Volume 17 (2021)
Klaus Vibe
Fjellhaug International University College, Aarhus, Denmark
This study argues that Philo’s thoughts about freedom from necessity presume a Platonic notion of the concept of necessity, even though Philonic scholarship tend to refer to Stoic notions of that concept in their explanations of relevant passages from Philo’s writings. This study explains how the concept of necessity is used in Plato’s Republic and Plato’s Timaeus. On this basis it is argued that Philo’s various references to necessity in Leg. All. 1–3 reflects a Platonic rather than a Stoic notion of that concept and that Philo uses the concept in a similar way in Deus Imm. 47–49. This study concludes that Philo’s notion of a relative free will is rooted in his convictions regarding what it means to live as a composite, bodily human being and thus not in his convictions regarding divine providence.
Sanghwan Lee
Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX, USA
One of the critical objections raised against the Petrine authorship of 1 Peter is the quality of the letter that outshines the majority of letters within the NT. In order to bridge that gap between the literacy of “a lower-class illiterate fisherman” and the refined Greek quality of a letter, scholars have promoted the Amanuensis Hypothesis. However, Bart D. Ehrman has recently raised objections against such a hypothesis due to (1) exceptional practice, (2) inappropriate juxtaposition, and (3) shift in authorship. Although Ehrman is neither the first nor the only one to reject the Amanuensis Hypothesis of 1 Peter, his objections have not received adequate treatment. Thus, this article interacts with Ehrman’s objections, ultimately concluding that none of them is substantial enough to debunk the Amanuensis Hypothesis of 1 Peter.
Lydia McGrew
Kalamazoo, MI
When scholars say that a Gospel author did not narrate in chronological order or moved or compressed events, they are often unclear. Does this mean that the author deliberately changed the order or time of events or that the author did not intend to indicate a chronology? I distinguish these two senses of “not narrating chronologically,” and I distinguish both of them from ordinary error about time. Persistent ambiguity in this area has created misunderstandings of both modern scholars and ancient authors. It has also resulted in vague generalizations to the effect that ancient audiences did not expect chronological accuracy, which are used in turn to support claims that the evangelists actively changed chronology. When the evidence about ancient readers concerns merely narrating without a chronology, the ambiguity obscures a lack of evidence for the stronger claim. Greater clarity on this issue will benefit both New Testament scholars and classicists.
Lydia McGrew
Kalamazoo, MI
The thesis that the canonical Gospels are in a genre that is partially historical but in which audiences expected some historical facts to be invisibly altered has become increasingly popular, particularly in the form of claims about Greco-Roman biography and the influence of rhetorical training. Evidentially, this partially non-factual ancient genre thesis has little to commend it. In particular, arguments from secular Greco-Roman literature do not support even the existence of such a genre. Moreover, the consonance between the Gospels’ self-presentation as literally true and their reception across the earliest centuries argues against such claims.
George P. Carras
Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, USA
In the book of Acts, Luke presents Paul as sharing common features of Jewish identity at various points with a catalogue of Josephus’s summary of the ‘precepts and prohibitions’ of the Jewish law in Apion 2.190-219. This suggests that Luke presents Paul as a loyal Jew as depicted in categories of one dominant representative of diaspora Judaism. The first part of this essay will offer evidence supporting the view that Luke has presented Paul as a loyal Jew by casting him in ways descriptive of Jewish behavioral expectations and Torah parameters similar to those found in Josephus’s Apion 2.190-219. The second part of the essay will suggest that Paul presents within the epistolary arguments of his own undisputed letters a variety of core Jewish sensibilities.
Andrew Simmonds
White Plains, NY
Matthew’s narrative about Judas Iscariot and Joseph of Arimathea involves two corpses, Judas’s and Jesus’, and two graves, the communal cemetery for foreigners bought with Judas’s money and the rich man’s tomb of Joseph. In Matthew, Joseph is a foreigner/Gentile. Matthew produces a diptych in which both Judas and Jesus are buried in foreigner(s)’ graves. However, while Judas is buried dishonorably among foreigners, Jesus is buried honorably in a grave a foreigner had made for himself. These stories are told in Greco-Roman melodrama of repeated existential perils that are encountered and overcome. However, instead of the usual Greco-Roman variety (like Scylla and Charybdis or Dido’s embrace), Matthew’s perils are Jewish legal transgressions. By scrupulously complying with Jewish law in all its precise detail, Matthew has the law give its imprimatur endorsing Jesus as the Messiah. In doing so, Matthew endorses the law. Matthew's law-reverence seems contrary to law-free Christian doctrines.
David H. Wenkel
LCC International University, Klaipėda, Lithuania
Ever since the KJV, the English translation tradition has held to the rendering of the noun stratopedōn in Luke 21:20 as ‘armies’. This holds true for over twelve different English translations today. This study challenges this commonly used gloss and argues that it is inaccurate; it points out that this word was mostly used as a technical term for a military encampment, a subset of an army. This study offers ‘military camps’ as a superior and more accurate alternative for contemporary English translations.
John-Christian Eurell
Stockholm School of Theology, Stockholm, Sweden
The saying of Jesus in Acts 20.35 is commonly argued to be based on a Greek proverb that was Christianized by the author of Acts. This article reconsiders the evidence of literary parallels to the saying and argues that it was not invented by the author of Acts, but rather a part of early Christian tradition that was picked up by the author of Acts.