The Ostracon from the Days of David Found at Khirbet Qeiyafa
Alan Millard (University of Liverpool) p.1
A newly discovered ostracon at Khirbet Qeiyafa which dates from about 1000 BC is a welcome addition to the meagre examples of writing which survive from that period. The letters are difficult to read and the language may be Hebrew, Canaanite, Phoenician or Moabite. Translations range from a list of names to commands concerning social justice. The simplest explanation is that this is a list of Hebrew and Canaanite names written by someone unused to writing. They help to suggest that writing was practised by non-scribes, so the skill may have been widespread.
The Retroactive Re-Evaluation Technique with Pharaoh’s Daughter and the Nature of Solomon’s Corruption in 1 Kings 1–12
Yong Ho Jeon (Trinity College, Bristol) p.15
In the Solomon narrative in Kings (1 Kgs 1–12), Solomon’s faults are explicitly criticised only in 1 Kings 11, in relation to his marriage with foreign women. However, his intermarriage with Pharaoh’s daughter appears in earlier parts of the narrative (1 Kgs 3:1; 7:8; 9:16, 24) without any explicit criticism. Using a ‘reader-sensitive’ approach, which presumes that the author of the narrative tries to exploit the reader’s reading process and prior knowledge, we show that the writer is using a ‘retroactive re-evaluation technique’ in his reference to ‘Pharaoh’s daughter’ (the technique means that the author guides his reader to re-evaluate previous passages in light of new information). Additionally, through a theological reading of the narrative, the nature of Solomon’s corruption is revealed as his ‘return to Egypt’. This fits well with the ‘retroactive re-evaluation technique’, explaining why the references to ‘Pharaoh’s daughter’ are arranged in the way that they are.
Forked Parallelism in Egyptian, Ugaritic and Hebrew Poetry
Richard Abbott (Trinity College, Bristol) p.41
A particular pattern of tricolon or triplet, sometimes known as forked parallelism, has been identified in Ugaritic and early Hebrew poetry. It has been suggested that it is a characteristic style of Canaanite or ancient Semitic poetry, and noted that in the Hebrew Bible its use declines dramatically outside the archaic and early examples of poetry. Hence it can be seen as a stylistic indicator suggesting authentic early composition of some portions of the Hebrew Bible. This paper shows that the pattern was also used as a regular feature in some genres of Egyptian poetry from the Old Kingdom through to the end of the New Kingdom. At that time it appears to have ceased being a device regularly used by Egyptian poets, in parallel with their counterparts in the Levant. Thus the use, and subsequent decline, of this pattern in Israel is a local reflection of a wider aesthetic choice rather than an isolated phenomenon. The structural uses of this and some other triplet patterns are reviewed, and some clear poetic purposes identified. This review also highlights some differences between the typical poetic use of triplets in Ugaritic, Hebrew and Egyptian. Some typical triplet patterns used in Ugaritic and Hebrew are not found in Egyptian sources.
Lamentations and the Poetic Politics of Prayer
Robin Parry (Wipf and Stock Publishers) p.65
The first half of this paper seeks to make explicit the political dimen¬sions of the text of Lamentations. The poetry vividly depicts the political use of violence in the destruction of a society. Judah is ruined politically, economically, socially, and religiously by the Babylonians for political ends. In the second half of the paper I argue that Lamentations contributes to our theo-political reflections not so much in its provision of new conceptual categories, nor even in its sharpening of categories already in place but rather in its power for shaping the emotional, ethical-political response of its audiences (human and divine). The readers are invited to bring political calamity into God’s presence and to seek salvation; they are encouraged to look with merciful eyes at victims of political violence even if those victims are not ‘innocent’; they are encouraged to see political evil for what it is and to speak its name; they are guided towards becoming honest-to-God lamenters and God-dependent pray-ers who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
The Apocalyptic Vision of Jesus According to the Gospel of Matthew: Reading Matthew 3:16–4:11 Intertextually
David Mathewson (Gordon College, Massachusetts) p.89
There has been much discussion on the relationship of Jesus to apocalyptic. What has been missing is a demonstration that Jesus participated in what is at the heart of literature labeled ‘apocalyptic’: a visionary experience of a transcendent reality. This article argues that Jesus’ post-baptismal experience and the temptation narrative that follows, particularly as recorded in Matthew 3:16–4.11, portray Jesus as undergoing such an apocalyptic visionary experience which resembles closely the visionary experience of early Jewish and Christian apocalypses. Thus, with the opening of the heavens to the final temptation, Matthew 3:16–4.11 depicts a third person account of a sustained visionary experience modeled intertextually after classic apocalyptic seers (Ezekiel, Isaiah, Enoch). Jesus’ apocalyptic vision functions to authenticate Jesus’ role as divine spokesperson for God and provides a perspective for the struggle that will ensue in the rest of Matthew.
