At ETS/SBL last week I received a copy of Ralph Martin’s commentary 2 Corinthians, Volume 40: Second Edition (Word Biblical Commentary). I am very pleased to see that Zondervan has taken over printing the Word commentaries. I’m not sure if they will continue printing revised editions or if they will be replacing old commentaries. But the English and Greek fonts are much more reader friendly than Word Press’s fonts, which I found atrocious. Martin’s volume seems to me a slight updating of bibliography and various issues, although I haven’t been through much of his first edition, so I can’t be sure. Glad to see Zondervan improving the aesthetics of this great commentary series.
This week a Festschrift was released in honor of Doug Moo, entitled Studies in the Pauline Epistles: Essays in Honor of Douglas J. Moo. It has a great collection of essays by Beale, Carson, Verbrugge, Wright, Schreiner, etc., and an interesting dual set of essays by Dunn and Westerholm: Dunn on what is right about the Old Perspective, and Westerholm about what is right about the New Perspective! Much thanks to Doug Moo for his long faithful career in biblical studies and especially in Pauline history and theology.
I just finished my review on Charlie Trimm’s published dissertation “YHWH Fights for Them!”: The Divine Warrior in the Exodus Narrative. My dissertation (in progress) involves a good amount of work on the divine warrior and divine builder motif in Ps 68, so I really reaped a lot of benefit from Trimm’s work. In ch. 2 he extracts themes and motifs from the poetic Divine Warrior texts; in ch. 3 he argues that Exod 1-14 contain these themes and motifs; chs. 4-6 argue that additional material not found in the poetic texts are expansions of the genre rather than deviations (narratival, martial, and relational expansions); ch. 7 applies this lens to Pharaoh’s heart problem to solve the ethical dilemma (his analysis is interesting).
My review suggests there are some issues with his main thesis. Namely, he does not deal with any dating issues, and that would determine whether “the author” (as Trimm calls him) could have appropriated the genre. Under a traditional view of the OT’s composition, only Exod 15 would have existed at the time of composition of Exod 1-14, and perhaps only in oral form, so there would have been no genre yet to appropriate. If he dates Exod 1-14 later, or if he believes there is redactional activity to bring the narrative into conformity with the genre that arises later, then he should have explained his views and explored them. I also wonder whether the author is intentionally crafting the narrative in the Divine Warrior tradition, or simply telling the story as he understood it from his worldview. Now, if all he means to argue is that there is a formal similarity (incidental) between Exod 1-14 and the divine warrior poems, then his thesis would hold, but if the same author wrote chs. 1-14 and 15, then the similarity is surely more than incidental.
I enjoyed Trimm’s synchronic analysis of Exodus, interpreting the ideas and motifs within their ANE milieu (even if it does invite the problem for his thesis mentioned above). I would recommend this work to anyone interested in the divine warrior motif and in OT theology generally.
I discovered this website the other day through some resources they sent to Westminster’s journal for review. GlossaHouse is publishing a great deal of resources (and seemingly a full curriculum) to learn to speak Koine Greek in order to learn it. It’s unclear how much they intend to lead the student into conversational abilities, since they are still in the midst of producing their resources. I emailed with one of the authors, Michael Holcomb, and we may get a chance to meet up at SBL and chat about his project. Since I’m teaching Greek right now, I’m very interested in programs that help teach students to speak Koine, rather than simply translate it. Hopefully I’ll get to review some of their works here on my blog in the near future. Here’s the website: http://www.glossahouse.com.
I found today there is a position open at Westminster College in Cambridge for Tutor in NT. You can find the job information and application forms here:
http://www.westminster.cam.ac.uk/downloads/TiNTLLT-Complete-Application-Pack-Tutor-in-New-Testament-Language-Literature-and-Theology.pdf. Application deadline is Dec. 12.
My review has been published on Jared Calaway’s The Sabbath and the Sanctuary: Access to God in the Letter to the Hebrews and its Priestly Context (WUNT II). For the full text, click here. Calaway’s published dissertation was an interesting read, especially given his exploration of the similarities between Hebrews and Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice. Such a connection warranted a full study in itself, given the heavenly tabernacle scene in the Qumran document. I was less impressed by his reading of Hebrews, especially by his attempt to align Songs and Hebrews in a kind of evolutionary pattern of thought, which requires that Hebrews only read or built off the priestly sources. For that would mean he ignored all the other passages in the Pentateuch, especially the ones that Calaway makes out to be contradictory to the priestly sources. Nevertheless, the dominant idea of the alignment of sacred time (sabbath) with sacred space (sanctuary) is one that can be seen in the OT itself, as well as in Hebrews. Such an idea is a helpful addition to one’s arsenal when studying Hebrews.
My review of Richard Ounsworth’s published dissertation (WUNT II series) has been published in WTJ 76.1. For the full PDF, click here. I enjoyed reading this work and found it a helpful addition to studies on typology in the NT. Contrary to the implication of its name, the book only treats three sections in Hebrews and looks at the relationship between Joshua and Jesus (whose Greek name is the same). He relates the spatial relationship of entering the land with the relationship of entering the heavenly tabernacle, thus uniting the horizontal and vertical spatial imagery in the letter, which also unites the seemingly disparate ideas of Jesus as an antitypical Joshua and a great High Priest. Both ideas are also, of course, related to the wilderness and tabernacle setting, with the Day of Atonement highlighting the High Priest. I found Ounsworth’s work helpful in many respects, and the critiques I make relate mainly to his audience-centered hermeneutic, which I found a bit problematic (I’d be happy to hear his responses if he were to see the review – I know this is becoming a popular view nowadays). Many thanks to Richard for his fine contribution to the study of Hebrews.