This article examines the positions of scholars with regard to the addressees of the Book of Wisdom. It turns out that, generally speaking, neither ‘Pagans’ nor ‘Jews’ are the recipients of the Book of Wisdom. If Wisdom cannot be considered primarily a political work, the Book’s instruction to its addressees, ‘Kings and Rulers’, seems rather to point to a literary model in ancient Jewish texts from the 1st century B.C. to the 1st century A.D. Our knowledge of the primary recipients of the writings of Philo of Alexandria and Flavius Josephus confirms this. The themes of ‘conversion’ and ‘changing one’s approach’ give these texts, especially the Book of Wisdom, a very particular orientation. Appropriate addressees are above all pagans who are well-off and culturally involved, and who show an interest in Jewish traditions.
This article proposes a new chiastic structure for Paul’s letter to Philemon based on rigorous criteria and methodology. The center and pivot of the chiasm, ‘but without your consent I resolved to do nothing, so that your good might not be as under compulsion but rather under benevolence’ (v. 14), is a key to explicating the letter’s supposedly unclear purpose. Paul wants Philemon to give his former slave Onesimus back to Paul as a beloved brother and fellow worker for the gospel of Jesus Christ, because of Philemon’s response to the grace of God evident in his faithful love for the holy ones as a beloved brother and fellow worker of Paul.
This article challenges a commonly-held belief that the title ‘our Lord and God’ (Rev 4,11) served as a Christian counter-blast to the claim of the emperor Domitian to be dominus et deus noster. Despite the claims of several scholars that the title ‘our Lord and God’ does not appear in the OT, the data collected favors the view that the title in Rev 4,11 does indeed have its origin in the divine title ‘Lord and God’ found in the LXX and other Jewish sources. Consequently, the title is of no use in helping to determine the date of the book of Revelation.
The divine mission addressed to Isaiah in Is 6,9-10 has baffled many generations of interpreters because of its paradoxical nature and its apparent inappositeness in a prophetic calling. A possible way of understanding the passage is to suppose that the words are not an accurate report of what the Lord said, but a retrospective judgment on what Isaiah’s mission really meant. The present article explores the rhetorical background of the stylistic procedure that may underlie Is 6,9-10. In Hebrew rhetoric, direct quotation does not necessarily imply that the words quoted were really said. A figure of speech exists, the ‘pseudo-quotation’, meaning approximately: ‘by his behaviour or his way of being, it is as if he were saying...’
This paper focuses upon a re-examination of the mythological background to the apocalyptic vision of Daniel 7. The popularly accepted Canaanite source is rejected as the points of correspondence are shown to be even slighter than recognised hitherto. Gunkel’s thesis of the Enuma Elish as similar to Dan 7 is revived and given further support. It is pointed out that whereas the question of access, for the author of Daniel, to the Baal mythology is problematic, the Enuma Elish was still being recited in the Hellenistic period.
The Christology of 2 Peter is very exalted. The author calls Jesus God and speaks of his divine power.
He uses the title ‘Lord’ both for Jesus and for God; in the latter cases there is usually some ambiguity about
which of them is meant. However, the author presents God as a person distinct from Jesus, and there is no
suggestion that the author would affirm the existence of two Gods. The transfiguration revealed Jesus as the
son of God. It may be understood as an epiphany of the divine Jesus. It was a moment when Jesus received
glory from God, in virtue of which he is praised like God.
2 Peter reflects a stage in early Christian thinking when the word ‘god’ was used in two ways. Usually it was a proper noun that designated the one who revealed himself in the Hebrew scriptures. Occasionally it was used as a common noun that designated those who belonged to the category of the divine. In this way 2 Peter can call Jesus God without either identifying Jesus with God or seriously affirming the existence of two Gods. Eventually these uses were related in the doctrine of the Trinity.