Zeal Without Knowledge: The Concept of Zeal in Romans 10, Galatians 1, and Philippians 3
By Dane Ortlund, Ph.D. 2010
Continuum 2012 >>
This book examines the concept of ‘zeal’ in three Pauline texts (Rom 10:2; Gal 1:14; Phil 3:6) as a way-in to discussion of the ‘New Perspective’ on Paul. The concept of zeal has been discussed in a sustained way by James D. G. Dunn, who argues that Paul was drawing on a long and venerable tradition of Jewish zeal for the nation of Israel, that is, a concern to maintain Israel’s distinction from the surrounding nations by defending and reinforcing its boundaries. Ortlund interacts with Dunn, agreeing that this concern for distinctiveness was a crucial, and neglected, concern of Paul's before his conversion. Nevertheless, Ortlund contends that Dunn has presented an overly narrow understanding of Pauline zeal that does not sufficiently locate zeal in the broader picture of general obedience to Torah in Jewish tradition. As such, Ortlund shows in this work that zeal refers most immediately to general obedience to Torah - including, but not to be centrally circumscribed as, ethnic distinction.
The Rhetoric of Remembrance: An Investigation of the "Fathers" in Deuteronomy
By Jerry Hwang, Ph.D. 2009
Eisenbrauns 2012 >>
The Rhetoric of Remembrance demonstrates that Deuteronomy depicts the corporate solidarity of Israel in the land promised to the "fathers" (part 1), under the sovereignty of the same "God of the fathers" across the nation's history (part 2), as governed by a timeless covenant of the "fathers" between YHWH and his people (part 3). In the narrative world of Deuteronomy, the "fathers" begin as the patriarchs, while frequently scrolling forward in time to include every generation that has received YHWH's promises but nonetheless continues to await their fulfillment.
Reading Zechariah with Zechariah 1:1-6 as the Introduction to the Entire Book
By Heiko Wenzel, Ph.D. 2008
Peeters 2011 >>
In light of the widely acknowledged phenomenon that Zechariah refers to previous Scripture, this thesis demonstrates that these references can significantly contribute to Zechariah’s argument by drawing on Mikhail M. Bakhtin’s insight of the dialogical orientation of words. The dialogical orientation of Zechariah’s word with regard to previous Scripture and Zechariah’s audience establishes Zech 1:1–6 as the introduction to the entire book. It also develops a theology of transition and of waiting. Seven case studies demonstrate that the call of Zechariah 1:3-4 sounds through the entire book. The call to be different from the ancestors in a time of waiting emphasizes the people’s responsibility to live faithfully within the Sinai covenant. It also points to the prophetic function of the so-called apocalyptic notions in Zechariah and exhibits Zechariah’s specific contribution to the Book of the Twelve, to the Old Testament and for the church.
The Danielic Eschatological Hour In The Johannine Literature
By Stefanos Mihalios, Ph.D. 2009
Continuum 2011 >>
Stefanos Mihalios examines the uses of the ‘hour’ in the writings of John and demonstrates the contribution of Danielic eschatology to John’s understanding of this concept.
Mihalios begins by tracing the notion of an eschatological time in the Old Testament within expressions such as ‘in that time’ and ‘time of distress,’ which also appear in the book of Daniel and relate to the eschatological hour found in Daniel.
Mihalios finds that even within the Jewish tradition there exists an anticipation of the fulfillment of the Danielic eschatological time, since the eschatological hour appears in the Jewish literature within contexts that allude to the Danielic end-time events. Mihalios moves on to examines the Johannine eschatological expressions and themes that have their source in Daniel, finding evidence of clear allusions whenever the word ‘hour’ arises.
Through this examination, he concludes that for the Johannine Jesus use of the term ‘hour’ indicates that the final hour of tribulation and resurrection, as it is depicted in Daniel, has arrived.
Be Wise, My Son, and Make My Heart Glad: An Exploration of the Courtly Nature of the Book of Proverbs
By Christopher B. Ansberry, Ph.D. 2010
Walter De Gruyter 2010 >>
The social and intellectual context of the material in the book of Proverbs has given rise to several proposals concerning the nature of the constituent compendia within the document as well as the function of the discourse as a whole. In light of the problems inherent in an investigation of the nature and function of Proverbs, the present study focuses on the social dimensions of the document within its distinct, literary context. That is, the study attempts to examine the nature and function of the sapiential material within its new performance context, viz., the discursive context, the Sitz im Buch. This form of analysis moves beyond the investigation of individual aphorisms to provide a concrete context through which to view the various components of the discourse as well as the discourse as a whole. In the main, the study explores the formal, discursive, and thematic features of the constituent collections within the book of Proverbs in order to identify the nature and function of the work. More specifically, the study highlights the fundamental features of the book’s discourse setting, the thematic development of the material, the ethos of the individual collections and their role within Proverbs in order to ascertain the degree to which the document may be considered a courtly piece.
