Paul of Tarsus

Well I’m freshly back from the most intense, and enjoyable, academic experience I’ve had since my exams, the Enoch Graduate Seminar.  It is a 4 day seminar with papers from morning until 7:00 PM.  It is expected that you attend and are prepared to provide extensive feedback on every paper, and with very few exceptions this is precisely what occurred.  Thus, it is both a grueling and rewarding experience.  While the Enoch Graduate Seminar technically covers second temple Judaism up through early Christianity, the focus of the meeting is second temple Judaism with a few papers covering its influence on early Christian texts.  Thus, my paper “Paul, Self-Presentation and the Philippians’ Gift,” while well received, did not fit into the overall theme of the conference.  In fact, there were only 2 papers which interacted with Paul of Tarsus, my own and that of fellow blogger Pat McCullough.  However, despite the lack of papers on Paul I found the conference to be a rewarding experience and recommend it to anyone focusing on second temple Judaism.  As claimed, it truly is an international experience with participants from all over the western world.  Even as an outsider, to some degree, I made many contacts/friends, learned a great deal about second temple Judaism, and received valuable feedback on my work.  All told I highly recommend this conference for anyone willing to put in the work!


Well this Thursday marks the beginning of the NAPS (North American Patristics Society) 2010 national conference in Chicago.  It is the first one I have attended so I’m not quite sure what to expect.  I have heard it is not nearly as large as the annual SBL conference and the NAPS website says it plans on having over 250 visitors.  Also unlike SBL where I now have dozens of people to catch up with every year I am guessing that I will know 0 people at NAPS.  So if you are going to be at NAPS let me know. 

The program lists 5 papers concerning Paul, including my own  paper comparing Ignatius and Paul and their use of self-effacing language. 

Session 11: Kevin Scull, University of California, Los Angeles – “Self-Effacement in the Letters of Ignatius and Paul” 

Carl Smith, Cedarville University – “Ministry, Martyrdom, and Other Mysteries: Pauline Influence on Ignatius” 

Session 21: Thomas Scheck, Ave Maria University – “St. Jerome on Predestination, Free Will, and Divine Foreknowledge in his Exegesis of St. Paul” 

Session 22: Matthew Recla, University of California, Santa Barbara – “Emperor and Apostle: Constantinian Theology in the Pauline Tradition” 

Session 40:  Joel Willitts, North Park University – “Paul and Jewish Christians in the Second Century” 


This weekend Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona will be hosting the pacific coast regional SBL conference.  The SBL portion of the program begins on Sunday, March 14th and there will be two papers presented on Paul.   Both papers will be presented at 2:15 in the New Testament Epistles and Apocalypse section.  The first will be presented by me, Kevin Scull, and is titled Paul’s Use of Self-Representation in Galatians.  This will be the first of at least three conferences this year (perhaps 4 if my paper is accepted at the national SBL conference) in which I present papers examining Paul’s use of self presentation.  The second paper will be presented by Kenneth Waters and is titled,  Politics and Polemic: Hidden Strategy in Paul’s Rhetoric of Empire (Romans 13:1-7).  I am certainly interested in hearing Waters take on this important passage.  So if you are in the Tempe area this weekend come listen to the excellent papers at WECSOR and be sure to introduce yourself.

This week I am recommending an excellent source for budding Pauline scholars, The Writings of St. Paul edited by Wayne Meeks and John Fitzgerald.  This volume of the Norton Critical Edition series is the best work I’ve found for anyone seeking one book on Paul.  The book begins with an outline of the life of Paul which, in addition to outlining the important aspects of Paul’s life, examines how scholars interact with Acts and Paul’s letters in order to create such an outline.  The work also contains translations of the thirteen letters attributed to Paul and many Pseudo-Pauline works such as the correspondance of Paul and Seneca and 3 Corinthians.  Furthermore, this volume contains a massive amount of material concerning Paul from the early Church including both stories such as Paul and Thecla and passages from the Church Fathers.  Essentially if someone wrote about Paul in antiquity it is present in this work.  However, despite all of these invaluable primary sources, the most useful section of this work may be the last 300 pages which contain numerous articles from modern scholars examining a wide range of topics.  The editors have chosen articles form the heavyweights in the field with such names as Bauer, Von Harnack, Stendahl, Kaseman, Bultmann, Theissen, Mitchell, and countless others.


