One of the most consistent features in the portraits of Saul of Tarsus in the Acts of the Apostles and in the letters accredited to Paul, is the fervent zeal of his youth. The zeal of the young Saul has been dealt with in several studies, drawing on the issue of zealotry in Palestine, but the conclusions reached are rather diverse. The present study suggests that the often overlooked phenomenon of zealotry in the writings of Philo of Alexandria should also be considered. The material from Philo does not support the view that the early zealots formed any consistent movement or party, but that they were vigilant individuals who took the Law in their own hands when observing cases of gross Torah transgressions.
4 Es 3,4-5 says that Adam, created with a dead body, has come to life by means of the Spirit of life. This text shows that a twofold allusion to Adam can be discerned im Rm 7,24 and 8,2, where Paul recalls the release brought about by the Spirit of Life by setting free the human being from his body of death. This proves that Paul regularly refers to Adam throughout Rm 5–8. At the same time, it is confirmed that Paul’s argument is intentionally comprehensive in that it deals with each human being and goes beyond the Jews.
Despite a variety of attempted identifications of the book of Joshua, or portions of it, with other ancient Near Eastern legal documents, the form of the royal land grant remains the closest of those studied in terms of structure and content. In particular, the form of this type of document, as illustrated in the archive of the Middle Bronze Age site of Alalakh, provides an important and useful set of parallels with those found in the sixth book of the Bible. The essay considers the strengths and weaknesses of identifying the book of Joshua in this manner, as well as its implications for the interpretation of the book. In addition, the origin of these documents in the West Semitic world invites consideration of a specific genre or literary type that flourished in those cultures and perhaps provided a link for related documents in the Mesopotamian and Mediterranean worlds.
The act of measuring in Rev 11,1-2 does not portray the Church as spiritually protected but physically vulnerable, as normally thought. Not only are there lexical and interpretive difficulties with the traditional view, it is also not supported by the OT and extra-biblical evidence commonly adduced. Reading two kai/j differently and recognizing an allusion to Ezek 8:16 LXX addresses both the lexical and interpretive issues. The act of measuring is used to communicate the fact that contrary to Ezek 8–9, this time God will not abandon his earthly sanctuary, though idolatry among his people will still be judged.
In an article written forty years ago, Dominique Barthélemy bound together two supposed scribal corrections introduced in the second Century BCE: the correction of the number of the Israelites who went down to Egypt (Gen 46,27; Exod 1,5), and the correction of the "Children of God" becoming "Children of Israel" in Deut 32:8. This article proposes to separate the two supposed corrections. Considering the historical evolution of the theological interpretations the author argues that the correction of Deut 32,8 was introduced in the first Century CE only, when the interpretation of the "Children of God" was limited to the human sphere.
This note note intends to shed some light on the bar iona expression used in Matt 16,17. Even if the textual critique is almost unanimous, modern interpreters usually take it as a mispelling for ‘son of John’, or confess their perplexity. The semitic meaning of iona could help to rehabilitate an old Patristic reading, seeing a link between the dove (iona in hebrew and aramaic) and the Holy Spirit. This pun of the Matthean Jesus not only fits well in the immediate context but also agrees with the overall matthean theology.
All the appearances of Jerusalem in the ethnographical prologue of Chronicles are prior to David’s capture of it. Equally, the mentioning of the Jerusalem Temple is prior to its building by Solomon. These appearances are early allusions to the importance of the city and its functions in the narrative sections of the book. The Chronicler stresses that all the chosen dynasty’s kings were born in Jerusalem. The repetitive mentioning that the Temple was constructed in Jerusalem may be intended to point out the exclusive holiness of the Chronicler’s own Jerusalem. The list of Jerusalem’s residents relies on those in Nehemiah and on an additional one that has no parallel in other sources. This list is used as a climax of the entire section (1 Chr 1-9). According to the Chronicler all the Israelites settled in Jerusalem freely, and the city was used as a center for the entire nation during the whole kingdom era.