مرکزی صفحہ Religious Studies Review The Death of Judas: The Characterization of Judas Iscariot in Three Early Christian Accounts of his...
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Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 THE HOMERIC HYMN TO HERMES: INTRODUCTION, TEXT AND COMMENTARY. By Athanassios • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 5). Many good things can be said about Wright’s book: to begin with, its scope encompasses the fragmentary plays, thus offering a balanced assessment of the genre. More importantly, while acknowledging the ambiguity of comic language and the erratic, non-systematic nature of comic discourse, Wright successfully re-contextualizes Old Comedy within the intellectual life of Classical Athens. In sum, this book is a stimulating read for anyone interested in ancient drama as well as intellectual history. Zoe Stamatopoulou The Pennsylvania State University Vergados. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013. Pp. xiii + 717. Hardcover, $182.00. This is the ﬁrst large-scale commentary on the most expansive of the Homeric Hymns, a signiﬁcantly revised version of Vergados’s doctoral dissertation completed at the University of Virginia in 2007. A comprehensive commentary on the Hymn to Hermes has been a long time coming, no doubt due in part to the daunting nature of the task: the commentator must deal with a poem riddled with unique language and structural quandaries. Vergados proves a sure guide. An extensive introduction treats inter alia interpretative matters (such as the roles of music, song, and humor in the narrative), the relation of the poem to other poetry (both archaic and later), structural questions, the date and place of composition, and the transmission of the text. In constituting the Greek text, Vergados relies upon the reports of Càssola (1975) rather than fresh collation of the manuscripts, but for a text so well established in previous editions, the effort of further collation would have reaped few beneﬁts. Vergados’s text diverges from Càssola’s in a number of instances. The commentary makes up the majority of the book. For a poem of this magnitude, there is always more that could be said, or from a different perspective, but the commentary is wide-ranging and extremel; y useful. Not every textual choice or interpretative argument will gain universal assent but Vergados, even when speculative, is for the most part admirably aware of argumentative pitfalls and provides the reader with different viewpoints. The volume is essential reading for anyone interested in the poem. Andrew Faulkner University of Waterloo Christian Origins THE NEW TESTAMENT: A HISTORICAL AND THEOLOGICAL INTRODUCTION. By Donald A. Hagner. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012. Pp. xxiv + 872. Cloth, $49.99. After an introduction and background study, the remaining portions of this massive study contain sections on the Gospels, Acts, Paul, the Deutero-Pauline letters, Hebrews and the Catholic Epistles, the Apocalypse, and the Text and canon of the NT. The reader approaches with trepidation: Is this just another huge introduction to the NT, of which there are dozens already? Yes, true enough, but each such introduction contains a personal point of view that may contain valuable insights, and Hagner’s is no exception. As the subtitle indicates, the author expounds history and theology in an attempt to make sense of both. As he states, “The Bible is God’s gift to the church,” thereby implicitly admitting that the church preceded the Bible, an important consideration in view of the controversies of the sixteenth century. Again, for Hagner, “the gospel of Christianity cannot be proved to be true,” a refreshing statement that frees the reader from undue expectations. The bibliographies (and indices) are immense and apposite; recent scholarship is not neglected. No one is expected to read this book from cover to cover, but for informed accounts of individual topics—large or small—Hagner is worthy of a hearing. Casimir Bernas Holy Trinity Abbey THE COMEDIAN AS CRITIC: GREEK OLD COMEDY AND POETICS. By Matthew Wright. London: Bristol Classical Press, 2012. Pp. x + 244. $120.00. In this book, Wright explores how Attic comedy of the ﬁfth century BCE engages with the contemporary culture of literary criticism that was developed and shared by a limited number of elite intellectuals. Wright argues that, while still interested in entertaining the broader theater audience, comic poets shared the literary values of those small elite circles and appropriated them in their works, using language that is largely metaphorical, generally ambiguous, and ultimately metacritical. Old Comedy, therefore, should be approached not only as part of a performance culture, but also as a genre that engages intensely with the emerging book culture of the ﬁfth century. Wright explores comic responses to key literary and cultural issues such as poetic competition and the evaluation of literature (Chapter 2), as well as the value of novelty (Chapter 3). He also focuses on comic metaphors for literary criticism (Chapter 4) and draws our attention to comedy’s take on critical reading (Chapter NESTLE-ALAND, NOVUM TESTAMENTUM GRAECE. Edited by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research under the direction of Holger Strutwolf. Twenty-eighth revised edition. