Monday 12 March 2012

Currents in Biblical Research 10, 2 (2012)

The latest Currents in Biblical Research is now out; abstracts of the main articles are as follows:

Charles Trimm

Recent Research on Warfare in the Old Testament

In an introduction to the English translation of Gerhard von Rad’s classic work Holy War in Ancient Israel, Ollenburger (1991) reviewed the major contributions on the topic of warfare through to 1990. My article will update Ollenburger’s survey with new research on warfare in the Old Testament from 1990 to 2010, treating historicity, broad histories of warfare, and diversity of warfare. In addition, this article expands Ollenburger’s survey by looking at recent research on other topics connected to warfare (herem, warfare in Psalms and Chronicles, military history, and ethics), and at new perspectives on warfare (ancient Near Eastern connections, feminism, peace, and early reception history).

Judy Diehl

Empire and Epistles: Anti-Roman Rhetoric in the New Testament Epistles

Recent studies of the letters of the New Testament have uncovered intentional words, phrases, ideology and imagery that carry the weight of anti-imperial rhetoric. The second of three articles, this is an investigation of current scholarship concerned with the use of anti-imperial rhetoric in the New Testament epistles. While it is impossible to ignore the Jewish nature of many of the New Testament epistles, both mild and overt, anti-imperial rhetoric challenges the emperor worship and the propaganda of the Roman imperial authorities of the first century. The first part of this article, published in Currents 10.1, is a brief summation of the scholarly developments that have taken place in the discipline of the New Testament epistles. Over decades of research, scholarship has moved from the understanding of the intersection of the book of Acts and the Pauline letters, to the connection between the Apostle Paul and Judaism, to the realization of the junction between Paul and the Gentile world. The second part of the article focuses on a number of Pauline epistles and general epistles where we catch a glimpse of a newer scholarly development, which is a postcolonial approach to the context of the New Testament epistles and the Roman Empire. In a general sense, the response of the authors of the New Testament epistles to the dominating government seems to be, ‘Jesus is Lord, not Caesar!’

Hellen Mardaga

Hapax Legomena: A Neglected Field in Biblical Studies

The current essay offers an overview of major studies on hapax legomena in the MT, LXX and NT. The focus of the contribution is on the definition of hapax legomenon. Authors disagree as to whether the term should point to (a) a word found only once in a specific biblical corpus or to (b) a word occurring more than once as well as unique grammatical forms of a word as well as unique meanings. The present article defends that hapax legomenon should only be reserved for a word found only once in the MT, the LXX or the NT.

Travis B. Williams

Suffering from a Critical Oversight: The Persecutions of 1 Peter within Modern Scholarship

Throughout the history of research, the topic of persecution has been one of the more heavily debated issues within the study of 1 Peter. At the moment, however, a general agreement has been reached concerning the nature of the readers’ problems. According to the modern consensus, the persecutions were localized and sporadic hostility consisting of verbal abuse and discrimination (i.e., ‘unofficial’ persecution). The present article will survey exactly how this consensus was reached, focusing particular attention on a key oversight which took place very early in the discussion. Our review will explore some of the significant effects which this omission has produced in the subsequent debate, while examining how a few of the most recent treatments have worked towards rectifying the situation.

David M. Miller

Ethnicity Comes of Age: An Overview of Twentieth-Century Terms for Ioudaios

This article, part two in a three-part series on the meaning of Ioudaios (‘Jew’ or ‘Judaean’), examines the use of ethnic terminology in scholarship on Ioudaios over the last seventy-five years, with a focus on representative studies from the 1930s–1950s as a point of comparison with more recent developments. The article traces shifts in the meaning of ethnic terminology after World War II and explores why ‘ethnicity’ eventually came to more-or-less supplant other terms such as ‘race’ and ‘nation’. Part one, which appeared in 2010 in CBR 9.1, examined the relationship between Ioudaios and other group labels in ancient Judaism, such as ‘Israel’ and ‘Galilaean’. The final article will analyse the relationship between ethnicity and religion in scholarship on the meaning of Ioudaios, and evaluate the debate over the term’s English translation.

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