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Religious Studies Review

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the allusions he himself identies seem less than solid. marketplace frames a discussion of the public identity and
Luther hardly needed to have read the Metamorphoses to call identication of Christians. In the second section, ve letters
his critics donkeys, while the alleged Apuleian echoes in referencing Sotas, a third-century bishop, reveal a lively
Sidneys Arcadia seem pretty doubtful. I noted a few factual network linking Christian communities and their common
slips and some errors in translation. But these are minor concerns and activities (including bookmaking and fundrais-
aws in a wide-ranging and important book. ing). The third section looks for Christians in ofcial
Gregory Hays papers (certicates of sacrice, summons, and property
University of Virginia conscation orders) and nds evidence of street level
forms of resistance to and subversion of government orders.
VERGILS ECLOGUES. Edited by Katharina Volk. Oxford The three sections (of two chapters each) are nicely framed
Readings in Classical Studies. Oxford and New York: Oxford by introductory and summative chapters. Overall Luijendijk
University Press, 2008. Pp. vi + 293. Paper, $49.95. does a ne job of teasing out details from the lives of real
This volume, a complement to Oxford Readings in people and plausibly framing scenes from the lives these
Vergils Georgics (2007) and Aeneid (1990), is intended as an details imply. Her work is simultaneously a ne study of
introduction to recent scholarship on the same poets Christians in Oxyrhynchus and a very readable portal to the
Eclogues. It contains a survey by Volk, a full bibliography, discipline of papyrology.
and ten studies, in or translated into English, by nine dis- Michael W. Holmes
tinguished commentators. Some of the studies have been Bethel University
revised slightly and equipped, where lacking, with transla-
tions of Latin quoted in the text (but not in the notes), but all
were originally published in the last quarter of the twentieth FROM LITERAL TO LITERARY: THE ESSENTIAL
century, when the Eclogues generated a remarkable amount REFERENCE BOOK FOR BIBLICAL METAPHORS.
of scholarship. As Volk observes, much of this was, to use SECOND EDITION. By James Rowe Adams. Cleveland,
her terms, either ideological, interpreting the Eclogues as a OH: The Pilgrim Press, 2008. Pp. 387. $25.00.
response to their historical, political, and religious context, This resource is aimed at a lay audience unfamiliar with
or literary, exploring them chiey as poems about the technical study of the Bible or the biblical languages. The
poetry, but her selections include only two ideological author states that his goal is to enrich the readers under-
studies, both concerned more with antecedents and inu- standing of biblical metaphors that have too often been inter-
ence than with the Eclogues themselves. On the literary preted in an overly literal fashion. From the outset, there is
side are valuable discussions of individual poems, groups of a not-so-subtle subtext wherein the author reveals his prob-
poems, and thematic elements, but also two accounts of style lems with institutionalized religion. This subtext permeates
and language that seem out of place in a collection requiring the book and raises questions about whether his treatment
translation of Latin texts and could have been omitted in of biblical metaphors is really all that balanced or fair.
favor of more ideology. Nevertheless, even as it is, the book Though Adams writes in his acknowledgements that he has
should serve both classicists and general readers as a useful, tried to be sensitive to those who come from more conserva-
if somewhat one-sided, introduction to these remarkable tive backgrounds, the book clearly reects a politically and
poems. theologically liberal stance within mainline Protestantism.
David Mankin Practically, this means that the authors attempts at uncov-
Cornell University ering biblical metaphors are in some places illuminating and
in other places reective of his own presuppositions rather
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than those of the biblical authors. Entries that fall into this
latter category include, among others, homosexual (pp.
Christian Origins 144-46), and virgin birth (pp. 304-06), where Adams incor-
rectly identies Isaiah 7:14 (he writes 14:7) as the OT source
GREETINGS IN THE LORD: EARLY CHRISTIANS for Matthews understanding of the virginal conception.
AND THE OXYRHYNCHUS PAPYRI. By AnneMarie These entries seem to reect an anticonservative polemic, or
Luijendijk. Harvard Theological Studies, 60. Cambridge, MA: at the very least, an apologetic for understanding the biblical
Harvard University Press, 2008. Pp. xx + 294. $25.00. text from a liberal mainline Protestant perspective. Further,
This is a ne example of what may be termed narrative no rationale is provided for why the book includes some
papyrology, in which the authors papyrological skills biblical metaphors (which is presumably the books focus),
combine with a disciplined imagination to bring to life snap- some metaphors from Christian theological discussions, and
shots of the lives of the people behind the small details of life some terms that are not metaphorical in the slightest.
in Oxyrhynchus randomly preserved among the papyri. For Neither is there an explanation of why some metaphors are
example, behind two seemingly insignicant parchment included while other equally important metaphors are left
scraps the author envisions the contours of a Christian out. This book suffers from a number of aws in terms of
scriptorium. In the rst section, the image of a busy presentation, methodology, and breadth of research. The aim