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012. Pp. 94 + 890. Flexicover, $59.99. The twenty-eighth edition of Nestle-Aland showcases several modiﬁcations that offer greater clarity and precision in the presentation of data; it also evinces important epistemic changes in its construction and conceptualization of “the Greek text.” The Catholic Epistles (CE), e.g., replicating the text of the CE in the Editio Critica maior, differ from NA27 in thirty-four readings. (NA28 = NA27 for the rest of the 40 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 THE ORIGIN OF THE BIBLE: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED. By Lee Martin McDonald. London: T & T NT, which will be revised as future fascicles of the ECM appear.) Moreover, a series of raised diamonds (forty-three, only ﬁve of which overlap with the NA28/NA27 differences) precede readings that have strong contenders for the “initial text” in the apparatus. The new edition thus exhibits a guarded conﬁdence about its reconstructed text; uncertainty over the best reading is readily conceded. The CoherenceBased Genealogical Method also emerges as a critical tool for the evaluation of variants, resulting in a greater role for the Byzantine tradition in textual reconstruction. Furthermore, transcriptions have been systematically inspected; correctors of select manuscripts have been identiﬁed with greater exactness; the distinction between consistently cited witnesses of the ﬁrst and second orders has been eliminated— all manuscripts cited consistently are listed with a “positive apparatus.” Conjectures are gone, as are subscriptions and the Latin abbreviations pc and al. The apparatus of references in the outer margin has been thoroughly revised, and the Editionum Differentiae has been dropped. The result is a leaner, clearer, more accurate presentation of Greek text and apparatus that nonetheless discloses the transient status of every textual reconstruction. Juan Hernández Jr. Bethel University Clark, 2011. Pp. viii + 257. Paper, $27.95. Undergraduates are often surprised and intrigued by the process of canon formation—the writing of the texts, their subsequent collection, debates over authenticity and inclusion, and the ratiﬁcation of a ﬁnal list for use in the Church—and want to know where to look for more information. McDonald’s book is a welcome resource—short, tightly argued, and affordable. McDonald begins with an overview of the story (Chapter 2) that highlights proper methodology and dispels some persistent yet incorrect assumptions, and makes a key distinction between the selection of books of the Bible and the problem for modern scholars of selecting which text of those books should be used. Two subsequent chapters narrate the emergence of the “OT” canon (Chapter 3) and the completion of that canon (Chapter 4), with attention to texts found at Qumran as well as the writings of Josephus and early Christians, and describing differences among Christian traditions. The emergence of Christian scriptures is taken up in Chapter 5, while the next chapter looks at the role of “heresy” and “orthodoxy” in decisions of Church councils, which McDonald argues was a recognition of authoritative texts that began in the second century but came to completion in the fourth and ﬁfth centuries, for a number of reasons that are explored in Chapter 6. Without eschewing the historical complexity, this book is a clear and readable guide for those new to the topic. Richard S. Ascough School of Religion, Queen’s University ENGAGING THE WORD: THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE CHRISTIAN BELIEVER. By Jaime Clark-Soles. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010. Pp. xii + 154. Paper, $20.00. How the word of God is packaged in America today forms the introductory chapter in this overarching description and questioning of signiﬁcant NT topics. To avoid preconceptions, the author would prefer a simple Bible translation without notes of any kind; supplemental aids could be sought elsewhere. Pre-modern, modernist, and postmodern approaches to Scripture are discussed at length. Arguments are advanced pro and con for harmonizing the synoptic gospels; early Christians for the most part made do with only one; for the author, four gospels indicate that “The church . . . canonized diversity from the start.” Does John complement, supplement, or replace the Synoptics?—a still hotly debated question. Did Paul write all the letters attributed to him? Is writing in the name of another dishonest? What is one to make of the three phases of the Historical Jesus debate and their most illustrious advocates: the original quest, the new quest, and now the third quest? The politics of feminist and “queer” [sic] biblical interpretation have come to the fore; is there such a thing as value-free research? To conclude, in an engaging and personal fashion, without parti pris, the author encompasses the major problems of NT scholarship in an attractive manner that is valuable for beginning NT students—or for the merely curious. Casimir Bernas Holy Trinity Abbey THE CANON OF THE BIBLE AND THE APOCRYPHA IN THE CHURCHES OF THE EAST. Edited by Vahan S. Hovhanessian. Bible in the Christian Orthodox Tradition, 2. New York: Peter Lang, 2012. Pp. viii + 113. Cloth, $64.95. In contrast to both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, which since the sixteenth century have had clearly demarcated (though still differing) canons of Scripture, “The precise status, content and role of the canon in the Orthodox church escape easy deﬁnitions and explanations,” as the opening line of this useful volume notes. This collection of essays goes a long way towards explaining why that is the case—an important reason being that the “Orthodox Church” is less a denomination (in the sense of the centrally organized Roman Catholic Church) than it is an association of national churches, each with their own sense of and tradition about which books comprise Holy Scripture. Contents include essays by E. S. Constantinou, “The Canon of Scripture in the Orthodox Church”; D. A. Ayuch, “The Prayer of Manasses: Orthodox Tradition and Modern Studies in