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Volume 49, Issue 2, 2015
Author Petra DijkhuizenSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 227 –234 (2015)More Less
In both the comparative study of religion and interreligious dialogue there is ambivalence about the so-called search for common ground. On the one hand, there are those who use commonality as heuristic device, as starting point: something (seemingly) similar is identified in order for the comparative enterprise of the two exempla to be warranted or the dialogue between the two partners in interreligious relations to be engaged in. In this regard, LeDonne, for example, notes that "Jesus research now represents something of a common ground between Jewish and Christian scholarship." In the same vein, Jørgensen asks: Is it possible that the notion of Jesus as "Word of God" and as guided by the "Spirit of God" -concepts common to both Christian and Islamic theology might serve as a starting point for dialogue and deeper appreciation between Christianity and Islam? Naturally, in such cases one's own framework or tradition functions as the basis from which the similarities are discerned.
Author Marius NelSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 235 –259 (2015)More Less
South African society is characterised by the violence of crime, poverty and inequality as well as civil rebellion and disobedience, posing the question to Christians whether they should and may participate in violence against injustice and crime, and as a possible reaction to, for example, poor service delivery or civil rights wrongs. This article limits the discussion about the possible justification of the Christian's use of violence to Matthew's references to the sword as a metaphor of violence within the context of Jesus's ministry. The first reference is found when Jesus prepares the apostles for the Jewish mission in Matthew 10, and he states that they should not suppose that he has come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword, because his coming will turn the members of their own households against them. Did Jesus endorse and encourage violence, even if presumably a righteous kind of violence? During his arrest scene, in Matthew 26, an unknown companion of Jesus reaches for his sword and strikes the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Jesus responds by commanding the disciple to put his sword back in place, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." These references to "sword" are discussed in order to answer the question whether Jesus in any way supported violence.
Author Eben SchefflerSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 261 –296 (2015)More Less
The present-day world is marked by religious conflict (especially amongst the monotheistic "Abrahamic" religions) to such an extent that it is often asserted (especially by neo-atheists like Dawkins and Harris) that the world would be a better place without religion. It is argued in this contribution that focus on the historical Jesus and his "religion" (especially his teaching on peacemaking and religious inclusivity), constitutes the key to the elimination of religious conflict. In this regard the work of Jewish (e.g., Buber, Lapide, Vermes, Moore) and Christian (e.g., Theissen, Borg, Crossan, Charlesworth et al.) historical Jesus scholars will be interfaced with the image of the (historical) Jesus that one encounters in the Qur'?n (cf. Parrinder, Mourad). A hermeneutical reflection that endeavours to appropriate Jesus's call to peacemaking in the present-day world concludes the article.
Author Damian Howard S.J.Source: Neotestamentica 49, pp 297 –320 (2015)More Less
The article presents the case against appealing to the "historical Jesus" as common ground between Christians and Muslims. It first teases out relevant aspects of Christianity's own deployment of historical criticism of the Bible before investigating how Muslims have engaged with the same material for the purposes of inviting Christians to Islam. In the light of a clear double standard at work here, the implications of historical criticism for the Qur'?n's handling of Jesus are analysed and conditions identified that would allow Muslims to engage more fully qua Muslims with the "historical Jesus." A final section supplies a negative answer to the question whether the pursuit of a Muslim-Christian accord over the identity of Jesus is even a sensible objective for a Christian seeking better relations with Muslims.
"Whomever you find, invite" : the Parable of the Great Supper (Q 14:16-21, 23) and the redaction of QAuthor Llewellyn HowesSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 321 –350 (2015)More Less
In The Formation of Q, Kloppenborg identifies three redactional layers in the Sayings Gospel Q: the "formative stratum" (or Q1), the "main redaction" (or Q2), and the "final recension" (or Q3). He ascribes Q 14:16-24 to the main redaction. As an alternative, this article argues that the passage in question appeared in the formative stratum before it was incorporated into the main redaction.
Author Peter CimalaSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 351 –376 (2015)More Less
This study investigates Pauline soteriological language, specifically the variety of metaphors used to interpret salvation, taking Galatians as a test case. The first section begins with an analysis of contemporary "metaphormania" and the lack of consensus on the definition of metaphor, leading to an outline of the development of the concepts of imagery and metaphor for Pauline studies. The second section evaluates metaphor theory together with the paradigm shift in the post-Ricoeur era. In the third part the author examines the plurality of soteriological metaphors, showing their mutual interaction and coherence in the epistle to the Galatians. In the fourth part this is documented with two metaphors, sonship and freedom. The proposed network of metaphors model, with its own inner logic, is offered as an alternative to the traditional search for a "centre" within Paul's soteriology/theology and also as an alternative to the reductionist tendency to favour one metaphor above others in an individual letter without solid textual support.
Author Christopher ZoccaliSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 377 –415 (2015)More Less
Galatians 3:10-12 is a passage that continues to be the subject of significant debate among Pauline scholars. Traditionally, Protestant interpreters have understood a contrast here between the "works-righteousness" system of redemption inherent to Judaism over against Paul's "law-free" gospel of Jesus Christ. Since the advent of the New Perspective on Paul, this reading has been increasingly challenged. However, in many such readings, the Torah is still largely viewed as incompatible with the new age of the gospel. In contrast, I will argue that Paul presupposes the continuing significance of the Torah in demarcating Jewish identity, and as a basis for covenant praxis. The function of this passage is strictly to dissuade gentile Christ-followers from undergoing proselyte conversion to Judaism, which, for Paul, is irreconcilable with "in Christ" identity, as the three biblical texts cited in this section (Deut 27:26; Hab 2:4; Lev 18:5) suggest.
