This paper proposes a new suggestion in the discussion regarding possible death threats in the Apocalypse. It makes a comparison between relevant texts from the Apocalypse and what happens during festival days when rich civilians entertain their co-citizens with (gladiatorial) games. At the end of the morning and during the break special fights are organized. Condemned persons are forced to fight against wild animals or against each other to be killed by the animals or by fire. The paper shows that a number of texts from the Apocalypse are better understood, when they are read against this background.
When reading 1 John most contemporary interpretors stress its polemical character and use the opponents as a key for the whole text. In contrast to them, this article proposes a non-polemical reading which treats the opponents only as a minor feature of 1 John and denies the possibility of mirror-reading the epistle. The article shows the merits, but also the inconsistencies of already existing non-polemical readings of 1 John. It describes the relationship between 1 John and John as an intertextual reading-process and views the opponents as literary contrasting figures. They form a part of an apocalyptic scenario and are related to the main ethical theme of 1 John. The pragmatic function of the excursus-like opponent texts(1 John 2,18-27; 4,1-6) is to strengthen and reassure the reader by demonstrating that he or she is immune to the opponent’s denial of the christological confession. On this basis, the ethical parenesis takes place, the urgency of which is stressed by the apocalyptic motifs. As a result, the reader tries to avoid an ethical transgression by which he or she would become like the christological opponents, who thus function as a counter-concept to the community.
Assuming that 2 Pet 2,1–3,3 is dependent on Jude 4-18, this essay describes in detail the way the author of 2 Peter has used Jude’s material. It is clear that the author of 2 Peter has not simply incorporated Jude, as is sometimes asserted. Rather, 2 Peter has thoroughly reworked Jude to serve its own purposes. 2 Pet 2,1–3,3 is best described as a free paraphrase of Jude 4-18. The relationship between the two texts is similar to the relationship between 1 Clem 36.2-5 and Heb 1,3-13.
In Acts 13, Bar Jesus is confronted by Paul and cursed by him. This false prophet is generally thought to have been syncretistic and virtually pagan in his magical practices. This article argues that he was in fact very much within the synagogue and that he had been teaching the ways of the Lord. He was also a threat to the Christian community of Paphos and may even have belonged inside of it. Luke regards him as a serious threat to the faith because of his false teaching about righteousness and the ways of the Lord.
This paper presents a series of analogies between Rahab and Yael, both gentiles, who unexpectedly choose to assist Israel against the Canaanites. The analogies are designed to illustrate the surprising and unanticipated means through which divine providence operates. Noteworthy differences between the two heroines indicate the specific significance of each story. Rahab’s conduct is motivated by her recognition of God’s absolute power. Yael’s motives, however, are unclear. Their concealment is meant to detract attention from Yael’s appealing character and focus on the prophetic role played by Deborah who had predicted Yael’s behaviour.
In the Hebrew Bible we find the self-imprecation "So may God do to me and more also!" (2 Sam 3,35, 1 Kgs 2,23, etc.). In many cases, the phrase is immediately conditioned: "So may God do to me and more also, if you will not be the commander of the army" (2 Sam 19,14). God may punish the speaker, if the latter fails his promise. Ancient Mesopotamian sources suggest that the word "So" in the Hebrew expression originally referred to a gesture in use when taking an oath: the touching of the throat. The biblical passages where the expression occurs do not display any resistance to the use of the formula as such, even though it was often pronounced inconsiderately. However, the textual alteration in 1 Sam 25,22 shows that there was opposition to the idea that the pious king David failed a promise that he had reinforced using the self-imprecatory phrase.
The investigation of intentional intertextual references carried out in this article is based on the criteria introduced by the Anglicist Manfred Pfister. I arrive at the conclusion that Hab 3 refers to preceding biblical texts: In vv. 3.19 the prophetic prayer alludes to Deut 33 and 2 Sam 22 in order to assume the function of authoritative vicarious prayer, while avoiding martial ideology. If one approaches the book as a whole, Hab 3 stands in antithetical relationship to Hab 1, especially due to the fact that the theophany constitutes a counterattack against the Chaldean offensive described in Hab 1,5-11. This latter text seems to be given the form of a bitter ironical parody of Jer 5,15-17.
La frase pronunciata da Giona alla domanda dei marinai in 1,9 sembra voler rispondere all’ultimo quesito da loro posto: a quale popolo lui appartenga. Giona risponde con ykn) yrb( e usa la designazione tipica per un israelita che si trova a discutere con persone non appartenenti al suo popolo. La traduzione della LXX, dou=loj kuri/ou e)gw/ ei)mi, fa però nascere un problema che non è risolvibile unicamente con il presupporre uno scambio tra r e d. yrb( viene tradotto altre volte con termini diversi da ÔEbrai/oj ma in Gio 1,9 il traduttore aggiunge di suo il termine kuri/ou. Ci troviamo di fronte ad una traduzione interpretativa, fondata su un’idea teologica del libro di Giona secondo la quale, sin dall’inizio gli è chiara la sua missione, il suo esito e anche la sua realtà: lui è un servo di JHWH.
Isa 23,10 is a long recognized crux interpretum within what is a difficult passage in its own right, Isaiah’s oracle against Tyre (23,1-14). The MT makes no sense. The restoration of the LXX Vorlage reconstructed by P. W. Flint brings us closer to the "original text", to the extent that only several minor errors separate us from what may be the original form of this verse. Once these are corrected the restored bicolon I propose not only makes good sense as a sentence but reads as good Biblical Hebrew poetry and fits the overall context very well.