Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Couple of New Articles on Hebrews

Baugh, S. M. “Hyperbaton and Greek Literary Style in Hebrews.” Novum Testamentum 59.2 (2017): 194–213.

“Hyperbaton,” the separation of words that are semantically and syntactically inter-connected, is used in the epistle to the Hebrews nearly sixty times. Classicist Daniel Markovic has shown that various kinds of hyperbaton were used by Greek literary authors to indicate the boundaries of their basic informational unit, the colon (κῶλον), and sometimes of larger units of discourse like the period (περιόδος). This essay confirms Markovic’s conclusions by studying the instances of hyperbaton in Hebrews which the author used to frame colons while also adding some secondary reasons for its use throughout the composition.

Church, Philip. “Hebrews 1:10–12 and the Renewal of the Cosmos.” Tyndale Bulletin 67.2 (2016): 269–86.

The suggestion that the author of Hebrews is indebted to Philo sometimes leads to the assertion that he has a negative bias against the creation. One text where scholars have detected this bias is Hebrews 1:10-12, quoting Psalm 102:25-27, seemingly to predict the dissolution of the cosmos. The text is part of a Psalm that predicts the restoration of Zion and the gathering of the nations there to worship, and expresses the confidence that the descendants of the servants of Yahweh will live securely in Yahweh’s presence. This makes it unlikely that verses 25-26 predict the dissolution of the cosmos, and exegesis of the verses in question indicates not dissolution, but renewal after the destruction resulting from the exile. Attention to the context of the quotation in Hebrews indicates that dissolution there is also unlikely. The text supports the claim that the exalted Son upholds all things (Heb. 1:3) and sits alongside a discussion of the dominion of humanity over the world to come (2:5-9). A more remote co-text refers to the gathering of the nations to Zion (12:22-24), itself a further echo of the Psalm. The Psalm quotation functions to predict not the dissolution, but the renewal of the decaying cosmos.

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