Sunday, 6 July 2014

Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 3, 1 (2014)

The latest issue of the Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament is freely available online. The main articles (listed below with their abstracts) are available from here, with a pdf of the entire issue available here – but it’s worth checking out for its book reviews as much as anything else.
Nathan Lovell
The Shape of Hope in the Book of Kings: The Resolution of Davidic Blessing and Mosaic Curse
The issue of hope in the book of Kings has long been a focal point of debate. This paper approaches the question from the standpoint of the final form of the book, rather than attempting to discern the voice of the Deuteronomist(s) within the text. I argue that the message of hope is exposed by a central theological tension within the book: that Yahweh has promised both blessing to David and curse for Mosaic breach. I conclude that in the resolution of this tension the book encourages hope in its exilic readership, but precludes a return to the monarchy as it was formerly. Rather, the purpose of Kings as it now stands is to reshape exilic hope towards a different type of kingdom, and to demonstrate to the exiles the new shape that this kingdom will take through the prophetic ministry amongst the powerless to gather a remnant. Messianic and nationalistic hope in Kings is shaped by the exile,  which  represents  a  new  beginning  for  Yahweh’s  people. 

Matthew R. Akers
The Soteriological Development of the “Arm of the LORD” Motif
A quarter of a century ago James Hoffmeier published his groundbreaking Biblica article “The Arm of God Versus the Arm of Pharaoh in the Exodus Narratives.” The same year, Manfred Görg released his study “Der starke Arm Pharaos” in the Festschrift honoring François Daumas. Both men demonstrated that the OT seizes Egyptian victory language and applies it to the God of Israel in order to portray him as the conqueror of Pharaoh. This paper builds upon these important works, arguing that the OT authors, particularly in the prophetical period, employed the theme to express several important theological concepts. The author of this paper explores a number of OT passages that depict the arm of the LORD as the deliverer of post-conquest Israel and the redeemer of the entire world.

Silviu Tatu
Making Sense of Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20)
Biblical criticism has debated for the last two centuries whether or not to include the Melchizedek episode (Gen 14:18–20) with the other incidents of the story in Gen 14. This article makes the case for the early integration of Melchizedek’s episode in the narrative concerning Abram recovering Lot and his properties and in the Abraham narrative cycle as a whole. In order to achieve that, several general issues had to be addressed: the integrity of the text itself with its syntactic relationships, literary genre and plot. An investigation of some particular issues follows: Melchizedek’s name, title, and actions, as well as assessing how well they fit the patriarchal context and the original plot. Since the debate is complex and multi-layered, various tools were employed: Hebrew grammar and syntax, form criticism, narrative criticism, and History of Religions. We found that, as it stands, Gen 14:18–20 is too well integrated in the story of Abraham and the fabric of its own world to need political agendas motivating its late addition as various source theories claim. 

Andrew C. Witt
Since 1965, there has been great debate concerning the provenance of the Great Psalms Scroll (11QPsa).Building off recent analyses by Strawn and Debel, this article argues that Psalm 151A contains the sectarian phrase “sons of his covenant,” which was added to the psalm as part of its Qumranic revision. This puts into question Flint’s position that the 11QPsa-Psalter tradition had a provenance prior to the establishment of the Qumran community. In its final pages, the article examines some of the implications of its findings, particularly concerning the redactional history of Psalm 151, and how one might interpret Psalm 151A in light of its expansions.

Book Reviews

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