Feb ’10 issue of Scottish Journal of Theology

The latest Scottish Journal of Theology looks very interesting with

- an article on ‘why we need apocalyptic’

- an article on Barth’s perspective on the role of faith in reading Scripture theologically

- two reviews on John Goldingay’s OT theology books; the first by Stephen Chapman and the second by Walter Brueggemann.

I currently don’t have electronic rights to view these nice articles and reviews so I have to wait for the print versions!  Drat!

UPDATE: I have been informed that this issue is actually viewable for free online, so ENJOY!

Keys to 1 Corinthians and J. Murphy-O’Connor

When I was taking an exegesis course on 1 Corinthians in seminary, one of our assigned textbooks was J. Murphy-O’Connor’s St. Paul’s Corinth (2002).  It was a sourcebook of archaeological and literary backgrounds and context for studying the Corinthian epistles.  As I did more research and work in 1 Corinthians, I came across is his work time and time again.

I recall being particularly impressed with his article ‘Philo and 2 Cor 6:14-7:1′ Revue biblique (1988) where he helped to diffuse the tenuous theory that this passage is a qumranic fragment; he shows that affinities can easily be detected with this passage and Philo as well.

In the recent (2009) Oxford collection called Keys to First Corinthians, M-O offers 16 articles in one volume on such topics as: co-authorship, 1 Cor. 5.3-5, 6.12-20; 7.10-11, 7.14, 8.6, 8.8, 8.1-13; 10.23-11.1, 11.2-16 (3x), house churches, Eucharist, redaction, and interpolations.  Some of the earliest articles reproduced here are from the middle to late ’70′s!

It is a bit surprising, though, that he has not written a large-scale commentary on 1 Corinthians, as he has made so many contributions to its scholarship.  [However, he gives high praise to Fitzmyer's new commentary (Anchor-Yale)]  In any case, what a delight to have a one-stop resource to check M-O’s thoughts on this complex and important epistle.  Indeed, it is nice to have a subject and Scriptural index in the back for quick reference.

Impressively, M-O has added to each article (all 16!) a post-script where he reflects on why he wrote what he did, how it has been received, and any latter-life reflections.  He has certainly done more than give us a reproduction!

I encourage you to make sure your library has this very useful volume!

New Currents in Biblical Research

Thanks to Ekaterini G. Tsalampouni for announcing that Currents in Biblical Research has a  new issue out.  CBR is one of my favorite journals – so useful for summarizing often decades of research in a given area.  What a great resource!  I usually enjoy reading at least one article per issue.

In this new issue, Henry Nguyen summarizes ‘The Quest for the Cinematic Jesus: Scholarly Explorations in Jesus Films’, Michael Naylor looks at ‘The Roman Imperial Cult and Revelation’, and James B. Rives considers ‘Greco-Roman Religion in the Roman Empire: Old Assumptions and New Approaches’.  A good diverse group of articles (and there are more I did not mention) as well as very timely subjects for NT studies.

December 2009 Expository Times (and my review)

The latest Expository Times is now online here. Nothing really to write home about here in terms of articles.  There are always lots of good reviews, though.  One of my favorite NT Scholars, Steve Walton, has a review in there.  And my own review of Wayne Meeks and John Fitzgeralds revised and updated The Writings of St. Paul also appears in this issue.  Enjoy!

The New Journal EARLY CHRISTIANITY’s Show-Stopping First Issue

The new Mohr Siebeck journal, Early Christianity, has their inaugural issue planned and it will come out in April, 2010.  The journal attempts to bridge the scholarly gap between scholars of NT and scholars of early Christian history in the second and third century (and on?).

Articles in their first issue are broken down into three main topics: New Directions in Pauline Theology, New Discoveries, and New Projects.    See below some great ideas for book reviews and world-class reviewers under “New Books”.  I am particularly interested in hearing what Francis Watson has to say about Campbell’s volume!

NEW DIRECTIONS IN PAULINE THEOLOGY

Michael Wolter; Die Entwicklung des paulinischen Christentums von einer Bekehrungsreligion zu einer Traditionsreligion
Judith M. Lieu; “As much my apostle as Christ is mine”: The dispute over Paul between Tertullian and Marcion
Matthias Konradt; Die Christonomie der Freiheit. Zu Paulus’ Entfaltung seines ethischen Ansatzes in Gal 5,13-6,10
Jonathan A. Linebaugh Debating Diagonal Δικαιοσύνη: The Epistle of Enoch and Paul in Theological Conversation

The last one here, Jonathan Linebaugh, is a doctoral student at Durham University – a bright student whose research is very impressive.  His article was originally a paper given at the British New Testament conference – very well received from what I hear.

