The latest reviews from the Review of Biblical Literature include:

Lightfoot, Works

English: John Lightfoot (1602-1675)
John Lightfoot (1602–1675; Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rob Bradshaw has collected John Pitman’s 13-volume set of John Lightfoot’s works. Among other things, Lightfoot’s works include a series of “Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations” on Matthew–1 Corinthians (i.e., discussions of texts in light of select Talmudic and other Jewish literary parallels). Via a convenient master table of contents page, the set is available in one PDF file per printed volume.

Gospel and Testimony

Richard Bauckham
Richard Bauckham

In his 2006 Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Richard Bauckham suggests:

that we need to recover the sense in which the Gospels are testimony. This does not mean that they are testimony rather than history. It means that the kind of historiography they are is testimony. An irreducible feature of testimony as a form of human utterance is that it asks to be trusted. This does not mean that it asks to be trusted uncritically, but it does mean that testimony should not be treated as credible only to the extent that it can be independently verified. There can be good reasons for trusting or distrusting a witness, but these are precisely reasons for trusting or distrusting. Trusting testimony is not an irrational act of faith that leaves critical rationality aside; it is, on the contrary, the rationally appropriate way of responding to authentic testimony. . . . It is true that a powerful trend in the modern development of critical historical philosophy and method finds trusting testimony a stumbling-block in the way of the historian’s autonomous access to truth that she or he can verify independently. But it is also a rather neglected fact that all history, like all knowledge, relies on testimony. (5; italics original)

Thus, it is perhaps not without irony that we find ourselves still under the sway of a certain kind(s) of testimony even when we seek most to avoid or to exercise our independence from testimony of some other kind(s) (cf. Gadamer, Truth and Method, 354; Lewis, “Meditation in a Toolshed,” 215).

Fujimura's Illuminated Gospels

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the King James Version in 2011, Crossway released an edition of the English Standard Version’s Gospels illuminated by Makoto Fujimura (cloth, leather). A short introduction to the project is available below (HT: Bryant Owens):

On February 18, 2011, Fujimura discussed the project in an interview on Fox News (beginning ca. 1:04). Samples of the work are also available via the Crossway website (cloth, leather).

New Testament Studies 59, no. 3

New Testament Studies
New Testament Studies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The latest issue of New Testament Studies includes:

  • Joel Marcus, “Passover and Last Supper Revisited”
  • Klaus B. Haacker, “Der Geist und das Reich im Lukanischen Werk: Konkurrenz oder Konvergenz zwischen Pneumatologie und Eschatologie?”
  • Anthony Le Donne, “The Improper Temple Offering of Ananias and Sapphira”
  • Richard Last, “The Election of Officers in the Corinthian Christ-Group”
  • Joel R. White, “‘Peace and Security’ (1 Thessalonians 5.3): Is It Really a Roman Slogan?”
  • Thomas R. Blanton, “The Benefactor’s Account-book: The Rhetoric of Gift Reciprocation according to Seneca and Paul”
  • David J. Downs, “Justification, Good Works, and Creation in Clement of Rome’s Appropriation of Romans 5–6”
  • James A. Kelhoffer, “Reciprocity as Salvation: Christ as Salvific Patron and the Corresponding ‘Payback’ Expected of Christ’s Earthly Clients according to the Second Letter of Clement”
  • Benjamin R. Wilson, “Taking up and Raising, Fixing and Loosing: A Chiastic Wordplay in Acts 2.23b–24”

New Testament Studies 59, no. 1

New Testament Studies
New Testament Studies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to John Barclay’s tribute to Friedrich Avemarie, the latest issue of New Testament Studies includes:

  • Kelly R. Iverson, “Incongruity, Humor, and Mark: Performance and the Use of Laughter in the Second Gospel (Mark 8.14–21)”
  • Izaak J. de Hulster, “The Two Angels in John 20.12: An Egyptian Icon of Resurrection”
  • Isaac W. Oliver, “Simon Peter Meets Simon the Tanner: The Ritual Insignificance of Tanning in Ancient Judaism”
  • Andrzej Gieniusz, “‘Debtors to the Spirit’ in Romans 8.12?: Reasons for the Silence”
  • L. L. Welborn, “‘That There May Be Equality’: The Contexts and Consequences of a Pauline Ideal”
  • Sigurd Grindheim, “Not Salvation History, but Salvation Territory: The Main Subject Matter of Galatians”
  • Andreas Dettwiler, “La lettre aux Colossiens: une théologie de la mémoire”
  • Régis Burnet, “Pour une Wirkungsgeschichtedes lieux: l’exemple d’Haceldama”
  • Gyula Vattamány, “Kann das Salz verderben? Philologische Erwägungen zum Salz-Gleichnis Jesu”

Ratzinger, The Infancy Narratives

Ratzinger, The Infancy Narratives
Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Today, the Pope’s new book on the Gospels’ infancy narratives goes on sale. The volume is the third of a three-part series. The two earlier volumes have respectively discussed the narratives from Jesus’ baptism to his transfiguration (2007) and the final entrance into Jerusalem to the resurrection (2011). The present volume:

focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmations of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary. This is a story of longing and seeking, as demonstrated by the Magi searching for the redemption offered by the birth of a new king. It is a story of sacrifice and trusting completely in the wisdom of God as seen in the faith of Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem, when he is in the presence of the Christ child. Ultimately, Jesus’ life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy. (Amazon)

Philip Pullella of Reuters also has an interesting short discussion and digest of the release.