The most recent issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature carries Matthew Goldstone’s essay “Rebuke, Lending, and Love: An Early Exegetical Tradition on Leviticus 19:17–18” (307–21). According to the abstract,
In this article I posit the presence of an early Jewish exegesis of Lev 19:17–18 preserved in the Tannaitic midrash known as Sifra, which is inverted and amplified in Did. 1:3–5, Q 6:27–35, Luke 6:27–35, and Matt 5:38–44. Identifying shared terminology and a sequence of themes in these passages, I argue that these commonalities testify to the existence of a shared exegetical tradition. By analyzing the later rabbinic material I delineate the contours of this Second Temple period interpretation and augment our understanding of the construction of these early Christian pericopae. In commenting on Lev 19:17, Sifra articulates three permissible modes of rebuke: cursing, hitting, and slapping. In its gloss on the subsequent verse, Sifra exemplifies the biblical injunction against vengeance and bearing a grudge through the case of lending and borrowing from one’s neighbor. The Didache, Matthew, and Luke invert the first interpretation by presenting Jesus as recommending a passive response to being cursed or slapped, and they amplify the second interpretation by commanding one to give and lend freely to all who ask. The similar juxtaposition of these two ideas and the shared terminology between Sifra and these New Testament period texts suggest a common source. By reading these early Christian sources in light of this later rabbinic work I advance our understanding of the formation of these well-known passages and illustrate the advantages of cautiously employing rabbinic material for reading earlier Christian works.
In addition, I hadn’t been aware of it, but Goldstone’s n37 refers to John Piper’s SNTSMS publication of a revised version of his dissertation. This volume was republished by Crossway with an additional preface in 2012. As tends to be the case with a very few exceptions, this latest edition of the volume is available as a free PDF via the DesiringGod website.
The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society‘s current issue has an essay on the command to love one’s neighbor that I haven’t yet read but looks quite interesting too.
One of the less-than-ideal features of using an iOS device for editing or producing documents in Biblical Studies has been the difficulty of getting standard biblical language fonts (e.g., SBL BibLit) to work on the device. There are now, however, at least a couple solutions:
- Chris Heard has discussed how AnyFont can resolve the issue successfully and allow users to install SBL BibLit (or other fonts) onto iOS devices and use them within standard productivity tools (e.g., Pages, Word, Keynote, PowerPoint). In the App Store, AnyFont goes for $1.99.
- On the freemium side of things, Fonteer will also do the same thing. Fonteer’s free version allows users to install up to 3 fonts. So, if you anticipate only using this number or fewer, the free version will do the job. Fonteer premium (also $1.99 via in-app purchase) allows unlimited fonts to be installed. Below is an example of Fonteer working with a draft excerpt from my essay in Explorations in Interdisciplinary Reading.
SBL Press continues to be quite responsive on its blog to questions submitted by users of the SBL Handbook of Style. One of the latest examples is the Press’s clarification of how to format citations from J.-P. Migne’s Patrologia Graeca. The 161-volume series is available online in the public domain from various sources, including Patristica.net and Document Catholica Omnia.
For a previous string of comments by the Press about citing Migne’s Patrologia Latina, see Fun with Multiple Editions of Migne’s Patrologia Latina, Migne’s “Patrologia Latina”: Mystery Solved, and A further update on Migne’s “Patrologia Latina.”
The Tyndale House Greek New Testament is set to be released with Crossway on 15 November 2017, just in time for SBL. The text is already available for pre-order on Amazon.
According to the volume’s blurb, the principal editors, Dirk Jongkind and Peter Williams, have
taken a rigorously philological approach to reevaluating the standard text—reexamining spelling and paragraph decisions as well as allowing more recent discoveries related to scribal habits to inform editorial decisions.
Meanwhile, the principal editors have begun a blog about the edition. According to the blog’s initial post, future posts
will explore what such method means in practice at the hand of examples, and also probe the boundaries of such approach. However, in practice the emphasis on scribal behaviour implies that if, in the past, exegetical and theological arguments have been used to address a particular variant unit, we happily ignore these arguments if there is also a perfectly adequate transcriptional explanation.