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behind this book is a noble one, but there are several other the volume is concerned with both early Judaism and early
helpful resources to recommend before suggesting this one Christianity, eight of the books thirteen chapters are
to an interested layperson. devoted to exploring religious experiences in the NT. There
Christopher W. Skinner are two chapters on Mark (both related to the demonic), one
Mount Olive College on the language of transformation in John, and an entire
section consisting of ve chapters on Paul. The rationale for
devoting an entire section to religious experiences in Pauls
SETTLEMENT AND HISTORY IN HELLENISTIC,
writings is that the Pauline corpus seems to offer both the
ROMAN, AND BYZANTINE GALILEE. By Uzi Leibner. most tantalizing access to religious experience and some
Tbingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2009. Pp. 471. $199.00. quite complex problems regarding our access to that expe-
This technical monograph began as a doctoral disserta- rience. An essay by C. Fletcher-Louis entitled Religious
tion at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, and eventu- Experience and the Apocalypses is among the most inter-
ally morphed into its nal form after several years of esting chapters in this volume. Fletcher-Louis examines
subsequent research. The ambitious aim of the volumeto similarities between Daniel, 1 Enoch, and Joseph and Aseneth
reconstruct the settlement history of Galilee during the (three seemingly unrelated apocalypses), in light of a new
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine erasis pursued through a perspective on dealing with apocalyptic texts. As an entre
methodology that is both literary and archaeological. Leibner to the substantive chapters of the book, the editors provide
begins his introduction by tracing the history of archaeologi- an exposition of their suppositions and methodology, espe-
cal research on Galilee and its surrounding regions. This cially as those concerns relate to the History of Religions
study is concerned with Galilee, but more specically the approach embodied specically by the Chicago School. This
northern part of the Eastern Lower Galilee, between longi- is a welcomed rst volume in what will hopefully be an
tude 185-200 and latitude 242-261, an area of some 285 ongoing series.
square kilometers. According to Leibner, this area provides Christopher W. Skinner
the most reliable literary evidence for advanced archaeologi- Mount Olive College
cal research. Leibner has done a tremendous amount of work
in collating and translating all the relevant documentary
materials. The literary evidence examined in this volume
WOMEN IN THE WORLD OF THE EARLIEST
comes from Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic sources and has
CHRISTIANS: ILLUMINATING ANCIENT WAYS OF
been compared with rabbinic sources from the periods in
LIFE. By Lynn H. Cohick. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Aca-
question. As one might expect from a volume such as this,
demic, 2009. Pp. 350. $26.99.
there are also extensive discussions of pottery types, agri-
This book stands apart in the crowded eld of scholarly
culture, climate, and other issues traditionally associated
investigations into the status and roles of women within the
with biblical archaeology. In all, the study looks at fty dif-
Roman Empire and early Christianity. Cohick demonstrates
ferent archaeological sites in Galilee. This book is clearly the
both a deep mastery of the primary texts and an enviable
result of in-depth research and one must be well versed in
sophistication in her readings of those texts. Cohick inter-
the language and nuances of biblical archaeology to use the
acts with secondary sources, but very little in this work is
book with any real benet. That being said, Leibner has
derivative. The author has mastered the primary sources,
produced a volume that will likely become the eld manual
and readers will nd none of the gross generalizations or
for archaeological research on the settlement history of
simplistic stereotypes that characterize some of the schol-
Galilee during the three eras covered by his research.
arship within this eld. Cohick is sensitive to different aims
Christopher W. Skinner
of our ancient sources. She appropriately notes that pre-
Mount Olive College
scriptive sources tend to stereotype women as silent and
submissive, while descriptive sources exhibit signicantly
EXPERIENTIA, VOLUME 1: INQUIRY INTO RELI- more diversity. Cohick considers ancient women in all their
GIOUS EXPERIENCE IN EARLY JUDAISM AND variety, surveying everything from womens roles as wives
EARLY CHRISTIANITY. Edited by Frances Flannery, and daughters to their vocations as wet nurses and artisans.
Colleen Shantz, and Rodney A. Werline. Atlanta, GA: Society This volume is as attentive to slaves and prostitutes as it is
of Biblical Literature, 2008. Pp. 261. $32.95. to female deacons and benefactors. The majority of her
Literary expressions of early Judaism and Christianity work investigates the Greco-Roman context, but when
present readers with an array of religious experiences, from Cohick examines biblical texts she brings a fresh and well-
demonic possession and spiritual transformation to apoca- trained eye to many long familiar debates. Simply stated,
lyptic visions and heavenly ascents. This book is a compila- this volume is the best work of its kind that is currently
tion of papers that explore these and other religious available. It is likely to serve as a standard work for decades
experiences. The papers were originally presented over to come.
several years in the Religious Experience in Early Judaism Thomas E. Phillips
and Early Christianity Consultation of the SBL. Although Point Loma Nazarene University

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IN THE SHADOW OF EMPIRE: RECLAIMING THE article in this volume stands well on its own merit, but the
BIBLE AS A HISTORY OF FAITHFUL RESISTANCE. chapters have little clear connection to one another either in
Edited by Richard A. Horsley. Louisville, KY: Westminster terms of approach or content. The volume is fully indexed
John Knox, 2008. Pp. 199. $24.95. and the editors provide a brief introduction and afterword.
The imperial policies instituted during the Bush Research libraries should secure a copy of this volume.
Cheney administration caused many American Christians to Thomas E. Phillips
pose difcult questions about the relationship between the Point Loma Nazarene University
Bible, the role of government, and the American identity.
Though the early days of American expansion were driven
THE TRIAL NARRATIVES: CONFLICT, POWER,
by an ideology that saw America as the new Israel, Horsley
begins this volume by emphasizing that modern America is
AND IDENTITY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. By
much more like a new Rome, wielding its power with the Matthew L. Skinner. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox,
erceness of an ancient empire. The goal of this book is to 2010. Pp. 210. Paper, $34.95.
explore the underlying narrative of oppression and resis- Skinner examines the trial narratives in the four gospels
tance in the OT and NT with a view to answering contempo- and Acts, devoting a chapter to Jesus trial narrative in each
rary questions. Six of the books nine chapters are focused of the gospels, to the trials in Jerusalem (Acts 4-8), to the
on the NT, the entirety of which was written under Roman trials in Philippi and Thessalonica (Acts 16-17), and to Pauls
rule. This lack of balance strikes the present reviewer as nal trials in various settings (Acts 21-28). Although Skin-
somewhat strange, since the OT is more diverse in its depic- ners earlier work has demonstrated his mastery of Roman
tion of the struggle against the foreign domination of three forensic rhetoric, his approach in this volume is largely
world empires (Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia). Neverthe- narrative-critical, with a keen eye for the theological signi-
less, this volume does an able job of advancing the thesis cance of the trial scenes. Skinner enters into the politically
that the Bible is a continued story of faithful resistance in charged arena of early Christianitys interaction with the
the face of imperial domination. The chapters are written Roman Empire with a balanced and nuanced hand, avoiding
by (in order) Gottwald, Brueggemann, J. Berquist, Crossan, the one-sided readings so common among contemporary
Horsley, N. Elliott, W. Carter, B. Kahl, and G. Carey. This scholarship. In Skinners reading, Rome is neither an unre-
lineup is impressive, as the contributors are established lenting foe nor an unambiguous ally of emerging Christian-
scholars, and a few (notably Crossan and Carter) are well ity. Skinner also recognizes that the trial narratives are not
known and regarded for their work on the Bible and empire. primarily about Rome, but about the early Christians and
The chapter by Brueggemann (Faith in the Empire) is par- their God. This volume is therefore particularly noteworthy
ticularly helpful for the biblical and ecclesial insights it for its attention to questions of perceived and implied divine
advances. Overall, this work is a good example of scholar- involvement in the NTs trial narratives. This volume is rec-
ship in service to the church. ommended both for readers interested in the political orien-
Christopher W. Skinner tations of the NT narratives and for readers interested in
Mount Olive College theological questions about the nature of divine/human
interactions in NT narratives more generally.
Thomas E. Phillips
ENGAGING ECONOMICS: NEW TESTAMENT SCE- Point Loma Nazarene University
NARIOS AND EARLY CHRISTIAN RECEPTION.
Edited by Bruce W. Longenecker and Kelly D. Liebengood.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009. Pp. 336. Paper, $32.00. RELIGION IM RMISCHEN THESSALONIKI:
This collection of thirteen original essays by both estab- SAKRALTOPOGRAPHIE, KULT UND GESELL-
lished and emerging scholars is composed of strong indi- SCHAFT 168 V. CHR.324 N. CHR. By Christopher
vidual contributions. The opening essay on methodological Steimle. Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum, 47.
issues (by P. Oakes) is exceptional. The next seven essays Tbingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2008. Pp. xi + 240.
examine various economic themes and concerns in selected Paper, 59.00.
NT writings (particularly the Synoptic Gospels, Acts, Paul, The modern city of Thessaloniki occupies its ancient
James, and 1 Peter). Some articles explore an entire NT book urban center, making it difcult for archaeologists and his-
or corpus (e.g., LukeActs or Paul), while others examine a torians to discover much about Roman Thessalonik. In the
recurring theme (e.g. reciprocity, benefaction, and the rela- past few decades, however, some inroads have been made.
tionship between money and identity). The coverage of the Drawing upon this recent archaeological work and on liter-
NT is selective, not comprehensive. Three of the following ary evidence, Steimle examines the complex religious land-
essays examine the reception of Galatians 2:10, of the book scape of Thessalonik. Following a brief exploration of the
of Revelation, and of Pauls instructions to widows (as found status questionis, he provides a panorama of the physical
in 1 Timothy!). The two closing essays explore the theme of spaces with which various religions were afliated. This is
almsgiving in a broad swath of early Christianity and the followed by a detailed examination of three specic religious
economics implications of the Syriac Book of Steps. Each phenomena at Thessalonik: the Egyptian gods, Emperor