Dialogue”; S. Céplö, “Testament of Solomon and Other Pseudepigraphical Material in Ahkam Sulayman (Judgment of Solomon)”; A. Tanielian, “The Book of Wisdom of Solomon in the Armenian Church Literature and Liturgy”; N. Roddy, “Visul Maicii Domnului («The Dream of the Mother of the 41 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 Lord»): New Testament Romanian Amulet Text”; Constantinou, “Banned from the Lectionary: Excluding the Apocalypse of John from the Orthodox New Testament Canon”; and Hovhanessian, “New Testament Apocrypha and the Armenian Version of the Bible.” In all, this is a very helpful book for anyone wondering why the “Churches of the East” have such distinctive views of the canon of Scripture. Michael W. Holmes Bethel University • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 culaneum, where the archaeological evidence is extensive, while the bulk of the NT focus is the Corinthian correspondence. Many of the essays are descriptive and thus helpful for a general orientation, but there many lack deeper theoretical reﬂection on method. Although a conclusion is always a desideratum in volumes of collected essays, this particular work lacks a comprehensive introduction that shows how the essays interweave into the desired interdisciplinary dialogue. As a whole, the book is more of a collage of stimulating studies than a map for future research. Nevertheless, it is still a welcome breath of air for researchers wanting to move beyond printed text in their study of Christian origins. Richard S. Ascough School of Religion, Queen’s University SEVEN EVENTS THAT SHAPED THE NEW TESTAMENT WORLD. By Warren Carter. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013. Pp. xvii + 162; plates, maps. Paper, $21.99. Intended as a selective introduction to the historical context of the early church, this book does well in bringing panoramic themes down into understandable frames. Readers will ﬁnd its approach quite helpful, as it does not restrict itself to one historical period, but rather gives an overview of the entire Near Eastern context and the parts therein that are relevant for developing a balanced understanding of the setting of the early church. The ﬁrst three chapters deal with events occurring prior to the cruciﬁxion. Carter does not treat these events as completely isolated, but deftly shows how each major event leads inevitably to the next, and also offers insights for how they foreshadow the “Jesus Movement.” The ﬁnal four chapters cover the events after 30 CE that shaped the NT canon and gave form to the early church as it navigated its way through a multicultural historical setting. The book will be useful to those wishing to understand the context of the gospel stories or to supplement studies in early church history. Some may challenge dates given for the writing of the NT books, or the “closing” of the canon. None can doubt the overall value of this survey. Aubrey Miller Fuller Theological Seminary WHO IS JESUS? DISPUTED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. By Carl E. Braaten. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2011. Pp. viii + 147. Paper, $20.00. Returning to the work of his 1959 doctoral dissertation, Braaten comes to the conclusion that the various quests for the historical Jesus have all ended in failure. He states, “[T]he only real Jesus is the One presented in the canonical Gospels and . . . any other Jesus is irrelevant to Christian faith.” Operating with this assumption, he spends each of his eight chapters exploring disputed Jesus questions, which include: “Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?”; “Why Did Jesus Have to Die on the Cross?”; and “Was Jesus the Founder of the Christian Church?” Discarding historical Jesus research, Braaten instead investigates how these contentious questions have been addressed throughout church history and considers the relevance of these answers for the modern Church. His theology remains transparently Lutheran throughout, and he openly admits, “[T]he answers in this book have been constructed unabashedly in sync with the classical creeds and dogmas of the church.” His goal remains that this short book can serve as an apologetic for his lay audience, ideally taught within a church context. Each chapter ends with a list of discussion questions to invite further conversation and encourage a more reﬁned theology. David Brack Asbury Theological Seminary CONTESTED SPACES: HOUSES AND TEMPLES IN ROMAN ANTIQUITY AND THE NEW TESTAMENT. Edited by David L. Balch and Annette Weissenrieder. WUNT, 285. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012. Pp. xi + 561. Cloth, €129.00. The twenty essays in this interdisciplinary volume originate from international panel of archaeologists, art historians, and NT scholars, although German, French, and Italian contributions are translated into English. They presume “the ordering of space represents social order” in order to correct the lack of adequate attention NT scholars pay to the physicality of urban space. The essays are distributed according to three broad categories: Interpretive Issues, Contested Domestic Spaces (with subsections on domus, villae, and insulae), and Contested Sacred Spaces: Temples, the Imperial Cult, and Mithraea. The book includes a CD containing 321 images that illustrate the arguments of each essay. Not surprisingly, many of the essays deal with Pompeii and Her- JESUS, GNOSIS, & DOGMA. By Riemer Roukema. New York: T & T Clark International, 2010. Pp. xi + 231. Cloth, $90.00; paper, $27.95. Roukema sets out to evaluate various early Christian traditions in order to assess their continuity with the historical ﬁgure of Jesus of Nazareth. Throughout this process, he compares the canonical NT with less researched strands of early