Dawson on Acts and Jubilees

In the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, Zachary Dawson discusses “The Books of Acts and Jubilees in Dialogue: A Literary-Intertextual Analysis of the Noahide Laws in Acts 15 and 21.” As Dawson summarizes,

This study has … identified two main elements of the theme that is symbolically articulated by the Noahide laws. First, the purpose of the Noahide laws in Acts is to oppose a contemporary Jewish isolationism that is rationalized by the Noahide laws, and more generally in their contexts of the rewritten, conditional Noahic covenant. Instead, the precepts in Acts ally with the purpose Cohen identifies in the later rabbinic literature, a means to recognize the legitimacy of different cultures and to facilitate their integration. Second, the Noahide laws in Acts carry the message that Gentiles are to honor certain Jewish customs so that Jews will not be forced out of believing communities.

For Dawson’s full essay, see the JGRChJ website.

More from JGRChJ in 2016

Since the last time I mentioned the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, several new articles have been posted to the 2016 volume. These are:

  • Preston T. Massey, “Women, Talking and Silence: 1 Corinthians 11.5 and 14.34-35 in the Light of Greco-Roman Culture
  • Hughson T. Ong, “The Language of the New Testament from a Sociolinguistic Perspective”
  • Jonathan M. Watt Geneva, “Semitic Language Resources of Ancient Jewish Palestine”
  • Stanley E. Porter, “The Use of Greek in First-Century Palestine: A Diachronic and Synchronic Examination”

For context, the latter three essays are introduced by the additional entry “The Languages Of First-Century Palestine: An Introduction To Three Papers.”

For the essays or to subscribe to the JGRChJ feed, please see the JGRChJ website.

HT: Rick Brannan

Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism (2016)

Rick Brannan posted a couple tweets recently about 2016 articles from the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism (1, 2). The journal had apparently fallen out of my list of RSS subscriptions somehow, so I was grateful for the prompt. The full list of 2016 articles in JGRChJ is:

Seth M. Ehorn and Mark Lee, “The Syntactical Function of ἀλλὰ καί in Phil. 2.4”

Matthew Oseka, “Attentive to the Context: The Generic Name of God in the Classic Jewish Lexica and Grammars of the Middle Ages—A Historical and Theological Perspective”

David I. Yoon, “Ancient Letters of Recommendation and 2 Corinthians 3.1-3: A Literary Analysis”

Stanley E. Porter, “The Synoptic Problem: The State of the Question”

Greg Stanton, “Wealthier Supporters of Jesus of Nazareth”

Porter and Ong, "'Standard of Faith' or 'Measure of Trusteeship?'"

Stanley Porter and Hughson Ong have the latest article in the Journal of Greco-Roman Judaism and Christianity: “‘Standard of Faith’ or ‘Measure of Trusteeship’?: A Study in Romans 12.3—A Response.” The article’s opening paragraph explains its responsive character and general argument as follows:

John Goodrich has recently published an article regarding the interpretation of μέτρον πίστεως in Rom. 12.3 in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly. We have tried to respond to his article in that journal, but regrettably, the journal does not publish responses to articles, although we think that Goodrich’s article warrants a response. Goodrich argued ‘that μέτρον πίστεως in Rom 12:3 refers to the believer’s charism, addressed shortly and explicitly thereafter in 12:6’ (p. 753). Against the typical view that takes μέτρον πίστεως as ‘standard/measure of faith’, he proposes that this charism should be seen as ‘a trusteeship’ God grants to each believer. Specifically, the genitive construction in μέτρον πίστεως, regarded as appositive, is ‘a measure, namely a trusteeship’ (pp. 769, 772). This old alternative that Goodrich seeks to revive, however, poses some significant problems that can be neither resolved nor sustained by the arguments and evidence he marshals in this article. We assess critically each of these in what follows, followed by our own interpretation of μέτρον πίστεως in Rom. 12.3. (97)

For the full article, please see here.

Parker, "Works of the Law"

Barry F. Parker has the latest article in the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism“‘Works of the Law’ and the Jewish Settlement in Asia Minor.” According to the article’s conclusion:

The first recourse for the Anatolian Jews under [social, political, and religious] pressure was not an appeal to ‘legalism’, but to ‘selective works of the law’, as is implied by the phrase ἔργα νόμου. The only appearance of this phrase from that time outside of Paul is found in 4QMMT. The use of ‘works of the law’ there confirms both that Paul is in (indirect) dialogue with those familiar with Essene terminology and that selectivity is in view. Although he speaks to a different audience about a different problem regarding the law in Romans, when Paul uses the phrase ἔργα νόμου in Romans 3, the immediate context is quite similar to what he addresses in Galatians. It is, in both cases, a matter of the righteousness of God, as expressed in the faithfulness of Christ (πίστις Χριστοῦ). This faithfulness of Christ suffices for both Jew and Gentile (pagan), who are equally condemned—in Galatians they are condemned for trying to supplement that faithfulness with a perverted version of the law, and in Romans they are condemned for perverting the law by their very efforts to fulfill it through a selective participation in it (96).

Carrier, "Thallus and the Darkness at Christ's Death"

In the latest contribution to the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, Richard Carrier discusses “Thallus and the Darkness at Christ’s Death”:

It is commonly claimed that a chronologer named Thallus, writing shortly after 52 CE, mentioned the crucifixion of Jesus and the noontime darkness surrounding it (which reportedly eclipsed the whole world for three hours), and attempted to explain it as an ordinary solar eclipse. But this is not a credible interpretation of the evidence. A stronger case can be made that we actually have a direct quotation of what Thallus said, and it does not mention Jesus. (185)

On the Web (July 24, 2012)

On the web:

  • Tommy Wasserman notes a new iOS app for New Testament manuscripts.
  • E. K. McFall has the latest article in the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism: “Are Dionysos and Oedipus Name Variatnios for Satan and Antichrist?”
  • Dan Wallace recounts an experience of reading a manuscript that “doesn’t exist.”
  • Alin Suciu highlights Lorenzo Perrone’s lecture on recently-discovered texts of Origen’s homilies on the Psalms. For a selection of previous background posts, see here.

Brookins, “Dispute with Stoicism”

Tim Brookins has the latest article in the Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism, “Dispute with Stoicism in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.” According to Brookins,

It is not my aim to continue discussion regarding the criterion for the rich man’s judgment. But I propose that there is more to be said about the meaning of the parable in light of a Greco-Roman milieu. . . . I shall take up [Ronald] Hock’s wider net and cast it once again in the direction of Hellenistic philosophy. It will be argued that, while the parable may share a Cynic viewpoint on the issue of wealth, it also conveys pronounced resistance to certain Stoic ideas on this issue. As a supporting argument it will further be suggested that the parable reflects elements of rhetorical ‘declamation’ (declamatio), which was in certain circles closely associated with Stoic philosophy. With these substantive and formal features taken together, we shall see that the parable means to interact with Stoicism, though in a way that is subversive to the Stoic ideas evoked (35–36; underlining for original italics).

For the full text of Brookins’ article, please see the current JGRChJ volume page.