SBL 2006 Paul and Scripture Group Archives

For those interested in the Old Testament in the New, I was just informed that the papers read at the 2006 annual SBL conference are posted on Bruce Fisk’s website:

Papers were presented by NT scholars such as Steve Moyise, Stanley Porter and Christopher Stanley.  Though I have not read them yet, the titles look very stimulating.  Even if you are just learning more about Paul’s letter audience(s) and their background(s), these papers are worth a look.  I am sure some, if not all, will make it into publication.


Book Sale at St. John’s College, Durham

Today St. John’s college was selling old library books (from the college library) and about two dozen people turned up for the ‘opening’ at 10.30 this morning.  I didn’t know what to expect (having come from Christian Book Distributors famed ‘warehouse’ sales where you could get new commentaries for under $5).  But it turned out that they were getting rid of some really outstanding older books.  Here were my great buys:

W.C. van Unnik, Tarsus or Jerusalem: The City of Paul’s Youth. (I am dealing, in part, with Paul’s ‘religious’ background and experience and this is a key contribution).

Robert Banks, ed. Reconciliation and Hope: FS for L. Morris. (Includes essays by DA Hubbard, FF Bruce, EE Ellis, Ridderbos, Bornkamm, R. Martin, JDG Dunn :), R. Longenecker, IH Marshall, R. Banks, CEB Cranfield and GE Ladd; a priceless volume at a very small price!)

J. Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus (A classic reference work)

EP Sanders, ed. Jewish and Christian Self-Definition: Self Definition in the Graeco-Roman World (helpful for my study of the shaping of Christian identity; with essays by W. Burkert, Malherbe, HC Kee, and HD Betz).

Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism [Vol. 1]. (Another classic).

Eduard Schweizer, A Theological Introduction to the NT.

CK Barrett, NT Essays.

HC Kee, The Living World of the NT.

Bertil Gartner, The Temple and the COmmunity in Qumran and the NT (A foundational volume for studying about views of the temple in Qumran and especially Paul).

Tyndale Bulletin 1997 48.1, 48.2.

Here’s the best part – I got all of these for under $20!  Thank you St. John’s and thanks especially to Richard Briggs who opened this event up to non-St. John’s members.

Biblical Resource: ANRW

Since coming to Durham, I have stumbled upon a reference collection that is very valuable for anyone wanting to dive into the world of the New Testament and learn more about the Jewish and Graeco-Roman context.  It is ANRW, or, Aufstieg und Niedergang der romischen Welt (Rise and Decline of the Roman World).  It is a set of 16 volumes that contains essays from scholars around the world in the areas of classics, Judaism, New Testament, and early church history.  It is not a ‘Christian’ collection.  It has a broader vision of dealing with the Roman world in general, but many essays deal with key issues of the time from social, political and religious perspectives.  Thought most of the articles appear to be in English, there are a large number of articles in German and French.  This is truly an international collaboration.  I have tried to look at the English articles and filter what might be of primary aid to NT researchers.  Forgive me if you have found my list wanting, but use it as you please.  I did not include German articles, but when I learn the language a bit better, I may give it a shot. Note, also, that you can search for topics in ANRW at this webpageRodney Decker has some more info on ANRW as well.

I plan on spending time with ANRW particularly for articles on Philo and non-Christian attitudes towards Christians in the Roman Empire.  This is just one kind of use for this series.



Judaism – general

Applebaum, S., Judaea as a Roman Province; the Countryside as a Political and Economic Factor II.8 (1977) 355-396


Hay, D.M., The Psychology of Faith in Hellenistic Judaism II.20.2 (1987) 881-925


Hoenig, S.B., The Ancient City-Square: The Forerunner of the Synagogue II.19.1 (1979) 448-476


Kottek, S.S., Hygiene and Healing among the Jews in the Post-Biblical Period: A Partial Reconstruction II.37.3 (1996) 2843-2865


Kraabel, A. Th., The Diaspora Synagogue: Archaeological and Epigraphic Evidence since Sukenik II.19.1 (1979) 477-510


Neusner, J., The Jews East of the Euphrates and the Roman Empire I. 1st-3rd Centuries A.D. II.9.1 (1979) 46-69


Neusner, J., The Formation of Rabbinic Judaism: Yavneh (Jamnia) from A.D. 70 to 100 II.19.2 (1979) 3-42


