Description : In what sense does Matthew's Gospel reflect the colonial situation in which the community found itself after the fall of Jerusalem and the subsequent humiliation of Jews across the Roman Empire? To what extent was Matthew seeking to oppose Rome's claims to authority and sovereignty over the whole world, to set up alternative systems of power and society, to forge new senses of identity? If Matthew's community felt itself to be living on the margins of society, where did it see the centre as lying? In Judaism or in Rome? And how did Matthew's approach to such problems compare with that of Jews who were not followers of Jesus Christ and with that of others, Jews and Gentiles, who were followers? This is volume 276 in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement series and is also part of the Early Christianity in Context series.
Description : Robert Lewis examines Paul's use of the phrase “Spirit of Adoption” in Romans 8:12-17 against the background of its Roman Imperial context in order to shed light on interpretation of Paul's Letter to the Romans. Whereas other scholars have explored what Paul may have meant when he uses the term “adoption” Lewis instead explores the reasons behind Paul's coupling of it with the term “spirit”. Having examined theories for a possible Jewish antecedent for Paul's use of this phrase, and found them less than persuasive, Lewis unlocks the data within the term's Roman Imperial context that significantly clarifies what Paul means when he uses the phrase “Spirit of adoption". Lewis shows that when Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, adoption had become a feature of Imperial succession. Roman religion gave a great deal of prominence to the Roman family spirit - the genius. The Emperor's genius became identified as a deity in Roman religion and its veneration was widespread in Rome as well as the provinces. When Romans 8.12-17 is read against this background, a very different kind of exegetical picture emerges.
Description : In this study, Michael Tuval examines the religion of Flavius Josephus diachronically. The author suggests that because Diaspora Jews could not participate regularly in the cultic life of the Jerusalem Temple, they developed other paradigms of Judaic religiosity. He interprets Josephus as a Jew who began his career as a Judean priest but moved to Rome and gradually became a Diaspora intellectual. Josephus' first work, Judean War, reflects a Judean priestly view of Judaism, with the Temple and cult at the center. After these disappeared, there was not much hope left in the religious realm. Tuval also analyzes Antiquities of the Jews, which was written fifteen years later. Here the religious picture has been transformed drastically. The Temple has been marginalized or replaced by the law which is universal and perfect for all humanity.
Description : This study investigates why "faith" (pistis/fides) was so important to early Christians that the concept and praxis dominated the writings of the New Testament. It argues that such a study must be interdisciplinary, locating emerging Christianities in the social practices and mentalites of contemporary Judaism and the early Roman empire. This can, therefore, equally be read as a study of the operation of pistis/fides in the world of the early Roman principate, taking one small but relatively well-attested cult as a case study in how micro-societies within that world could treat it distinctively. Drawing on recent work in sociology and economics, the book traces the varying shapes taken by pistis/fides in Greek and Roman human and divine-human relationships: whom or what is represented as easy or difficult to trust or believe in; where pistis/fides is "deferred" and "reified" in practices such as oaths and proofs; how pistis/fides is related to fear, doubt and scepticism; and which foundations of pistis/fides are treated as more or less secure. The book then traces the evolution of representations of human and divine-human pistis in the Septuagint, before turning to pistis/pisteuein in New Testament writings and their role in the development of early Christologies (incorporating a new interpretation of pistis Christou) and ecclesiologies. It argues for the integration of the study of pistis/pisteuein with that of New Testament ethics. It explores the interiority of Graeco-Roman and early Christian pistis/fides. Finally, it discusses eschatological pistis and the shape of the divine-human community in the eschatological kingdom.
Description : This landmark handbook, written by distinguished Pauline scholars, and first published in 2003, remains the first and only work to offer lucid and insightful examinations of Paul and his world in such depth. Together the two volumes that constitute the handbook in its much revised form provide a comprehensive reference resource for new testament scholars looking to understand the classical world in which Paul lived and work. Each chapter provides an overview of a particular social convention, literary of rhetorical topos, social practice, or cultural mores of the world in which Paul and his audiences were at home. In addition, the sections use carefully chosen examples to demonstrate how particularly features of Greco-Roman culture shed light on Paul's letters and on his readers' possible perception of them. For the new edition all the contributions have been fully revised to take into account the last ten years of methodological change and the helpful chapter bibliographies fully updated. Wholly new chapters cover such issues as Paul and Memory, Paul's Economics, honor and shame in Paul's writings and the Greek novel.
Description : Drawing on the ideology of the Augustan era of constructing ancestors, this book is about Paul's creative construction of Abraham as a spiritual ancestor of "all" people who have the faith of Abraham and Sarah. The book breaks new accademic grounds on the value of ancestors in a 21st century global Christian world.
Description : This volume delineates the link between Judaism and Christanity, between Old and the New Testaments, and calls Christians to reexamine their Hebrew roots so as to effect a more authentically biblical lifestyle.
Description : Israel Kamudzandu explores the legacy of how the Shona found in the figure of Abraham himself a potent resource for cultural resistance, and makes intriguing comparisons with the ways the apostle Paul used the same figure in his interaction with the ancestry of Aeneas in imperial myths of the destiny of the Roman people. The result is a groundbreaking study that combines the best tradition-historical insights with postcolonial-critical acumen. Kamudzandu offers at last a model of multi-cultural Christianity forged in the experience of postcolonial Zimbabwe.