Volume 13 (2017)
Zachary K. Dawson
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Craig S. Keener
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, USA
Drawing on decades of Middle East experience, Kenneth Bailey illustrated the flexibility yet essential reliability of oral tradition there. T. J. Weeden challenged many of Bailey’s details, especially his proposed setting for passing on tradition (the haflat samar) and Bailey’s traditions about nineteenth- century missionary John Hogg. These criticisms invite us to nuance Bailey’s model, but Weeden’s selective case does not undermine Bailey’s central insights. Although some of Bailey’s examples are weaker than others, he was correct in his overall sense that traditional Middle Eastern culture can standardize and pass on accurately key traditions about leading community figures. Studies of oral history and tradition suggest that Bailey’s experience concretely illustrates a particular setting presumably much closer to first-century Galilee than are the modern Western settings that many of us might otherwise take for granted.
Karl L. Armstrong
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
The two texts of 1 Cor. 11.5 and 14.34-35 have resulted in clashing conclusions among scholars. In the former text women are permitted to pray and prophesy, if properly attired; in the latter text women are enjoined to maintain silence with no exceptions or conditions attached. Some scholars see one or both texts as interpolations; others see the texts as containing convoluted and confusing arguments offering little hope of resolution; yet others see the texts as contradicting one another. This present study offers the alternate view that both texts can be understood as compatible when placed against the background of Greco-Roman culture.
Peter Cresswell
Devon, UK
Progress has been made in describing the work of different scribes in Codex Sinaiticus. But it is difficult to identify the use of, and points of transition between, different exemplars. An abrupt change in the pattern of use of nomina sacra, combined with the start of exaggerated ekthesis, indicates that the main scribe (scribe A) had been working with one exemplar for the whole of Matthew and the first half of Mark and had then switched to a second exemplar around the start of the transfiguration narrative. An intervention by scribe D for a single bifolium in Matthew has a pattern that differs from this scribe’s norm for nomina sacra, indicating that scribe D may here also have been working from another exemplar. Significant changes in Matthew made by the first corrector Ca and by an in-house scribe show that a less developed version was being modified in course of the manuscript’s production. This could help explain both the use of another exemplar by scribe D for his bifolium and the identified change of exemplar by scribe A, mid Mark.
Gregory Goswell
Christ College, Sydney, Australia
There is a new appreciation of the interpretive significance of the Catholic Epistles as a canonical unit. The conjoining of the Catholic Epistles suggests that early Christian readers recognised that these seven letters were related in important ways and threw light on each other. This collection serves to foreground the interplay between the writings of James, Peter, John and Jude and gives their interaction precedence over other possible intra-textual relations (e.g. the thematic links between 1 John and John’s Gospel) or canonical roles (e.g. reading James 2 as a corrective to a Pauline over-emphasis on faith). This way of ordering the books, together with their titles and internal breaks, reflect the understanding and insights of ancient readers, and there is no evidence that the letters of James or 2 Peter were written for any particular canonical slot or with a specific intra-canonical role in mind.
Karl L. Armstrong
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Although the often-debated Ephesian Haustafeln (or household codes) continue to be prominent in both academic and church conversation, the various approaches have not considered important linguistic methodological innovations and insights. This essay primarily seeks to analyze the grammar and syntax of Eph. 5.21-33 in tandem with the author’s decision to employ specific words and grammatical features with respect to the tense, aspect, mood and voice of specific verbs (with ὑποτάσσω as the primary verb in question). A second goal is to examine the web of clausal relationships along with the vocabulary and forms of the household codes found elsewhere in the New Testament and contemporary Greco-Roman literature. The author proposes that the Ephesian household code presents a uniquely Christian vision of marriage that is characterized by love and mutuality—which represents a radical departure from the prevailing contemporary Greco-Roman codes.
Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter
Houston Baptist University, Houston, TX, USA and McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Adam Booth
Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
Raymond Brown once wrote of Fourth Gospel’s “attempt to make Jesus intelligible to another culture…[by] presenting Jesus in a multitude of symbolic garbs.” In this paper, I consider the royal garb with which John dresses his protagonist. Would it have made him intelligible to inquisitive Hellenistic readers? Perhaps more importantly, would it have made him attractive? My contention is that a reader well-versed in Roman political thought (such as we find in Polybius, Cicero, Sallust and Tacitus) would have concerns about the idea of following a king, not so much because of a worry that this is a bad king, but rather that kingship itself is bad in the long term, and that the Fourth Gospel provides resources – whether crafted by its author, or fortuitous – to assuage such worries.