Rabello, A.M., The Legal Condition of the Jews in the Roman Empire II.13 (1980) 662-762


Sullivan, R.D., The Dynasty of Judaea in the First Century II.8 (1977) 296-354


Wardy, B., Jewish Religion in Pagan Literature during the Late Republic and Early Empire II.19.1 (1979) 592-644

Jewish Literature: general

Gruenwald, I., Jewish Apocalyptic Literature II.19.1 (1979) 89-118


Porton, G., Midrash: Palestinian Jews and the Hebrew Bible in the Greco-Roman Period II.19.2 (1979) 103-138

OT Pseudepigrapha

Charlesworth, J.H., A History of Pseudepigrapha Research: The Re-emerging Importance of the Pseudepigrapha II.19.1 (1979) 54-88


Charlesworth, J.H., The Concept of the Messiah in the Pseudepigrapha II.19.1 (1979) 188-218


de Jonge, M., The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: Central Problems and Essential Viewpoints II.20.1 (1987) 359-420


Feldman, L.H., Flavius Josephus Revisited: the Man, His Writings, and His Significance II.21.2 (1984) 763-862


Moehring, H.R., Joseph Ben Matthia and Flavius Josephus: the Jewish Prophet and Roman Historian II.21.2 (1984) 864-944



Barraclough, R., Philo’s Politics. Roman Rule and Hellenistic Judaism II.21.1 (1984) 417-553


Borgen, Philo of Alexandria ANRW II.21.1 (1984) 98-154


Conley, Th.M., Philo’s Rhetoric: Argumentation and Style II.21.1 (1984) 343-371


Mack, B.L., Philo Judaeus and Exegetical Traditions in Alexandria II.21.1 (1984) 227-271


Pearson, B.A., Philo and Gnosticism II.21.1 (1984) 295-342


Sandmel, Philo Judaeus: An Introduction to the Man, his Writings, and his Significance II.21.1 (1984) 3-46


Terian, A., A Critical Introduction to Philo’s Dialogues II.21.1 (1984) 272-294


Winston, D., Philo’s Ethical Theory II.21.1 (1984) 372-416

Greco-Roman World

Attridge, H.W., The Philosophical Critique of Religion under the Early Empire II.16.1 (1978) 45-78


Birley, E., The Religion of the Roman Army: 1895-1977 II.16.2 (1978) 1506-1541


Fears, J.R., The Cult of Jupiter and Roman Imperial Ideology II.17.1 (1981) 3-141


Fears, J.R., The Cult of Virtues and Roman Imperial Ideology II.17.2 (1981) 827-948


Fears, J.R., The Theology of Victory at Rome: Approaches and Problems II.17.2 (1981) 736-826


Ferguson. Spiritual Sacrifice in Early X and its Environment II.23.2 (1980) 1151-1189


MacKay, Th.S., The Major Sanctuaries of Pamphylia and Cilicia II.18.3 (1990 ) 2045-2129


Mellor, R., The Goddess Roma II.17.2 (1981) 950-1030


Mitford, T.B., The Cults of Roman Rough Cilicia II.18.3 (1990) 2131-2160


Phillips, Ch. R., The Sociology of Religious Knowledge in the Roman Empire to A.D. 284 II.16.3 (1986) 2677-2773


Pohlsander, H.A., The Religious Policy of Decius II.16.3 (1986) 1826-1842


Stambaugh, J.E., The Functions of Roman Temples II.16.1 (1978) 554-608


Szemler, G.J., Priesthoods and Priestly Careers in Ancient Rome II.16.3 (1986) 2314-2331


Whitehorne, J., The Pagan Cults of Roman Oxyrhynchus II.18.5 (1995) 3050-3091

NT/Christianity – general

Amundsen, D.W. and Ferngren, G.B., The Perception of Disease and Disease Causality in the New Testament II.37.3 (1996) 2934-2956


Balch, D.L., Neopythagorean Moralists and the New Testament Household Codes II.26.1 (1992) 380-411


Benko, S., Pagan Criticism of Christianity During the First Two Centuries A.D. II.23.2 (1980) 1055-1118


Birdsall, J.N., The Recent History of the New Testament Textual Criticism (from Westcott and Hort, 1881, to present) II.26.1 (1992) 99-197