Christianity, particularly Gnosticism and Jewish Christianity. This comparison leads Roukema to conclude that the canonical NT presents the most reliable portrait of the Historical Jesus, and that orthodox Christianity rightly moved away from less dependable alternatives. The ﬁrst half of the 42 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 Whereas many scholars examine the use of scripture in the Markan passion narrative to assess the account’s historical veracity, O’Brien considers the contribution scriptural allusions make to the interpretation of the narrative. She ﬁrst derives criteria for identifying allusions based on availability, recurrence or clustering, clarity, thematic coherence, and distinctiveness. Potential interpretative impact that an allusion may have on a text is discussed next. Numerous allusions proposed by scholars are found to be wanting and rightly dismissed. Although O’Brien’s highly technical analyses tend toward an imbalanced preference for a high degree of verbal correspondence, she is able to derive a helpful list of “accepted” allusions that are then studied to determine their contribution to the narrative as a whole. O’Brien ﬁnds that cumulatively the allusions depict Jesus’ suffering and ultimate vindication within a decidedly eschatological context. Furthermore, they indicate a depiction of Jesus as the soon-to-be exalted heavenly king, who suffers for the community as their representative, and makes available that anticipated reign of God. By deriving a clearly articulated methodology both for identifying and interpreting allusions, O’Brien has helpfully thinned an increasingly crowded list of proposed allusions to facilitate a more careful look at what Mark is doing in his allusions to scripture in the passion narrative. Daniel M. Gurtner Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, MN book centers on ancient Gnostic texts (the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Mary, Tripartite Tractate, etc.), while the second half focuses attention on early Jewish Christianity and some of the Early Church Fathers. Throughout every section of his work, Roukema places importance on a clear distinction between what can be said about Jesus historically and theologically. As an overview of early Christianity, this book can serve as starting point for someone desiring to form a well-researched opinion of Jesus. Roukema covers a wide variety of ancient Christian texts and engages appropriately with other leading scholars in the ﬁeld. David Brack Asbury Theological Seminary READING THE GOSPELS WISELY: A NARRATIVE AND THEOLOGICAL INTRODUCTION. By Jonathan T. Pennington. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2012. Pp. xiv + 268. Paper, $24.99. Pennington’s book is divided into three parts. In the opening section, Pennington devotes eight chapters to establishing what he considers a “good foundation” for Gospel reading. This foundation includes deﬁnitions of “gospel” (both the term and the genre) (Chapters 1–2), justiﬁcations for the existence of the Gospels (in addition to Paul) and their multiplicity (Chapters 3–4), and arguments for reading the Gospels in light of historical, literary, and theological concerns (Chapters 5–8). The second and third parts of the book then model this “wise” reading using the text of Luke 7:1–10, combining aspects of narrative and canonical-criticism (Chapters 9–11). In Pennington’s ﬁnal chapter, he argues for reading the Gospels as the theological key to the entire Christian canon, allowing these texts to guide all Scriptural interpretation without entirely disregarding historical aspects. Pennington’s desire to integrate historical and theological concerns will be appreciated by those teaching at confessing institutions. And the chapter on teaching/ preaching the Gospels is a welcome addition for those training ministers (Chapter 11). Nevertheless, the heavy-handed conservatism of this book will limit its usability. Limiting factors include ignoring diverse Christian theological stances, lack of clarity concerning the underlying theological presuppositions that guide Pennington’s parsing of the relationship between history and theology, and no attention to the contexts in which Scripture itself was formed. Without engagement in these larger conversations, Pennington’s method seems a call back to a pre-modern criticism that leaves little room for wider generative readings. Alicia D. Myers United Theological Seminary THE FOURTH GOSPEL IN FIRST-CENTURY MEDIA CULTURE. Edited by Anthony Le Donne and Tom Thatcher. LNTS, 426. London: T & T Clark, 2011. Pp. ix + 283. Cloth, $120; paper, $49.95. This collection of essays represents an invitation to consider how a different approach, ancient media studies, can be used to answer the classical questions in Johannine studies. Divided into three sections—Oral Culture, Oral Performance, and Medium of Memory—the ten essays cross these lines of demarcation and demonstrate the interrelatedness of these artiﬁcial distinctions within this methodology. Three essays reﬂect the overall tenor of the work. T. E. Boomershine examines the role of the audience as portrayed in the text and as part of the oral presentation, emphasizing the persuasive rhetoric of the Gospel’s various segments. J. D. G. Dunn’s contribution provides alternative solutions, if not directly challenging the current ones, for the Synoptic problem and the relationship between John and the Synoptics. M. Labahn fuses character studies with orality as he investigates the role Scripture plays and its relationship to the spoken nature of Jesus in this Gospel. A strong element is the inclusion of two respondent essays to the collection as a whole, the ﬁrst by Barry Schwartz a sociologist with experience in the methodology and the second by Gail O’Day, reﬂecting on the method’s value to biblical studies. These two essays are as informative in terms of future efforts in approaching orality and the NT as the other essays are in their practicality. THE USE OF SCRIPTURE IN THE MARKAN PASSION NARRATIVE. By Kelli S. O’Brien. LNTS, 384. London: T&T Clark, 2010. Pp. xii + 328. Cloth, $150.00. 