Marius Heemstra. The Fiscus Judaicus and the Parting of the Ways.
Marius Heemstra argues that the "harsh" administration of the Fiscus Judaicus under the Roman emperor Domitian (81-96) and the reform of the Fiscus under the emperor Nerva (96-98), accelerated the parting of the ways between Judaism and Christianity, resulting in two separate religions. From 96 CE onwards, Roman authorities used a more pointed definition of "Jew", which made it easier for them to distinguish between Judaism (an accepted religion within the empire) and Christianity (an illegal religious movement). This parting should primarily be interpreted as a break between Jewish Christians and mainstream Judaism. Both parties claimed to be the true representatives of the continuing history of Israel. In this study, the author pays special attention to the Roman and Jewish context of the Book of Revelation, the Letter to the Hebrews, and the Gospel of John, including the debate about the birkhat ha-minim.
The book is based on his 2009 Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Groningen.
Christopher A. Richardson. Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith: Jesus' Faith as the Climax of Israel's History in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
By providing a detailed exegetical examination of the references to Jesus' faith in Hebrews, Christopher A. Richardson demonstrates that this epistle makes a profound contribution to our understanding of the early church's christology. Rather than engaging with the pistis Christou debates in Paul, the author reveals that Jesus' own faith in God in terms of theology is most clearly articulated in Hebrews. He argues that the author of Hebrews has integrated Jesus' example of faith throughout the epistle, with Heb. 12.2 being the climactic illustration of his faith; consequently, the reader is compelled to compare Jesus' perfect example of steadfast confidence with the ancestors of faith in Hebrews 11. It is evident that these have been recapitulated in order to amplify the person and work of Christ, and thus to present the former exemplars as true yet imperfect anticipations of the one who perfectly embodied and expressed the virtue of faith.
This book is based on Richardson's 2009 Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Aberdeen.
Expected August 2010.