HT: Dirk Jongkind, Mike Aubrey
The newest issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature contains Beverly Gaventa’s essay, “Reading Romans 13 with Simone Weil: Toward a More Generous Hermeneutic.” According to the abstract,
Simone Weil’s interpretation of the Iliad as a “poem of force” has resonances with Rom 1–8, reinforcing the question of how Rom 13:1–7 belongs in the larger argument of Romans. Seeking a generous reading of 13:1–7 along the lines of the generosity Weil extends to the Iliad, I first take Pharaoh as an example of Paul’s understanding of the relationship between God and human rulers and then propose that Paul’s treatment of human rulers coheres with his refusal in this letter to reify lines between “insider” and “outsider.” I conclude with a reflection on the need for generosity in scholarly research and pedagogy.
For the article’s full text, please see JBL in print or online. I’ve now added it too to the Romans bibliography also.
Over at Becoming Minimalist, Joshua Becker offers some personal introspection on a paradigmatic case of forgetting a couple’s names. In part, Becker narrates,
I was sad that I wasn’t able to remember something as simple as the names of two people I very much enjoyed meeting.
And suddenly it struck me.
I entered the conversation—as I do so often—with the desire to be known rather than to know. I was trying so hard to say something impressive or witty or intelligent that I entirely missed what they were saying on the other side of the conversation.
I wanted them to know my name more than I wanted to know theirs.
For the rest of the post, see Becoming Minimalist. Intentionality of engagement in a conversation and interest in a new acquaintance does seem strongly to correlate with how well names “stick” to faces.
Another but perhaps less clear variety of the same phenomenon would probably be the “listening with the intent to reply” that Stephen Covey advises against so repeatedly. Ostensibly, it might be interest in the content of the conversation or the subject matter, but might the driver be a desire to be (known as) the one who contributes a certain point to the conversation in a certain way?
Cross file under #whatnottodoatSBL
Annually, the St. George’s Centre for Biblical and Public Theology sponsors three seminars at SBL: Scripture and Church, Scripture and Doctrine, and Scripture and Hermeneutics (in partnership with the Institute for Biblical Research). Registration is now open for these seminars’ 2017 meetings in Boston, as well as for the accompanying dinner. The lectures and discussion are always quite stimulating.
Recently, I mentioned some fun to be had in hunting up references to and citing instances where volumes from Migne’s Patrologia latina exist in different versions.
The folks at SBL Press have now kindly resolved the mystery in a new blog post. Most significantly, SBL Press notes,
According to the Patrologia Latina Database … , PL’s printing history can be divided into two distinct periods. Jacques-Paul Migne initially published the 217 volumes of PL over a twelve-year period, 1844–1855. Migne reprinted volumes as needed for another decade, then sold the rights to the Paris publisher Garnier. Unfortunately, in February 1868 a fire destroyed Migne’s presses and printing plates, which meant that Garnier, which had begun reprinting some PL volumes in 1865, was the only source for future reprints—all of which were produced on plates other than Migne’s originals. These plates differed substantially in some cases and are considered in general “inferior in a number of respects to Migne’s own first editions.”
What does this mean for researchers today who need to cite PL? SBL Press recommends that authors always check a PL volume title page to ensure that the printing is dated 1865 or earlier. If the publication or printing date is 1868 or later, we encourage authors to find an earlier printing of PL to cite. (emphasis added)
For additional discussion, suggestions about finding earlier printings, and recommendations for how to cite the later batch of printings if need be, see the SBL Handbook of Style blog.
Apparently, name badges and tote bag tickets for this year’s SBL meeting will be distributed by email:
In an effort to cut down on lines for badge reprints at registration, name badges will no longer be sent via postal mail. Instead, check your e-mail in early November for a special link that will allow you to print your name badge and tote bag ticket to bring with you to San Antonio. If you bring these items to the Annual Meeting, you will not need to stand in line for registration.
When you arrive at the San Antonio Convention Center, you may use your tote bag ticket to pick up a tote bag at the Tote Bag Window, located in the main Lobby outside Exhibit Hall 1. Inside the tote bag will be your lanyard and your name badge holder, and you can slip in your name badge and enjoy the rest of the Annual Meeting!
I had apparently missed this announcement earlier. So, on realizing I didn’t have on hand the usual pre-conference envelope from SBL with these items, I began to wonder if I’d misplaced it and turned up the announcement. Kudos to SBL for this small bit of pre-meeting paperwork reduction and absent-minded professor loss prevention.
The SBL annual meeting mobile apps are available for both Android and iOS. In each case, after the app installed, I opened it and started looking around for a minute or so before the app pulled in the current conference program version.