Paul’s Common Paraenesis (1 Thess. 4–5; Phil. 2–4; and Rom. 12–13): The Correspondence between Romans 1:18-32 and 12:1-2, and the Unity of Romans 12–13
Seyoon Kim (Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena) p.109
First Thessalonians 5:12-24; Romans 12:9-21; and Philippians 4:2-9 show close parallels, while their wider contexts (1 Thess. 4–5; Rom. 12–13; and Phil. 3:17–4:9) also display a substantial parallelism. This observation leads us to affirm Paul’s common paraenesis (cf. 1 Cor. 4:17), and helps us see what he considers the fundamental way of Christian existence (cf. Gal. 5:22-25). Then, this observation helps us also see (a) the correspondence between Romans 1:18-32 and 12:1-2; (b) the unity of Romans 12–13 as a whole, in which Romans 12:1-2 and 13:11-14 form an inclusio, which are, respectively, the thesis statement and the concluding statement about the Daseinsweise of the redeemed in contrast to that of fallen humanity in Romans 1:18-21; and (c) the consistent line of Paul’s thinking in Romans, which is sustained through his Adam-Christ antithesis (5:12-21). Finally, the notion of Paul’s common paraenesis enables us to conduct a comparative study of the paraenetical sections of the various epistles of Paul and to appreciate the distinctive elements in a given epistle (e.g. the extended elaboration of the theme of ‘living peaceably with all’ in Rom. 12:14–13:10) in terms of the particular needs of the recip¬ients of that epistle.
The Christology of Titus 2:13 and 1 Timothy 2:5
J. Christopher Edwards (University of St Andrews) p.141
This article makes an acute observation about the strong similarities between Titus 2:11-14 and 1 Timothy 2:1-7. These similarities are significant because they suggest that it is not valid to translate Titus 2:13 as: ‘The glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’ This traditional translation affirms Jesus’ deity by ascribing to him the title of θεός.
A Brief Response to ‘The Christology of Titus 2:13 and 1 Tim. 2:5’ by J. Christopher Edwards
Murray J. Harris (Cambridge, New Zealand) p.149
We can be grateful to Dr Edwards for reminding us of part of the Old Testament background of the ransom logion and for highlighting the similarity of Mark 10:45, 1 Timothy 2:6, Titus 2:14, and Barnabas 14:6. In its essence, Dr Edwards’ view seems to be that the similarities between 1 Timothy 2:1-7 and Titus 2:11-14 are so great that it is unlikely that their Christologies should not also be identical. Then, since θεός and Χριστὸς ’Ιησοῦς are clearly distinguished in 1 Timothy 2:5, they should also be distinguished in Titus 2:13. So the common translation that ascribes the title ‘our great God and Saviour’ to Jesus Christ ‘is not valid’.
The Glory of Yhwh in the Old Testament with Special Attention to the Book of Ezekiel
Pieter De Vries (University of Amsterdam) p.151
This study focuses on the use of כָּבוֹד in the Old Testament and especially in the book of Ezekiel. The specific approach of this study is not only to analyse כָּבוֹד itself but also its most important synonyms as well as its main equivalent in Aramaic, יְקָר. Biblical texts are approached from a canonical perspective, and the synchronic approach prevails over the diachronic.
The Johannine Discourses and the Teaching of Jesus in the Synoptics: A Comparative Approach to the Authenticity of Jesus’ Words in the Fourth Gospel
Philipp Fabian Bartholomä (Landau, Germany) p.155
The main subject of this dissertation is the correlation between the alleged relationship of the Johannine discourses with the teaching of Jesus in the Synoptics on the one hand and the assessment of the authenticity of Jesus’ words in the Fourth Gospel on the other. Generally speaking, the Johannine discourses have received comparatively little attention as reliable and thus valuable sources for the teaching of the historical Jesus, not least owing to the fact that even a cursory glance at John and the Synoptic Gospels reveals obvious differences between how Jesus’ words are presented. These differences have frequently been perceived as too great to accept the Johannine discourses as authentic representations of Jesus’ teaching, especially when placed alongside Matthew, Mark, and Luke.