Colish, M.L., Stoicism and the New Testament: An Essay in Historiography II.26.1 (1992) 334-379


Derrett, J.D.M., Law and Society in Jesus’s World II.25.1 (1982) 477-564


Elliot, J.K., The Translations of the New Testament into Latin: The Old Latin and the Vulgate II.26.1 (1992) 198-245


Fee, G.D., The Use of Greek Patristic Citations in New Testament Textual Criticism: The State of the Question II.26.1 (1992) 246-265

Goulder, M.D., The Jewish-Christian Mission, 30-130 II.26.3 (1996) 1979-2037

Hanson, R.P.C., The Christian Attitude to Pagan Religions up to the Time of Constantine the Great II.23.2 (1980) 910-973


Jones, D.L., Christianity and the Roman Imperial Cult II.23.2 (1980) 1023-1054


Lichtenberger, H., Jews and Christians in Rome in the Time of Nero: Josephus and Paul in Rome II.26.3 (1996) 2142-2176


Lupieri, E.F., John the Baptist in New Testament Traditions and History II.26.1 (1992) 430-461


Malherbe, A.J., Hellenistic Moralists and the New Testament II.26.1 (1992) 267-333


Saddington, D.B., Roman Military and Administrative Personnel in the New Testament II.26.3 (1996) 2409-2435


Sanders, E.P., Jesus, Paul and Judaism II.25.1 (1982) 390-450


Sanders, J.T., The First Decades of Jewish-Christian Relations: The Evidence of the New Testament (Gospels and Acts) II.26.3 (1996) 1937-1978


Segert, S., Semitic Poetic Structures in the New Testament II.25.2 (1984) 1433-1462


Swartley, W.M., War and Peace in the New Testament II.26.3 (1996) 2298-2408


Voelz, J.W., The Language of the New Testament II.25.2 (1984) 893-977


White, J.L., New Testament Epistolary Literature Literature in the Framework of Ancient Epistolography II.25.2 (1984) 1730-1756

Jesus and Gospels

Charlesworth, J.H., The Historical Jesus in Light of Writings Contemporaneous with Him II.25.1 (1982) 451-476


Daube, D., Neglected Nuances of Exposition in Luke-Acts II.25.3 (1985) 2329-2356


Enslin, M.S., Luke and Matthew, Compilers or Authors? II.25.3 (1985) 2357-2388


Hollenbach, P.W., The Conversion of Jesus: From Jesus the Baptizer to Jesus the Healer II.25.1 (1982) 196-219


Kysar, R., The Fourth Gospel. A Report on Recent Research II.25.3 (1985) 2389-2480


Levin, S., The Early History of Christianity, in the Light of the ‘Secret Gospel’ of Mark II.25.6 (1988) 4270-4292


Meyers, E.M., The Cultural Setting of Galilee: The Case of Regionalism and Early Judaism II.19.1 (1979) 686-702


Rhoads, D.M., Network for Mission: The Social System of the Jesus Movement as Depicted in the Narrative of the Gospel of Mark II.26.2 (1995) 1692-1729


Stanton, G., The Origin and Purpose of Matthew’s Gospel: Matthean Scholarship from 1945-1980 II.25.3 (1985) 1889-1951


Tannehill, R.C., Types and Functions of Apophthegms in the Synoptic Gospels II.25.2 (1984) 1792-1829


Tiede, D.L., Religious Propaganda and the Gospel Literature of the Early Christian Mission II.25.2 (1984) 1705-1729


Whiteley, D.E.H., Was John Written by a Sadducee? II.25.3 (1985) 2481-2505


Wilcox, M., Jesus in the Light of his Jewish Environment II.25.1 (1982) 131-195

Paul and Acts

Best, E., Recipients and Title of the Letter to the Ephesians: Why and When the Designation “Ephesians”? II.25.4 (1987) 3247-3279

Bruce, F.F., The Acts of the Apostles: Historical Record or Theological Reconstruction II.25.3 (1985) 2569-2603


Dunn, J.D.G., Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: An Analysis of Structure and Argument II.25.4 (1987) 2842-2890


Mitchell, S., Population and the Land in Roman Galatia II.7.2 (1980) 1053-1081


N.N., Paul’s Leter to the Romans: Trends in Interpretation 1960-1986 [Hinweis auf den Nachtrag am Schluß von Band II 26] (Addendum to II.25.4) II.25.6 (1988) 4795