43 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 This book is essential for scholars studying the origins of the NT and for any student wanting to hear the Fourth Gospel through another ﬁlter. Stan Harstine Friends University • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 perspectives on debated issues, students will appreciate its accessible style and manageable length. The chapters are not heavily annotated, though each closes with suggestions for further study. Readers of course will occasionally disagree with Matera’s view on this or that issue. Nonetheless, the book will be a ﬁne addition to courses on Pauline theology in Christian universities and seminaries. John K. Goodrich Moody Bible Institute CHRISTOSIS: PAULINE SOTERIOLOGY IN LIGHT OF DEIFICATION IN IRENAEUS AND CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA. By Ben C. Blackwell. WUNT, 314. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011. Pp. xvii + 312. Cloth, €79.00. Among the well-worn paths in Pauline studies, new avenues are opening in the study of Pauline theology in light of the rising inﬂuence of theological interpretation. Enter Blackwell, who presents a detailed examination of theosis or deiﬁcation as an appropriate model for understanding Pauline soteriology. Blackwell seeks to investigate this aspect of Paul by a comparison with the concept of theosis found in Irenaues and Cyril of Alexandria. He offers an excellent literature review on the topic, examines the themes in both church fathers, before addressing the Pauline texts of Rom 8, Col 2, and 2 Cor 3–5. Blackwell notes three shared themes between Irenaeus, Cyril, and Paul. These include the issues of life, incorruption, and glory, the image of God and its restoration through Christomorphic activity, and participation in the activity of the triune God. He concludes that rather than theosis, Christosis is perhaps the better term to characterize Paul’s soteriology. The use of Christosis emphasizes the Christoform nature of Paul’s thought and maintains the creator– creation distinction that is important to Paul. However, Christosis ﬁnds its proper place only within the context of the work of God and the Spirit and thus theosis language should not be entirely avoided. Blackwell offers a highly informative, easily accessible, and thought-provoking monograph on this important Pauline topic. Jason A. Myers Asbury Theological Seminary CHRIST AMONG THE MESSIAHS: CHRIST LANGUAGE IN PAUL AND MESSIAH LANGUAGE IN ANCIENT JUDAISM. By Matthew V. Novenson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xiii + 239. Cloth, $74.00. This book seeks to address what the Greek term christos meant and how it functioned in early Judaism and Paul. Novenson suggests that while the term is occasionally understood to be a title in Paul’s letters, the majority position believes christos to be indeterminate in meaning and employed by Paul as a proper name. Novenson, however, argues that for Paul, the term was neither a proper name nor a title, but an honoriﬁc—an onomastic category all its own that was appended to names while remaining descriptive of its bearers (e.g., Epiphanes, Augustus, Bar Kokhba). The book contains a fascinating history of research and responds impressively to the arguments of earlier critics (especially Dahl). For instance, while messiah language was used rarely in the Greco-Roman period, Novenson argues convincingly that it did not lose its meaning within ancient Jewish communities due to its derivation from the Jewish Scriptures. The book closes with chapters on, respectively, “Christ phrases” and “Christ passages” in Paul; the latter focuses on Rom 1:3–4; 9:1–5; 15:3, 7–12; 1 Cor 1:23; 15:20–28; 2 Cor 1:21–22; 5:16–17; Gal 3:16. This is a well-researched and engaging book that deserves to be read widely. John K. Goodrich Moody Bible Institute CELEBRATING PAUL: FESTSCHRIFT IN HONOR OF JEROME MURPHY-O’CONNOR, O.P., AND JOSEPH A. FITZMYER, S.J. Edited by Peter Spitaler. GOD’S SAVING GRACE: A PAULINE THEOLOGY. By Frank J. Matera. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012. Pp. xvi + 267. Paper, $24.99. This book surveys the main theological themes of the thirteen Pauline letters primarily through the guiding principle of God’s saving grace. Main themes include Paul’s call and conversion, Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, ethics, eschatology, and God. In each chapter, Matera investigates the relevant theme by analyzing the emphases of individual letters and then discussing the theme’s “coherence and meaning” within the whole Pauline corpus. On justiﬁcation and covenant theology, Matera follows the New Perspective, especially N. T. Wright: dikaioō means “acquit”; erga nomou are boundary markers; pistis Christou is the faithfulness of Jesus; the law did not fail in its purpose, but always had its terminus in Christ. While the book offers neither close exegesis of difﬁcult passages nor competing CBQMS, 48. Washington, DC: The Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2011. Pp. xxviii + 439. Paper, $25.00. Celebrating Paul brings together a number of papers presented at Villanova University (and several additional essays) from the 2008 celebration of the Jubilee Year for the Apostle Paul, where Professors Murphy-O’Connor and Fitzmyer received honorary degrees. The honorees open the volume with studies addressing recent themes in Pauline studies generally