NEW DISCOVERIES

Peter Arzt-Grabner; Neues zu Paulus aus den Papyri des römischen Alltags
Claire Clivaz; A New NT Papyrus: P 126 (PSI 1497)
Ursula Schattner-Rieser; Ein neues Qumranfragment samaritanischer Tradition?

NEW PROJECTS

Eberhard BonsJan Joosten; Historical and Theological Dictionary of the Septuagint
Martin KarrerSiegfried Kreuzer; Von der Septuaginta zum Neuen Testament
Rainer Hirsch-Luipold; Ratio Religionis. Religiöse Philosophie und philosophische Religion in der frühen Kaiserzeit

NEW BOOKS

Mark Reasoner; Robert Jewett, Romans
Markus Öhler; James D.G. Dunn, Beginning from Jerusalem
Martin Meiser; Martin Vahrenhorst, Kultische Sprache in den Paulusbriefen
Simon Gathercole; Tom Wright, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision
Francis Watson; Douglas Campbell, The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul

Why SBL proposals are sometimes rejected…

Someone in a comment asked me why I think several of my past paper proposals for SBL were rejected.

The short answer is: who knows!  But, I actually have had some feedback on this.

1. Competition- Some groups get a whole lot of proposals (such as the Pauline epistles group): maybe 50-70 and they can accept a dozen.  So, it is challenging to compete with so many people.  Other groups are desperate, so try to pitch your paper to more than one group.

2. Scope – I have been told in person that my proposal was too broad and wasn’t manageable for a short 20-25 min paper.  Make sure that you clarify in your proposal how you will narrow your scope.  Usually it is by working in only one or two passages of Scripture or working with only one scholar in discussion rather than a wider history of interpretation.

3. Clarity – I get the sense that some abstracts are just not clear enough that the reviewers “get” what you are going to argue.

4. Originality – Truth be told, too many people seem to regurgitate older views and thoughts.  Some groups place a premium on freshness and thinking outside of the box, but in a cogent way.

5. Trends?  Again, a guess – some “trends” are just more popular or interesting.

My attitude is to just get several proposals in and hope for the best.  This year I think the magic number is 5 (and you can accept only two, but I don’t think it will come to that!).  We’ll see.

New Collection of Kaesemann’s Lectures and Sermons

Due to release in the Spring, On Being a Disciple of the Crucified Nazarene (Eerdmans, 2010) presents previously unpublished materials from the scholarly giant Ernst Kaesemann.  In my postgraduate course Paul and His Interpreters, John M G Barclay would tell stories of hearing Kaesemann give papers.  I think he said it was one of his saddest regrets that he never managed to meet Kaesemann before he passed away.  Barclay passed on an appreciation of and fondness for this German scholar to many of his students.

Of particular interest in this book is ‘a  fascinating “Theological Review,” written by Käsemann at age 90,…reprinted in the front matter.’

How will theological interpretation tackle Joshua?

One of the courses that I am scheduled to teach is called Christian Scriptures.  This approach is, I think, more profitable than “Bible Survey.”  Bible surveys are basically interested in teaching about what Scripture contains, while a consciously theological foundations course for the Bible tackles the questions: what does it mean to read the Bible as holy Scripture?  How does it inform and ground faith?  How does it all work together to bring believers into communion with God?  While, in the past, I have taught survey-like courses, this will be the first time I teach a theological approach to the content, origins, message(s), and purposes of the Bible.  Also, I am a New Testament scholar (wannabe) by trade, and I will need to do some serious catch-up with the OT texts, theology, and the like.

I happened to notice that Eerdmans is going to release, very soon, another of their Two Horizons commentaries – this time on Joshua – fanscinating!  Even in the book description, the authors (Gordon McConville and Stephen Williams) acknowledge the ethical challenge of what appears to be the divine sanctioning of genocide.  I think this series is well-suited to address these kinds of issues and I look forward to learning from their perspective.

On a very similar note, one of my fellow students (now graduated) from Durham, Douglas Earl, studied the topic: “Reading Joshua as Christian Scripture” with none other than Walter Moberly.  His thesis is being published, under the same name, with Eisenbrauns in their Journal of Theological Interpretation Supplement Series.  No fear, this new series will not cause you to break the bank.  Earl’s volume will retail at just $37.95. 

If I end up picking up either or both of these, you can be sure I will give my thoughts.