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Now Available in Paperback!One of the most exciting of Paul's letters, First Corinthians offers a vantage point from which modern readers can reflect on the diversity in Christian Churches today. In First Corinthians, Raymond Collins explores that vantage point as well as the challenge Paul posed to the people of his time 'and continues to pose in ours 'to allow the gospel message to engage them in their daily lives.Pal introduces us to a flesh-and-blood community whose humanness was al too apparent. Sex, death, and money were among the issues they had to face. Social conflicts and tension within their Christian community were part of their daily lives. Paul uses al of his diplomacy, rhetorical skill, and authority to exhort the Corinthian community to be as one in Christ.In examining Paul's message and method, Collins approaches First Corinthians as a Hellenistic letter written to people dealing with real issues in the Hellenistic world. He cites existing Hellenistic letters to show that Paul was truly a letter writer of his own times. Collins makes frequent references to the writings of the philosophic moralists to help clarify the way in which Paul spoke to his beloved Corinthians. He also comments on some aspects of the social circumstances that shaped the Christians of Corinth.Raymond Collins, PhD is a priest of the Diocese of Providence and is the dean of the School of Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America. He is the author of John and His Witness and Divorce in the New Testament published by Liturgical Press."
Scarcely any book of the New Testament (with the possible exception of Revelation) is so perplexing as the Letter to the Hebrews." Not really a letter, but a sermon with some features of a letter added to it, not really by its putative author,Paul, but by an anonymous Christian who wrote some of the most elegant Greek in the Bible, not really addressed to the "Hebrews," but to Christians, probably in Rome 'this is the work that Alan Mitchell explains in this commentary.Many scholars have written fine commentaries on Hebrews, and Mitchell stands on their shoulders, noting where he proposes alternate interpretations. Mitchell pays particular attention to the reliance of the author of Hebrews on the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint). He also compares the language of Hebrews with similar usage and ideas of first-century Hellenistic Jewish authors, notably Flavius Josephus and Philo of Alexandria. Furthermore, he situates Hebrews against the background of the tradition of Hellenistic Moral Philosophy, where that is appropriate. Mitchell thus locates Hebrews in its proper thought-world, something that is essential for the modern reader in dealing with some of the thornier questions raised by this biblical book. Chief among these are the role of sacrificial atonement, the question of "second repentance," and the spiritual and moral formation of the Roman Christians who were its recipients.Like al the volumes in the Sacra Pagina series, this work examines the text in detail, with careful attention to the words and phrasing, and then brings those individual insights together into a coherent summary. The bibliography and special lists appended to each chapter cover the best of recent scholarship on the Letter to the Hebrews.Alan C. Mitchell, PhD, is associate professor of New Testament Studies and Christian Origins at Georgetown University and is director of the Annual Georgetown University Institute on Sacred Scripture. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Society for the Study of the New Testament."
In his commentary on the letter of James, Hartin offers a unique approach toward understanding a much-neglected writing. Refusing to read the letter of James through the lens ofPaul, Hartin approaches the letter in its own right. He takes seriously the address to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion" (1:1) as directed to Jews who had embraced the message of Jesus and were living outside their homeland, Israel. At the same time, Hartin shows how this letter remains true to Jesus' heritage. Using recent studies on rhetorical culture, Hartin illustrates how James takes Jesus ' sayings and performs them again in his own way to speak to the hearers/readers of his own world.Hartin examines the text, passage by passage, while providing essential notes and an extensive explanation of the theological meaning of each passage. The value of this commentary lies in its breadth of scholarship and its empathic approach to this writing. The reader will discover new and refreshing insights into the world of early Christianity as well as a teaching that is of perennial significance.Patrick J. Hartin was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied at the Gregorian University in Rome and is an ordained priest of the Diocese of Spokane, Washington. He holds two doctorates in Theology: in Ethics and in the New Testament, both from the University of South Africa. Presently he teaches courses in the New Testament and in Classical Civilizations at Gonzaga University. He is the author of eleven books, including: Apollos (Paul's Social Network series), James of Jerusalem (Interfaces series), andJames, First Peter, Jude, Second Peter (New Collegeville Bible Commentary series), al published by Liturgical Press."
Although relatively brief, Philippians is one of the most interesting and beloved of Paul's undisputed epistles. In Philippians and Philemon, Bonnie Thurston makes a convincing case that canonical Philippians is as Paul wrote it, one letter. Although there is not enough specific evidence to "name names," she suggests a number of possible audiences. A translation conforming as closely as possible to the original Greek is provided, along with a careful analysis of the language of the letter that yields insights into the context and theological underpinning of this epistle.The apostle's very brief letter to Philemon stands solidly within the Pauline collection of authentic and canonical letters. In this volume, Judith Ryan argues that Philemon makes two specific appeals. The first seeks to elicit Philemon's partnership and his community's support in welcoming Onesimus back as both beloved brother and honored guest. The second requests that Onesimus be allowed to use the freedom he already has to serve Christ and his Gospel. In this commentary Ryan provides a fresh translation, critical notes for each verse, and interpretation on defined sections. She situates the letter in the historical context of slavery in the ancient world and shows how Paul combined his theology with contemporary rhetorical strategies to produce an effective challenge to his audience.
