مرکزی صفحہ The Expository Times Josiah's Reform and Jeremiah's Scroll: Mark Leuchter, Josiah's Reform and Jeremiah's Scroll:...
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the expository times of priests and property from the temples. The citizen and his money, the farmer and his fields, the rich and powerful clergy, all had the state’s eye upon them (p. 165). Such insights demonstrate the highly regulated nature of society and the intrusion bureaucracy made into everyday lives. Egyptian society was no idyllic libertine existence. Yet from the outset the finds provided more of interest than merely filling in gaps surrounding social history. The first text published as the Logia of Jesus was later identified as a fragment of the Gospel of Thomas. Interest in this text has remained high from the time of its discovery. The city also became an important Christian city with, according to one source, 10,000 monks and 20,000 nuns (p. 196). It is unsurprising that in this environment a significant number of Christian texts are also found among the literary remains. Some of the earliest fragments of New Testament texts survive from Oxyrhynchus. The site also attests to another set of texts. As Parsons comments, ‘The papyri illustrate the competition: as well as The Gospel of Thomas, Oxyrhynchites could read The Gospel of Mary, The Acts of Peter and the 335 Wisdom of Jesus Christ’ (p. 197). The medium in which Christians chose to transmit their texts is also noted: ‘Christians favoured the codex throughout [the period up to the fourth century]; pagan literature adopted it as norm only from the fourth century ad – the century of Christian triumph. So the classics followed where the Gospels led’ (p. 199). City of the Sharp-nosed Fish tells a remarkable story and it is itself a remarkable book. Parsons’ writes with a light touch which both engages readers and simultaneously elucidates the scholarly discussion with no compromise of the academic rigor of the discussions. While this topic may not be familiar territory to potential readers, through reading this volume one becomes immersed in the culture and forces that shaped the Hellenistic community which resided at Oxyrhynchus. This is ; a book written with both passion and precision, and it is moreover an extremely pleasurable volume to read. The words ‘highly recommended’ have become a bit of a cliché, so instead be warned – to miss this is to miss a very rich treat. PAUL FOSTER School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh JOSIAH’S REFORM AND JEREMIAH’S SCROLL Mark Leuchter, Josiah’s Reform and Jeremiah’s Scroll: Historical Calamity and Prophetic Response (Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2006. £50.00. pp. 206. ISBN 1–90504–8319). Some recent publications indicate that the search for an historical Jeremiah is alive and kicking – kicking, that is, against the more sceptical findings of such scholars as Robert P. Carroll. Carroll’s ‘de facto elimination of Jeremiah from the text is itself too easy a solution to the problems’ of the text’s internal inconsistencies, argues Leuchter (p. 4). But Leuchter’s counter-argument, that the collected works of Carroll demonstrate comparable inconsistencies consonant with the development of ideas of a single author over time, calls for a similar critique. The ancient versions indicate that the growth of this particular corpus in antiquity – a process continued well beyond the scope of one originating lifetime – was quite unlike the documented development of opinions of a modern day academics and so this analogy oversimplifies. Leuchter’s cited task, however, is not to uncover the prophet behind the corpus so much as the ‘historical and political’ circumstances that led to the production of an Urrolle, the anthology of oracles mentioned in Jeremiah 36, and so too the ideology of the book itself (p. 17). Arguing that Jeremiah took the thrust of the deuteronomistic reform seriously, as he did his priestly heritage, Leuchter proposes that he was motivated by the charge that Levites must continue to instruct the king (Deut 17:18–19) and so sends the scroll to King Jehoiakim as a new Torah (Jer 36). This ingenious study is well written and thoroughly argued; like all such studies it confirms, once again, the complexity of the book of Jeremiah (and the lengths scholars go to account for this). Its persuasiveness will depend upon the extent to which one is impressed by arguments grounded in reconstructions of history. With its citations in Hebrew and copious footnotes it is designed for a specialist readership: from students with knowledge of Biblical languages up. MARK BRUMMITT Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Downloaded from ext.sagepub.com at OAKLAND UNIV on June 4, 2015