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worship, and cult associations (Vereinigungen). In the nal institutions with a mainline Protestant, evangelical, or
chapter, Steimle concludes that cultural, including religious, Roman Catholic afliation. Given that the Bible is not par-
changes in Thessalonik over a 500-year period of interac- ticularly centered on children, the question of method is of
tion with Rome reect a pattern of mutual inuence, not only critical importance to this volume and its aims. The task
between Rome and Macedonia but also among the urban given to each contributor is to examine various biblical texts
centers within the province itself. The city inhabitants and themes through the lens of the child. In other words,
crafted their own responses to the constantly shifting socio- they are to keep in mind questions and concerns about
political conditions around them. Convincing in its argu- children and childhood as they interpret biblical texts. This
ment and thorough in its detail, Steimle has provided includes a consideration of the various terms for children,
scholars interested in early Christianity at Thessaloniki an depictions of children (positive, negative, and indifferent),
invaluable tool for understanding the complexity of the cul- and adultchild relationships, along with their respective
tural environment in which the Jesus movement took root. roles and responsibilities. Overall, this book represents an
Richard S. Ascough ambitious undertaking that generates complex discussions
Queens University at Kingston and yields a number of helpful insights. The coverage of
biblical texts is generally balanced and comprehensive,
though one wonders about the disproportionate attention
PAULINISCHE THEOLOGIE UND RELIGIONSGE- given to the much shorter and less diverse NT. That criticism
SCHICHTE. GESAMMELTE AUFSTZE, V. By Hans notwithstanding, this volume will likely nd a home in the
Dieter Betz. Tbingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck 2009. classroom as a valuable resource, and its value for confes-
Pp. xii + 259. 89.00. sional and ecclesial contexts should not be overlooked. I
This volume contains twelve essays written between anticipate that this book will also be used with benet by
1995 and 2008 that focus on the sophisticated conversa- rabbis, pastors, and other religious leaders who have a
tion between theology and the history of religions. The rst vested interest in the biblical presentations of children.
seven essays have their point of origin in the Epistles of Paul. Christopher W. Skinner
Among other things, Betz deals with 1 Cor 11:17-34 and the Mount Olive College
Concept of the Inner Human Being (ho eso anthropos) in
the Anthropology of Paul, and with Rom 9:1-5. Further, Betz
broaches the issue of the The Gospel and the Wisdom of the FAITHFUL FEELINGS: RETHINKING EMOTION IN
Barbarians: The Corinthians Question Behind Their Ques- THE NEW TESTAMENT. By Matthew A. Elliot. Grand
tions, and he considers the matter of self-deception by Paul Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2006. Pp. 301. $21.99.
according to 1 Cor 3:18-23. In the nal ve papers Betz Few prior NT studies on emotion attempt a working
focuses on the works of ancient writers, namely Dio of Prusa denition; Elliots makes a strong case for the cognitive
and Plutarch of Chaironeia. An elaborate index rounds out nature of emotion. In chapter 1, he adopts the language of
the collection. All in all, this fth volume of Betzs collected modern emotional theorists to emphasize the interdepen-
papers demonstrates what a profound and virtuosic inter- dence of physiological responses and reason. Chapters 2-3
preter of ancient texts he is. This volume will spark the establish precedent for a cognitive view in ancient Greco-
interest of professors and students of theology alike, as well Roman and Jewish thought. In the sequel, Elliot assesses
as of pastors and religion teachers. It profoundly provides scholarly treatment of seven emotions in the NT, concluding
broad insights into central theological topics and issues of that NT writers conceive of emotion more like OT writers. To
the NT. wit, emotions are feelings that accurately reveal ones beliefs
Thomas Witulski (contra the Greek notion that they are irrational impulses to
Westflische Wilhelms-Universitt, Mnster be controlled). It is problematic, however, that Elliot uses
modern context and categories to analyze our shared expe-
THE CHILD IN THE BIBLE. Edited by Marcia J. Bunge. rience written about in the New Testament. Some emotions
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008. Pp. xxvi + 467. $30.00. on Elliots modern list (e.g., agapao and elpizo ), for example,
Finding its point of entry at the crossroads of biblical may not qualify as emotions for the Greeks (pathe lists go
studies and the burgeoning discipline of childhood studies, unmentioned by Elliot). Further, certain Hellenistic philoso-
this volume arises as a part of The Child in Religion and phers who assume Aristotelian cognition have advanced to
Ethics Project at Valparaiso University. The book consists of other, overlooked concerns, such as the point in the cogni-
eighteen substantive essays aimed at examining the child tive process at which emotion begins. Unfortunately, Elliot
in the OT (six essays); in the NT (seven essays); and from offers only eight pages on Hellenistic literature (compared to
several thematic perspectives (ve essays). Though not thirty pages on the OT) and relies almost exclusively on
every contributor has written extensively on the role of chil- Martha Nussbaums analysis. Faithful Feelings is neverthe-
dren in the Bible, each is a recognized authority in the area less commendable for its originality and range; touching
of biblical study addressed by his or her essay. The contribu- upon most NT books, Elliot challenges the discipline to take
tors are, for the most part, centrist scholars drawn from a fresh look at the literary function of emotion. The works