Oster, R.E., Ephesus as a Religious Center under the Principate, I. Paganism before Constantine II.18.3 (1990) 1661-1728

Sherk, R.K., Roman Galatia: The Governors from 25 B.C. to A.D. 114 II.7.2 (1980) 954-1052

Taylor, J., S.M., St Paul and the Roman Empire: Acts of the Apostles 13-14 II.26.2 (1995) 1189-1231


van der Horst, P.W., The Altar of the ‘Unknown God’ in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods II.18.2 (1989) 1426-1456


Vivano, B.T., O.P., Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Trends in Interpretation 1960-1986 [Hinweis auf den Nachtrag am Schluß von Band II.25.5] II.25.4 (1987) 2841

Latter Epistles

Bauckham, R.J., 2 Peter: An Account of Research II.25.5 (1988) 3713-3752

Bauckham, R.J., The Letter of Jude: An Account of Research II.25.5 (1988) 3791-3826


Davids, P.H., The Epistle of James in Modern Discussion II.25.5 (1988) 3621-3645


Soards, M.L., 1 Peter, 2 Peter, and Jude as Evidence for a Petrine School (with Addenda by V. Oliver Ward) II.25.5 (1988) 3827-3849

More Biblical Resources

I would like to recommend a book I turn to quite often, David deSilva’s Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture.  deSilva, a professor at Ashland Theological Seminary (my hometown), is an evangelical and an expert in social-scientific criticism and a wise exegete as well.  This book is somewhat of an introduction to the cultural background of the world of the NT, but done in a clear and down-to-earth fashion.  Whatever area of NT you are interested in, it can only be enhanced by better grasping these issues (mentioned in the title).  Some scholars in deSilva’s social-scientific circles are a bit overboard with the importance of such things, but deSilva is careful and convincing.

Feeding the addiction of commentary-o-philes

If you love biblical commentaries, as I do, you eagerly anticipate the latest volumes by our favorite authors. Well, I thought you might be interested in knowing what is coming down the pipeline in pauline commentaries (with Acts through in). BTW – I received this info from another commentary-o-phile: parableman.

ACTS: Darrell Bock (BEC), Loveday Alexander (Luke-Acts, Black’s), R. Pervo (Hermeneia), Joel Green (NICNT; replacement), Stanley Porter (NIGTC), Carl Holladay (NTL), David Peteron (Pillar), Steve Walton (WBC), Craig Keener (Independent)

1-2 THESSALONIANS: Jeffrey Weima (BakerEC), Helmut Koester ( Hermeneia), Karl Donfried (ICC)

GALATIANSL Douglas Moo (BakerEC), John Riches (Blackwell), Gerald Borchert (Cornerstone), Graham Stanton (ICC), Martinus de Boer (NTL), Gordon Fee (Pentecost), D.A. Carson (Pillar), NT Wright (Two Horizons)

1 CORINTHIANS: Jorunn Okland (Blackwell), E. Ellis (ICC), Alexandra Brown (NTL), Brian Rosner/Roy Ciampa (Pillar), Mark Bonningtonn (of Durham!; Two Horizons), Linda Bellville (WBC)

2 CORINTHIANS: George Guthrie (BakerEC), Ralph Martin (Cornerstone), Mark Seifrid (Pillar), Philip Towner (Two Horizons)

ROMANS: Richard Longenecker (NIGTC), Beverly Gaventa (NTL), Stanley Porter (Sheffield Readings), I.H. Marshall (Two Horizons)

PHILIPPIANS: John Reumann (Anchor), David Garland (Expositors), NT Wright (ICC), Charles Cousar (NTL), George Hansen (Pillar), George Guthrie (Zondervan)

COLOSSIANS: Greg Beale (BakerEC), Jerry Sumney (NTL), Douglas Moo (Pillar), Ben Witherington (Socio-Rhetorical)

EPHESIANS: Frank Thielman (BakerEC), Max Turner (NIGTC and Two Horizons), Stephen Fowl (NTL), Clinton Arnold (Zondervan)

PASTORALS: Stanley Porter (BakerEC), Linda Belleville (Cornerstone; 1 Timothy only), A. Kostenberger (Expositors), A. Malherbe (Hermeneia), Robert Yarborough (Pillar), Robert Wall (Two Horizons), Greg Beale (Zondervan).

