As grounds for Yhwh’s veto on David’s building the temple, the charge of shedding blood, in Chronicles made against David alone (1 Chr 22,8; 28,3), poses questions both about what is being referred to, and how the charge explains the veto, given that in the Hebrew Bible no other Israelite warrior incurs the charge for killing in warfare. This article explicates the charge, highlights how surprising it is, and then develops a line of argument, drawn principally from Num 31 and 35, that can explain how the Chronicler understood the charge both to be warranted, and to justify Yhwh’s veto.
Only three royal couples in the HB are seen in direct communication. Of these, two, namely Ahab and Jezebel, Ahasuerus and Esther, contribute unique insights into the interpretative and redactional processes that cast later narratives around themes of earlier stories, and both around the figure of a queen. In this article I explore the hypothesis that the scroll of Esther was shaped as a reversible version of the Jezebel cycle. With the aid of narratives of the early Roman monarchy, a sensitive and sensible reading of the biblical texts relating to Jezebel and Esther demonstrates the constructive process of an ideology of queenship. Underlying both constructs is a condemnation of monarchy in general.
The growing discussion about the methodological connections between a synchronic oriented Form-analysis and a diachronic type of Form criticism has in no way resulted in concerns lying behind both methodological approaches being resolved. On the contrary, the crisis of the classical methodological approaches can also open up a perspective on connections that have up to now been insufficiently considered. The present study attempts to demonstrate with the example of Mark 9,14-29 what methodological conclusions result for the question of reader reception from the Form-analysis of a narrative text.
It is usually thought that Matthew emphasizes the imperative at the expense of the indicative, demand over gift. Identifying Matthew’s indicative is difficult because in chapters 5–25, insofar as disciples are concerned, the narrative is told in terms of ‘omnipotence behind the scenes’. In Matt 5–25 four techniques appropriate to such a method of narration speak of the divine indicative in relation to the imperative. They are (1) I am with you/in your midst, (2) invoking the divine name, (3) it has been revealed to you/you have been given to know, and (4) being with Jesus. They show Matthew’s soteriology is by grace from start to finish.
3 Maccabees demonstrates some suggestive affinities with
Euripides’ Bacchae. The protagonists of both works are kings who become
theomachoi. Pentheus and Ptolemy IV Philopator rashly attempt to spy on
things that they ought not, and each suffers for his repeated hybris.
Each king also attempts to kill the devotees of the god against whom he
struggles, and each is punished with a disordering of his mental state.
3 Maccabees further develops the theme of theomachy by stressing the associations between Dionysus and Ptolemy IV Philopator — the ‘New Dionysus’. YHWH effortlessly triumphs over the ‘New Dionysus’ with Dionysus’ own devices — sleep and oblivion. Ironically, Philopator is only able to serve Dionysus at YHWH’s pleasure. The Jewish people in Egypt may well be under the authority of Philopator, but Philopator only rules by the authority of the God of Israel. The author, therefore, draws on the literary heritage of the Greeks to pillory Philopator’s Dionysiac pretensions.
2 Peter presents Jesus as savior in that he purchased his followers from
slavery to corruption and the defilements of the world. Human beings became
slaves of corruption through erroneous thinking and following the desires of the
flesh, i.e. sin. Jesus’ followers have been released from this servitude by their
recognition that Jesus has purchased them from their previous owner and is now
their master. The ethical teaching of 2 Peter is based on continuing in the freedom
from slavery to sin that has come through Jesus. The eschatological teaching of 2
Peter describes the completion of salvation, the culmination of both slavery to sin
and following Jesus.
The Pauline character of the soteriology of 2 Peter is very marked. In view of the author’s claim (in 2 Pet 3,16) that Paul agrees with what the author has said, this is not surprising.