Volume 18 (2022)
Michael Kok
Morling College, Australian College of Theology, Bentley, WA, Australia
Justin Martyr was aware that many Christians in his day were describing certain texts about Jesus as euangelia, though his general preference was to categorize these writings as apomnēmoneumata and attribute them to the apostles and their assistants as a collective group. He likely included the third canonical Gospel among the “memoirs of the apostles.” However, there are no indications in his writings that he had any knowledge of the ascription of this Gospel to the Evangelist Luke. He also may not have identified Paul as one of the apostles. The tradition of Lukan authorship is not attested in any sources that predate Justin’s literary activity, including the writings of Papias of Hierapolis and Marcion of Pontus. The title “Gospel according to Luke” was likely attached to the text at the same time as the emergence of the fourfold gospel canon in the latter half of the second century and the rationale that Luke was the companion of Paul in the we-sections of the book of Acts was defended by Irenaeus of Lyon.
Craig S. Keener and Keldie Paroschi
Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY, USA
This article surveys the range of reasons for sleeplessness in antiquity, including deliberate wakefulness, involuntary sleeplessness, ancient medical discussions of insomnia, and midday siestas. This survey of ancient sources provides a thorough historical background in which to interpret NT figurative wakefulness and literal sleeplessness passages. This historical background can help ground metaphorical vigilance language in the NT and demonstrate how Paul’s audiences would have possibly understood his sleepless nights as potentially costly to his health yet honorable, also associating it with hard work, self-discipline and/or sacrifice on their behalf.
Sean du Toit
Alphacrucis College, Auckland, New Zealand
Ethical lists were a common feature of Greco-Roman moral discourse. Since such lists were utilized by early Christian writers, this raises the question as to their nature and purpose. Did the use of an ethical list indicate the mere repetition of conventional material or material that is significant for the authors discourse? In this article the focus is on the vice lists in 1 Pet. 2.1 and 4.15 and the virtue list in 1 Pet. 3.8. The aim here is to investigate the meaning of these vices and virtues and what they reveal concerning the audiences and the purpose of Peter’s epistle. By investigating the specific vices and virtues in 1 Peter, we will see how this author has integrated and utilized these ethical items into his discourse to help these Christians navigate life in the Greco-Roman world.
Colin A. Green
University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
In scholarly discussion over whether or not Paul’s letter to Philemon reveals him to be in favor of manumission for Onesimus, there has been a lack of attention to Roman slavery laws. This is especially so in regard to age requirements for formal manumission of slaves and to the hierarchy of three kinds of manumitted slaves. A common assumption is found that manumission to an attractive status of freedman was always within the gift of Onesimus’ master who may be persuaded to exercise the right (or not, as the case may be). Inattention to the complexity of slavery laws has enabled some commentators to expect Paul to facilitate immediate manumission for Onesimus, even to find a Paul who is a nascent abolitionist; or alternatively to find that the letter implicates Paul in the institution of slavery. When lawful options for manumission are examined more closely, it becomes apparent why a search for a manumission argument in the letter is in vain: Onesimus is probably under-age for formal manumission under Roman law and an unlikely candidate for its exceptions; and the alternative of informal manumission may have other problems for him.
David Allen
UCC, Cork, Ireland
ὁ χριστὸς οὗτος ἦν! (''He was the Christ''). When Pseudo-Hegesippius wrote De excidio urbis Hierosolymitanae (''On the ruin of the city of Jerusalem'') he did not see that exclamation in his copy of Antiquities written by Josephus. In Ps-Hegesippius paraphrase of the Testimonium Flavianum (TF), he would have certainly used that phrase in his Christianised document. When Jerome translated the TF for his book De Viris Illustribus (''On Illustrious Men'') he lifted it from Eusebius’ History and wrote et credebatur esse Christus (''he was believed to be Christ''). The Textus Receptus (''received text'' of Antiquities) has a third redactional layer stating ''he was the Christ''. This paper aims to examine at least three redactional layers in the TF.
Matthew J. Korpman
Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA
Our earliest Christian sources suggest that it was common for Christian communities in the first and second century to disregard or ignore statements by Jesus that were perceived to be problematic, even at times claiming they originated with their enemies. This paper turns attention to this early Christian phenomenon of rejecting Jesus’ sayings, exploring what the reasons for doing so were and what the motivations might have been. The parable of the dishonest manager is explored as a test example of a text that appears to have been rejected but uniquely preserved by Luke in his Gospel. This paper will argue that Luke has defended the authenticity of the parable by way of understanding Jesus’ words as rhetorically ironic or sarcastic. In this way, my argument follows the work of Fletcher, Porter, and others who have proposed similar ideas.
Prince Peters
University of Nigeria
Popular studies on Matt 27.45-56, especially on v. 54 acknowledge that the Roman centurion and those with him were Gentiles. However, the epiphanic realization of these Gentiles is usually viewed from a prism of Jewish religious confession by Matthean and Markan scholars. The implication of this is the Christological interpretation of the centurion’s confession that Jesus is a Son of God. Little efforts have been made to see this centurion as a Roman whose confession stems, not from a reversed understanding of the Sanhedrin’s false allegations on Jesus but, from his religious cognition as a Roman who had knowledge of divinities. This study argues that the Christological interpretation scholars give to the centurion’s confession (presenting the centurion’s confession as his recognition of the incarnation of Jesus) is the product of an attitude decipherable in the Christian writings influenced by the Hellenistic philosophies of late first century downwards and summarized in the confession of the Council of Nicaea. It also proposes to recognize the centurion as a Gentile and his confession as demonstrating that he saw Jesus, not as the fulfilment of the Son of God motif in Old Testament or a pre-existent being but, as a demigod typical of such demigods who exist in Roman divine pantheons.