Latest Issue: Biblica

Biblica continues to do its sterling work in providing quality articles online.  The latest issue 88/3 can be accessed here.  Articles and abstracts that caught my attention include:

  • S. Schreiber, «Eine neue Jenseitshoffnung in Thessaloniki und ihre Probleme (1 Thess 4,13-18)» , Vol.  88 (2007) 326-350.
        Access article
  • Paul’s portrayal of the parousia of Christ in 1 Thess 4,13-18 is induced by a
    concrete problem of the recently founded community in Thessalonica. So to
    understand the text means to reconstruct the situation out of which it has been
    written. A closer look at the argument of 4,13-18 reveals the fact that the event of
    the parousia is the centre of the problem. After a brief sketch of the recent
    scholarly discussion, the article gives an overview of ancient conceptions of the
    hereafter (or their lack, respectively) as the cultural background of the potential
    reception of the idea of the parousia in Thessalonica. Then the identity building
    force of this idea as part of the missionary preaching becomes discernible: a
    Christian identity constituted by a separate hope of life after death and a critical
    distance to the socio-political reality. In this light the deaths of some community
    members can be understood as an attack on the identity of the community, which
    Paul’s eschatological rearrangement tries to strengthen again.

    M. Lau, «Die Legio X Fretensis und der Besessene von Gerasa. Anmerkungen
    zur Zahlenangabe “ungefähr Zweitausend” (Mk 5,13)» , Vol.  88 (2007) 351-364.

        Access article
    The military background of Mk 5,1-20 points to the Legio X Fretensis, which has
    been active in the Jewish War and whose ensign, a boar, matches the swines
    mentioned in Mk 5,1-20. However, the figure 2000, which is mentioned to give
    the size of the herd, does not correspond to this context. Roman legions consisted
    of about 5000-6000 soldiers. This contradiction can only be resolved, when the
    history of the Legio X is taken into consideration. In 66 AD a vexiliation of this
    Legio X, consisting of 2000 soldiers, was involved in fights with Jewish
    insurgents (Jos., Bell. 2,499-506). These details go well with the allusions in Mk
    5,1-20 to the Legio X and can explain the figure 2000. From this perspective,
    Mark’s Jesus is portrayed as a powerful warlord and liberator rather than an
    occupator.

  • D.J. Armitage, «An Exploration of Conditional Clause Exegesis with
    Reference to Galatians 1,8-9» , Vol.  88 (2007) 365-392.

        Access article
  • This paper explores various issues pertaining to the exegesis of Greek conditional
    clauses, using as a case study the pair of conditional statements found in Galatians
    1,8-9. These conditional curse formulations are broadly similar with reference to
    content, whilst also showing significant differences, notably in terms of mood.
    These conditional statements are firstly examined from syntactic and semantic
    perspectives. Their function in the discourse is then analysed with reference to
    Speech Act Theory. An integrative approach to exegesis of conditional clauses is
    advocated.

  • D.W. Kim, «What Shall We Do? The Community Rules of Thomas in the
    ‘Fifth Gospel’» , Vol.  88 (2007) 393-414.

        Access article
  • This article argues for the diversity of early Christianity in terms of religiocultural
    communities. Each early Christian group, based on a personal revelation
    of leadership and the group’s socio-political milieu, maintained its own tradition
    (oral, written, or both) of Jesus for the continuity and prosperity of the movement.
    The leaders of early Christianity allowed outsiders to become insiders in the
    condition where the new comers committed to give up their previous religious
    attitude and custom and then follow the new community rules. The membership
    of the Thomasine group is not exceptional in this case. The Logia tradition of P.
    Oxy. 1, 654.655, and NHC II, 2. 32: 10-51: 28 in the context of community policy
    will prove the pre-gnostic peculiarity of the creative and independent movement
    within the Graeco-Roman world.
  •  P. Frick, «Johannine Soteriology and Aristotelian Philosophy. A
    Hermeneutical Suggestion on Reading John 3,16 and 1 John 4,9» , Vol.  88 (2007) 415-421.

        Access article

    The aim of this short study is to propose a hermeneutical reading of Johannine
    soteriology based on John 3,16 and 1 John 4,9 in order to clarify in what sense
    Jesus was ‘the cause’ salvation. I will employ the Aristotelian categorization of
    the various causes as used by Philo in his explanation of the creation of the
    cosmos and apply his scheme to the Johannine texts. The result is (1) a specific
    definition of what constitutes the cause of salvation and (2) the important
    distinction between the means (understood as the four conjoint Aristotelian
    causes) and the mode (understood as faith) of salvation