and the “eucharist” in Corinth speciﬁcally. The rest of the work moves from broad-ranging studies on Paul to those focused on individual texts, with a major focus on Romans. Suggesting new trajectories in Pauline studies, W. S. Campbell in “ ‘I Rate All Things as Loss’ ” convincingly shows that Paul does not disparage his Jewish identity now 44 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 that he is in Christ, and M. D. Nanos in “Paul and the Jewish Tradition” supports the contention that Paul remains within the bounds of Judaism. J. D. G. Dunn, in an essay likely requiring further scholarly engagement, argues that Paul was a “convert” from Judaism. This volume is a major contribution to NT studies and admirably reﬂects the inﬂuence of its honorees. J. Brian Tucker Moody Theological Seminary • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 speciﬁc theological horizons of the particular letter. This is a new kind of commentary, with a pioneering engagement of exegesis, theology, and pastoral praxis. The focus is “not the historical Paul but the ‘canonical’ Paul.” Even those uneasy with this strategy will nonetheless ﬁnd much of value in this commentary. Peter R. Rodgers Fuller Theological Seminary READING SECOND PETER WITH NEW EYES: METHODOLOGICAL REASSESSMENTS OF THE LETTER OF SECOND PETER. Edited by Robert L. Webb REDESCRIBING PAUL AND THE CORINTHIANS. Edited by Ron Cameron and Merrill P. Miller. Early Christianity and Its Literature, 5. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011. Pp. xii + 325. Paper, $40.95. This compendium of nine essays results from papers presented in the Society of Biblical Literature Seminar on Ancient Myths and Modern Theories of Christian Origin from 2000 to 2004. The group aims to differentiate itself from the usual scholarly assumptions about the Corinthians, such as Paul as founder and community builder, the Corinthians’ relationship to the Christ myth and ritual, and perhaps most interestingly, the assumption of the Corinthian church as a single entity. Since these are collected essays, a degree of variability characterizes the volume. There is a wide range of topics, but most notable are Stowers’ article on “Myths, Meals, and Power” in social formation in Corinth and his second article on the resemblance of Pauline Christianity with Hellenistic philosophy. Also worthy of mention is Ascough’s comparison of Paul’s similar responses in 1 Cor and 1 Thess on the status of deceased members in light of ancient burial practices and inscriptions. Ascough’s comparative approach is illuminating in many regards. This work offers several new and insightful approaches to Paul and the Corinthians that shows the diversity that comprised the Corinthian situation. Both student and scholar will beneﬁt from this up-to-date volume on Corinthians. Jason A. Myers Asbury Theological Seminary and Duane F. Watson. LNTS, 382. London: T & T Clark, 2010. Pp. xviii + 201. Cloth, $140.00. This book is the fourth in the “Reading . . . With New Eyes” series, the other volumes focusing upon James, Jude, and 1 Peter. The essays emerge from papers given in the Letters of James, Peter, and Jude Consultation at the Society of Biblical Literature, which in 2007 provided a formal venue for newer methodological explorations of this relatively neglected text. The ﬁrst essay employs the classical rhetorical concept of imitatio in its analysis of 2 Peter’s use of Jude (Gene Green), while the second one compares classical rhetorical to socio-rhetorical criticism as applied to 2 Peter (Watson). Two subsequent chapters use concepts from sociorhetorical criticism, especially rhetography, in their analyses of either apocalyptic (Terrance Callan) or the images in 2 Pet 1:3–15 (Dennis Sylva). These are the ﬁrst treatments of 2 Peter to use rhetography (a concept developed by Vernon Robbins to refer to the rhetorical function of imagery created by the text) in the study of 2 Peter. Another essay employs narrative criticism (Ruth Anne Reese) while the ﬁnal contribution reads the letter using collective identity theory (James Miller). Although rhetorical, especially sociorhetorical, approaches tip the balance in the book, the volume is a welcome and creative addition to the literature on 2 Peter. Alicia J. Batten Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo 1 AND 2 TIMOTHY AND TITUS. By Robert W. Wall with Richard B. Steele. Two Horizons New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012. Pp. xvi + 416. Paper, $24.00. This commentary on the Pastoral Epistles by a leading practitioner of the theological interpretation of scripture is a worthy addition to the series. In addition to offering a running commentary on the text of the three letters, Wall follows the custom of the “Two Horizons” series in offering a section after each letter in which he engages theologically with issues raised in the letter. In particular, he employs Tertullian’s bold expression of the Rule of Faith to organize his theological reﬂection. Treatment of each epistle concludes with a sketch of a ﬁgure within the Wesleyan tradition (John Wesley, John William Fletcher, and Phoebe Palmer) written by Steele. Each ﬁgure is seen to engage the IS SCRIPTURE STILL HOLY? COMING OF AGE WITH THE NEW TESTAMENT. By A. E. Harvey. