Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hebrews Carnival March 2012

Dirk Jongkind points out the problem generated by scriptio continua in Codex Sinaiticus at Hebrews 9:26.

Cliff Kvidahl tells about his efforts to get Ceslas Spicq’s L’Épitre aux Hébreux translated into English.

William Mounce discusses the meaning of "as a father disciplines his son" in Hebrews 12:5.

Tim Gombis quotes James Thompson's contention about Reading the Hebrews Warning Passages in Context, but he questions his take that the warning passages are only hypothetical.  He also discusses Hebrews' Threatening Christology and the Quasi-Platonic Cosmology of Hebrews.  He argues that Jewish & Christian Identities are Not Incompatible, but that Hebrews 7–10 was written because a crisis arose that compelled the audience to "choose between their identity as Christians as their identity as Jews."  He also has a post on The Quest for Certainty and Jesus' Humanity.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Contacting Me By Email

As you can probably guess by looking at my previous post, I have now added the ability to contact me by email. I did not want to expose my email address, but I wanted to allow people to contact me without having to contact me via a post. For some reason Blogger does not seem to provide this functionality, so I have had to resort to using an outside source to provide this service. The email link will be placed on the side bar underneath my name and photo.

Contact Me By Email

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New JBL Article on Hebrews

Jason A. Whitlark. "'Here We Do Not Have a City That Remains': A Figured Critique of Roman Imperial Propaganda in Hebrews 13:14." Journal of Biblical Literature 131 (2012): 161–79.

The current issue of JBL is now available on the SBL site.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Centrality of Blood in Hebrews

Mike Kibbe informed me that there is a new book out on Hebrews:

Hermann V. A. Kuma. The Centrality of Αιμα (Blood) in the Theology of the Epistle to the Hebrews: An Exegetical and Philological Study. Edwin Mellen Press. 2012.

Description: "This book demonstrates that because blood sanctifies, consecrates and purifies, the Greek word for blood provided the best expression for the unique role of Christ as self-sacrificing High Priest in the Epistle to the Hebrews."

Click on the title above to access the Edwin Mellen site for contents of the book and for other pertinent information.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hebrews at the Regional SBL Meetings

The Book of Hebrews is featured in at least three regional SBL meetings.  The following is what information I could ascertain from the regional meeting websites.  Two of the sessions feature presentations on two newly discovered manuscripts on Hebrews.

Midwest Regional Meeting
February 10-12, 2012

February 11, 2012
9:00-11:30 Early Christian Literature/Patristics

9:00-9:30 Sylvie Raquel, Trinity International University
“Discovering an Unknown Papyrus"

Abstract: "A small number of students were involved in the deciphering of a recently discovered document. This Egyptian manuscript, dated of the second century, contains an adaptation from the letter to the Hebrews. Be the first ones to enjoy the unveiling of this papyrus and explore with us the implication of this discovery for the history of the transmission of the New Testament. We will also discuss the pedagogical aspects of this research."

The Canon of Scripture – a joint session of Hebrews/Catholic Epistles and the Early Christian Literature/Patristics/Apocalyptic Literature

3:00-3:30 Mark A. Frisius, Olivet Nazarene University
“Hebrews in Carthage: A Consideration of Tertullian and Cyprian”

Abstract: "It is well known that the book of Hebrews was not readily accepted in the early Latin West. Typically this is attributed to questions of authorship; however, in the case of Cyprian, this is too hasty a decision. Cyprian was the theological successor of Tertullian, who clearly knew and used Hebrews, and who
suggested that Barnabas was the author. This paper will examine the theological use of Hebrews by Tertullian, particularly in his rejection of second repentance, to suggest that Cyprian's rejection is on theological grounds."

