مرکزی صفحہ The Expository Times Book Review: Sexual Transgression in the Hebrew Bible: Hilary Lipka, Sexual Transgression in the...
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THE 460 EXPOSITORY TIMES T H118 E Number E X P O 8S IPages TOR Y TIMES Volume 460–467 Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications (Los Angeles, London, New Delhi and Singapore) DOI: 10.1177/0014524607079681 http://EXT.sagepub.com BOOK REVIEWS THE ORIGINAL GOSPEL OF THOMAS? April DeConick, The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation: With a Commentary and New English Translation of the Complete Gospel (LNTS 287; London: T&T Clark International – A Continuum Imprint, 2006. £85.00. pp. xv + 359. ISBN 0 –567– 04382–7). April DeConick’s new book on the Gospel of Thomas is not a stand alone volume, but it builds upon her earlier work, Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas, also published in the same series (LNTS 286). In the earlier volume DeConick discusses her theory of literary growth of Thomas as a rolling composition which attracted various accretions in the transmission process (see p. x). Here she builds upon that earlier technical work. Based on her recovered original form of the gospel, she provides translation and commentary on this text-form. However, there is an important caveat. DeConick states that ‘[t]he translation and reconstruction of the Kernel should not be understood as the exact “original” Thomas, only the best approximate possible given the sources and method available’ (p. i). Therefore in her translation she presents kernel sayings in regular type and accretions in italics. Chapter 2 presents a translation of the kernel representing the literary structure that DeConick discerns of five thematically arranged speeches. Such an arrangement is helpful as it may better assist scholars in addressing the vexing question of the logic of the arrangement of sayings in Thomas. Chapter 3 is the heart of the book. For each of the 114 sayings a general pattern is followed for discussing the individual sayings. Taking Logion 3.1–3 as an example (pp. 51–53), first the translated reconstructed saying stands at the head of the section in a highlighted text-box. Next, since this is a saying with a parall; el in the Greek fragments, the text of P.Oxy. 654.9 –16 is provided with usual text critical signs, and an English translation of this form is given. Next the Coptic form of the saying from the Nag Hammadi text is printed, also with English translation. Under the heading ‘attribution’ DeConick lists this as an accretion. Next there is a discussion of textual and translational issues that includes investigation of the semantic nuances of Coptic terms and exploration of a possible underlying Syriac text. The next section is the ‘interpretative comment’. It is perhaps with these very short comments that readers will find the commentary just a little disappointing. These function more as helpful notes rather than detailed commentary. Then comes the ‘source discussion’ looking at the potential literary dependence of Thomas on other texts. Following on from this there is a listing of ‘literary parallels’, and finally the relevant bibliographic information is listed. DeConick’s close textual reconstruction throws up some interesting findings. For instance in her reconstructed kernel she notes that ‘every Thomasine saying that has a parallel with Quelle [Q] belonged to the Kernel Gospel . . . Not even one Thomasine logion with a common Quelle variant can be located among the accretions!’ (pp. 7–8). There is a wealth of information in this volume and the standard formatting makes it readily accessible. This is a very helpful discussion which will undoubtedly generate much focused and fruitful investigation of this enigmatic text. PAUL FOSTER School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh SEXUAL TRANSGRESSION IN THE HEBREW BIBLE Hilary Lipka, Sexual Transgression in the Hebrew Bible (Sheffield: Phoenix Press, 2006. £30.00. pp. xii + 285. ISBN 1– 905048–34–3). In order to explore the social construction of sexual behaviour, this study focuses on sexual transgression according to three categories established by the author – violations of religious, communal, or personal boundaries. Each discussion is concerned with establishing what the biblical perspective Downloaded from ext.sagepub.com at The University of Iowa Libraries on May 23, 2015 THE EXPOSITORY TIMES indicated about societal concerns