This article examines the references to slips of the tongue in the speech ethics of Ben Sira. Against the background of Proverbs, this characterization of accidental speech errors represents a new development. Its origin can be traced to the confluence between sapiential metaphors for mistakes in life and the idea of a slip of the tongue in the Hellenistic world. Ben Sira’s references to slips of the tongue are generally coordinated with a lack of discipline, though at least two verses seem to suggest that slips are not always sinful and that they represent a universal phenomenon, found even among the wisest sages.
There is a well-known phenomenon in ancient manuscripts of MT, namely a diversity in word division. Scholars proposed different answers to this question. In the present article, I analyze four occurrences of that type in the Aleppo and the Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) Codex: Ps 9,1; 102,4; Job 24,6; 2 Kgs 6,25. I suggest that the variations are due not only to grammatical or phonetic reasons. They are also motivated by the midrashic tendency of scribes who try to solve in this way real or probable ambiguities in the consonantal text.
The thesis developed in the article is that Mark 7,24-8,10 cannot be interpreted without the previous dispute about clean and unclean in 7,1- 23 that gives meaning to it and prepares Jesus’ journey to the nearby pagan land. For the same reason, it seemed impossible to interpret Mark 7,24-30 as a radical change in Jesus’ missionary project. In this episode, the Syrophoenician does not extort a miracle from Jesus. It is rather he who puts her to the test, expecting from her a response that may give him the opportunity to manifest God’s power in favor of the Gentiles and be proclaimed as the one through whom God’s salvation comes.
This analysis of the plot and the narrative point of view in Mark 10,46-52 sheds some light on the function of this episode in relation to the characterization of Jesus and of the disciples in Mark. Bartimaeus appears as a model of both confessing Jesus as Messiah and following him on the way to the cross. The narrator describes in detail Bartimaeus’ behavior, but it is Jesus who approves of it and implicitly accepts the blind man’s actions and words as a correct manifestation of faith in him.
Jewish authors in the second Temple period, as well as early Christian authors after the New Testament, made apologetically-motivated connections between the biblical story of Noah and Gentile stories of the flood, including Greek stories involving deucalion — most notably Plato’s version. Analysis of the New Testament letters attributed to Peter indicates that these also allude to the Gentile flood stories, likely in order to enhance their readers’ sense of the reality of the biblical events.
An examination of the three earliest extant copies of 2 Peter (namely those found in Papyrus 72, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) is made in order to determine how the meaning of 2 Peter is affected by differences among the three copies, especially the textual variations among them. These textual variations produce significantly different understandings of Jesus in the three copies of 2 Peter, as well as other less prominent differences in meaning.