February 12, 2012

9:00-12:00 Hebrews and Catholic Epistles
Chair: Eric F. Mason, Judson University

9:30-10:00 Jeremy S. Miselbrook, Loyola University Chicago
“Jesus the Hero: The Heroic Portrayal of Jesus in the Epistle to the Hebrews”

Abstract: "Scholars have theorized about the possibility of a Hellenistic-hero background to New Testament Christology. The Gospel narratives have received the majority of attention on this subject. This paper will show that the author of Hebrews incorporates a portrayal of Jesus as a hero into his Christology. The heroic imagery is most prevalent in two passages: Hebrews 2 and 11–12. First, the heroic imagery will be highlighted in these passages. Next, it will be shown that there exist significant structural, linguistic and thematic links between these two passages. Combined, these passages form the author’s portrayal of
Christ as a hero."

10:30-11:00 Toan Do, Sacred Heart School of Theology
“To expiate the sins of his people”: A Note on the Use of ιλάσκεσθαι in Hebrews 2:17”

Abstract: "The ιλάσκομαι word-group appears eight times in the NT. Only four, however, arguably imply either expiation (of human sins) or propitiation (of God’s wrath). As with the cognates ιλασμός (1 John 2:2; 4:10) and ιλαστήριον (Rom 3:25), the ιλάσκεσθαι in Heb 2:17 has been under-discussed in recent decades. A perusal of recent commentaries demonstrates that this issue is not controversial outside of theological circles where substitutionary atonement is overwhelmingly defended. Three theological positions are often held: (a) a mixed bag of elements with propitiatory-expiatory overtones for the atoning effect of Jesus’ death; (b) the propitiatory-sense of the verb; and (c) the predominant expiatory connotation. Different readings of the ιλάσκομαι group in the NT infer that such language as “sacrifice of atonement” has formed an evasive way to construe 2:17. I argue that Hebrews uses the terminology of ιλάσκεσθαι in 2:17 distinctively in the NT, given its rich use of sacrificial metaphors throughout the book. Moreover, a grammatical look at the context contributes further to the distinctiveness of ιλάσκεσθαι in Heb 2:17."

11:00-11:30 Daniel P. Bailey, University of Illinois at Chicago
“Did the Author to the Hebrews Read Jacob Milgrom? Options for Atonement in Leviticus, the Temple Scroll, Sirach, and the Letter to the Hebrews”

Abstract: "The author of Hebrews is the only known ancient Jew who “reads” Levitical atonement like Jacob Milgrom: blood on sanctuary vessels equals forgiveness for people (Heb 9:21-22). The Temple Scroll never mentions blood on the mercy seat but moves directly to atonement and forgiveness for the people (11Q19 26:9-10). Nevertheless, this unique Levitical insight in Hebrews is ancillary. Jesus expiates sins (Heb. 2:17, cf. Heb. and Gk. Sir. 3:30) and effects purification of sins (1:3), but his blood has its greatest effect in creating an “entrance” (eisodos) into the heavenly sanctuary for both priest and people (10:19-20)."

11:30-12:00 Phillip David Strickland, Trinity International University
“Christology, Melchizedek Tradition, and Hebrews 7:3”

Abstract: "When considering the text of Hebrews 7:3, where it says Melchizedek was “without beginning of days or end of life,” and that he “remains a priest forever,” several NT scholars have averred that the author must have borrowed from an extra-canonical tradition about Melchizedek as a heavenly or angelic
priestly figure. This paper offers a fresh look at key factors within both the immediate and surrounding contexts of Hebrews 7:3 that, taken collectively, provide adequate explanation for our author’s peculiar use of Melchizedek, apart from any sort of reliance upon outside tradition. In particular, attention will be given to the influence of Hebrews’ Christology on both the language of 7:3 and his exegesis of the OT material (Genesis 14 and Psalm 110). Thus it will be argued that whatever tradition may have been known or used by the author of Hebrews remains inaccessible to us since it is, at best, obscured by his Christology-driven language and exegesis."