and views. With respect to the first, i.e. violation of a religious principle, the author uses the example of adultery. Texts surveyed include legal material (Exod 20 :14 // Deut 5:12 ; Lev 18:6 –23; 20 :9 –21; Num 5:11–31; Deut 22 :13–29 ; 22 :13–19, 20 –21, 22 , 23–24, 25–27) and non-legal material (Gen 12 :1–20 ; 20 :1–18; 26 : 6 –11; Hos 4 :1–3 ; Ezek 16 ; Prov 5:3–23 ; 6 :20 –35). Violations of communal boundaries are examined from the perspective of voluntary and involuntary (‘coercive’) sexual relations with an unmarried maiden (Gen 34 ; Exod 22 :15–16 ; Deut 22 :28–29). The book closes with an examination of the situation of rape as a violation of communal as well as personal boundaries (1 Sam 13; Ezek 23). Although not exhaustive, the strength of the study lies in its description of different types of sexual transgression in the Old Testament. The author covers the texts in detail, but fails to draw out the implications of such a study beyond defining what might construe sexual boundaries in biblical Israel. Because of its mainly descriptive nature, it contributes less to how one might go about exploring these situations in modern society. For instance, the lengthy and graphic description of the rape of Tamar in 1 Samuel 13 serves not only as an example of the violation of a personal boundary, but also as a graphic reminder of the very real personal consequences of rape. In so doing, Tamar’s experience provides a counter or corrective to religious or communal concerns that have glossed over the victim’s experience. The study is a good start for those interested in different contexts of sexual misbehaviour, but it stops at the point of returning to how it speaks to, for, and about the person. JILL MIDDLEMAS Oriental Institute, Oxford University JESUS DEVOTION IN EARLIEST CHRISTIANITY Larry W. Hurtado, How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions about the Earliest Devotion to Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2005. $20.00. pp. 246. ISBN 0 –8028–2861–2). As the title of this book cleverly indicates and as the subtitle confirms, Larry W. Hurtado, Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and 461 Theology at the University of Edinburgh, seeks in this book to find a rigorously historical explanation for the remarkable emergence of devotion to Jesus as divine in ‘the corporate worship practices’ of the earliest Christians as attested in hymns, prayers, liturgies, confessional statements and the like. Hurtado’s twofold thesis is that the remarkable devotion to Jesus as ‘a god’ can be discerned even in the earliest Christian sources (Phil 2 : 6 –11 is offered as a case study) and is without true historical analogy. The only plausible explanation for the phenomenon, according to Hurtado, is that the earliest Christians became convinced that ‘the one God of the biblical tradition willed that Jesus be so reverenced’. Despite persuasively tracing the emergence of Jesus-devotion to Jewish-Christian circles, Hurtado leaves unclear the extent to which Jesus was worshipped not simply as ‘a god’ in the early stages, but precisely as ‘God’. The fact that the earliest Christians, who were also Jews for whom the oneness of God was axiomatic, evidently regarded Jesus and his activities as the manifestation of God on earth (‘Immanuel’) may thus provide a more convincing historical explanation for the rise of devotion to Jesus than the one offered by Hurtado. Chapters 1–4 consist of lectures given in 2004 at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel; chapters 5–8 contain articles previously published in journals. The volume is useful in that Hurtado gives ‘a more compact presentation’ of the views propounded in his major work, Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity (Eerdmans, 2003). It also supplements his influential short volume on the same subject, One God, One Lord: Early Christian Devotion and Ancient Jewish Monotheism, first published in 1988 (Fortress Press; 2nd edn, T&T Clark, 1998). Throughout the book, Hurtado seeks to communicate ‘how remarkable devotion to Jesus is’ from a historical perspective. In that aim he succeeds admirably. MARTINUS C. DE BOER Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam A LIFE WITH THE NEW TESTAMENT History and Exegesis: New Testament Essays in Honor of Dr. E. Earle Ellis for His 80th Birthday, edited by Sang-Won Son (New York/London: T&T Downloaded from ext.sagepub.com at The University of Iowa Libraries on May 23, 2015