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2012. Pp. viii + 151. Paper, $22.00. This book began as a collection of sermons by an author who has spent a lifetime in teaching and who here returns to a fundamental question of consummate importance to all who are in any way interested in the NT. The seven chapters may appear disparate, but they all have an inner connection to the title of the book: scripture study is coming of age; history needs to be examined; making sense of John; guides to morality; seeking the real Jesus; taking stock of Paul; the “what if” of history. For Harvey, in a sense, all history is inspired. Words are an integral part of the message that they 45 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 convey (“All words are an incarnation of thought”—Pascal). Harvey makes constant use of paradox; he brings up objections and then answers them with traditional (and true) replies. It is a joy to read his relaxed, un-polemic statements; he says the things that believers may think but are not able to properly articulate. Harvey speaks with the conﬁdence that a lifetime of scholarship entitles one to have. We have here paradox at the service of faith. In short—this is an utterly charming book. Casimir Bernas Holy Trinity Abbey that loses its savor really only makes sense as fertilizer; relying on Chilton, the bread and wine of the Eucharist substitute for sacriﬁces in a temple that was soon to disappear; “Son of God” is a metaphor (I would say, a personalized metaphor); Paul may not have been a Roman citizen; the faith of Jesus Christ is his faithfulness to his mission; etc. Though not all readers will agree with everything contained herein, scholars and neophytes will both proﬁt from a critical reading of this engaging volume. Casimir Bernas Holy Trinity Abbey JESUS AND THE DEMISE OF DEATH: RESURRECTION, AFTERLIFE, AND THE FATE OF THE CHRISTIAN. By Matthew Levering. Waco, TX: Baylor University SIMON PETER IN SCRIPTURE AND MEMORY: THE NEW TESTAMENT APOSTLE IN THE EARLY CHURCH. By Markus Bockmuehl. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Press, 2012. Pp. x + 228. Paper, $29.95. The ﬁrst part of this volume deals with Christ: his descent into “hell,” his resurrection, his being seated at the right hand of the Father. The second part treats the people of God: a people in passage by means of faith, Eucharist, works of mercy; meriting eternal life; spiritual souls; bodily resurrection; and “beatiﬁc” vision. Levering provides many ﬁne insights: Jesus himself does not mention a “beatiﬁc vision,” the existence and nature of an “intermediate state,” the intentions of Jesus in his ministry, the value of “implicit faith,” individual and collective judgment, etc. There appears to be a certain Catholic tilt to the treatise: the author is listed as teaching at the University of Dayton; there are apposite references to Aquinas, Ratzinger, Vatican II, Josef Pieper, von Balthasar. Minuses also are present: in reality, Aquinas often ignores historical background, picking and choosing by verbal allusions—he was a man of his time; the discussion of grace and merit solves nothing—how could it? But all things considered, readers will be stimulated to further thought even when they do not agree with everything that is said. Casimir Bernas Holy Trinity Abbey Academic, 2012. Pp. xvi + 223. Paper, $24.99. This is the complementary volume on Peter promised by Bockmuehl in his The Remembered Peter in Ancient Reception and Modern Debate (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010; see RSR 37:136). The earlier treatise consisted of updated essays on the historical Peter. The present one, intended for a less scholarly audience and in a more popular form, does not merely repeat in shorter format the previous arguments, but advances the discussion on several fronts (and this at one sixth of the price). The author continues to provide wellphrased insights. The willy-nilly subjectivity of all historical research is seen in the fact that Peter (like Jesus) is always someone’s Peter. In this case, the “someone” is the ecclesial community, which is in constant need of criticism and selfcriticism. Surprisingly, Peter—after Jesus himself—is the most mentioned person in the NT. From the NT accounts, we still do not know who was the ﬁrst to see the risen Jesus, although Peter is often accorded that honor. Historical aftermath is often neglected as a means of ascertaining the historicity of a person or event. Success can often result in ultimate disaster. Once again, Bockmuehl goes beyond personalities by treating vast differences of thought and action that verge on the typical. His exposition is highly recommended to all NT students. Casimir Bernas Holy Trinity Abbey JESUS AND PAUL BEFORE CHRISTIANITY: THEIR WORLD AND WORK IN RETROSPECT. By V. George Shillington. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2011. Pp. xii + 251. Paper, $27.00 Jesus was not a Christian, and Paul did not invent Christianity. These are not new insights, but Shillington accepts them, and careful readers will be willing to do the same after ﬁnishing this treatise on the similarities and contrasts between Jesus and Paul. Other noteworthy arguments abound: the ﬁrst followers of Jesus were likewise not Christians, but disciples; Jesus wrote nothing, and he may not have been able to read; Jesus offers the gift of God to people as he found them, without requiring baptism; only Luke describes the sending of the seventy-two; Jesus healed as a prophet, not as a priest; Jesus works miracles because the “Good News” means nothing to one who is destitute; the salt THE DEATH OF JUDAS: THE CHARACTERIZATION OF JUDAS ISCARIOT IN THREE EARLY CHRISTIAN ACCOUNTS OF HIS DEATH. By Jesse E. Robertson. Shefﬁeld, UK: Shefﬁeld Phoenix Press, 2012. Pp. xii + 170. Cloth, $95.00. The three early Christian accounts of the death of Judas are found in Matt 27:3–5, Acts 1:18–20, and Papias (frag 4.2–3). All the accounts fall into the common ancient world characterization pattern found in the picture of well-known persons: qualities of mind, body, other character traits, tales of death, and divine justiﬁcation for their ﬁtting end. In Matthew, Judas is clearly presented as an apostate who kills himself by hanging, a shameful manner