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Galilee as Laboratory: Experiments for New Testament Historians and Theologians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2007

Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland


This paper discusses ways in which NT scholarship can engage meaningfully with contemporary studies in Greco-Roman culture, using recent archaeological exploration in Galilee as samples of such a strategy. Three examples are discussed, dealing respectively with aspects of Hellenisation, Judaisation and Romanisation of the region. These illustrate how specific finds can be brought into dialogue with the literary evidence, providing fresh readings. Such approaches, which recall earlier debates between the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule and the Biblical Theology Movement, raise the issue of how NT scholarship can still be regarded as theological in its aims and objectives. Some tentative answers to this perennial question are offered by way of conclusion.

Research Article
2007 Cambridge University Press

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Presidential address delivered to the 61st Annual Meeting of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas at the University of Aberdeen, July 25th–29th 2006.