Volume 4 (2007)
This volume is now available in print from Sheffield Phoenix Press
Flip-Flop? John Chrysostom's Polytropic Paul
David Reis
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
In antiquity, consistency in both word and deed was the hallmark of a virtuous man. Alongside this discourse, however, a counter argument developed that praised variability in speech or action, equating it with intellectual dexterity. For ancient writers, Odysseus, the ‘man of many ways’, was the central character in this debate; for many early Christians, the primary figure was Paul. This paper explores polytropism through an analysis of Paul’s Corinthian correspondence and the writings of John Chrysostom. Paul and Chrysostom both appropriate argumentation from the Odyssean debate: the apostle finds it useful in defending his gospel, while the bishop sees Paul’s versatility as not only an instrumental feature of his missionary success, but a quality that his own Christian community should strive to emulate.
Bakhtin and Lukan Politics: A Carnivalesque Reading of the Last Supper in the Third Gospel
Nathan Eubank
Duke University, Durham, NC
The third gospel does not proclaim a reversal of fortunes in which the lowly are exalted over the powerful, as is commonly assumed. Rather, Luke destabilizes the very definitions of lowliness and power in a manner that is best described by Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of the carnivalesque. To be more specific, the Lukan Last Supper narrative rewrites the meaning of Jesus’ messianic status, poetically juxtaposing death with political victory. This dialogical definition of Jesus’ identity is the proper framework through which to view Lukan politics as a whole.
The Linguistic Situation in Jewish Palestine in Late Antiquity
John C. Poirier
Kingswell Theological Seminary, Cincinnati, OH
The principal languages spoken in late antique Jewish Palestine, in descending order of frequency, were Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew. This article seeks to establish, in the face of recent challenges, that Aramaic was indeed much more commonly spoken than Hebrew. While the argument for a vernacular Hebrew is found wanting, recent attempts to show the vernacular status of Greek in this same period are judged correct in most respects. This article engages the texts and the epigraphic evidence for this understanding of the linguistic situation, and briefly visits how this relates to the perennial question of Jesus’ language of instruction.
‘What Now Lies Before Their Eyes’: The Foundations of Early Pilgrim Visuality in the Holy Land
Julie Ann Smith
University of Sydney, Australia
Pilgrims to the Holy Land in the late fourth and early fifth centuries practiced culturally specific visualities that allowed them to perceive the holy places as evidences that strengthened faith. This paper explores the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius of Alexandria, Jerome, and Augustine about this kind of practice, and analyzes the recorded experiences of three pilgrims: the Bordeaux Pilgrim, Egeria and Paula.
The Contribution of Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis to an Understanding of Women in the Book of Acts
David E. Malick
Southeastern Bible College, Birmingham, AL
Codex Bezae, also known as Codex D, a primary representative of the ‘Western’ text, has some significant differences in the Greek text of the book of Acts from Codex B and the readings normally followed in the NA27 and UBSGNT fourth edition texts. This article investigates those that appear to be intentional variants that reflect theological ideas about women in the early Church, in Acts 1:14; 16:14, 15, 40; 17:4, 12, 34; 18:2-3, 7, 26, and concludes that Codex B pictures women as co-participants and co-workers with men in ministry to a greater degree than Codex D.
Genre, Sub-Genre and Questions of Audience: A Proposed Typology for Greco-Roman Biography
Justin M. Smith
St. Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews, Scotland
The communicative and relational matrix of author-subject-audience serves as an important and valuable lens through which to understand and evaluate texts. This is especially true of the genre of Greco-Roman biography, which was written by individuals (author), about individuals (subject) and for readers/listeners (audience). A number of typologies have been offered as a means of sub-dividing Greco-Roman biography, yet none has taken into account the aforementioned communicative matrix. This article offers a new typology for Greco-Roman biography that takes into account the relationships among the authors, the subjects and the audiences of ancient biographies.