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greatest contribution, overall, may be to foster interdiscipli- his reading of the Jewish scriptures. Similarly, S. Chesters
nary dialogue with counseling or psychology. evaluation of Badious and Luthers readings of Paul and
Richard Hicks politics sets the stage wonderfully for Part Two, showing the
Fuller Theological Seminary continual interplay between hermeneutics, context, and
ethics in ones exegesis of Paul. G. Wests essay on I. Shem-
ALTERNATIVE CHRISTS. Edited by Olav Hammer. Cam- bes use of Paul is equally informative, as it demonstrates the
bridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. 305. $90.00. importance that contextual readings of sacred texts have on
Consisting of essays written by a cadre of international the formation of new communities of faith, a process that is
scholars from the USA, Britain, France, Holland, Denmark, illuminating for understanding Pauls hermeneutics as well.
Sweden, and Norway, this work is concerned with examin- The quality of the essays is certainly consistent, making this
ing different presentations of Jesus in both ancient and collection of essays useful for both biblical scholars and
modern forms of religious expression. Hammer begins his theologians alike.
introduction by noting that even though there is an estab- Mark A. Jennings
lished understanding of Jesus within Christianity, there has Marquette University
never been unanimity among religious people about the sig-
nicance of Jesus life and ministry. As the title suggests, the
book is devoted to looking closely at how different groups of GELITTENGESTORBENAUFERSTANDEN:
religious people have incorporated and/or explained Jesus. PASSIONS- UND OSTERTRADITIONEN IM
Several chapters of this book explore Jesus place within ANTIKEN CHRISTENUM. Edited by Tobias Nicklas,
specic religious systems such as Gnosticism (R. van den Andreas Merkt, and Joseph Verheyden. Wissenschaftliche
Broek), Manicheaism (J. DeBuhn), Islam (J. Hjarpe), Hindu- Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, II/273. Tbingen,
ism (B. Malkovsky), and Mormonism (D. J. Davies). Other Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2010. Pp. viii + 380. Paper,
chapters explore different literary presentations of Jesus, $147.50.
including the NT apocrypha (E. Thomassen), and the writ- This important collection of essays (eleven in English,
ings of Guillaume Postel (J.-P. Brach), and Swedenborg (W. J. six in German, and one in French) largely originates from a
Hanegraaff). Other chapters that are difcult to squeeze into series of scholarly conferences in 2007. The articles examine
one category examine alternative approaches to Christology early Christian literature that discusses suffering, death,
from within quasi-Christian and non-Christian frameworks and resurrection. The authors mostly focus upon noncanoni-
(see the essays by U. Szulakowska, J. A. Santucci, N. cal Christian literature (gospels, Acts, and patristic writings)
Goodrick-Clarke, J. R. Lewis, and M. Rothstein). The books to discern what can be learned about early Christian beliefs
nal chapter explores modern Jesus legends and argues that about the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus and of
forgotten elements of previous presentations of Jesus con- other early Christian gures. Some articles consider the
tinue to nd their way into the mainstream, often appearing reception of NT and noncanonical traditions in patristic,
as new ideas. Hammer concludes the book by commenting Gnostic, and Qura nic writings through the seventh century.
that even though the NT narratives are thoroughly legend- Particular attention is paid to the Acts of Pilate, the Gospel of
ary, the Gospel stories are nevertheless held up as the Peter, the Acts of John, Origen, Ignatius, and the Sibylline
absolute standardsaesthetic, literary, historical, and Oracles. Few comparable volumes provide as good a means
theologicalagainst which all other Jesus narratives are of entering into the current discussion about the competing
measured. passion and resurrection traditions within early Christiani-
Christopher W. Skinner ties. Scholars working on suffering, martyrdom, passion,
Mount Olive College and resurrection themes within early Christian discourse
will nd these articles indispensable both for their ability to
PAUL, GRACE AND FREEDOM: ESSAYS IN summarize the present state of scholarly discussion and for
HONOUR OF JOHN K. RICHES. Edited by Paul Middle- their contributions to that discussion.
ton, Angus Paddison, and Karen Wenell. T & T Clark Biblical Thomas E. Phillips
Studies. New York: T & T Clark, 2009. Pp. v + 215. $130.00. Point Loma Nazarene University
This dedicated collection of twelve essays honors J.
Riches by taking seriously that which he has valued, namely,
the importance of reading the Bible critically within the THE DISCIPLES JESUS: CHRISTOLOGY AS RE-
context of community. Part One attends to the books themes CONCILING PRACTICE. By Terrence W. Tilley. Mary-
as they occur in the NT, followed by Part Twos engagement knoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2008. Pp. xiv + 302. $38.00.
with how these themes have been read, interpreted, and The main thrust that runs throughout Tilleys intriguing
employed in various settings. J. Barclays conversation treatise is that Christology is a practical rather than merely
between Pauls and Philos understanding of Gods grace is theoretical exercise. Within this framework, Tilley asks inci-
the strength of Part One. This essay brings into sharp focus sive questions and provides possible, indeed often probable,
the radical nature of Pauls understanding of grace within answers to many: why we need another Christology; the

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politics of the Jesus movement; Jesus teachings on for- chapters. The Introduction furnishes an overall view of the
giveness and discipleship; the meaning of exorcisms and state of the question and describes divine retribution in the
healing; the purpose of common meals with his followers; OT and later Jewish literature. There follows an explication
Jesus as rst among equals; and his role as Messiah. In an of the subject in Paul, the Gospel tradition, and the Book of
epilogue, Tilley treats many facets of the resurrection: the Revelation. For Travis, the dependability of God is the ulti-
value of evidence; eyewitnesses; and acts being more funda- mate source of eternal salvation according to the Synoptic
mental than texts. Tilleys arguments require intensive con- Jesus. In Paul, the word of God is neither random nor
centration on the readers part, but the payoff is well worth impulsive; Gods judgment is not retributive, but relational
the effort. Especially striking is Tilleys quote from G. B. (it depends on how one is associated with Christ). Though
Shaws Saint Joan, which can be paraphrased thus: Joan it is often difcult to follow Traviss train of thought,
believes her voices come from God; her interlocutor claims readers will become aware that the subject of divine retri-
they come from her imagination; Joan replies, That is how bution (reward and punishment) in the Bible opens a Pan-
the messages of God come to us. Therein we have ample doras box whose highly controverted implications touch
food for thought, applicable to exegetical and theological upon the very foundations of NT religion: grace, free will,
circumstances never envisaged by the playwright. Joan, works; predestination and human responsibility; virtue as
willy-nilly, was right. its own reward; Luther or the Catholic tradition; and, sal-
Casimir Bernas vation and damnation. Travis cannot be expected to recon-
Holy Trinity Abbey cile these perennial dichotomies (indeed, they cannot be
reconciled), but by describing the vagaries of individual NT
writers (including their limits), his efforts are not thereby
ATONEMENT: THE PERSON AND WORK OF wasted.
CHRIST. By Thomas F. Torrance. Edited by Robert T. Casimir Bernas
Walker. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009. Holy Trinity Abbey
Pp. lxxxiv + 489. $35.00.
Admirers of the theological work of Torrance will rejoice
that his lectures on the Atonement have been commendably
collected and edited by his nephew Walker in a form that REDEFINING FIRST-CENTURY JEWISH AND
does justice to the intent of Torrance before ill health and CHRISTIAN IDENTITIES: ESSAYS IN HONOR
death prevented him from completing the work himself. A OF ED PARISH SANDERS. Edited by Fabian E. Udoh,
massive Synopsis and lengthy editorial Introduction precede Susannah Heschel, Mark Chancy, and Gregory Tatum.
the twelve chapters of the treatise proper, whose subject Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity Series, 16. Notre
matter covers a vast range of atonement-related NT themes: Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008. Pp. 418.
priesthood of Christ; OT background; justication in Paul; $60.00.
reconciliation; resurrection; Parousia; Spirit; Church; and No contemporary NT scholars work is more important
Eschatology. An editors guide to further reading, glossary, than the work of Sanders. This celebration of Sanderss
and general index complete the treatise. How is one to work falls into four areas. First, Sanders and two of his
approach such a monumental undertaking, the considered former students review Sanderss intellectual biography
fruit of a lifetime of scholarship? Working ones way from and his publications. Second, seven scholars assess Sand-
cover to cover is hardly viable. Readers will surely prot erss work on ancient Judaism, particularly his argument
most by simply browsing through the copious editorial aids for a common Judaism in the rst century. This common
and then fastening upon subjects of individual interest Judaism was marked by worshiping Yahweh, keeping the
which will frequently coincide with Torrances own con- Sabbath, circumcising young males, practicing ritual
cerns with Barthian theology and the relation of theology in purity, and supporting the temple. Third, six chapters
general to the natural sciences. address the continuing legacy of Sanderss work on the his-
Casimir Bernas torical Jesus, particularly in regard to Judaism and the
Holy Trinity Abbey temple. Finally, the last ve chapters discuss Sanderss
work on Paul and his role in establishing the new per-
spective on Paul. No scholar of ancient Judaism or of early
CHRIST AND THE JUDGMENT OF GOD: THE Christianity can afford to overlook this volume. Each of the
LIMITS OF DIVINE RETRIBUTION IN NEW TESTA- contributors is a distinguished scholar in his or her own
MENT THOUGHT. By Stephen H. Travis. Revised and right and the contributions offer generally appreciative,
updated edition. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2009. but always stimulating, dialogue with Sanderss seminal
Pp. xvi + 383. $24.95. ideas. Every theological library should have a copy of this
This revised and expanded edition is a welcome update work.
to Traviss earlier 1986 version; he has here modied some Thomas E. Phillips
of his previous conclusions and included three new Point Loma Nazarene University

