The latest Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters (Spring 2013) arrived today. There is no “theme” for this issue, but there is a response to Steven Enderlein’s article on Romans 3:23 from a 2011 JSPL issue. Stanley Porter and Wally Cirafesi. In that earlier article Enderlein argued that the verb ὑστερέω, traditionally translated as “fall short” in Romans 3:23 ought to be translated as “lack.” The verse would then read “all have sinned and lack the glory of God.” He goes on to argue that this leads to a subjective reading of πίστις Χριστοῦ. Porter and Cirafesi agree with his translation of ὑστερέω, but do not agree that this forces a subjective (as opposed to an objective) genitive of πίστις Χριστοῦ. (For those who missed the 9000 articles on pistis christoi, if the genitive is subjective, then Paul is focused on the “Jesus’ faithfulness” rather than “faith in Jesus.”) Enderlein finds the subjective reading more coherent in the context of Romans 3-4. He has in mind “Adam allusions” throughout Rom 1-7, especially in 3:21-26 and 5:12-21.
I enjoyed David Starling’s article on “The Children of the Barren Woman: Galatians 4:27 and the Hermenutics of Justification.” He reads the somewhat odd allusion to Isa 54:1 in the context of the story of Israel, which is the context of the middle section of Galatians. In fact, Starling points out that Paul’s use of Isa 54:1 is without parallel in the Second Temple Period. Isaiah 54 was written to Israel while the nation is still in exile in a Gentile nation (still under the curse), and for Paul, Israel is still in this typological exile. Everyone is under the power of sin and must “come of out of the exile” in the same way, by means of God’s grace and not Torah observance.
There is also a long article my Mark Nanos on “Paul’s Polemic in Philippians 3.” I browsed a few pages, looks like it is well-worth the read. There are a number of other articles in this number of the Journal, including Nijay Gupta’s review of Christ Tilling’s Divine Christ in Paul.
Two new recent Journals are available for free to online readers.
The latest issue of Themelois has been posted to the Gospel Coalition website, Issue 38.1 features an excellent article by Eric Ortland “The Pastoral Implications of Wise and Foolish Speech in the Book of Proverbs.” This issue has a large number of book reviews, including my review of Jonathan T. Pennington, Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012). The Gospel Coalition allows you to download a PDF of Themelios or you can read it online. An interesting feature for the online reader is the ability to make comments directly on the article as if the journal were a blog.
The Journal for the Evangelical Study of the Old Testament 2.1 (2013) has several interesting articles, including Andrew E. Steinmann on the Song of Solomon (“Gazelles, Does, and Flames: (De)Limiting Love in Song of Songs”), John G. Ferch, “The Story of Torah: The Role of Narrative in Leviticus’s Legal Discourse” and Spencer L. Allen, “An Examination of Northwest Semitic Divine Names and the Bet-locative.” There are 23 book reviews, including my own review of Pentateuchal Traditions in the Late Second Temple Period: Proceedings of the International Workshop in Tokyo, August 28–31, 2007, edited by Akio Moruya and Gohei Hata (Leiden: Brill, 2012). The journal is available for free in PDF format. You can download it or read it online, but there is no feedback option for online readers. Printed copies will be available through Wipf & Stock.
The latest Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters (Fall 2012) arrived today. The theme of the issue is Galatians. The Journal opens with two articles on Salvation History in Galatians, Bruce Longenecker, “Salvation History in Galatians and the Making of a Pauline Discourse,” and Jason Maston, “The Nature of Salvation History in Galatians.” Both these articles argue that Paul does in fact have some idea of “salvation history” in Galatians, Matson is especially focused on Martyn’s classic commentary on Galatians and the more recent contribution by Martinus De Boer on the NTL series. De Boer responds to both articles, arguing that “In his letter to the Galatians, Paul has no interest or stake in saying positive things about the law” (114) nor is Paul interested in “articulating a notion or theory of salvation history with respect to the people of the law, Israel” (105).
The issue also contains an article on the Lev19:18 as a Christological witness in Gal 5:14 by Michael Suh. The article argues for an intertextual reading of the verse which “resonates with the larger context of Lev 19” (115). By alluding to the verse and omitting the phrase “I am the Lord,” Paul is able to claim that Jesus is the Lord of Lev 19:18.
Todd Still contributes a short article on Galatians as an apocalyptic story, combining the apocalyptic reading of Galatians found in Martyn’s 1997 commentary with the narrative substructure approach found in Hays, The Faith of Jesus Christ. All apocalyptic literature asks., “what time is it,” Paul’s answer in galatians is that it is time to start living out the Gospel. Still comments that Paul is “gob-smacked that the Galatians, who have been baptized into and had ut on Christ (3:27), would even contemplate, much less commit, to living in a B.C. way in an A.D. day” (141).
Joel Willitts interacts with the proposal of Matthew Novenson that the word “Christ” in Galatians ought to be understood as Messiah (“Davidic Messiahship in Galatians: Clearing the Decks for a Study of the Theme in Galatians.”) After reviewing Novenson’s Christ Among the Messiahs (Oxford, 2012), Willitts attempts to clarify and extend Novenson’s argument, testing the proposal in an exegetical study of Gal 1:1-4. “When we read Galatians with Davidic eyes,” says Willitts, “Gal 1:1-4 brims with Davidic elements” (160). Novenson briefly responds to Willitts in the following article, although the two are largely in agreement.
The journal includes a summary of Stephen Carlson’s dissertation on the Txt of Galatians and a review article of two recent Galatians commentaries (Martinus de Boer and Thomas Schreiner), by Peter Oakes and Roy Ciampa.
The current issue of the Gospel Coalition’s theological journal Themelios is now available as a free PDF download. This issue has 263 pages and includes 78 book reviews. I find book reviews one of the most stimulating sections of a Journal, since Themelios is now an electronic journal they can include a huge number of reviews without running up the cost of printing.
There are a number of interesting articles, including Robert W. Yarbrough, “Bonhoeffer as Bible Scholar” and David B. Garner’s “High Stakes: Insider Movement Hermeneutics and the Gospel.” An “Insider movement” is a group of believers within a culture which serve as “missionaries” to a culture unreachable by the West. His first example is “Messianic Muslims and Muslim Evangelicals.” I am not a missiologist, so this was a new idea for me, but Garner points out that the Samaritan woman in John 4 began what could be considered an “insider movement.”