According to a widespread opinion the purpose of the Second Book of Maccabees is to emphasize the great importance of the temple. This is plausible to a certain extent if the summary of history is read togther with the two introductory letters. But those authors are right who consider the letters to be originally independent of each other and also of the abrigded version. The construction of the summary taken in itself reveals a soteriology which attributes an important part to the witness of faith for the history of salvation, especially when bloodshed is involved. With regard to this point the abrigded version and the first introductory letter harmonize. Both the summary and the work as a whole have therefore a soteriological orientation and stress the witness of faith as relevant for salvation.
Rhetorical questions (henceforth RQs) often express a premise in a logical argument. Although the use of RQs in arguments has been widely noted, the modes of reasoning underlying the arguments have not received sufficient attention. The present study investigates argumentative RQs in the prose dialogue in Genesis through Kings in the light of pragmatic argumentation theory. Two logical forms, modus tollens and denying the antecedent, are identified as accounting for the majority of arguments expressed by RQs. The first type is generally intended to deductively establish its conclusion, while the second, formally invalid form is used presumptively to challenge the addressee to justify his position. There is also a presumptive variety of the modus tollens argument, which is based on a subjective premise. Both modus tollens and denying the antecedent have similar linguistic representations and can be effective means of refusing directives.
It is argued in this article that the imagery of Israel’s divine begetting from the Song of Moses (Deut 32,18) is in view in the account of Jesus’ divine begetting in Matt 1,20. To establish the plausibility of this claim, the characteristics and widespread knowledge of the Song of Moses are surveyed first, followed by the rationale for positing its presence in Matthew. The allusion to Deut 32,18 in Matt 1,20 is one component of a larger Matthean pattern by which the Evangelist portrays Jesus as the obedient Son of God in contrast to Israel as God’s disobedient son. This reference also highlights the imagery of new creation that Matthew associates with the birth of Jesus.
A careful attention to the change in the employment of Greek equivalents in the translation of Hebrew words in the Septuagint may help us to identify involvement of different translators. Such a change may sometimes point to some stages in the composition of the Hebrew text. In this article some interesting differences in the vocabulary of the Septuagint in the passage of the investiture of Joshua in Num 27, 15-23 are examined and with some other literal-critical considerations lead to exact exploring of the literal process of the graduated formation of the Hebrew passage.
The verbal divine response to a case of blasphemy/cursing of God is presented as a lengthy chiasmus in Lev 24,13-23. One aspect of this that has gone unnoticed is how the structure suggests that blasphemy is a more serious offense than murder. This observation shows how the pericope fits well thematically in Lev 18-26, where there are repeated examples of the divine self-declaration formulas (I am the Lord…) and references to holiness.
Psalm 132, a text from the later pre-exilic time, is about the well-being of Zion and its faithful. This well-being, essentially David’s, is grounded on the presence of YHWH in Zion. It is realized when YHWH looks friendly upon the Davidic king. The first part of the psalm (vv. 1-10) asks for this favour on the strength of David’s hardships to find for his God a place to dwell. The second part (vv. 11- 18) is an answer to the first. The psalm is an introit-song, composed for the festival of Sukkoth. Expressing notions that remained important to the religious community, it was reintroduced after the exile to be used at the same festival.
The number of fishes in Joh 21,11 has been a crux for the interpreters of the Fourth Gospel. If the theological meaning of the scene seemed to be clear enough — an allusion to the universality of salvation brought by Christ — the why of the number 153 tried the imagination of scholars since Augustine. This note intends to add several arguments to the proposition made by J. Emerton in 1958 that this number refers to Ez 47,1-12. The link between both passages becomes much easier to make and the theological coherence of this allusion within Johannine global theological framework appears more clearly.
The words tw~n lalhqhsome/nwn in Heb 3,5 allude to the words of Christ at the institution of the Eucharist. This is argued from 1) the contrast between Christ and Moses in Heb 3,1-6 as understood against the background of Num 12,7[LXX]; 2) the thematic use of lale/w in Hebrews; 3) the relevance of Heb 9,20; 4) the place of Heb 3,5 in the structure of Heb 1,1–3,6. All to be understood against a Eucharistic interpretation of Heb 2,12 and Heb 13.
A striking feature of 2 Peter 2,10b-22 is the author’s multiple references to similarities and differences between humans and animals. This essay illuminates this aspect of 2 Peter 2,10b-22 by investigating comparison of humans to animals by writers older than, and (roughly) contemporary with, 2 Peter. Comparison of humans to animals is very common in the ancient world. Such comparison can be neutral, positive, or negative. 2 Peter’s comparison of humans with animals is of this last kind. Although 2 Peter’s negative comparison of humans to animals is generally similar to comparisons made by others, the specific ways 2 Peter compares them are unique.