# Monday, November 03, 2008

Baylor Press has kindly sent along a review copy of Hans-Josef Klauck's The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction (amazon.com). I reviewed and (mostly) enjoyed Klauck's Ancient Letters and the New Testament (amazon.com) (see more on that title) so I'm happy to have another opportunity to read more of his stuff.

I'll begin reading the book soon, until then I'll supply the publisher blurb and a few back-cover blurbs as well as the table of contents.

First, the publisher blurb:

A great deal has happened in recent decades in the study of the Apocryphal Acts, and the field of apocryphal literature is incredibly broad. A reader looking for a current, general, and concise introduction to the subject will welcome this book. Klauck not only offers an excellent introduction to the topic of the Apocryphal Acts, but also a useful resource for understanding the complex relations between these works themselves and to the canonical books. The book discusses both the main apocryphal Acts, such as the Acts of John, Paul, and Peter, and the more recent works, including the Acts of Philip, Bartholomew, and Matthew. For each chapter Klauck offers a explanation of the background and the structure for each of the works presented, and a detailed analysis of the content, and a bibliography all while incorporating the results of the most current international research.

Next, back-cover blurbs from folks who are most definitely not slouches. These folks know what they're talking about:

Finally, a current English introduction to the Apocryphal Acts. This is one of the best books on the subject since Lipsius' publication of the apocryphal Acts in the late 1800s. Klauck relies on his vast knowledge of the Christian apocrypha to make accessible a body of early Christian literature often overlooked - the literature devoted to the apostles and their missions. His coverage is thorough and up-to-date, emphasizing provenance, narrative content, and religious context.
April DeConick, Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies, Rice University

Klauck has given us a reliable, up-to-date, and comprehensive guide to early Christian novelistic writings about the exploits of John, Paul, Peter, and other apostles. He places these imaginative works in their proper contexts, guides us through the ancient texts, and offers balanced judgments about their significance. This is exactly the book we need at a time when exaggerated and unfounded claims are often made about these works.
Daniel J. Harrington, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

Modern enthusiasts of the imaginary and fabulous should not bypass the literature of the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. This literature has been a storehouse for poets, artists, and more recently even moviemakers. Klauck provides an indispensable companion, based on his thorough knowledge of the texts and the current state of research. Designed for educated readers, whether lay or expert, his work opens up to them a colorful world, without letting them forget that there are differences between fact and fiction.
Hans Dieter Betz, Shailer Mathews Professor Emeritus of New Testament, University of Chicago

And here's the Table of Contents

Translator's Note
List of Abbreviations
1 The Acts of John
2 The Acts of Paul
3 The Acts of Peter
4 The Acts of Andrew
5 The Acts of Thomas
6 The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles
7 The Psuedo-Clementines
8 Later Acts of Apostles
A Look Back and a Look Ahead
Appendix: Back Matter from German Edition
Index of Selected Text
Index of Subjects and Names
Index of Authors

Post Author: rico
Monday, November 03, 2008 7:00:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Saturday, November 01, 2008

Can it be? The thirty-fifth Biblical Studies Carnival already?!

Duane Smith at Abnormal Interests has done an abnormally interesting job in splicing together this month's carnival. You really should go check it out.

Thanks, Duane!

Next month's carnival is hosted by Jim West, so keep your eyes open and be sure to send your submissions his way.

Post Author: rico
Saturday, November 01, 2008 7:08:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, October 31, 2008

[Disclaimer: I work for Logos Bible Software and love every minute of it. The links to Logos below are just that, links. I get no commission or brownie points from click-thrus or any sales.]

Logos will be at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (in Providence, RI, Nov 19-21, 2008) and also at the national meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (in Boston, MA, Nov 21-25, 2008).

The specials mentioned below are only available at these conferences. And I'm not even listing all of them, just the ones that I find interesting and which I think you (my humble reader) may be interested in. There are 12 specials designed for the conferences, I'm only listing three of them below. If you'll be at the conferences, please stop by the booth for more info on all of the conference collections, or to purchase them.

These are awesome collections of top-notch texts useful for Biblical Studies. Listed first is perhaps the best deal you'll ever find on the combination of ICC NT vols and several (33!) very useful JSNTS monographs.

New Testament Studies Bundle (64 Vols.)

Show Only Price  $1,199.95
Show Savings (off Retail): $4,541.45

Advanced Greek Supplement (6 Vols.)

Show Only Price $299.95
Show Savings (off Retail) $111.91

ANE Studies Bundle (30 Vols.)

Show Only Price $639.95
Show Savings (off Retail): $806.94

As I said, that is only three of the twelve bundles. If you're at the show, be sure to ask about the "Scholar's Reference Bundle" which includes all of ICC, all of WBC, and a few other commentary sets. These are specials on the big stuff that you won't want to miss.

Post Author: rico
Friday, October 31, 2008 8:00:41 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here's what I've submitted for BibleTech:2009. We'll see whether or not the paper is accepted.

