Three significant debates affecting perceptions of Israelite history, the Bible’s historiography, the relationship between this historiography and archaeology, and the dating of parts of the Bible’s literature have occupied Biblicists and archaeologists for the last 25 years. This article distinguishes the debates by analyzing the issues involved, the terminologies employed, as well as the professions of the protagonists engaged in each. It considers each within its own intellectual context. In light of these analyses, the article proposes a positive assessment of the contribution of these debates to the study ancient Israel’s history.
This study of the time element in the story of Joseph goes through three stages. (1) Observation of the general temporal structure, the dyschronies (38; 46,8-27) and the detailed structure surrounding the central act (41,53-57 and 47,13-26) goes on to clarify the link between time as given by the narrator and time in the story itself. (2) Attention is then given to the prolepses and other forms of anticipation, among which are Joseph’s dreams, about which we enquire to what extent, if any, they lead up to what comes later, and the oracle given at Beer-sheba that announces the final act. (3) Lastly, among the flashbacks, some analepses are studied — the late mention of the interpreter in 42,24, Joseph’s distress, related in 42,21-22, and Jacob’s final words for the brethren in 50,16-17 — but also the retrospective glances cast by some of the characters on past history, especially Judah’s words to Joseph in 44,18-34. These flashbacks bring out the formation of the brotherhood which the story recounts. The story of Joseph thus appears as a story showing how the healing and humanization of human relations are achieved by telling the story of a life.
The author in his study of the appropriation of Ps 16 in Acts 2 brings out various aspects of biblical theology. The Hebrew text was just as important for the development of christological doctrines as was the LXX. The christian appropriation of the texts continues what had always been happening with the texts which are painted over on the basis of a new experience of God’s activity in Jewish history. It is the task of exegesis to draw out these steps towards the formulation of a creed, with a view to appreciating God’s activity in particular historical situations. In the OT Christians recognize God’s activity which is, however, not confined within the OT/NT but is actualized by those who appropriate it. In this way the texts’ claim to validity is confirmed and they become verifiable in the present. The question of whether the OT should be understood from the perspective of the NT or vice versa becomes irrelevant, for from the perspective of appropriating texts what counts is that the reading of one text influences the interpretation of another. Christian texts through their appropriation of the OT require adherence to it. The union of OT/NT remains nevertheless fraught with tension. This is not, however, a theme in the relationship of Jews and Christians but belongs to christology.
The complete effectiveness of Peter’s Pentecost speech implies that the Lucan audience, if not that of Peter, knows at least three assumptions that are needed to make the speech as logically convincing as possible. These three assumptions are: (1) that Jesus is physically Son of David; (2) that the kyrios of Ps 110,1 is the Messiah; (3) that only the titles ‘Son’ and ‘Father’ should be used when describing that it is Jesus who poured out the Spirit. As for Peter’s audience, the fact that Peter supported his speech with ‘many other words (arguments)’ might argue that his audience were introduced to these three assumptions. As for Luke’s audience, Luke 1,35 and its context play a major role in justifying the logic of this Pentecost speech.
Following an alternative interpretation of 1 Sam 2,13-14, this text depicts the legitimate procedure for claiming the priest’s portion of a sacrifice (xbz). In particular, this method ensured that the fat could be offered to JHWH by turning it into smoke before any human being received his share. It was, however, violated by the sons of Eli who demanded meat with the fat still in it (V. 15-16). The fact that this violation was considered a great sin, resulting in Eli’s priesthood being revoked, underscores the supreme importance of burning God’s share. Similar features can be observed in the priestly laws about offerings: Concerning the communion sacrifice (Myml#$ xbz) in Lev 3, the description of turning the fat into smoke comprises more than half of the ritual text. This ritual element is, furthermore, accompanied by three different terms explicating its significance. It is also the only action to be carried out on the most sacred altar of burnt offerings. Finally, it is the burning of the fat which establishes the sacrificial nature of the entire ritual in 1 Sam 2,12-17 and Lev 3. Consequently, both the sacrifice and the communion sacrifice are considered an "offering for JHWH".
While the use of the Greek term a#gioj, ‘holy one’, as a reference to Samson and rendering of the Hebrew religious technical term ryzn, ‘Nazirite’, in LXXB Judg 13,7 and 16,17 seems odd given their lexical disparity, an association between the terms does occur in the law for the Nazirite to be holy respecting the growth of hair in Num 6,5.8. A contextual similarity between the Numbers passage and Judg 13,5.7 and 16,17 occurs in that Samson is accorded only one proscription — the use of a razor upon his head. It is likely therefore, perhaps as a way of introducing a new and unintelligible term, that the reviser of LXXB Judg followed the word association made in Num 6,5.8 and used the two terms, nazir in 13,5 and a#gioj in 13,7 and 16,17, interchangeably in his version of the Samson story.
The christological formula qeou= ui(o/j, which appears in the NT only in three Matthean passages (14,33; 27,43.54), exactly parallels the two-word Roman imperial son of god formula found in the titulature of Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Titus, and Domitian. This formula occurred more widely in first century imperial titulature than has previously been reported; in addition, various three-word imperial son of god formulas also deserve notice. The Matthean formula qeou= ui(o/j would have evoked Roman imperial usage for at least some members of Matthew’s community.