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Commentary on Zechariah (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 111)

Didymus the Blind

A disciple of Origen, whose work on Zechariah reached only to chapter five and is no longer extant, Didymus's commentary on this apocalyptic book illustrates the typically allegorical approach to the biblical text that we associate with Alexandria

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A Common Written Greek Source for Mark and Thomas

This book uncovers an early collection of sayings, called N, that are ascribed to Jesus and are similar to those found in the Gospel of Thomas and in Q, a document believed to be a common source, with Mark, for Matthew and Luke. In the process, the book sheds light on the literary methods of Mark and Thomas. A literary comparison of the texts of the sayings of Jesus that appear in both Mark and Thomas shows that each adapted an earlier collection for his own purpose. Neither Mark nor Thomas consistently gives the original or earliest form of the shared sayings; hence, Horman states, each used and adapted an earlier source. Close verbal parallels between the versions in Mark and Thomas show that the source was written in Greek. Horman’s conclusion is that this common source is N.

This proposal is new, and has implications for life of Jesus research. Previous research on sayings attributed to Jesus has treated Thomas in one of two ways: either as an independent stream of Jesus sayings written without knowledge of the New Testament Gospels and or as a later piece of pseudo-Scripture that uses the New Testament as source. This book rejects both views.

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Consider Leviathan

Narratives of Nature and the Self in Job

by Brian R. Doak

Theologians and philosophers are turning again to questions of the meaning, or non-meaning, of the natural world for human self-understanding. Brian R. Doak observes that the book of Job, more than any other book in the Bible, uses metaphors drawn from the natural world, especially of plants and animals, as raw material for thinking about human suffering. Doak argues that Job should be viewed as an anthropological “ground zero” for the traumatic definition of the post-exilic human self in ancient Israel. Furthermore, the battered shape of the Joban experience should provide a starting point for reconfiguring our thinking about “natural theology” as a category of intellectual history in the ancient world. Doak examines how the development of the human subject is portrayed in the biblical text in either radical continuity or discontinuity with plants and animals. Consider Leviathan explores the text at the intersection of anthropology, theology, and ecology, opening up new possibilities for charting the view of nature in the Hebrew Bible.

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Constructing Antichrist

Paul, Biblical Commentary, and the Development of Doctrine in the Early Middle Ages

Kevin L. Hughes

Constructing Antichrist engages readers with the question: what does Paul have to do with the Antichrist? Integrating new scholarship in apocalypticism and the history of exegesis, this book is the first longitudinal study of the role of Paul in apocalyptic thought

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Contours of Old Testament Theology

By Bernhard W. Anderson

In this masterwork, one of America's leading biblical scholars takes a fresh look at the theology of the Old Testament. Anderson cuts his own path and provides us with creative new insights on all the major sections of the Old Testament. He illuminates the nuances of the various covenants and theological shifts in a highly readable style. His conversation partners include the formative contributors from both the Christian community (Eichrodt, von Rad, Childs) and the Jewish community (Heschel, Herberg, Levenson) while interacting with the most recent developments in the field, especially Walter Brueggemann's Theology of the Old Testament.

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The Creative Word

Canon as a Model for Biblical Education

by Walter Brueggemann with a Foreword by Amy Erickson

Every faith community knows the challenges of inviting new members and the next generation into its shared life without falling into an arid traditionalism or a shallow relativism. Renowned scholar Walter Brueggemann finds a framework for education in the structure of the Hebrew Bible canon, with its assertion of center and limit (in the Torah), of challenge (in the Prophets), and of inquiry (in the Writings). Incorporating the best insights from his own career and from the fields of canonical criticism, Old Testament theology, and pedagogical theory, Brueggemann offers a vision of how the community can draw on the shape of Scripture to educate its members. First published in 1982, The Creative Word is now updated and introduced with a foreword by Amy Erickson of Iliff School of Theology.

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Cross and Resurrection

God's Wonder and Mystery

by Klaus Schwarzwäller; translated by Ken Sundet Jones and Mark C. Mattes

German theologian, Klaus Schwarzwäller reclaims Christ's cross and resurrection as God's wonder and mystery. He connects with art, history, contemporary culture, and especially scripture in presenting a trenchant analysis of the modes of power and production that have undergirded both society and the church since the Enlightenment.

The church in the present era comes under the power of the Enlightenment's quest for truth in the measurable, reproducible, and rational. The proof of the Spirit’s power thus comes to depend on the criteria of reason and theory, rather than on the Spirit’s work in the reality of daily life.

When the church and theology operate in this way, the cross and resurrection become something that requires our management, manipulation, or expert interpretation. Thus, the church and theology wind up existing for their own ends, and freedom and faith are replaced with brutal indifference and control.

The truth of the gospel is that on the cross Christ bore the brunt of power and production that could not bear his utter devotion to God and care for the powerless. The cross excludes our control and the power of the resurrection ensures that the negativity of human life borne on the cross will be overcome.

Schwarzwäller calls the church and theologians to relinquish both their conformity to society and the indifference that power and production create and instead focus on tending to God’s word so that the cross and resurrection are again revealed as God’s wonder and mystery.

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The Cross before Constantine

The Early Life of a Christian Symbol

by Bruce W. Longenecker

This book brings together, for the first time, the relevant material evidence demonstrating Christian use of the cross prior to Constantine. Bruce W. Longenecker upends a longstanding consensus that the cross was not a Christian symbol until Constantine appropriated it to consolidate his power in the fourth century. Longenecker presents a wide variety of artifacts from across the Mediterranean basin that testify to the use of the cross as a visual symbol by some pre-Constantinian Christians. Those artifacts interlock with literary witnesses from the same period to provide a consistent and robust portrait of the cross as a pre-Constantinian symbol of Christian devotion. The material record of the pre-Constantinian period illustrates that Constantine did not invent the cross as a symbol of Christian faith; for an impressive number of Christians before Constantine’s reign, the cross served as a visual symbol of commitment to a living deity in a dangerous world.

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The Cultural Life Setting of the Proverbs

by John J. Pilch

Often, readers and commentators read the Proverbs as “timeless” observations and recommendations regarding human nature, valid for all cultures and places. This blunts their cultural relevance, argues John J. Pilch. For example, proverbs regarding the “good wife” and the “quarrelsome wife” take on different meaning in a context where a married couple were rarely in close daily contact, and the predominantly masculine language used in the Proverbs points to the different cultural spheres of men and women and the different child-rearing practices employed with boys and girls. Similar in approach and format to the Social-Science Commentary on the New Testament volumes that he authored with Richard L. Rohrbaugh and Bruce J. Malina, this volume explores and describes the cultural matrix of the Mediterranean world from which the Proverbs come and of which they are descriptive. The biblical text is paired with commentary addressing those proverbs and proverb collections with particular bearing on patterns of social roles and expectations. A list of social-science “scenarios” provides ready reference to particular aspects of the large cultural area of the ancient Mediterranean region and North Africa.

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