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THE WORD LEAPS THE GAP: ESSAYS ON SCRIP- scholarship on the birth narratives (and sometimes upon
TURE AND THEOLOGY IN HONOR OF RICHARD B. their reception).
HAYS. Edited by J. Ross Wagner, C. Kavin Rowe, and Thomas E. Phillips
A. Katherine Grieb. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008. Point Loma Nazarene University
Pp. xxii + 710. $70.00; 38.99.
This Festschrift, offered to Hays on his sixtieth birthday
THE HEBREW GOSPEL AND THE DEVELOPMENT
anniversary, contains thirty-two essays on a variety of bib-
OF THE SYNOPTIC TRADITION. By James R. Edwards.
lical subjects that reect Hayss own widespread interests.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009. Pp. 360. Paper, $36.00.
Thus, for F. Watson (Resurrection and the Limits of Paulin-
This ambitious volume offers a sustained argument for
ism), the two collections of canonical genres (Gospels and
new scholarly understanding of the origin of the Synoptic
Epistles) instigated an as-yet-unresolved tension between
Gospels. Edwards argues that the Hebrew Gospel which was
Christology and theologically based anthropology (broadly,
widely discussed among ancient Christians was the Grund-
between dogma and morals in the early church). J. Dunn
text (base text) for Lukes Gospel and that the uniquely
takes friendly issue with the second edition of Hayss The
Lukan traditions (including the birth narratives) represent
Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians
Greek translations of this Hebrew original. On the basis of
3:1-4:11 (Eerdmans, 2001); for Dunn, pistis Christou is not
this thesis about Lukes use of a Hebrew source, Edwards is
Christs own faith (as Hays claims), but the believers faith in
able to argue against the existence of Q. Edwards accepts
Christ. According to D. Smith (The Historical Figure of Jesus
Markan priority, but he argues against the prevailing theo-
in 1 John), the author of the epistle would have known some
ries for the relationship between Matthew and Luke by sug-
sort of document resembling the Fourth Gospel, a document
gesting that they shared only a very small common source
that provided memories that preserved Jesus from dissolv-
(177 verses). Edwards is unwilling to commit on whether
ing into the Docetic gure that the epistle combats. These
this shared source was written or not, but he is insistent that
few samples hardly do justice to the wealth of insight pro-
it was nothing like the Q so commonly discussed in contem-
vided by the remaining contributors, who include L. Keck, J.
porary scholarship. Scholars with a strong interest in the
Marcus, D. Allison, Jr., J. Green, L. Johnson, E. Sanders, and
history of the synoptic traditions will nd this volume impor-
N. Wright. All in all, an outstanding collection that NT schol-
tant reading, even though Edwardss arguments are unlikely
ars should not overlook.
to seriously challenge the reigning paradigms. Recom-
Casimir Bernas
mended for research libraries.
Holy Trinity Abbey
Thomas E. Phillips
Point Loma Nazarene University

NEW PERSPECTIVES ON THE NATIVITY. Edited by


Jeremy Corley. New York: T&T Clark, 2009. Pp. xi + 215. REVISITING THE EMPTY TOMB: THE EARLY
Paper, $34.95. HISTORY OF EASTER. By Daniel A. Smith. Minneapolis,
This volume seeks both to summarize what conversa- MN: Fortress, 2010. Pp. xi + 267. $29.00.
tion has taken place around the nativity narratives in With an economy of language and a richness of content,
Matthew and Luke since the second edition of Raymond this volume uses a history of traditions approach to examine
Browns epoch-making The Birth of the Messiah (1993) and the two types of Easter traditions, traditions of the empty
also to move beyond that conversation. H. Wansbrough tomb (traditions of disappearance) and traditions of postres-
provides an able summary of scholarly discourse since urrection christophanies (traditions of appearance). In
Browns second edition appeared. Wansbroughs chapter keeping with his earlier work on the same topic, Smith
largely sets the tone for the remainder of the volume. Each argues that the empty tomb traditions stem from Greco-
chapter offers a new perspective primarily in the sense Roman traditions about the postmortem vindication of a hero
that the author is presenting a perspective that has either gure, while traditions about Jesus postresurrection appear-
acquired attentionor gained increased attentionsince ances have a more Jewish origin. Smith disagrees with schol-
Browns second edition appeared. Several chapters provide ars who regard the empty tomb traditions as an early church
brief accounts of the arguments that the authors have fabrication which were invented to explain how the chris-
made in greater detail elsewhere (e.g., W. Carters chapter tophanies of the crucied and resurrected Christ are pos-
on Matthews birth narrative and Roman political order sible. Instead, Smith argues that the empty tomb traditions
and L. Malufs chapter on the use of Zechariah in Lukes are equally ancient and that the empty tomb traditions gain
Benedictus). In fact, some chapters (e.g., N. Kings argu- much plausibility from the appearance traditions. In Smiths
ment in favor of translating Lukes katluma as an inn) account the empty tomb traditions and the postreappearance
actually advocate for a return to older patterns of interpre- traditions both trace back to early layers of tradition and
tation. Although well-read interpreters of the birth narra- both traditions persevere within the churchs ongoing dis-
tives will nd few truly new ideas in this volume, the course. This volume is essential reading for those who seek
volume does provide a welcome summary of recent to understand the history and origin of the Easter traditions