AS FOR DATES, check the website linked above. They know some of the dates, but in the publishing world nothing happens ‘on time’. Also, these are not listed in order of release, so some may be 4-5 years off.

Biblical Studies Resources

For those of you that honour me by reading my blog regularly or semi-regularly, I thought I would share (as often as I can) resources that I have found helpful.  Maybe others (like B. Blackwell) can do the same!

So, to start things off, I will mention two.

First, when I was in the US over Christmas, I got a hold of the newly released New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: Vol 1 [A-C] by Abingdon.  This volume, covering only 3 letters of the alphabet is over 800 pages and covers hundreds and hundreds of topics.  Contributors come from a wide variety of confessional backgrounds (though the consultation committee is all United Methodist, in association with Abingdon’s background) and come from around the world.  Consider such names as: Paul Achtemeier, Dale Allison, Bill Arnold (Asbury), Richard Ascough, Davie Aune (Notre Dame), John Barton, Darrell Bock, Helen Bond, Warren Carter, Raymond Collins, R. Alan Culpepper, David deSilva, William Dever, Terence Donaldson, Jimmy Dunn :), Paul Ellingworth (Aberdeen), Craig Evans, John Fitzgerald, Terence Fretheim, Beverly Gaventa, John Goldingay, Lester Grabbe, Joel Green, Donald Hagner, Richard Hess, Craig Hill, Michael Holmes, Larry Hurtado, Edgar Krentz, Richard Longenecker, Bruce Malina, Howard Marshall, Ralph Martin, Margaret Mitchell, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Pheme Perkins, Christopher Rowland, Alan Segal, Anthony Thiselton, Paul Trebilco, James VanderKam and Stephen Westerholm.

How is this set of volumes (I’m guessing there will be 4-6 volumes?) differ from the Anchor Bible Dictionary?  Well, first of all, this ‘New’ series is a replacement of the older series done before the ABD.  So, perhaps there was no ‘new’ vision except to make it competitive.  But, I do think there is a major difference – audience.  Abingdon seems to be shooting for more of a pastoral audience: pastors, missionaries and laypeople.  I say this for 2 reasons: first, there are more conservative scholars writing for this than for ABD – many more ‘evangelicals’.  That is because, I think, evangelicals often have pastors in mind when writing, but not always.  Second, the articles are shorter and less technical, so that means that they are a bit more intelligible and can be read in one sitting (without the need for coffee).  One thing really like about the dictionary is that the print is fairly large – like the New Interpreter’s Bible commentaries series.  It is just visually appealing.  Very worthwhile.  The articles have been very informative (though I have only read a dozen or so). How much?  Amazon sells it for $47.

Second resource: Interpreting the Bible: A Handbook of Terms and Methods (ed. W. Randolph Tate).  This book is a reference resource in the same style as Soulen’s Handbook of Biblical Criticism.  How is it different?  It is much longer (500 pages vs. Soulen’s 200 pages) and it seems like it includes more recent kinds of concepts (though I haven’t done an indepth comparison).  This resource is great when you are reading a technical piece of scholarship and you encounter the term ‘polyptoton’ or ‘synaesthesia’.  You no longer have to sit in shame and self-pity (at least not for ignorance of biblical-academic jargon).  I have turned to this many times and I even have cited it in my thesis work.  Some articles are more lucid than others.  From what I gather, Tate rounded up droves of students at his institution (Evangel) to compose articles.  Some did a better job than others.  Overall, though, it is a worthwhile purchase.  This one is $22 at Amazon.

I have many more resources to share, but not enough time to write now.

More on Watson

I received more information about F. Watson’s role.  He will be teaching one masters module per year and doing ‘a lot of research supervision’.  Also, it is confirmed that Watson is not replacing anyone.  He is an additional member of the staff.  So, no fears for current and incoming students!  If only he were coming in ’07!

In other news, C.K. Barrett turns 90 this 4th of May.  Morna Hooker will be coming to Durham to give a paper in his honour and there will be a departmental reception afterwards.  We will have quite the congregation of NT scholars: potentially we may have in the same room C.K. Barrett, Morna Hooker, Jimmy Dunn, John Barclay, NT Wright and Francis Watson!  Might the world implode at such an occurrence???