Volume 6 (2009)
This volume is now available in print from Sheffield Phoenix Press
The Concept of Atonement in the Gospel of John
Jintae Kim
Alliance Theological Seminary, Nyack NY
The Gospel of John has been the object of scholarly debate because of its distinctive presentation of Jesus, and the significant differences between it and Synoptic Gospels. C.H. Dodd finds the theme of atonement lacking in the Gospel of John. Dodd’s view is for the most part closely followed by other scholars. However, is the idea of Christ’s atonement really absent from the sending statements in John? Kim answers this question in the negative. This paper presents the concrete evidence of the theme of atonement in the Gospel of John by examining selected passages in it.
Human Stones in a Greek Setting: Luke 3.8; Matthew 3.9; Luke 19.40
Craig S. Keener
Palmer Theological Seminary, Wynnewood, PA, USA
Although affirming that Luke himself was presumably interested primarily in biblical rather than Greek mythological traditions, this article considers how early auditors may have visualized Luke’s depiction of rocks involved in humanlike activities. It surveys both stories of rocks and similar substances becoming human (as well as the reverse) and figurative use of such images. Although probably less often heard than the stories themselves, the application of such images for hyperbole was probably common enough that it would be understood figuratively in this case.
Re-Evaluating Patronage and Reciprocity in Antiquity and New Testament Studies
Erlend D. MacGillivray
University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
The concepts of ‘patronage’ and ‘reciprocity’ have increasingly been appealed to as being key social components in the world of the New Testament. Yet this article argues that the current confidence placed in the model’s definitions and in their capability to unlock classical reciprocal relationships is misplaced. Chiefly, it is argued that the current definition of ‘patronage’ is too broad, and that it obscures the complexities of ancient reciprocity. Greek euergetism should be considered as a distinct reciprocal phenomenon, and, significantly, Second Temple Jewish society largely abstained from, or was ignorant of the mechanics of, classical patronage and euergetism.
Double Case Constructions in Koine Greek
Martin M. Culy
Briercrest College and Seminary, Caronport, SK, Canada
Although students of Koine Greek are accustomed to encountering double accusative constructions, the occurrence of other double case constructions has generally been overlooked. This article shows that double case constructions are relatively common with all cases except the vocative, and appear in predictable syntactic environments. It also demonstrates that some putative double accusative constructions are better viewed as different phenomena altogether, and explains how the proposed analyses impact how we evaluate the relative importance of discourse themes.
Patronage and Rebuke in Paul's Persuasion in 2 Corinthians 8-9
Mark A. Jennings
Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, USA
This study of 2 Corinthians 8–9 will show how Paul employs the language of patronal relationships in his attempt to gain the Corinthian church’s full participation in his collection for those in Jerusalem. This language includes his depictions of the various network relationships, the nature of the goods exchanged, the importance of honor and shame, as well as his use of ‘grace’. By gaining a better understanding of how Paul incorporates patron imagery into his rhetoric of 2 Corinthians 8–9, we can see that Paul expected the cooperation of the Corinthian church on account of its place with the network of God’s churches.
The Origin of ‘Alpha and Omega’ (Revelation 1.8; 21.6; 22.13): A Suggestion
David Lincicum
University of Oxford, UK
This note takes up the suggestion that the title ‘Alpha and Omega’ (Rev. 1.8; 21.6; 22.13) arose through reflection on the divine name, ΙΑΩ. The article commends the possibility that John ‘exegeted’ the divine name, in light of Isaiah 40–48 and emerging scribal practices of abbreviating the nomina sacra, as a reference to Jesus as the Alpha and Omega.
Early Readers of the Gospels: The KEPHALAIA and TITLOI of Codex Alexandrinus
Greg Goswell
Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne, Australia
Codex Alexandrinus includes kephalaia (κεφάλια), namely chapter divisions, for the Gospels. A survey of the kephalaia in the four Gospels indicates that their placement is not haphazard but reflects an evaluation the flow of the narratives and shows insight into the meaning of the story. They act as a commentary on the text that can at times be an insightful guide. I seek to demonstrate that there are four main possible effects of a textual break, namely to separate or join material, and to highlight or downplay features of the text, and I provide examples of each effect (function) using the kephalaia.
Heavenly Mindedness and Earthly Good: Contemplating Matters Above in Colossians 3.1-2
Craig Keener
Palmer Theological Seminary, Wynnewood, PA, USA
Philosophers, mystics, and apocalyptic visionaries sought to visualize heaven, often to envision deity; philosophers emphasized specifically heavenly thinking. For philosophers, the pure and heavenly deity was abstract and transcendent; for Colossians, the heavenly focus is Christ, fitting the christocentric emphasis of this letter. For Colossians, contemplating Christ also leads naturally to Christlike character, in contrast to the pursuit of earthly passions. Although the writer’s articulation of the connection is distinctive, his connection of heavenly contemplation with appropriate behavior would have been intelligible to his contemporaries, including many philosophers. Colossians 3.1-2 addresses the sorts of conceptions in the larger milieu that the letter as a whole addresses, and connects the letter’s earlier theological arguments with the following parenetic material.
Understanding κλῆσις in the New Testament
Lois K. Fuller Dow
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
κλῆσις is defined in BDAG as a call (invitation) and as a position or condition. 1 Cor. 7.20 is the only place in Greek literature where it has been given the second meaning. The passages in non- Christian Greek literature given by BDAG for the meaning position are unable to support this meaning. In the Hellenistic world the word very often meant a name or appellation. A fresh look at 1 Cor 7.20 shows that the call there is God’s call, to be lived out in any life situation.
Blessed Be The Ties That Bind: Semantic Domains And Cohesive Chains In Hebrews 1.1-2.4 And 12.5-8
Cynthia Long Westfall
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This article introduces the usefulness of semantic domain theory in discourse analysis. The theory of semantic domains relates directly to several core theories of discourse analysis, particularly cohesion, coherence and the recognition of topics. Semantic domains, cohesion and topics are examined in Heb. 12.5-8 and Heb. 1.1–2.4. The semantic and participant chains in Heb. 12.5-8 show that the topic is not so much ‘God disciplines his children’, as given in the TNIV, but ‘Endure hardship as God’s discipline’. An examination of semantic domains, cohesion and topics between Heb. 1.5-13 and Heb. 1.1-4 and 2.1-4 is conducted, showing that all three passages highlight God’s communication through the Son. The paper argues that an analysis of semantic domains provides a vital lens through which we can view every text, and that it sometimes sheds important light on interpretive puzzles.