Southwest Regional Meeting
March 9-11, 2012

March 10, 2012

Theme: The Book of Hebrews and The Gospel of Mark

2:20 Daniel Streett, Criswell College
Heavenly Holidays: Angelic Festival Observance in Second Temple Judaism and the Letter to the Hebrews

2:45 Scott Ryan, Baylor University
Joshua, Jesus, and the ἀρχηγός: The Rhetorical Use of the Narrative Pattern of Exodus and Conquest in the Epistle to the Hebrews

Theme: The Roman World and the New Testament

5:00 Renate Viveen Hood, Evan Duncan, and Hannah Eaton, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
The Papyri Will Cry Out: A Physical Analysis of a Recently Discovered Papyrus Fragment of Hebrews 9

Central States Regional Meeting
March 18-19, 2012

Monday 1:00 – 5:00, New Testament III: New Testament Epistolary Literature

3:00 Matt Easter, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
“Jesus’ Coming to the Deceased Faithful: An Alternative to a Parousia Reading of Hebrews 9:28 and 10:37”

3:30 Todd R. Chipman, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
“Hebrews and Holy War: Apocalyptic Messianism in Jewish Worldview Expectations and the Epistle to the Hebrews”

Friday, March 9, 2012

In the Mail Today

Today I received in the mail this rather rare title on Hebrews:

Paul Inje. A Two Dimensional Approach: Christ's Sacrifice in the Letter to the Hebrews and Sacrifice in Gandhian Thought. Bangalore: Asian Trading Corporation. 2007.

Here is the description from the back cover (and I type it exactly as printed):

"The choice of this theme has a theological and pastoral motivation.  The willingness to dedicate Himself for offering sacrifice and the graciousness of Christ to represent God among human beings, and strengthening the believers in their faith were the inspiring motives behind this study, and these are to a very great extent analysed in the course of this study.  The subject is introduced with a survey of its biblical and theological background, and patristic and reformative views of sacrifice.  They are followed by comprehensive, literary outlook and the theology of the Letter to the Hebrews.  This study is an intriguing question, namely, 'How can one bring a connection between two apparently diverse religious concepts?'  The answer to the problem is attempted at by bringing in Mahatma Gandhi, the father of modern India.  The impeccable strength and sacrifice of Gandhi is diligently brought out through the historical context by introducing the innovative Hindu concept and the development of sacrifice and modern intepretations and implications....."

This book is based on the author's Th.D. dissertation at Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ceslas Spicq's Commentary Will Be Translated Into English

Cliff Kvidahl has informed me that Logos Software will be translating Ceslas Spicq's monumental two-volume commentary, L'Épître aux Hébreux, into English.  Spicq's work is unquestionably the best commentary on Hebrews in the French language (although Samuel Bénétreau's commentary is quite useful), and one of the best in any language.  Currently, the software is being offered by pre-order as they have not yet started to translate it.

Here is the description from the website:


First published in 1952–1953, Ceslas Spicq’s two-volume commentary L’Épitre aux Hébreux (The Epistle to the Hebrews) still ranks as one of the most important contributions to scholarship on the letter to the Hebrews in the last seventy years. While exegetical in depth and scope, Spicq also writes with clarity, explaining in great detail the message of Hebrews. Volume one contains 445 pages of exhuastive and detailed introduction covering such topics as the authenticity of Hebrews, the use of the Old Testament, the author and recipients of the letter, the Philonic background of Hebrews, and a detailed study of the language and literary characteristics of Hebrews. In volume two, Spicq spends 457 pages commenting on the text of Hebrews, offering his insights and evidence for his conclusions in the introduction.

A New Approach to Translation Projects:
Logos Bible Software is pleased to announce the first ever English translation of Ceslas Spicq'sThe Epistle to the Hebrews. Using the Pre-Pub Process for this project allows us to invest resources in translating The Epistle to the Hebrews only if there is sufficient demand. Spicq's commentary, which currently is only accessible to French readers, will soon be widely accessible to everyone. As the scope of the project becomes clearer, the price might increase, such as when we announce the translator and we begin the work of translation. That means users who pre-order the earliest with the fewest details available will get the best price."

Check the webpage for endorsements and other details.