News From EABS

Colleagues,

The deadline for the European Association of Biblical Studies Student Prize has been extended until 25th May.  The prize is worth 300EUR, and details can be found here: https://eabs.net/site/student-zone/

There are two prizes, one of which is for research in New Testament and related areas.
Applicants must be members of EABS; membership is 10EUR. (EABS is often held jointly with ISBL)

Best wishes,
Paul

Dr Paul Middleton
Secretary, The British New Testament Society

#ICYMI – Doug Campbell’s Book is ‘altogether untenable at key points’

From the Tyndale Bulletin

Review Article: The Deliverance of God: an Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul by Douglas A. Campbell, reviewed by Bruce Clark (Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge)

Campbell launches a sustained attack against traditional theological conceptions of justification and aims to free Romans 1–4 (on which these conceptions seemingly rest) from a widespread rationalistic, contractual, individualistic (mis)reading, which gains its plausibility only by the modernistic theological superstructure forced upon it. Campbell then presents an in-depth re-reading of Romans 1–4 (as well as parts of chs. 9–11, Gal. 2–3, Phil. 3), in which Paul engages in a highly complex, ‘subtle’ polemic, creatively employing ‘speech-in-character’ as a means of subverting a Jewish Christian ‘Teacher’ whose visit to Rome threatens to undermine the Roman Christians’ assurance of salvation. Campbell argues that justification is participatory and liberative: Christ’s death and resurrection constitute the ‘righteousness/deliverance of God’, by which he justifies, or delivers, an enslaved humanity from the power of sin. This article concentrates primarily on Campbell’s own exegesis, concluding that, while important aspects of Campbell’s critique of both “justification theory” and traditional readings of Romans 1–4 must be carefully considered, his own exegesis is not only ingenious, asking too much of Paul and the letter’s auditors, but altogether untenable at key points.

It certainly is no mistake to say that his reading of Romans 1-2 is more eisegesis than exegesis.

Now That’s How You Write a Book Dedication

Calvin dedicated his Commentary on Hebrews to Sigismund Augustus on 23 May, 1546.  He begins thusly

calvin49THERE are at this day many foolish men, who everywhere, through a vain desire for writing, engage the minds of ignorant and thoughtless readers with their trifles. And to this evil, most illustrious King, is added another indignity—that while they inscribe to kings and princes their silly things, to disguise, or at least to cover them by borrowed splendour, they not only profane sacred names, but also impart to them some measure of their own disgrace.

Since the unreasonable temerity of such men makes it necessary for serious and sober writers to frame an excuse, when they publicly dedicate their labours to great men, while yet there is nothing in them but what corresponds with the greatness of those to whom they are offered, it was necessary to make this remark, lest I should seem to be of the number of those who allow themselves, through the example of others, to render public anything they please, however foolish it may be.

But it has not escaped me how much it has the appearance of foolish confidence, that I, (not to speak of other things,) who am an unknown and obscure man, should not hesitate to address your royal Majesty. Let my reasons be heard, and if you, O King, approve of what I do, what others may judge will cause me no great anxiety.

And then he does what Calvin does.  He writes exceptionally helpful things.

Today in Church History

Savonarola met with the same fate as Hus. He, too, was unsparing in his attack on the corruptions of the Church. On May 23, 1498, he was put to the double death of hanging and burning, and his ashes were thrown into the Arno. A slab in the pavement in front of the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence marks the spot where he suffered, and every year on the anniversary of his death the Florentines lay flowers on the slab in homage to his memory.

The Roman Church has always either killed its foes or widened its mouth large enough to swallow and incorporate them.