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Book Reviews 197 stimulated to read further in the burgeoning literature concerning the man from Nazareth. Douglas R. A. Hare Wm. F. Orr Professor of New Testament Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Hellenists and Hebrews: Reappraising Division within the Earliest Church, by Craig C. Hill. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992. 237 pp. $24.95. One of the legacies of F. C. Baur's reconstruction of early Christianity is the widely accepted view that the Hellenists and Hebrews ofActs 6:1-8:4 constitute two distinct groups within early Jewish Christianity. In contemporary New Testament scholarship the historical reconstruction moves along the following lines. The tension over the distribution of food to the widows of the Hebrew and Hellenists is en realite the earliest division in Christianity. The seven who were appointed to care for the Hellenists' widows were the leaders of the Hellenists in contrast to the twelve who were the recognized 'leaders of the Hebrews. The Hell<;:nists' separate identity was held together by an anti-temple and anti-law theology. When they clashed with their non-Christian counterparts, they were forced out ofJerusalem-the twelve and Hebrew Christians remained. As they made their way into the Diaspora they evangelized Greeks. They are thus the founders of the Gentile mission and form the bridge between Jesus and Paul. Craig Hill attempts to overturn this reconstruction in a revised version of his Oxford dissertation directed by E. P. Sanders. He formulates his thesis by extending the recent recognition of the pluralistic nature offirstcenturyJudaism to include first-centuryJewish Christianity. He writes: "... the earliest church was untidily diverse, not neatly divided" (p. 4). His' argument is clearly organized with an introduction stating the thesis (pp. 1-4), a chapter devoted to a survey of scholarly research from Baur to the 'present (pp. 5-17), and four chapters that offer a critique of the basic arguments of the current consensus (pp. 18-192). He summarizes his argument in a conclusion (pp. 193-97) and provides a bibliography and indices. Hill's formal argument begins with an analysis of the "selective" persecution of the Hellenists (pp. 18-40). Following Martin Hengel, he 198 SHOFAR Winter 1993 Vol. 11, No.2 concludes that the term . EAA1/VLUn1C; means a Greek-speakingJewfrom the Diaspora. Unlike Hengel, he does not attempt to draw out the significance of what it meant to have one group of Jewish Christians whose Muttersprache was Aramaic and another who only spoke Greek-an omission which impairs his case (d. Hengel, BetweenJesus and Paul [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983], 14-18). Accepting the historicity ofthe appointment ofthe seven, he attributes the opposition to Stephen to the Greek-speaking Jewish community rather than to an official trial. He reduces the selective "great persecution" of 8:1 to a dilemma: either Greek-speaking Jews persecuted Greek-speaking Jewish Christians or the cttief priests clashed with them as they did on other occasions with Hebrew Christians. Whichever is correct, there is no basis for distinguishing the Hellenists from the Hebrews. Hill tackles the question of the Hellenists' ideology in chapter three by examining three presuppositions behind the cl:,lim that the views of Stephen are representative of their theology (pp. 41-101). First, he argues that there is insufficient evidence to classity Stephen's identification securely. Second, he challenges the assumption that Stephen's views were typical ofthe Hellenists. Third and most important, he maintains that while we are on terra firma in affirming Stephen's martyrdom, we do not have accurate historical information about his views in either the charges of chapter six (6:1,1, 13-14) or the speech in chapter seven (7:2-53): both are authorial compositions independent of traditions. His arguments for the latter are stronger than for the former where the linguistic evidence is debatable. Another argument for the traditional position is the perceived tension between Antioch and Jerusalem. Hill offers his reconstruction of the Jerusalem Council and Antioch Incident in chapter four (pp: 103-47). He thinks that Greek-speakingJewish Christians like Barnabas were responsible for the founding of the Antioch church. Some unauthorized visitors from Jerusalem challenged the circumcision-free practice of the Antioch community. The result was the Jerusalem Council which dealt with the ,issue of Gentile observance of circumcision. The council's decision led to greater freedom in table-fellowship. Matters came to a head after James sent word through representatives remindingJewish Christians that they were obligated to observeJewish practices. Virtually everyone fell into line except Paul. After Pa';ll publicly confronted Peter, the apostolic decrees were composed to deal with the issue of mixed fellowship (15:20, 29). Hill's treatment is careful and well-reasoned with one curious lacuna: he does 'not address the issue of whether the council should be placed at 18:22. Book Reviews 199 The final chapter explores Paul's relationship to the church in Jerusalem and the place ofJames (pp. 149-92). Hill suggests that while the Jerusalem church recognized Paul's ministry, it never accepted his understanding of the law. This led to Paul's break with Antioch and made his standing as an apostle ambiguous. Paul's opponents in Galatians, Philippians, and II Corinthians were not, however, Judaizers representing Jerusalem. James was a moderate who was forced to contend with both Paul and his opponents. The strengths of Hill's monograph lie in his careful reading of NT texts and thorough critique. Apart from a couple of bothersome gaps he has collected and analyzed all of the available biblical and secondary material. His reasoning is penetrating and forceful. The monograph successfully lays to rest the spectre of early Jewish Christianity in two neatly defined groups. It is of value to anyone seriously interested in Jc::wish Christianity, Paul, or Acts. On the other hand, the reader who hopes to find a convincing historical reconstruction 'of the earliest communities will be disappointed. One factor which limits the reconstructions Hill offers is the fact that he depends almost exclusively on the biblical text. Even when he cites other ancient evidence it is almost always through secondary sources. Hengel's work is clearly superior here. If Baur built too much on too little, Hill builds too little on too much. Gregory E. Sterling Department of Theology University of Notre Dame The Palestinian Uprising: A War by Other Means, by F. Robert Hunter. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991. 312 pp. $24.95. This detailed study of the Intifada is a thoroughly researched and documented examination of a major milestone and set of events and, developments in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is a worthwhile and thoughtful (and thought provoking) study wl,ich is done in historical development from a background of the Palestinian uprising through the first half of 1990. Professor F. Robert Hunter ofTulane University was most fortunately positioned to launch into this study when the Int.ifada got underway just as he was starting a year as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Hebrew University ofJerusalem. Hunter's book includes a wide range of cited source materials and extensive interviews, a substantial majority of which are with Palestinians. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5165
Print ISSN
0882-8539
Pages
pp. 197-199
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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