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Arguments for the Q hypothesis have changed little since B. H. Streeter. The purpose of this article is not to advocate an alternative hypothesis but to argue that, if the Q hypothesis is to be sustained, the unlikelihood of Luke's dependence on Matthew must be demonstrated by a systematic and comprehensive reconstruction of the redactional procedures entailed in the two hypotheses. The Q hypothesis will have been verified if (and only if) it generates a more plausible account of the Matthean and Lukan redaction of Mark and Q than the corresponding account of Luke's use of Mark and Matthew.
This essay offers a critique of recent works that claim for the author of Acts a high level of rhetorical sophistication. The paper attempts to begin to fill a gap in Acts studies by exploring two skills of the curriculum of tertiary rhetorical education and asking how these are exemplified in the curriculum itself. In this way an attempt is made to provide a more sophisticated parallel reading, one that avoids shell comparisons that can often lead to distortion. The two skills explored are intertextuality from the Greek classics and speech construction. It is suggested that—from the perspective of the rhetorical curriculum—the author of Acts probably lacked a rhetorical education.
Nicodemus is an enigmatic literary character who is wavering in no man's land in John's narrative between Jesus' opponents and his true disciples. Some scholars have taken Nicodemus as an example of someone of inadequate faith who remains an outsider throughout the narrative, while others have traced his development from initial and tentative faith to open and public commitment to Jesus. The present article, however, agrees with those who have acknowledged that no single trait determines Nicodemus's portrait, but, in the end, this portrait remains ambiguous. In the article, a text-centered approach to Nicodemus is complemented by asking how this ambiguous literary character may have functioned as a symbol for those who shared John's dualistic tendencies. The article draws upon the social identity approach in order to explain how Nicodemus's ambiguity may have helped the Johannine Christians to accept the uncertainties in their social environment without abandoning the stereotyped and fixed thrust in their symbolic world.
In 1 Cor 10.14–22 Paul warns his readers to refrain from idolatry. In order to convince his readers he calls attention to the unity and solidarity which exist between worshippers of the same religion. In this context he uses the terms κοινωνία and κοινωνός (vv. 16, 18, and 20). In v. 17 Paul tells his readers that at their joint meals they are ‘partners’, this time expressed by the term μετέχειν. In the light of ancient parallels, it is concluded that the references to κοινωνία in v. 16 (cf. vv. 18 and 20) should be understood ecclesiologically, denoting ‘partnership’ rather than ‘participation’.
The route of Paul's first journey between Perga and Pisidian Antioch is still disputed. This article examines the three alternatives proposed by scholars. It explores the geographical and historical evidence for each route, looking especially at the extensive road system that existed in Pamphylia, Pisidia, and south Galatia in the first century. Bible atlases routinely depict one route and the reasons for this choice are discussed. Based on a review of the evidence, a fresh hypothesis for the route of the first journey is suggested.
This article examines the relationships between adornment, gender and honour in the Graeco-Roman world in order to provide a broad context for understanding the attempts to curtail women's adornment in 1 Tim 2.9 and 1 Pet 3.3. It argues that while many male writers criticize women who adorn themselves, often accusing such women of luxuria, not all women shared such a perspective. Rather, women may well have valued jewellery, fine clothes and elaborate hair as means of conveying status and honour, and as important forms of economic power. These factors require consideration when attempting to understand why the authors of 1 Timothy and 1 Peter counsel women to avoid gold, pearls, braided hair and fine clothing.
Recent developments in textual criticism have encouraged NT scholars to regard the various NT manuscripts not merely as sources of variant readings to enable a reconstruction of the original text but as interpretative renderings with their own intrinsic interest and as important material evidence for early Christianity. Taking up this cue, this paper examines what the two (probably) earliest manuscripts of 1 Peter indicate about the status of this writing, and what early readers took to be its key themes, given the other texts with which it is bound. In both cases, and with some striking overlaps, 1 Peter is regarded as a text focused on the Easter themes of the suffering, martyrdom and vindication of Christ, and the related suffering and hope of his faithful people in a hostile world. These two manuscripts also call for some reconsideration of older scholarship, now widely rejected, which saw 1 Peter as a baptismal homily or paschal liturgy. While these remain unconvincing views of 1 Peter's origins, they do rightly identify themes and connections which the earliest editors and readers evidently also perceived.
J. Louis Martyn and others have argued that a decision by late first-century rabbis to introduce a liturgical curse against heretics (Birkat Ha-Minim) provides the background for early Christian passages about Christians being excluded from and cursed in synagogues. More recent scholars, however, have challenged the assumption that the earliest form of Birkat Ha-Minim referred to Christians and that the rabbis controlled the synagogues. The present article defends the basics of Martyn's reconstruction while nuancing the extent of rabbinic control in the early Christian centuries. It also suggests, however, that the original of Birkat Ha-Minim may have been a Qumranian curse on the Romans.
The debate over the meaning of πίστις Χριστοῦ has been continuing for some time and shows no signs of abating, yet one conclusion has remained constant: the Church Fathers, generally, did not understand πίστις Χριστοῦ in the Pauline materials in the subjective sense as the ‘faithfulness of Christ’. Furthermore, there has heretofore been no text that correlates Jesus' faithfulness with his death on the cross in patristic writings. In light of that, the aim of this study is (1) to offer a critique of recent work on πίστις Χριστοῦ in the Church Fathers, and (2) to break the longstanding silence by presenting overlooked evidence from Hippolytus's De Christo et Antichristo that unambiguously relates Jesus' faithfulness to his death on the cross.