Note that the deadline for submissions is Nov 3, 2008. Last year was a blast, so I'm pumped for this year's conference (on March 27-28, 2009 in Seattle, WA).

Stylometry and the Septuagint: Applying Anthony Kenny's Stylometric Study of the NT to the LXX

In 1986, Anthony Kenny wrote a book called "A Stylometric Study of the New Testament" which gives details for compiling and comparing book-by-book stylometric statistics for the Greek New Testament given a morphologically tagged corpus. This exploratory study proposes to apply Kenny's method to the LXX, using the Logos Bible Software LXX Morphology, to analyze style.

While Kenny's primary application of his method was in the area of authorship studies, this paper is more interested in the general style of the LXX, and not at all interested in authorship theories or assigning a 'hand' to different passages. For better or worse, this paper treats the LXX as a corpus, and has little interest in its relationship with the underlying Hebrew text.

Once the analysis has been detailed, some points of interest (known only when the analysis is complete as the nature of the study is exploratory) will be further explored. Areas in which the work could be further developed will also be reviewed.

I should stress again, the key word is exploratory, particularly since I'll be using a beta/in-development form of the Logos LXX Morphology. I don't have theories I'm trying to prove, I'm interested in seeing what sorts of information comes to light when applying a Kenny-esque technique to the analysis of the style of the LXX.

Will you be at BibleTech:2009? You really should, last year's was one of the best, most fun conferences I've ever been to. And, if your paper proposal is accepted, you don't have to pay the conference registration! How cool is that?

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:30:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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With Ella, in a mid-meal prayer (explained below) I just prayed the following (or something close to it):

"Father God, thank you for yogurt, it is soooooo yummy, especially with cheerios on top! We pray this in Jesus' name, AMEN!"

We've always prayed with Ella before meals, and she caught on early and now folds her hands to tell us it's time to pray. Any time new food is brought out, she folds her hands. When I have the pleasure of feeding her breakfast (which I did this morning), I usually start with the cheerios and bring out the yogurt later so she's not distracted by it. Well, when the yogurt comes out ... the hands are folded ... and it is time to pray again.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7:00:04 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just stumbled across this at Amazon.com (amazon.com). It has a release date of Nov 1 2008, so you can probably pick it up at ETS or SBL if you're going to be there.

Maurice Robinson, David Alan Black, Keith Elliott, Daniel Wallace and Darrell Bock, Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views (amazon.com). B&H Academic: Nashville. 2008.

It looks like a good one to check out on the perennial problem of the ending of the book of Mark. Here's the description from Amazon.com:

Because it is conspicuously absent from more than one early Greek manuscript, the final section of the gospel of Mark (16:9-20) that details Christ’s resurrection remains a constant source of debate among serious students of the New Testament.

Perspectives on the Ending of Mark (amazon.com) presents in counterpoint form the split opinions about this difficult passage with a goal of determining which is more likely. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary professors Maurice Robinson and David Alan Black argue for the verses’ authenticity. Keith Elliott (University of Leeds) and Daniel Wallace (Dallas Theological Seminary) contend that they are not original to Mark’s gospel. Darrell Bock (Dallas Theological Seminary) responds to each view and summarizes the state of current research on the entire issue.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:00:52 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, October 27, 2008

In my recent post on Ignatius' Christology, Esteban Vázquez asked in a comment:

I wonder if there are any studies out there of St Ignatius' knowledge of the Acts of the Apostles, and what text of it he might have known.

I thought I'd respond since I've done a fair bit of tracking references between the NT and the Apostolic Fathers. I don't have any specific studies on Acts to refer to, but I do have some hints on tracking this stuff down. Here we go.

  1. Editions of the Apostolic Fathers (Holmes, Ehrman, Lake and Lightfoot at least, perhaps others) typically have reference indices in the back. Several of these editions cite cross-references in the margin or in footnotes. The Logos Bible Software editions of Holmes, Lake and Lightfoot index these references, so information on any cross-reference is a reference search away. For example, I have an "Apostolic Fathers" collection, I just searched it for "bible in 'Act 20' " to search for references to Acts 20 (any verse). This is a great place to start. The references won't all be quotations/allusions, and the reference may just be topical—but it is a way to get a quick look at what the editions have to offer.
  2. The original 1905 edition of The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers is online at archive.org. You could (and should) examine the portion on Ignatius' writings. There is a scripture index in the back, though I don't know if it is comprehensive. Acts 20.28 is not referenced in the index. I find this one so valuable (see some previous work here; hopefully I'll pick up that work again sometime soon) that I have it printed out and on my desk. Do read the front matter to understand how the book works, though.
  3. The 2005 two-volume edition of The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers (amazon.com) should also be consulted. Mine is downstairs and I'm upstairs on the computer in the office ... and I'm lazy ... so I'm not going to check it right now. Maybe later. But this should be on your list of stuff to check, definitely.
  4. If you can find a copy, you want to check Biblia Patristica. But it can be hard to find. So good luck.
  5. Hermeneia has commentary editions for Didache, Ignatius, Shepherd of Hermas and the Apostolic Traditions. A reference search of the Ignatius volume turns up the following:

What enflames the Ephesians is “the blood of God”—that is, the blood of Christ. The expression is found in important manuscripts (SB) of Acts 20:28. Tertullian also says that we are bought with a price—the “blood of God” (sanguine dei; Ad uxor. 2.3.1). That “God” suffered (see Rom. 6.3) was acceptable language before criticism required some refinement of the conviction that God (or God’s Son) had become man and died on the cross. Monophysites were later to appeal to precisely such unreflective remarks of Ignatius in defense of their christology. By the term “blood” Ignatius has in mind the passion (Phd. inscr; Sm. 6.1) and/or the eucharist (Phd. 4). Such a reference is appropriate in this context since the eucharistic blood (Tr. 8.1; Rom. 7.3) and the blood of the passion (Sm. 1.1) are both closely linked with “love” by Ignatius (see Introduction, 5.7).
Schoedel, W. R., Ignatius, S., Bishop of Antioch, & Koester, H. (1985). Ignatius of Antioch : A commentary on the Letters of Ignatius of Antioch. Includes indexes. Hermeneia—a critical and historical commentary on the Bible (42). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Lastly, there are several specialized volumes that may come in handy, depending on what you're looking for and how easily you can get to a good library that might actually have them on the shelves. Use the footnotes in the new 2-vol NTAF as a roadmap (amazon.com); they are well worth following. If Ignatius, or Clement, or Polycarp, then see if you can find Lightfoot's multivolume editions (two vols on Clem, three vols on Iggy and Polly). Also, if First Clement, you need to locate Donald Hagner's work on OT & NT quotations in First Clement; it is a gold mine.

Finally, if you're dealing with a specific NT book or subcorpus (e.g. Pastoral Epistles) then commentaries are hit and miss. Again, go to a decent library and check out some technical commentaries, you may strike gold. FWIW, on the Pastorals, I've found the Yale Anchor Bible Commentary volumes (L.T. Johnson on 1&2 Timothy; Jerome Quinn on Titus) and Hermeneia the more valuable ones when it comes to references to the Apostolic Fathers and other early Christian writings; but other volumes in those series may vary. I'd expect Quinn & Wacker on 1&2 Timothy in the Eerdmans Critical Commentary to also be good in this realm (though perhaps not so good in other realms).

Post Author: rico
Monday, October 27, 2008 6:00:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just read an excellent essay:

Thomas G. Weinandy, O.F.M. Cap., "The Apostolic Christology of Ignatius of Antioch: The Road to Chalcedon", pp. 71-85 in Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett, eds., The New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers: Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers (amazon.com), Oxford University Press: London, 2005.

In reading through Ignatius recently, I'd noticed many of the items that Weinandy brings to light, but the way he strings them together makes a convincing case that Ignatius' Christology, in those very early years (early 2nd century), can be seen as seeds of what ends up in the statement of the Council of Chalcedon (Greek and English available here).

Weinandy has three major sections of the article, the first centering on Ignatius' representation of the divinity of Christ; the second focusing on Ignatius' representation of the humanity of Christ. The third section, on the oneness of Christ, puts it all together and paints a pretty decent picture of Ignatius essentially hewing to the both fully God and fully man description of Christ's nature.

He also brings to light Ign. Eph. 1.1, which has a very interesting turn of phrase:

1.1 Ἀποδεξάμενος ἐν θεῷ τὸ πολυαγάπητόν σου ὄνομα, ὃ κέκτησθε φύσει δικαίᾳ κατὰ πίστιν καὶ ἀγάπην ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ σωτῆρι ἡμῶν· μιμηταὶ ὄντες θεοῦ, ἀναζωπυρήσαντες ἐν αἵματι θεοῦ τὸ συγγενικὸν ἔργον τελείως ἀπηρτίσατε·
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (136). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

1. I welcome in God your well-beloved name which you possess by reason of your righteous nature, which is characterized by faith in and love of Christ Jesus our Savior. Being as you are imitators of God, once you took on new life through the blood of God you completed perfectly the task so natural to you.
Holmes, M. W. (1999). The Apostolic Fathers : Greek texts and English translations (Updated ed.) (137). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

The phrase "through the blood of God" is striking and, to my knowledge (off the top of my head; no searches done), unparalleled in literature previous to this point. Of it, Weinandy writes:

This phrase ... is an arresting alignment of seemingly clashing words with their seemly (sic?) irreconcilable meanings ('blood' and 'God') that accentuates the reality of the Incarnation; that is, only if the divine Son of God did actually become man and so exist as an, does such an alignment make theological sense and possess any literal meaning. (Weinandy 81)

All this to say, I've been very pleased with my recent purchase of the 2-volume NTAF set (amazon.com) (thanks to some birthday money and Amazon.com commissions, thanks to all who click through links and buy!) and can highly recommend it.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, October 26, 2008 6:00:23 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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