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and it is highly recommended for all scholars of the gospels, thesis, which is based upon four peculiarities in Matthews
Paul, and earliest Christianity. use of heavenly language: 1) Matthews intentional distinc-
Thomas E. Phillips tion between the singular and plural uses of the Greek
Point Loma Nazarene University ouranos/ouranoi and his preference for the latter; 2) fre-
quent use of the heaven/earth pair; 3) use of heavenly
father and father in heaven; and 4) regular use of the
RETHINKING THE GOSPEL SOURCES, VOL. 2: THE
phrase kingdom of heaven. The book is divided into two
UNITY AND PLURALITY OF Q. By Delbert Burkett. major sections. The rst section consists of four chapters
Early Christianity and Its Literature, 1. Atlanta, GA: Society and explores heavenly language in the OT, in the second
of Biblical Literature, 2009. Pp. 360. Paper, $35.95. temple literature, in Matthew, and in contemporary
The last several years have seen two distinct chal- Matthean studies. The second section consists of eight
lenges to the theory of Q as a source that Matthew and chapters and focuses on Matthews idiolectic (or particu-
Luke shared. On the one hand, some scholars have argued lar linguistic construct) for heaven and the heaven/earth
for an outright rejection of the existence of Q. On the other pair. In the end, Pennington shows that decades of
hand, other scholars have argued that Matthew and Luke Matthean scholarship have failed to scratch the surface of
used different versions of Q as sources for their respective an important Matthean theme. With the exception of a
gospels. In light of these scholarly challenges, Burkett glaring typographical error on every other page of Chapter
seeks to accomplish three goals: to demonstrate the neces- Three (instead of Survey it reads Survery), it is difcult
sity of Q, to establish the unity of Q, and to explain the to nd a weakness in this book. Even those who disagree
discrepancies between the Q traditions in Luke and in with the conclusions will nd the research and argumenta-
Matthew. As he pursues each goal, Burkett is traveling tion nearly unassailable. Those with interests in the First
well-worn paths. Burketts most important contribution Gospel, especially future commentators, need to pay atten-
comes as he seeks to demonstrate how the difference tion to this book.
between the Q traditions in Matthew and Luke can be best Christopher W. Skinner
explained by the tendency of Matthew and Luke to merge Mount Olive College
the Q traditions with traditions from their other sources.
Therefore, according to Burkett, Matthew and Luke drew
upon identicalor nearly identicalversions of Q, but each
author edited Q in light of the parallel traditions which
MARK AND ITS SUBALTERNS: A HERMENEUTI-
they found in M, L, and occasionally Mark. The argu-
CAL PARADIGM FOR A POSTCOLONIAL
ments in this volume are clear and plausible. Even though
Burkett has provided a detailed defense of widely held
CONTEXT. By C. I. David Joy. London: Equinox, 2008.
opinions, many readers will be disappointed by his some- Pp. xvi + 223. Cloth, $95.00; paper, $29.95.
times surprising lack of attention to previous This updated version of a (Birmingham) PhD thesis lets
scholarly work (e.g. none of H. Koesters work is men- Marks subalterns speak by using them to set forth a post-
tioned and W. Farmers work is dismissed in a single colonial hermeneutic valorizing the postcolonial, subaltern
paragraph). context. Joy works specically toward a hermeneutic in and
Thomas E. Phillips of the poverty, caste system, and religious pluralism of India
Point Loma Nazarene University (see Chapter 9). Part One nds resources in Dhvani read-
ings, in some interpretations of Mark, and in a critical appro-
priation of previous political hermeneutics (including
HEAVEN AND EARTH IN THE GOSPEL OF postcolonial feminist and subaltern hermeneutics). Part two
MATTHEW. By Jonathan T. Pennington. Grand Rapids, MI: reads Mark, and the Jesus solidarity movement the author
Baker Academic, 2009. Pp. xv + 399. Paper, $42.99. thinks it reects, as the communal struggle of the lowest
Students of the First Gospel have long assumed that the Galilean agrarian class (the Markan crowd) against imperial
uniquely Matthean expression kingdom of heaven is oppression in the form of an enslaving tax system and the
nothing more than a circumlocution employed to help the Jerusalem religious authorities. The Markan Christ shares
faithful avoid using the word for God. This well-written the suffering of this degraded class. Three exegetical chap-
and thoroughly researched monograph turns that conven- ters (on Mark 10:17-31, 7:24-30, and 5:1-20, respectively)
tional wisdom on its head, arguing that Matthews use of compellingly illustrate Joys concentration on social-
heaven represents far more than an insignicant variant. economic issues, like unjust wealth and the oppressive
Pennington begins deconstructing the circumlocution boundaries often set up by gender, race, and religion. This
theory by demonstrating that nearly every modern emphasis contrasts starkly with traditional interpreters
comment on the question cites the work of Gustav Dalman focus on salvation/theology. Like R. Horsley, Joy sees Mark
(Worte Jesu, later published in English as The Words of as anticolonial, and opposes interpreters like T. Benny Liew
Jesus) and little more. Pennington then goes on to dismantle (who sees Mark itself as imperial) with his exegeses, rather
Dalmans conclusion and lay the foundation for his own than through sustained critique of the opposition. The dis-