She Must and Shall Go Free: Paul's Isaianic Gospel in Galatians
By Matthew S. Harmon, Ph.D. 2006
Walter de Gruyter 2010 >>
Scholars have long recognized the importance of Paul´s citations from the Pentateuch for understanding the argument of Galatians. But what has not been fully appreciated is the key role that Isaiah plays in shaping what Paul says and how he says it, even though he cites Isaiah explicitly only once (Isaiah 54:1 in Galatians 4:27). Using an intertextual approach to trace more subtle appropriations of Scripture (i.e., allusions, echoes and thematic parallels), Harmon argues that Isaiah 49-54 in particular has shaped the structure of Paul´s argument and the content of his theological reflection in Galatians. Each example of Isaianic influence is situated within its original context as well as its new context in Galatians. Attention is also paid to how those same Isaianic texts were interpreted in Second Temple Judaism, providing the larger interpretive context within which Paul read Scripture. The result is fresh light shed on Paul's self-understanding as an apostle to the Gentiles, the content of his gospel message, his reading of the Abraham story and the larger structure of Galatians.
The Christ's Faith: A Dogmatic Account
By R. Michael Allen, Ph.D. 2007
T&T Clark 2009 >>
The Christ’s Faith coheres with orthodox Christology and Reformation soteriology, and needs to be affirmed to properly confirm the true humanity of the incarnate Son. Without addressing the interpretation of the Pauline phrase pistis christou, this study offers a theological rationale for an exegetical possibility and enriches a dogmatic account of the humanity of the Christ.
The coherence of the Christ’s faith is shown in two ways. First, the objection of Thomas Aquinas is refuted by demonstrating that faith is fitting for the incarnate Son. Second, a theological ontology is offered which affirms divine perfection and transcendence in qualitative fashion, undergirding a Chalcedonian and Reformed Christology. Thus, the humanity of the Christ may be construed as a fallen human nature assumed by the person of the Word and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
The dogmatic location of The Christ’s Faith is sketched by suggesting its (potential) function within three influential theological systems: Thomas Aquinas, federal theology, and Karl Barth. Furthermore, the soteriological role of the doctrine is demonstrated by showing the theological necessity of faith for valid obedience before God.
Revealing the Mysterion: The Use of Mystery in Daniel and Second Temple Judaism with Its Bearing on First Corinthians
By Benjamin L. Gladd, Ph.D. 2008
Walter de Gruyter 2008 >>
Scholars largely agree that the NT term “mysterion” is a terminus technicus, originating from Daniel. This project traces the word in the Dead Sea Scrolls and other sectors of Judaism. Like Daniel, the term consistently retains eschatological connotations. The monograph then examines how mystery functions within 1 Corinthians and seeks to explain why the term is often employed. The apocalyptic term concerns the Messiah reigning in the midst of defeat, eschatological revelations and tongues, charismatic exegesis, and the transformation of believers into the image of the last Adam.
The Law and the Knowledge of Good and Evil: The Edenic Background of the Catalytic Operation of the Law in Paul
By Chris A. Vlachos, Ph.D. 2006
Wipf & Stock 2009 >>
First Corinthians 15:56b, "The power of sin is the law," is both puzzling and neglected. It is puzzling since there appears to be no precursor in 1 Corinthians to the law-critical statement found there. It is neglected because of its size. Nevertheless, the short verse offers the opportunity to analyze in a rudimentary state Paul's law-sin notion that appears full-blown in Romans, and the absence of a polemical setting allows scholars to examine a law-critical statement issued during a polemical lull. In The Law and Knowledge of Good and Evil, Vlachos weighs attempts to explain the presence of 1 Cor 15:56 in 1 Corinthians and argues that the Genesis Fall narrative, where the tempter plied his seductions by way of the commandment, provides the theological substructure to Paul's understanding of the law's provocation of sin. In doing so, Vlachos contends that Paul reaches the historical high water mark of his polemic against the salvific efficacy of the law by locating a law-sin nexus in Eden, and, contrary to some recent perspectives on Paul, he argues that the edenically informed axiom in 1 Cor 15:56 suggests that Paul's fundamental concern with the law was rooted in primordial rather than ethnic soil. While studies of Paul and the law have tended to bypass Eden, The Law and Knowledge of Good and Evil breaks ground by moving the argument beyond Second Temple Judaism to the Genesis Fall account, where the prohibition against partaking of the knowledge of good and evil led to the knowledge of sin.
Echoes of Scripture in the Letter of Paul to the Colossians
By Christopher A. Beetham, Ph.D. 2005
SBL 2010 >> and Brill 2008 >>
While the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament has captured the attention of biblical scholars over the years, no study has been devoted to the presence of Scripture in Colossians, largely because there are no explicit quotations in Colossians. With the introduction of literary intertextuality into the discipline, however, scholars have begun to devote more attention to the NT authors’ less explicit references to Scripture, often labeled as ‘allusions’ and/or ‘echoes.’ Scholars, however, continue to debate what constitutes an allusion or echo, or how one validates a given proposal as such. This study proposes new definitions of these terms and offers a methodology on how to detect and validate them, using Colossians as a test case.