This was the Richard Hays week as two blogs provided us with posts concerning the renowned Duke scholar.   John Anderson at Hesed we ’emet began with an interview with Dr. Hays.  John asked some excellent questions and Dr. Hays provided some deep and interesting answers.  I am especially intrigued by Hays’ statement that he is surprised that he is not associated strongly with the New Perspective, since I am one who has not associated him with the inner circle of New Perspective scholars.

“But for various reasons, I’ve not been strongly identified as a “New Perspective” theorist, despite the ways in which my readings have challenged traditional “Lutheran” interpretations and emphasized Paul’s Jewishness.  I’m not quite sure why this is so. “

Andy Rowell was then inspired to post a list of other Richard Hays resources including a books list, an audio file, and a video sermon.  Rowell’s has provided a useful list for anyone interested in Dr. Hays’ work.

Any post that has won this award should feel free to proudly display one of the banners.  As always if I missed a post you think should have been chosen or would like to highlight please respond in the comments section below.


Though I am not an expert in the field of papyrology, like the fine bloggers at Evangelical Textual Criticism, I am quite interested in the field.  After posting Brandon Wason’s index to the online images of P46 a few days ago, I’ve decided to focus on two particular leaves for this post.  Both 3560,  which contains Rom 16.4-13 and 3559 • Rom 15.29—16.3 have features which I find interesting. 

First, Romans 16:7 discusses one of the most important women in the New Testament, Jounian who is described along with Andronicus as “relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.”  P46 is interesting because it has Ioulian instead of Iounian.  I did not notice this variant until recently during a project on P46 and I was a bit surprised.  However, Robert Jewett in his recent, and massive, commentary on Romans seems to have a good answer.  Since Ioulian appears in 16:15, perhaps the scribe got confused and put Ioulian in 16:7 as well.

Second, there is an intriguing colon that appears just before the beginning of Romans 16:1 in 3559 • Rom 15.29—16.3.  This oddity has prompted some, such as T. W. Manson, to conclude that the scribe intentionally marked off Romans 16 because he was hesitant about adding it.  Thus, these scholars further postulate that Romans 16 was not a part of Paul’s original letter and that Romans was originally intended as a circular letter intended for many communities.  Then only at a later date was Romans 16 added.  However, Harry Gamble in his fine monograph The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans concludes that Romans 16 was in fact part of Paul’s original letter.  Though I agree with Gamble’s conclusion I am still intrigued by this colon.  Perhaps one of the papyrologists at Evangelical Textual Criticism would care to weigh in with their thoughts on this colon.

Here is the same image with the colon circled.

Many moons ago Brandon Wason on his old blog Novum Testamentum put together a list of links for the different leaves of P46 available online.  That blog is now defunct and although Brandon has created a new blog Sitz im Leben this list does not appear on his new blog.  Luckily, a few years ago, Suzanne McCarthy extracted Brandon’s list from the internet archives.  Every so often I hunt for this list so I decided to reprint it on my site.  So my thanks goes out to Brandon for creating the list and Suzanne for saving it from extinction.

Today I read an interesting article by Paul Hartog titled “Not Even Among the Pagans (1 Cor 5:1): Paul and Seneca on Incest” in the 2006  festschrift for David Aune, The New Testament and Early Christian Literature in Greco-Roman Context.  Hartog rightly proposes that Paul’s statement in 1 Cor 5:1 concerning incest “that it is not found even among pagans”  should be recognized as a rhetorical technique for emphasizing boundaries.  After outlining the aversion to incest by Jews, Greeks, and Romans, Hartog rightly concludes that Paul “attempts to shame the Corinthian Christians with the cultural aversion to incest.” (62).  Hartog supports his conclusion by highlighting a similar statement in Seneca’s Phaedra 165-173.  In this passage Seneca has Phaedra’s nurse tell her that incest between stepson and stepmother is so abhorrent that even barbarian tribes such as the Getae, Taurians, or Scythians condemn it.  This passage is important because it appears to be another example of a contemporary author employing the same rhetorical device in order to shame someone with regards to stepson – stepmother incest.  Hartog’s piece is excellent for anyone seeking a review of the various examples of the prohibition of incest in Jewish and Greco-Roman sources.  Additionally, Hartog provides a compelling argument for reading Paul’s prohibition through the lens of rhetoric as a means for shaming and solidifying boundaries.