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cussion of Indian hermeneutics and the exegesis chapters (including some interesting explorations of orality and cul-
will benet advanced Markan students and postcolonial tural memory), the volume makes no pretense of providing a
interpreters. comprehensive treatment of Lukes use of the OT. The full
Richard Walsh index will ensure that scholars get the maximum possible
Methodist University use of this collection, though the volumes appeal will largely
be limited to researchers with a focused interest in the topic
or approach of a single article.
SURPRISED BY GOD: PRAISE RESPONSES IN THE Thomas E. Phillips
NARRATIVE OF LUKE-ACTS. By Kindalee Pfremmer de Point Loma Nazarene University
Long. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fr die neutestamentliche Wis-
senschaft und die Kunde der lteren Kirche, 166. New York: HEARING BETWEEN THE LINES: THE AUDIENCE
Walter de Gruyter, 2009. Pp. xii + 331. $116.00. AS FELLOW-WORKERS IN LUKE-ACTS AND ITS
This revised dissertation, written at the University of
LITERARY MILIEU. By Kathy Reiko Maxwell. Library of
Notre Dame under G. Sterling, argues that the presence and
NT Studies, 425. New York: T & T Clark, 2010. Pp. xii + 205.
signicance of praise within Luke-Acts has been underap-
$110.00.
preciated in Lukan scholarship. In order to address this
Much of the reader-response and audience-oriented
failure within Lukan scholarship, de Long rst examines
work within Biblical scholarship has drawn upon contempo-
how language of praise for the divine functioned within
rary literary theory. Maxwell seeks to supplement that theo-
selected Greek and Hebrew texts generally (focusing par-
retical base by adding insights into how ancient literary
ticularly upon the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Philo, a few
theorists conceived of the readers and audiences participa-
classical Greek texts, and the Septuagint). Then she offers a
tion in a text. She develops W. Isers conception of literary
more detailed consideration of how the language of praise
gaps by suggesting six literary devices that would have
functions in two ancient narratives (Tobit and Joseph and
caused ancient readers to experience such gaps. According
Aseneth). When she turns to Luke-Acts, de Long argues that
to Maxwell, ancient writers could encourage a readers par-
praise plays a prominent role at four points: in the birth
ticipation in texts by giving the reader access to privileged
narrative (Luke 1-2); in the accounts of healing (Luke 5, 13,
information, by leaving omissions within the narrative, by
17, and 18; Acts 3-4); in accounts which emphasize Jesus
making open-ended comparisons, by offering double or
identity as Messiah, Son, king, and risen Lord (Luke 10, 19,
hidden meanings, by asking and answering questions, and
and 22-24; Acts 2); and in accounts about the conversion of
by suggesting cultural allusions. After developing these cat-
the gentiles (Acts 10-11, 13, 15, 21, and 27). De Long con-
egories for discerning reader involvement, Maxwell illus-
cludes that the emphasis upon praise in these four contexts
trates the use of these literary devices throughout Luke-Acts.
serves to highlight the essential points in the plot of Luke-
The volume is a welcome addition to contemporary conver-
Acts (Jesus birth, his healing ministry, establishment of
sations about reader- and audience-oriented approaches to
Jesus identity, and the inclusion of the gentiles). Although
Luke-Acts. Positively, Maxwell contributes to those conver-
de Longs choice of two romances for her primary compari-
sations by investigating ancient rhetorical texts more care-
son is curious, scholars of Luke-Acts are nonetheless
fully than have many comparable volumes. Less positively,
encouraged to carefully consider this strong and original
Maxwells engagement with contemporary literary theory
thesis.
(and Lukan scholarship) is thinner than many of those same
Thomas E. Phillips
volumes.
Point Loma Nazarene University
Thomas E. Phillips
Point Loma Nazarene University
BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION IN EARLY CHRIS-
TIAN GOSPELS: VOL. 3: THE GOSPEL OF LUKE.
Edited by Thomas R. Hatina. Library of NT Studies, 376. New THE ROMAN EMPIRE IN LUKES NARRATIVE. By
York: T & T Clark, 2010. Pp. xii + 228. $130.00. Kazuhiko Yamazaki-Ransom. Library of NT Studies, 404.
The eleven essays in this volume address a wide variety New York: T & T Clark, 2010. Pp. xv + 240. $110.00.
of issues related to Lukes use of the OT (particularly the This revised dissertation (completed at Trinity Evangeli-
LXX). The essays employ a variety of approaches, ranging cal Divinity School under the direction of D. Pao) stands out
from traditional historical-critical analysis of particular pas- among contemporary investigations into early Christianitys
sages to postmodern analysis of OT themes within Lukes interaction with the Roman Empire. Yamazaki-Ransoms
Gospel. Several of the articles take up well-known issues in central thesis is clear and compelling. Yamazaki-Ransom
Lukan studies (e.g., Lukes use of Chronicles in the parable argues that the political and social question of Lukes view of
of the Good Samaritan and the use of Isaiah 40 in the John the Roman Empire and its ofcials must be asked and
the Baptist narratives). Whether by design or not, the special answered as an overtly theological question. Yamazaki-
Lukan material is explored more intensively than Lukes Ransom suggests that Luke assumed a triangular model in
shared traditions. In spite of the diversity of approaches which Christians would grant temporal submission to

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Roman authorities as long as those authorities acknowl- has much merit, but which is not as critical as is his
edged and respected the God revealed in Christ. Accord- reading of Paul). He elucidates the Roman imperial ideology
ing to Yamazaki-Ransoms reading, Luke adapted his view by focusing on ve concepts, each of which has a chapter
from the prevailing Jewish approach to Gentile autho- devoted to it: empire, justice, mercy, piety, and virtue. Inter-
rities, a view which presumed both that Roman authorities acting with Roman texts (Cicero, Virgil, Seneca, Augustus
were under satanic inuence and also that these ofcials et al.) and Jewish texts (Daniel, the Habakkuk Pesher), Elliot
could be granted temporal submission because God was argues that Pauls messianic and apocalyptic viewpoint,
truly sovereign over all human affairs. In Yamazaki- while not immune from the ideological constraints of
Ransoms understanding, Luke did not signicantly distin- empire, presents a Judean alternative to the eschatological
guish between Gentile and Jewish authorities since fantasy that it was Romes destiny to rule the world. Elli-
both sets of authorities were ultimately aligned with the ots perspective is one that any serious interpreter of
emperor and therefore hostile to Gods people (Christian Romans must be engaged with and the book will be an
believersand only Christian believersin this reading). important addition to university and divinity school
This well-argued volume should provide the new starting libraries.
point for subsequent work on Lukes view of the Roman Thomas M. Anderson
Empire. London School of Theology
Thomas E. Phillips
Point Loma Nazarene University
I, II, & III JOHN: A COMMENTARY. By Judith Lieu. NT
Library. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
PAUL: JEW, GREEK, AND ROMAN. Edited by Stanley Pp. xx + 300. $49.95.
E. Porter. Pauline Studies, 5. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, Lieus book affords a valuable resource for the study of
2008. pp. xiii + 370. $184.00. 1, 2, and 3 John in their ancient Christian context, the Johan-
After Porters introduction, H. Williams discusses the nine tradition (especially in connection to the Gospel of
inuences of specic OT documents on Paul in 1 Cor. P. John), and the Jewish religious milieu of the Second Temple
Coutsoumpos comments on Pauls attitude toward the law; period (mostly relying on the Dead Sea Scrolls). Drawing on
B. Van Os on Jewish recipients of Galatians; A. Potts on her own extensive knowledge of the Johannine Epistles, Lieu
diversity in Pauline eschatology; and T. Carter on the body offers a thorough commentary on the Johannine Epistles.
metaphor in 1 Cor 12. C. Evans presents Paul and the Lieu contends that two literary categories are employed in
pagans; J. Harrison, Paul and the gymnasiarchs; M. Nanos, the Johannine Epistles: letters and epistles. Though at times
the polytheist identity of the weak in 1 Cor 8-11; C. Keener, it is possible to differentiate between the two, Lieu argues
eshly versus Spirit in Rom 8; J. Jipp, the divided soul in that it is not necessary because these two categories are
Paul and Plato; T. Burke, adopted as Sons; Porter, on whether interwoven in the Johannine Epistles. Another remarkable
Paul spoke Latin; and S. Adams, Paul and the Roman citizen. feature in the commentary is Lieus argument that the ano-
Indices are of ancient sources and modern authors. The col- nymity of authors is a rhetorical strategy. Lieus commen-
lection is indispensable for graduate students and others tary is well argued, the interpretation of the biblical text is
concerned with the status of Pauline studies. I found essays nuanced, and the study utilizes the latest research devoted
by Coutsoumpas, Pitts, Carter, Harrison, Nanos, Burke, to Johannine Epistles such as new perceptions of postbiblical
Porter, and Adams especially helpful in this regard. The Judaism and the discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls. She allocates
downside of the volume is that the update on Pauline studies a signicant role to the Rule of the Community and The Tes-
is neither systematic nor comprehensive. taments of the Twelve Patriarchs. A comparative analysis of
Thomas H. Olbricht these texts with the Johannine Epistles casts light on the
Pepperdine University thought of 1 John. But this volume is not without limitations.
The book would have beneted greatly had the author traced
THE ARROGANCE OF NATIONS: READING more broadly the history of interpretation of the Johannine
ROMANS IN THE SHADOW OF EMPIRE. By Neil Epistles either in the introduction or during the course of the
Elliot. Paul in Critical Contexts. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress commentary. The reception history casts light on different
Press, 2008. Pp. xvi + 223. $29.00. theological problems central to the biblical literature. In par-
Elliots book is a key contribution to an important area ticular, the exegetical works of the Protestant reformers
focused on the imperial context of the NT. Eliot views reect a great legacy of theological interpretation (such as
Romans as a Judean critique of Romes imperial ideology Luthers lectures on 1 John). Though one understands that
and employs the methodology of J. Scott, which reveals every commentary has a particular scope and unique
hidden transcripts present in texts from contexts of politi- approach to the biblical text, a wider audience of readers
cal oppression. Elliot explicitly locates his book in the would benet from an inclusion of a brief history of inter-
context of the United States imperial ideology, which he pretation of the Johannine Epistles. In sum, the commentary
connects to the Roman imperial ideology (a connection that is a highly technical work that deserves serious attention

