Daily Gleanings: Paul in RBL (10 July 2019)

In the Review of Biblical Literature, Bryan Dyer discusses Gregory Jenks’s Paul and His Mortality: Imitating Christ in the Face of Death (Eisenbrauns, 2015). Dyer summarizes,

Jenks wades through the Pauline writings and the apostle’s contextual background to address the question of how Paul thought about his own mortality. While Greco-Roman and Jewish thought certainly influenced the apostle,
it was the death and resurrection of Jesus, according to Jenks, that significantly impacted Paul’s own view of death. Countless books have been written on Paul’s understanding of Jesus’s death. Jenks asks a different question: How did Paul think about his own death? (1)

Dyer offers several critiques of Jenks’s argument (4–5) but also remarks, “these critiques aside, Jenks has offered
an engaging study of Paul’s view of mortality that should encourage others to dig even more deeply into this important theological issue.”

For the additional comments, see Dyer’s full review in RBL.

In the Review of Biblical Literature, Dean Furlong reviews Douglas Campbell’s Paul: An Apostle’s Journey (Eerdmans, 2018). Furlong reports that the book

has been warmly received in many quarters and praised for the accessibility of its scholarship. Indeed, it is a succinct work that skillfully bridges the gap between academia and the lay reader with its warm, conversational style. It is also a difficult book to categorize.… it is not a typical account of Paul’s life and theology. It seems more a series of mini-introductions to each of Paul’s letters, each of which attempts to provide some (usually helpful or provocative) sociologically informed context and to summarize Paul’s thinking while carrying its own devotional flare. Discussions of Pauline thought touch such themes as friendship building, communal relations, social capital, restorative justice, servant leadership, and God’s unconditional love. It seems clear that Campbell is attempting to distill the findings of many notable Pauline interpreters into this compact book, and this works, if one accepts that these findings best reflect Paul’s own theology; otherwise, the end result might not be quite as satisfying. (1)

For additional discussion, see Furlong’s full review in RBL.

Daily Gleanings: RBL (17 June 2019)

Among recent releases from the Review of Biblical Literature:

  1. David Briones reviews Thomas Blanton IV’s A Spiritual Economy: Gift Exchange in the Letters of Paul of Tarsus (YUP, 2017). Briones offers some constructively critical comments but assesses Blanton’s contribution by saying, in part,

Much of what Blanton writes about the nature of the gift is insightful, and his interaction with the Roman context and secondary literature on Paul is impressive. One can also appreciate Blanton’s interdisciplinary approach to Paul and gift. It certainly is a bold and admirable attempt to “become all things to all people” in a single volume. It therefore makes sense that he would invite his readers “to exercise clemency in their judgments” because of the various fields he engages in a single volume .…

  1. Marc Groenbech-Dam reviews Jesper Høgenhaven, Jesper Tang Nielsen, and Heike Omerzu, eds., Rewriting and Reception in and of the Bible (Mohr Siebeck, 2018).
  2. Groenbech-Dam’s summary assessment is that

Overall, this volume is well-crafted and an interesting read as it presents several creative essays on the nature of rewritten Bible and the reception of the Bible. The book is suited for biblical students/scholars and students/scholars of comparative literature, or anyone who wishes to see some of the fruits of the Univeristy of Copenhagen’s research on the gospels as rewritten Bible (Evangelierne som genskrevet Bibel), which was spearheaded by Mogens Müller and Jesper Tang Nielsen. The latter part of the book contains insightful essays on how one can appropriate Müller’s ideas into a different and sometimes more modern context, which makes it not only a fitting gift to Müller but also a contribution to biblical scholarship in general.


Greenspoon, review of Tov, Text-critical use of the Septuagint

Leonard Greenspoon has a helpful review of the third edition of Emanuel Tov’s Text-Critical Use of the Septuagint in Biblical Research (Eisenbrauns, 2015). Particularly useful are Greenspoon’s observations about changes in this edition over against the previous one.

Review of Biblical Literature Newsletter (May 7, 2015)

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Review of Biblical Literature Newsletter (April 24, 2015)

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