This is the last post in my series of posts concerning my whereabouts during SBL.  The Saturday early evening time slot has a few promising sessions.  I will almost certainly be attending the Pauline Epistles section whose theme is The First Urban Christians Twenty-Five Years Later.  This section will examine the impact of Wayne Meek’s influential work The First Urban Christians and has important panelists such as David Horrell and Wayne Meeks.  Although this session looks excellent, I am seriously considering arriving late in order to hear James McGrath’s paper in the Intertexuality and the New Testament section.  McGrath’s paper examines a topic I am quite interested in, aurality and orality.

Pauline Epistles
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: La Galerie 1 & 2 – MR

Theme: After the First Urban Christians: The Social Scientific Study of Pauline Christianity Twenty Five Years Later

Alexandra R. Brown, Washington and Lee University, Presiding
David G. Horrell, University of Exeter, Panelist (15 min)
Todd D. Still, Baylor University, Panelist (15 min)
Wayne A. Meeks, Yale University, Panelist (20 min)
Break (5 min)
Steven J. Friesen, University of Texas at Austin, Panelist (20 min)
Margaret MacDonald, St. Francis Xavier University, Panelist (20 min)
Discussion (55 min)

Intertextuality in the New Testament
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Rhythms Ballroom 1 – SH

Theme: Exploring Methods: Hearing, Remembering, and Contextualizing the Intertext

B. J. Oropeza, Azusa Pacific University, Presiding
James F. McGrath, Butler University
On Hearing (Rather Than Reading) Intertextual Echoes: Methodological Considerations Related to Aurality, Orality, and Intertextuality (30 min)
Jill Hicks-Keeton, Duke University
Remember and Believe: Psalm 69:9 in the Johannine Temple Logion (30 min)
Kenneth D. Litwak, Azusa Pacific University
Text, Pretext, Proof Text, Context: Should We Consider the Original Contexts of Intertexts? (30 min)
Stephen Moyise, University of Chichester, Respondent (30 min)
Discussion (30 min)

There are a number of Paul sessions and other interesting looking papers during this time slot.  However, I will be attending the Paul and Politics group whose theme is Dieter Georgi’s Intellectual Legacy for Pauline Scholarship.  Two of my favorite scholars Helmut Koester and Richard Horsley are presenting papers.  Unfortunately, this decision means I will be missing many other great sections such as Intertextuality and the New Testament, Second Corinthians, Romans through History, and Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament.  I am especially sad that I will miss my fellow UCLA colleague Sue Russell and her examination of Mary Douglas’ grid/group theory.

Paul and Politics
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Napoleon A3 – SH

Theme: Dieter Georgi’s Intellectual Legacy for Pauline Scholarship

Bernadette Brooten, Brandeis University, Presiding
Helmut Koester, Harvard University
Paul in the Prophetic Tradition of Israel (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Angela Standhartinger , Philipps Universität-Marburg
The Political Impact of Gnosticism: Dieter Georgi’s Research on Paul and the Wisdom of Solomon in his Later Frankfurt Period (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Richard A. Horsley, University of Massachusetts Boston
A True Prophet: Dieter Georgi and ‘Gott auf den Kopf Stellen’ (20 min)
Discussion (5 min)
Other (15 min)
Other (60 min)

Social Scientific Criticism of the New Testament
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Studio 2 – MR

Theme: A Retrospective on Mary Douglas. Legacy and Impact on Biblical Studies.

Richard E. DeMaris, Valparaiso University, Presiding
A. Sue Russell, Biola University
The Development of Douglas’ Grid/Group as an Analytical Tool and its Application to 1st Century Judaism (30 min)
Kevin Pittle, Biola University
Impurity and Power: Anthropological Considerations of Agency, Hybridity, and the Performance of Counterdesire (30 min)
Ritva H. Williams, Augustana College
Ingesting Impurity: the Social Body and Its Survival (30 min)
Charlotte Fonrobert, Stanford University, Respondent (30 min)
Discussion (25 min)

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