This article examines the generally admitted idea that the initial ecclesiological model of the Protopauline letters would be that of ‘People of God’, a model that would have been gradually modified by the apostle. A careful study of the two passages wherein the phrase occurs (2 Cor 6,16-18 and Rom 9,25-26) shows that such an idea must be criticized and even abandoned.
Classical literary criticism combines the synchronic study of a text’s structure for a possible breakdown in logic with conclusions regarding the diachronic-oriented inquiry into possible literary pre-stages of the text under examination. Without questioning the importance of this method, the present study wants to point out a further connection, which can arise from the recognition of ruptures in the logic of a text. Tensions, breaks, contradictions, doublings, etc. can also be regarded as "disturbances in the reading event" and as such have repercussions for the reception on the text by the "implicit reader". This thesis is put into concrete terms on the basis of John 3,22-4,3 and is explained by means of other examples.
Interpreters of the Apocalypse agree that in Ap 22,6-21 disorder reigns and that, most of all, various voices in these verses interfere with one another, without care for rules which would produce a proper development. Therefore, chaos is undeniably in the text. But it is equally true that with some ease one can discern in the text an articulation in three strophes: the first and the third speak of the revelation received by John and of the transmission of that revelation to the churches by means of John’s book, while the second is concerned with the ethical life and its eschatological reward. All this reveals the anxiety of John about a relaxation of vigilance on the part of the churches of Asia, so that John consequently insists on the imminence of the eschatological Coming and labors to show the legitimacy of the demands of his book, especially before the eyes of his ‘brother-prophets’. It is the framework of their prophetic style, probably charismatic like that of the prophets of 1 Cor 14, which allows us to make sense of the interference and injection of various voices in these verses of the johannine Apocalypse; we find a similar style in certain other verses at the beginning and in the body of John’s book.
Gen 22,1-19 the account of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac, is discussed first in its Hebrew and Old Greek form; then as it was developed in the Book of Jubilees 17,15–18,16, and especially in the form of Pseudo-Jubilees, as it is preserved in 4Q225 2 i and ii (4QPs-Juba 2 i 7-14, 2 ii 1-14), in order to ascertain how much of the development of the account can be traced to pre-Christian Palestinian Jewish tradition prior to the New Testament. Finally, building on such evidence, the article traces the development in other texts of the first Christian century and in the later targumic and rabbinic tradition about the Aqedah.
The bird ritual for the purification of the leper is usually interpreted as an elimination rite in analogy to the scapegoat rite at Yom Kippur. However, all constitutive elements of an elimination rite are missing: an evil is not mentioned, nor a demonic place for the evil nor a beast, sympathetic with the demon. On the contrary birds in the Bible and elsewhere in the Ancient Near East symbolize in many ways human vitality, just as the other ingredients of the ritual do. So the article argues, that the ritual symbolizes the return of the healed leper from social death to life, as the first act of a threefold ritual for the reintegration of a person into human society.
Two remarkable passages in the Greek translation of Numbers have recently been identified by Anssi Voitila. Both show a clear influence from Hebrew verbal forms on the translator’s choices of Greek verbal forms which overrides the semantic indicators of the broader context. Confused translations result. Are they isolated phenomena or representative of translators’ habits in general? Voitila argues for the latter interpretation. He seeks to demonstrate a number of additional instances in the Greek Pentateuch and sees here support for the theory of segmentation in translation technique, as developed by the Helsinki School. The present paper reassesses his examples and draws the opposite conclusion.
In the end-text available to us, the book of Deuteronomy can, to a certain extent, be described as the documentation of a single large assembly of Israel on the eve of the death of Moses. Deuteronomy 1–4 would be its opening address. As is shown by the copula ht(w in 4,1, the speech act of the entire first address of Moses is to be determined from 4,1-40. Through imperative exhortations, and especially through the two indicative qatal-predications of v. 5 and v. 26, this text is made to refer to the present of the Mosaic speech situation. V. 5 constitutes the legal situation of a ‘promulgation of law’. For the case of its non-observance, v. 26 safeguards this ‘legal instruction’ by the placing of a curse. This speech act ultimately determines the function of the first address of Moses as a whole within the total set of events being narratively designed in Deuteronomy.
The opening line of Psalm 133 is, literally, about a social practice; the comparisons following it suggest that in fact a gathering of YHWH’s worshippers is meant. The latter is confirmed by the final line. V. 3a has a bridging function in that its last words ("on the mountains of Zion"), although belonging to the imagery of the comparison, are actually direct expression, relating to the statement of v. 1 (‘inversion’). The situation hinted at can hardly be other than the gathering in Jerusalem on the occasion of a religious festival. In view of the subtle structure and inner cohesion of Psalm 133, it is scarcely plausible that its present meaning is due to some form of adaptation.