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and diligent study. By all means, biblical scholars and gradu- minor acts from late antiquity. Except for these later acts,
ate students will appreciate the depth and readability of the each chapter consists of subsections (each with their own
present work. bibliography) that cover a discussion of historical context of
Igal German the text, a summary of its contents, a discussion of its inu-
Wycliffe College, University of Toronto ence on later literature, and a critical evaluation of its
themes and characteristics. The nal chapter offers reec-
tions on the major social and theological dimensions that
WAS IST GNOSIS? STUDIEN ZUM FRHEN
have occupied scholarly discussions (i.e., journeying, gnosis,
CHRISTENTUM, ZU MARCION UND ZUR KAISER-
marriage and celibacy, encounters with pagan culture,
ZEITLICHEN PHILOSOPHIE. By Barbara Aland.
miracles, and women). The result is a much-needed resource
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen
that will become the standard reference work for Acts
Testament, 239. Tbingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2009.
research. Not only will scholars value Klaucks command of
Pp. xv + 434.
both the primary and secondary source material, but his
In the introduction to this book Aland states clearly that
clear prose will also appeal to undergraduates embarking
her perspective in her studies of ancient Gnosticism is that
on their own journeys into the world of early Christian
of a Christian, specically an Evangelical Lutheran. While
apocrypha.
she acknowledges her debt to H. Jonas, she rejects his phe-
David M. Reis
nomenological approach. She denes Gnosticism (Gnosis)
Bridgewater College
as a version of the Christian experience of fall and redemp-
tion presented as an otherwordly revelation couched in
picturesque mythic-narrative or philosophical forms. The
books sixteen chapters span a period of some forty years of HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 1-40. By
work, beginning with a summary of her Gttingen habilita- Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Translated by Edmund Hill, O.P.
tion dissertation in which she presents (unpersuasively) an Edited by Allan D. Fitzgerald, O.S.A. The Works of Saint
interpretation of Bardanes of Edessa as a Syrian Gnostic Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, III/12. New
(ch. 15, publ. 1970), up to a hitherto unpublished lecture York: New City Press, 2009. Pp. 604. Cloth, $59.00; paper,
given on the occasion of her honorary doctorate at Halle- $39.95.
Wittenberg in 2008 with a discussion of the important con- Hills translation of Augustines homilies on the Gospel
tribution made by the Gnostic heresy to the development of of John, commonly called tractates (tractatus), is a welcome
Christian theology. The book is organized in four parts: Part contribution. Though there are at least three other English
I, on dening Gnosticism (die Gnosis), Chapters 1-9, in translations available, only Hills and J. Rettigs (Fathers of
which she consistently argues that Gnosticism arose within the Church) follow the critical edition of the Latin in Corpus
early second-century Christianity; Part II, on literary forms Christianorum, Series Latina (CCL) 36. Hills translation
of Gnostic discourse (Chapters 10-11); Part III, on Marcion proves superior in its nuanced interpretation of the text and
(Chapters 12-14); and Part IV, on Syrian Gnosis, Bardesanes, in its readability, although those accustomed to Hills trans-
and Mani (Chapters 15-16). For an answer to the question lations of Augustine will nd some of the same curious and
posed in this books title, the interested reader is advised to at times perplexing idiosyncrasies in this volume. Neverthe-
look elsewhere. less, Hills work remains edifying, and is poised to become
Birger A. Pearson the standard English translation. Other strengths of this
University of California, Santa Barbara volume include useful footnotes, which display Hills facility
with the Augustinian corpus, as well as the introduction by
A. Fitzgerald, a brief yet insightful look at the historical and
rsr_1449 233..275

theological context of the homilies. The rst sixteen are pre-


History of Christianity: Early occupied with the Donatist controversy, while the subse-
quent have little to say in this regard, suggesting the earlier
THE APOCRYPHAL ACTS OF THE APOSTLES: AN dating of the former, with the latter likely coming after the
INTRODUCTION. By Hans-Josef Klauck. Waco, TX: Baylor Council of Carthage in 411. If indeed preaching is the privi-
University Press, 2008. Pp. ix + 288. Paper, $39.95. leged place of exegesis, as Augustine seems to suggest in De
Klaucks book, a translation of his 2005 German edition, doctrina Christiana, this is no more evident than in these
is the rst comprehensive investigation of the Apocryphal homilies, which delve deeply into the mysteries of Christ,
Acts since the late nineteenth century. The intervening the Holy Spirit, the Church, and the sacraments, particularly
years have witnessed a proliferation of scholarship on the the Eucharist. These homilies contain and express the rich-
textual, literary, and cultural aspects of these works. Klauck ness of Augustines thought, and Hills translation will do
synthesizes these developments by offering examinations of much to inspire renewed interest in these too often
the ve major Apocryphal Acts (John, Paul, Peter, Andrew, neglected works.
and Thomas) as well as chapters on the Acts of Peter and the James K. Lee
Twelve Apostles, the Pseudo-Clementines, and various University of Notre Dame

233