Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
It is with deep regret we report the passing of Prof. emeritus Robert McLachlan Wilson who suffered a major stroke last week and died on Sunday at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. He was 94 years old and hadbeen active virtually up to the end of his life. Prof Wilson had been on the staff at the University of St Andrews between 1954 and 1983, when he retired from the chair of Biblical Criticism. A Fellow of the British Academy, he was also awarded its Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies. In 1981-2 Robin was elected President of SNTS. His scholarship focussed on Nag Hammadi studies, New Testament Apocrypha and the New Testament itself (with his commentary on Colossians & Philemon appearing in 2005!). But equally significant was his work in translation and editing. He was associate editor and then editor of the SNTS Monograph Series and its journal (New Testament Studies) for many years. There were many other significant roles he performed (member of the International Committee for the publication of the Nag Hammadi codices, member of the editorial board of the Nag Hammadi Studies monograph series, and English translator of Hennecke-Schneemelcher's NT Apocrypha).
Wilson also wrote the Hebrews commentary for the New Century Bible Commentary
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
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.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Brian C. Small, "The Use of Rhetorical Topoi in the Characterization of Jesus in the Book of Hebrews." Perspectives in Religious Studies 37.1 (Spring 2010): 53-69.
Here is an abstract of the article:
"This essay examines how the author of Hebrews employs rhetorical topoi to develop the characterization of Jesus. Aelius Theon’s Progymnasmata and Cicero’s De Inventione provide lists of the properties or attributes of persons which can be used in the argumentation of epideictic speeches. By utilizing the rhetorical topoi derived from these lists, a taxonomy is created which helps us organize the author’s conception of the character of Jesus. The author employs these rhetorical topoi to demonstrate Jesus’ excellency and to exalt him above all other human beings. The author urges his audience to adopt his characterization of Jesus so that they could have the confidence and boldness to persevere in their Christian faith."
The article reflects a portion of my dissertation which is examining the characterization of Jesus in Hebrews from a rhetorical and literary perspective. The dissertation of course greatly expands upon what is contained in the article.
I want to publicly thank my advisor, and editor of PRSt, Mikeal Parsons, in whose class I first conceived the topic for this essay; Eric Mason, the editor of this special thematic issue on Hebrews, who accepted my article for publication and made helpful suggestions in editing the article for publication; and Alicia Myers, associate editor of PRSt, who did much of the formatting work to prepare the article for publication.
As noted, this issue of PRSt is a thematic issue on Hebrews. Eric Mason has an introductory essay entitled "Emerging Voices on the Epistle to the Hebrews." Other articles in the issue are:
Eric F. Mason, "The Epistle (Not Necessarily) to the 'Hebrews': A Call to Renunciation of Judaism or Encouragement to Christian Commitment."
Bryan J. Whitfield, "The Three Joshuas of Hebrews 3 and 4."
Amy L. B. Peeler, "The Ethos of God in Hebrews."
David M. Moffitt, "Unveiling Jesus' Flesh: A Fresh Assessment of the Relationship Between the Veil and Jesus' Flesh in Hebrews 10:20."
Mark A. Jennings, "The Veil and the High Priestly Robes of the Incarnation: Understanding the Context of Heb 10:20."
I personally know some of these other people and am proud to have my article appear in the same issue with them.
NT Pod 37: What Is the Purpose of the Epistle to the Hebrews?
What I found most intriguing in his discussion is that he views Hebrews as a kind of circular letter developed out of a sermon. He thinks the exhortations in the book are much too general to be targeted for just one audience. I am not fully persuaded by this as there are places where he appears to know the situation of his audience (e.g., 5:11-12; 10:32-34; 12:4). Also the author expresses a desire to be restored to his readers (13:19) and they have a common acquaintance in Timothy (13:23) and he sends greetings from those from Italy. All this suggests to me that the audience is more specific.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Bauer, Georg. Der Schlüssel zum rechten und vollen Verständnisse des paulinischen Hebräer-Briefes. 1867.
Blasche, Johann Christian. Systematischer Commentar über den Brief an die Hebräer. Vol. 1. 1782.
Blasche, Johann Christian. Systematischer Commentar über den Brief an die Hebräer. Vol. 2. 1782.
Cannegieter, Tjeerd. Christologie volgens den brief aan de Hebreën. 1869.
Moll, Carolus Bernardus. Christologiae in Epistola ad Hebraeos scripta proposit. 1854.
Palacio, Miguel de. Enarrationes in Epistolam B. Pauli Apostoli ad Hebraeos .... 1590.
Rollock, Robert. Analysis logica in epistolam ad Hebraeos. 1610.
Zachariae, Gotthilf Traugott. Paraphraseische Erklärung des Briefes an die Hebräer. 1771.