Volume 10 (2014)
This volume is now available in print from Sheffield Phoenix Press
First-Person Claims in Some Ancient Historians and Acts
Craig S. Keener
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, USA
William Sanger Campbell rightly notes that historians used the first-person singular more as narrators than as actors. Nevertheless, historians do sometimes depict themselves in the first-person in narrative action, including in familiar biblical narratives. Although Luke includes notice of his participation, using the first-person plural minimizes focus on it far more than even third-person usage would have done. By simply including himself in group actions, he avoids distinct focus on himself, allowing him to maintain his focus on Paul. Like many authors, the author of Acts need not name himself because he was familiar to the first real audiences of Acts.
The Message and the Medium: Some Observations on Epistolary Communication in Late Antiquity
Lincoln H. Blumell
Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA
In antiquity the most common form of communication between two or more parties who were physically separated was the letter. As a result, letters often constitute important source texts for a wide variety of issues and figure prominently in early Christian literature. To fully utilize the evidence provided by letters, it is important to realize that these texts are conditioned by a number of internal and external factors that can affect the message(s) they convey. To elucidate some of these factors, this study surveys the epistolary evidence from Late Antiquity and, as part of this analysis, pertinent issues like the use of scribes and letter carriers are also considered.
Matthew 5.39 and 26.67: Slapping Another's Cheek in Ancient Mediterranean Culture
John Granger Cook
LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA, USA
This article examines the practice of slapping another’s cheek in the ancient Mediterranean world. Using texts from Latin and Greek writers and ancient Christian and pagan interpreters of Matt 5.39, this article shows that these ancient writers were probably unaware that backhanded (or left-handed) slaps were grossly insulting, a contention made occasionally in modern scholarship. Some Hebrew texts, on the other hand, may show awareness of more insult in left- handed slaps. This study will shed light on the significance and implication of the slaps Jesus suffered during his Passion according to Matthew.
A Text without 1 Corinthians 14.34-35? Not according to the Manuscript Evidence
Jennifer Shack
Concordia University College of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
The text of 1 Cor. 14.34-35 is controversial in nature, and some have classified it as an interpolation in the text. This article contends that the theory that this text is an interpolation is unconvincing when the external evidence is reconsidered. This conclusion is shown through an analysis of the text and marginalia concerning these verses in Codex Vaticanus, Codex Fuldensis and MS 88.
Josephus's' Life and Jewish War Compared to the Synoptic Gospels
Jordan Henderson
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, USA
While there is a growing recognition among scholars that the Synoptic Gospels fall within the genre of ancient biography, the differences in detail between these three accounts of Jesus’ life remain puzzling. As a case study, this article analogously compares the differences between Josephus’s Life and the autobiographical portions of his Jewish War to explore the outer range of variations that might have been acceptable for different works in the genre of ancient biography narrating the life of the same historical figure.
A 'Majority' Reading for James 3.3 Supported by Both External and Internal Evidence
William Varner
The Master’s College and Seminary, Santa Clarita, CA, USA
This article argues for a different textual reading in Jas 3.3a from what is found in the critical texts of NA27/28 and UBS4/5. The orienter ἴδε instead of the conditional εἰ δὲ has both older external evidence and better argument based on the internal evidence for its adoption. The discourse marker ἴδε in 3.3a combined with the ἰδού in 3.4 and 3.5 call attention to the three examples from natural life—the horse/bridle, the ship/rudder and the fire/forest—and effectively combine to make a rhetorical argument for the power of the tongue, both for good and for evil.
The Meaning of αὐθεντέω in 1 Timothy 2.12
Cynthia Long Westfall
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
The purpose of this article is to present an explicit methodology and procedure in the study of the word αὐθεντέω based on current suggestions and procedures in lexicography and informed by linguistic theory. This is done by an attempt to map patterns of how the word was used. This study attempts to locate a single basic (but complex) semantic concept that could account for the diachronic occurrences of the verb and extended, peripheral or marginal meanings. This article tests the suggested range of meaning and identifies patterns in the occurrences of the word that shed light on how the word was used in contexts that assist us in finding a single basic semantic concept that accounts for this range of meanings.
Recognizing Jesus: A Study of Recognition Scenes in the Gospel of Mark
Adam Z. Wright
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This article examines the role of recognition scenes in Mark’s Gospel. Recognition scenes were a common feature in ancient literature and served to propel a narrative’s plot towards a definitive end. By examining the nature of recognition scenes as well as their functions within the narrative, a greater appreciation can be gained for the structure and purpose of Mark’s Gospel. What will be shown is that such recognition scenes, which revolve around the identity of Jesus, create an ironic tension that culminates in the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus.
Martial Moses in Flavian Rome: Josephus's Antiquities 2-4 and Exemplary Roman Leadership
James M. Petitfils
Biola University, La Mirada, CA, USA
This article focuses on Josephus’s narrative presentation of Moses in Ant. 2–4 in light of a popular pedagogical discourse in Flavian Rome—the Roman discourse of exemplarity. Beginning with an overview of this Roman moral conversation and a brief spotlight on the premier leadership characteristic celebrated in discourse on exemplary leadership in Flavian Rome (martial prowess), this article argues that Josephus’s presentation of Moses aligns well with both the narratological form and the characteristic moral content of Roman exemplarity. This article situates Josephus in his Roman discursive environment and offers a contextually specific explanation for his narrative presentation of a particularly martial Moses. It also highlights the permeability of ancient cultural boundaries, as well as the utility of Hellenistic and Roman discursive practices and approaches for the construction of Jewish identities.