of death excoriated 46 Religious Studies Review • VOLUME 40 in the ancient world. The evangelist thereby offers a warning against apostasy to his readers. For Luke in Acts, Judas’s greed is emphasized by his death on a piece of land purchased by the price of betrayal. His violent deadly fall illustrates his spiritual fall from a position of trust to that of a betrayer. In the gruesome narrative of Papias, Judas suffers and dies from an extreme case of dropsy, which was a disease considered in antiquity to result from any number of vices, including greed and perjury. In his short treatise, Robertson has skillfully aided students and scholars by gathering and interpreting these references to the death of the quintessential betrayer of all time. Casimir Bernas Holy Trinity Abbey • NUMBER 1 • MARCH 2014 Mary and the recently published Gospel of Judas. It is clear from this book that Denzey Lewis is an excellent teacher. Birger A. Pearson University of California, Santa Barbara History of Christianity SOUNDINGS IN CULTURAL CRITICISM: PERSPECTIVES AND METHODS IN CULTURE, POWER AND IDENTITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. Edited by Francisco Lozada, Jr. and Greg Carey. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2013. Pp. xvi + 231. $49.00. “Why is having an ‘agenda’ . . . seen as a detriment to the acceptance of our writings as biblical scholars?” Mary Tolbert exhorts biblical interpreters to unmask their unique inclinations, education, social location, cultural conditioning, philosophical assumptions, and religious views. Rather than hide behind a myth of historical objectivity or private commitments and passions, contributors in this volume encourage and employ their personal and collective cultural locations in the exegetical process. They consistently interrogate the oft-perceived objective neutrality of euro/ americentric “master narratives” in hermeneutics. Thus, Musa Dube decolonizes the prevailing appellation of Africa as the “dark continent” and its need for illumination from savagery, barbarism, backwardness, incivility, and heathenism by a westernized gospel. Others renegotiate inadequate readings of biblical texts/themes such as Jesus’s encounter with the Canaanite “savage dog-woman” in Matthew, his re-appropriation of Sabbath in Mark, or ethno-diminishing constructs of inclusivity in Luke-Acts. Dedicated to Fernando Segovia, a monumental pioneer behind the recent proliferation of voices and approaches, the editors stand upon his shoulders and elaborate further upon the role of culture, power, and identity in biblical interpretation from diverse global contexts. Lozada’s chapter summarizes this thesis and calls for greater breadth in NT introductions. Given the make-up of an already global community, the contributors to this volume long for readings beyond the myth of euro/americentric historical criticism and hope that cultural minority readings will soon catch up. This volume is a move in the right direction. Martin W. Mittelstadt Evangel University INTRODUCTION TO “GNOSTICISM”: ANCIENT VOICES, CHRISTIAN WORLDS. By Nicola Denzey Lewis. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. xxiv + 305. Paper, $39.95. This book is designed for undergraduate students. In her preface, Denzey Lewis states that her approach to the Nag Hammadi (NH) texts is based on her conviction that the NT writings were the most signiﬁcant sources of inspiration for the NH writers. In the ﬁrst chapter, she discusses the NH “library.” She then discusses the problem of “Gnosticism” in modern scholarship, and the various approaches taken. Chapter 3 is devoted to the “religious landscapes” of the Roman Empire, and Chapter 4 to second-century Christianity. In Chapter 5, she discusses Prayer of the Apostle Paul (NH I.1) and the Hermetic Prayer of Thanks (VI, 7) as examples of Gnostic prayer. Chapter 6 treats Valentinus and the Valentinians, and Chapters 7 and 8 ﬁve Valentinian texts in the NHL: Tripartite Tractate (I,5); Interpretation of Knowledge (X,1); Valentinian Exposition (XI,2); Gospel of Truth (I,3); and Gospel of Philip (III,3). Chapter 9 is devoted to the Thomas literature: Gospel of Thomas (II.2) and Book of Thomas the Contender (II,7). The Sethian Gnostic texts are taken up in Chapters 10–12, with special attention given to the “classic text,” Apocryphon of John (Chapter 12). Gospel of the Egyptians is treated as a “classic liturgical text” in Chapter 13. “Dealing with Death” is the theme of Chapter 14, treating First and Second Apocalypse of James (V,3; V,4), Apocryphon of James (I,2), and Treatise on the Resurrection (I,4). “Deconstructing the Divine Feminine” is the theme of Chapter 15, treating Thunder: Perfect Mind (VI,2) and Trimorphic Protennoia (XIII,2). The “pagan texts” are treated in Chapter 16: Discourse on the Eighth (VI,6), Asclepius (VI,8), and Plato Republic 588b–589b (VI,5). “Apostolic Traditions in Conﬂict” is the theme of Chapter 17, treating Letter of Peter to Philip (VIII,2), Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (VI,1), and Apocalypse of Peter (VII,3). “Visions of the End” is the subject of Chapter 18: Apocalypse of Paul (V,2) and Apocalypse of Adam (V,5). The Sethian “Platonizing” apocalypses are treated in Chapter 19: Zost. (VIII,1) Allogenes (XI,3), and Marsanes (X). Treated in Chapter 20 are Gospel of History of Christianity (Early) LIVING WATER: IMAGES, SYMBOLS, AND SETTINGS OF EARLY CHRISTIAN BAPTISM. By Robin M. Jensen. Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, 105. Leiden: Brill, 2011. Pp. 305; illustrations. $159.00. Jensen takes an interdisciplinary approach to the early Christian world in her meticulous book on the visual and 47 Copyright of Religious Studies Review is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.