This commentary adopts a literary-rhetorical approach, viewing the letter as an instrument of persuasion designed to transform readers through a celebratory presentation of the Gospel. Reflecting upon the fate of Jews and Gentiles, Paul wins his audience to a vision of a God who always acts inclusively. The God who, in the person of Israel's Messiah (Jesus), has acted faithfully to include the Gentile peoples within the community of salvation, will not fail to see to the eventual inclusion of Israel as well. In the victory of grace displayed already in the risen humanity of Jesus, the original design of the Creator for human communities and for the world begins to come true.The interpretation of Paul's letter to Rome has accompanied and stimulated the path of Christian theology down to today. Romans touches upon virtually all main issues of Christian theology, as well as presenting a rewarding introduction to Paul. Byrne facilitates full access to Paul and his Gospel through the letter, allowing Christians today to hear his voice as intelligibly and powerfully as it has spoken to past generations.
Now Available in Paperback!Second Corinthians is often regarded as the most personal of Paul's letters. In this letter Paul more than once fiercely counters the attacks of his opponents. He extensively describes both the quality and circumstances of his apostolic existence: the sufferings he endures, the opposition he encounters, and his continual care for the churches.Second Corinthians is, therefore, highly significant theologically as well as autobiographically. This letter is an especially important document because of Paul's ongoing reflection on his ministry. It is both profound in its content and style for its original audience as well as for today's readers. It is a message that is relevant to Christians today.Jan Lambrecht, SJ, is professor emeritus of New Testament and biblical Greek at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium."
Now available in paperback!No other book of the New Testament has attracted as much attention from commentators as the Fourth Gospel. It has stirred minds, hearts, and imaginations from Christianity's earliest days. In The Gospel of John, Francis Moloney unfolds the identifiable "point of view" of this unique Gospel narrative and offers readers, heirs to its rich and widely varied interpretative traditions, relevance for their lives today. Includes an updated bibliography as an appendix.Francis J. Moloney, SDB, is Foundation Professor of Theology at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Member of the Order of Australia. He is the author of numerous books including The Gospel of the Lord, Beginning the Good News, and A Hard Saying: The Gospel and Culture published by Liturgical Press."
Now available in paperback!In The Gospel of Mark Fathers Donahue and Harrington use an approach that can be expressed by two terms currently used in literary criticism: intratextuality and intertextuality. This intratextual and intertextual reading of Mark's Gospel helps us to appreciate the literary character, its setting in life, and its distinctive approaches to the Old Testament, Jesus, and early Christian theology. Includes an updated bibliography as an appendix.Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, is a professor of New Testament at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and general editor of New Testament Abstracts. He is a past-president of the Catholic Biblical Association of America and is the author of The Gospel of Matthew and co-author of 1 Peter, Jude and 2 Peter in the Sacra Pagina series published by Liturgical Press.John Donahue, SJ, PhD, is the Raymond E. Brown Distinguished Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. He is the author of Life in Abundance: Studies of John's Gospel in Tribute to Raymond E. Brown, S.S., and Hearing the Word of God: Reflections on the Sunday Readings, Year A published by Liturgical Press."
First Timothy, Second Timothy, and Titus
First and Second Timothy and Titus have for many years borne the collective title The Pastoral Epistles. Both their style and their content make it difficult to locate them within the corpus of Pauline letters, and recent scholarship most often considers them pseudonymous, works that imitate Paul's letters but apply the apostle's teaching to the concerns of a later time, two or more decades after Paul's death.
The Pastorals differfrom Paul's own letters in being addressed to single individuals, coworkers of Paul who have been placed in charge of particular churches—Timothy apparently in Ephesus, Titus in Crete. They provide instruction for community leaders, both the individual addressees and other leaders whom they will appoint. The specification of certain offices within the local churches is one of thefeatures that appear to locate these works in a later phase of church development.
In this commentary Benjamin Fiore, S.J., places the Pastorals in their historical and literary context. The reader will find here a solid introduction to parallel literary forms in Latin and Greek literature and particular descriptions of the way in which these documents use ancient rhetorical forms to achievetheir paraenetic and hortatory purpose. Drawing on his parish experience as well as his academic training, Fiore also provides reflections on the contemporary pastoral application of these books, giving readers a renewed appreciation for the pastoral label these epistles bear.
Benjamin Fiore, SJ, is president and professor of religious studies at Campion College at the University of Regina (Canada).
Travels in Deep Southern Time, Circum-Caribbean Space, Afro-creole Authority
Drawing from Haitian Vodou and New Orleanian Voudou and from Cuban and South Floridian Santería, as well as from Afro-Baptist (Caribbean, Geechee, and Bahamian) models of encounters with otherness, this book reemplaces deep-southern texts within the counterclockwise ring-stepping of a long Afro-Atlantic modernity. Turning to an orphan girl’s West African initiation tale to follow a remarkably traveled body of feminine rites and writing (in works by Paule Marshall, Zora Neale Hurston, Lydia Cabrera, William Faulkner, James Weldon Johnson, and LeAnne Howe, among others), Cartwright argues that only in holistic form, emergent from gulfs of cross-cultural witness, can literary and humanistic authority find legitimacy. Without such grounding, he contends, our educational institutions blind and even poison students, bringing them to “swallow lye,” like the grandson of Phoenix Jackson in Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path.” Here, literary study may open pathways to alternative medicines—fetched by tenacious avatars like Phoenix (or an orphan Kumba or a shell-shaking Turtle)—to remedy the lies our partial histories have made us swallow.