The salvation of "all Israel" in Romans 11:25-27 as the salvation of inner-elect, historical Israel in ChristAuthor Philip la Grange Du ToitSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 417 –452 (2015)More Less
In this article, prevalent interpretations of Romans 11:25-27, which envision Israel as a separate entity apart from the church or understand Israel ecclesiologically, are criticised on the basis of (1) the anachronistic relationship of current Judaism with the 'Ιοναίοι/'Ιδραηλ in Paul, (2) the constraints posed by the connotations inherent to these designations in the time of the Second Temple, and (3) Paul's thought on Israel and the identity in Christ outside of Romans 9-11. The terms Paul uses and the grammar he utilises in Romans 11:25-27 are re-examined in respect of the context of the letter to the Romans and the larger context of the Pauline corpus. The salvation of "all Israel" (Rom 11:26) is interpreted as the salvation of ancient, inner-elect Israel, in distinction from national Israel (outer-elect), who lived before the Christ-event.
An Interpretive Lexicon of New Testament Greek: Analysis of Prepositions, Adverbs, Particles, Relative Pronouns, and Conjunctions, G. K. Beale, D. J. Brendsel, and W. A. Ross : book reviewAuthor Jan BarkhuizenSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 453 –454 (2015)More Less
This booklet forms an invaluable link in the grammatical-exegetical studies of NT Greek. The purpose of this book is not merely to list various links between statements, but to trace and set out the various logical relationships between statements or propositions (i.e., any clause consisting of a subject and a predicate) in the NT in order to enhance exegesis. The booklet is thus "a taxonomy of functions performed by key Greek connecting words, particles, and other markers" (6). It examines and categorises such key words that identify the logical relationships between clauses.
Author James CuenodSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 454 –457 (2015)More Less
For centuries, Matthew was truly the first gospel. It is the only Synoptic to claim apostolic authorship and it was long held to have been the first written. Of the four gospels, Matthew's is preferred by the patristics for citation; harmonisations most commonly defer to the Matthean witness; and the Gospel of Matthew was seen as the source used by both Mark and Luke. This priority has all but disintegrated in the past century as Marcan priority has largely won the day. Even as the tide of contemporary scholarship has shifted to labelling Matthew the second gospel, its significance to the church through history remains unquestionable.
Author Chance BonarSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 457 –462 (2015)More Less
The Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Studies in Early Christianity series undertook this translation of a monumental synthetic study of ecclesiology in the Gospel of Matthew by notable German scholar Matthias Konradt. The study begins by recognising that centuries of biblical interpretation have begotten anti-semitic or anti-Judaic sentiments among Christian communities; most notably, the text of Matthew has been used and abused because of its popular connotation as the most and least "Jewish" of the Gospels. Due to the complex history of Matthew's reception concerning Jewish-Christian relations, scholars often search the text for clues as to the nascent activity of the "parting of the ways" between Judaism and Christianity.
Author Francois MalanSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 462 –469 (2015)More Less
In conjunction with associates especially in the sections on rhetorical criticism, composition of the epistle, the resurrection, its social setting, and the collection for the Jerusalem church this revision of the 1986 commentary also adds additional up-to-date notes, a new bibliography with comments, and several excurses. The text of the earlier commentary has been worked over to correct a few slips, without meddling with the text, with its introduction (with the new excurses), bibliographies (updated) at the beginning of each section, notes on the writer's translation, the form/structure/setting of each pericope, followed by a comment on each verse and an explanation of the section.
Source: Neotestamentica 49, pp 467 –469 (2015)More Less
Being part of the Paideia series, this small to medium sized commentary on Paul's letter to the Galatians "is aimed squarely at students," which involves (a) the instructional aim of the series, (b) the presupposition that the NT texts are literary unities that are shaped by the educational categories of their authors and readers, and (c) the notion that the texts themselves have pedagogical aims (ix). Yet the commentary achieves a fair amount of scholarly interaction, making it useful for any kind of student of the NT. In addition to a thirty-page introduction that provides an adequate overview of most of the basic issues surrounding the letter (text, date, sender, recipients, situation, contexts for understanding the letter, geographical and chronological contexts, structure, rhetoric), each section within the commentary starts with a small subsection on "Introductory Matters" and ends with a subsection on "Theological Issues." The latter often moves in the direction of devotion and application for the contemporary reader.
Author Chantal Nsongisa KimesaSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 469 –472 (2015)More Less
This commentary of Shogren is on Paul's two letters to the Thessalonians. It follows the layout of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary series in that each chapter is studied in seven stages which in turn focus on the literary context of the extract, the main idea, its translation, its structure, its important exegetical lines, its explanation and its theology in application. In addition to these seven steps, the author presents an excellent introduction and conclusion on the theology of both letters. In the introduction, Shogren describes significant socio-cultural aspects of the letters as well as the insights of literary critics on the authenticity of the letters.
A Compact Guide to the Whole Bible : Learning to Read Scripture's Story, Robert W. Wall and David R. Nienhuis (Eds.) : book reviewSource: Neotestamentica 49, pp 472 –475 (2015)More Less
This edited book about reading the whole Bible is primarily aimed at undergraduates and adult Bible study groups (7). It follows the Christian church's intention to treat the Bible as Scripture and thus approaches the Bible in terms of "its overall unity" (157). Rather than presenting a detailed introduction to the historical or contextual issues surrounding the text, this book aims to provide readers of the Bible with the big picture of the biblical story (8). Each chapter represents a canonical unit and begins by framing the books within their contribution to the biblical metanarrative, followed by a discussion of their arrangement and placement within the biblical canon, their literary features, and the theological questions they evoke concerning God, God's people and God's world.