Monday 30 November 2020

Currents in Biblical Research 19, 1 (October 2020)

The latest Currents in Biblical Research recently arrived, with titles and abstracts of the main articles as below.

Jennifer M. Matheny

Ruth in Recent Research

From the early treatments focused on historical-critical methods to the interdisciplinary approaches of the social sciences today, Ruth research continues to speak to the current developments within interpretive conversations. This article briefly surveys major commentaries on Ruth, and then discusses the shifts in research from 2001 to today, highlighting future trajectories and trends.

Phillip Sherman

The Hebrew Bible and the ‘Animal Turn’

Animal Studies refers to a set of questions which take seriously the reality of animal lives, past and present, and the ways in which human societies have conceived of those lives, related to them, and utilized them in the production of human cultures. Scholars of the Hebrew Bible are increasingly engaging animals in their interpretive work. Such engagement is often implicit or partial, but increasingly drawing directly on the more critical aspects of Animal Studies. This article proceeds as a tour through the menagerie of the biblical canon by exploring key texts in order to describe and analyze what Animal Studies has brought to the field of Biblical Studies. Biblical texts are grouped into the following categories: animals in the narrative accounts of the Torah, legal and ritual texts concerning animals, animal metaphors in the prophets, and wisdom literature and animal life. The emergence and application of zooarchaeological research and a number of studies focusing on specific animal species will be discussed. Sustained attention will be given to two recent works which have brought Animal Studies into the fractured fold of biblical scholarship more directly. Finally, I will suggest some future directions for the study of the Hebrew Bible in light of Animal Studies.

Jason F. Moraff

Recent Trends in the Study of Jews and Judaism in Luke-Acts

This article surveys and assesses recent developments in the study of the depiction of Jews and Judaism in Luke-Acts since 2010. Studies are grouped into three general, often overlapping approaches. First, identity construction proves to be a productive avenue of research for understanding Luke’s portrait of ‘the Jews’. Second, scholars have begun to investigate the place of Luke-Acts in the ‘parting(s) of the ways’. Third, others continue to evaluate the relationship between the Jewish people, the covenant, and Luke’s future hope for Israel. The final section outlines some common issues and potential areas for further study, highlighting how these studies have reinvigorated a stagnant debate.

Jonathan Lookadoo

The Date and Authenticity of the Ignatian Letters: An Outline of Recent Discussions

This article examines recent studies of the date and authenticity of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch. Although the debate has a long history, this article focuses on the most recent period of this debate – from roughly 1997 through 2018. While not wanting to diminish the differences between contributors to this debate, three general views can be adduced. This article begins by highlighting the major players and formative contributors to each view. Of particular note in this most recent phase of debate is the separation of the date of the letters from the question of their authenticity. The article next turns to consider the primary pieces of evidence that are utilized when considering Ignatius’s date: the historical value of the Eusebian evidence, the possibility of interpolations within Polycarp’s Philippians, and Ignatius’s interactions with Second Sophistic rhetoric. The conclusion inquires about whether there is other evidence that might be utilized to aid scholars in dating and evaluating the Ignatian letters more securely.

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