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.

I was planning to attend the SBL session focusing on the book After the First Urban Christians, but alas I was unable to attend.  However, Abigail at Continuum was kind enough to send me a review copy of the book and I will provide a full review in the near future.  The list of scholars contributing to this volume is impressive and includes scholars such as Wayne Meeks, Dale Martin, David Horrell, Todd Still, and Bruce Longenecker.  Essentially, this work examines and re-evaluates topics explored in Wayne Meeks foundational book The First Urban Christians.

Thus far I have read the first essay by David Horrell, “Whither Social-Scientific Approaches to New Testament Interpretation? Reflections on Contested Methodologies and the Future.”  In this essay, Horrell essentially calls out certain scholars in the context group who claim that one is not employing social-scientific criticism unless one works closely with models derived from the social sciences.  Horrell would prefer a broader definition which includes scholars who interact with the social sciences but do not necessarily employ strict models.  I agree with Horrell here that the definition of social-scientific criticism proposed by Malina (as quoted by Horrell) is in fact too narrow.  But Horrell is also correct in stating that “… there is a diversity of method and approach among those who participate in the Context Group.” (10)

While Bruce Malina may insist on such a narrow definition and rigorous use of models, not all members of the Context Group would agree with Malina’s definition of social-scientific criticism.  Both my advisor who is a member of the Context Group and I who have attended many functions associated with the group would not be properly defined by such a narrow definition of social-scientific criticism.  Thus, while Horrell is certainly right to criticize Malina’s overly narrow definition of social-scientific criticism, I am a bit uncomfortable with him associating the Context Group as a whole with this definition.

I look forward to reading the rest of the fine essays in this volume.

I am hoping someone out there can help me find this article:

 James Kelhoffer, “Suffering as Defense of Paul’s Apostolic Authority in Galatians and 2 Corinthians 11.” Svensk exegetisk årsbok. 74 (2009): 127-143.

Kelhoffer’s article may impact my dissertation work and I would like to read it.  I requested it through UCLA and they have been unable to track it down thus far.  Does anyone out there have access to it?

Audio Spotlight: Paul as “Apostle” – Mark Goodacre

Mark Goodacre, Duke, NT Pod,  12:26

Mark Goodacre’s NT Pod series is always an excellent source for brief bits about interesting topics and this entry is no exception.  In this podcast Goodacre focuses on Paul’s assertion that he is an apostle.  Goodacre examines the term apostle and Paul’s use of the term.  He rightly concludes that Paul was aware of the disputed nature of his claim to be an apostle since he did not know the earthly Jesus.  Goodacre notes Paul’s self description as one born out of time, when referring to the list of those to whom Jesus appeared to in 1 Cor 15:1-9, as evidence that Paul was aware of the contested nature of his apostleship.  In addition to being informative, Goodacre’s NT Pod entries are always high quality audio recordings.  I highly recommend the entire series and this entry in particular and I will be requiring it for my Winter course on 1 Corinthians.