This article takes stock of works published over the last twenty years on the book of Sirach. In it the textual, literary and theological problems dealt with these days are discussed in succession. The footnotes provide an ample bibliography on the subject. The conclusion is that research on this book is making great strides, but also that it is far from having solved all these problems.
More technical than in the past, the interpretation of Ga 3,10-14 tries to pay attention to the enthymemes and to find the syllogisms which would support Paul’s reflection. This article shows that it is much better and surer to have a very close look at the gezeroth shawoth.
Five conclusions allow us to explain Jesus last days and to assess the significance of the actual Gospel narratives. Firstly, his last Passover meal (Synoptics, solar calendar) took place on one Tuesday evening; secondly, the origin of the Eucharistic rite on the Lord’s day has nothing to do with Passover; thirdly, a feast of Passover-Easter (Pa/sxa) on a specific Sunday emerged somewhat late in the IInd century; fourthly, before this date, the Synoptics did not have their final shape; fifthly Josephus provides us with a clue to understand Jesus’ double trial before Pilate in the Passion narrative of John.
This article argues that the «last hour» in 1 John 2,18 is best understood against the Old Testament background of Daniel 8,12. In particular, the only eschatological uses of «hour» (w#ra) in all of the Greek Old Testament occur in the «Old Greek» of Dan 8,17.19; 11,35.40; 12,1. There the «hour» (w#ra) refers to the specific eschatological time when the opponent of God’s people will attempt to deceive them. John sees Daniel’s prophecy as beginning to be fulfilled in the deceptive work of the Antichrist(s) who has come among the churches to which he is writing.
Self-abasement is commonly used in the Hebrew Bible to express thanks, especially in narrative texts. Using aspects of politeness theory, it is found that, by using self-abasement, a speaker accepts a loss of face and so avoids indebtedness to the hearer, but at the same time increases the hearer’s face by showing how gracious he was to favourably treat the speaker. It is a form of deference, a use of language that increases social distance between hearer and speaker. However, when self-abasement is also used to express thanks to God, avoidance of indebtedness is not in focus, rather God’s magnanimity. In prayer, self-abasement is also used to motivate God to grant the request.
The Epistle of James has been considered one of the most practical pieces of writings in the New Testament, and yet it has been consistently neglected in the writings of both New Testament scholars and ethicists. This neglect most likely derives from a failure to understand the theological underpinning for the imperatives in James, perceived as ethics in a vacuum. Understood correctly, the three areas of James’ ethical concern: speech ethics, social justice, and moral purity, stem from God’s own character and his redemption of his chosen people, making his ethics among the most theologically developed of the New Testament.