Abstracts

NEW TESTAMENT

W.G. Boulton, Is Legalism a Heresy?, New York: Paulist Press, l982, Pp. 130; see KS 59/2-3 no. 2458.

F.F. Bruce, "The Trial of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel", in Gospel Perspectives I, ed. R.T. France and D. Wenham (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1980), 7-20. - B. endorses the arguments of A.N. Sherwin-White against P. Winter that John's gospel gives an essentially reliable account of the trial of Jesus. The arrest, charges, court procedures, and punishments fit Roman practice and are at various points corroborated by Mark's gospel and archaeological discovery. John certainly interprets the trial of Jesus from a theological perspective, but this does not distort the actual record of events. (G.J.W.)

T. Callan, "Pauline Midrash: The Exegetical Background of Gal. 3:19b", JBL 99 (1980), 549-567. - Callan discusses the Pauline theme that Gentile Christians have no need to keep the Jewish Law and the two occasions when the giving of the law is used as part of the argument. 2 Cor. 3:7-18 uses Moses' veiling of his face (Ex. 34:29-35) as an argument against the law, thus giving a typically negative twist to something which originally exalted Moses and the law. Gal. 3:19b-20 is more obscure. He argues that Paul presupposes a midrashic interpretation of the giving of the law typical of contemporary exegetical traditions which he has again used negatively. The negative assessment seems to presuppose that meditation is inferior to direct dealing and that it was necessitated by the weakness of the people. Paul views the giving of the law in the light of the golden calf incident; Moses' first breaking of the tablets indicates that the effect of the law is to make the human situation worse by making sin a violation of the law. (K.W.W.)

G. Dautzenberg, "Ist das Schwurverbot Mt. 5:33-37; Jak. 5:12 ein Beispiel für die Torakritik Jesu?", Biblishe Zeitschrift 25 (1981), 47-66. - Mt. 5:33-37 and Jas. 5:12 both prohibit the use of oaths. The paraenetic form of the saying in James is more primitive than the antithetic Matthaean formulation. Though the Mt saying mostly ante-dates the evangelist, it is unlikely to go back to Jesus himself because both Jesus and Paul use solemn asseverations which are virtual oaths. Sayings introduced by 'Amen' are generally acknowledged to be dominical, yet they are often followed by an implicit oath formula (e.g. Mk.14:25). Similarly Paul calls God to witness the truth of his statements (e.g. Rom. 1:9). Comparison of Mt. 5:33-37 with Jas. 5:12 and early Jewish criticism of oaths (Philo, Josephus, DSS) suggests that the rejection of oaths was a development within early Jewish Christianity concerned to prevent the desecration of God's name. It was not part of Jesus' critique of the law. (G.J.W

W.D. Davies, "Paul and the Law: Reflections on Pitfalls in Interpretation", Hastings Law Journal 29 (1978), 1459-1504. - For Paul 'the law' means all the Old Testament. It includes at least four elements, commandments, history, wisdom, the whole revealed will of God, i.e. it is a culture, not just individual rules. Commentators by focussing on only one aspect of law have misunderstood Paul. Four pitfalls are discussed. First. law is not just commandments, so it is false to suppose that Paul was opposed to law as such, only certain elements within Judaism. He saw Christianity as the fulfilment of the old covenant. Second, Paul's belief that Jesus was the messiah did modify his view that the law was eternal and immutable. Third, Paul's remarks about the law vary with the situation he is addressing in the different churches: his teaching is not a monolithic unity. Fourth, Paul's moral imperatives have often been overlooked in evaluating his attitude to the law. He believed Jesus had become the torah, the revealed will of god. Morality involves being 'in Christ', imitating him, and obeying his specific instructions. In making Christ the centre of the law Paul simplified it. (G.W.J.)

J. Duncan M. Derrett, Studies in the New Testament, vol. III: Midrash, Haggadah, and the Character of the Community, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1982, ISBN 90 04 069596 2, Pp. xii, 261, Price: Gld. 110. - The first two volumes in this series were noted at Survey no. 228 (JLA II). Twelve articles are reprinted with further annotations. Two more are here printed for the first time: "History and the Two Swords" (on the quotation of Is. 53:12 in Lk. 22:36-38) and "The Two Malefactors (Lk. xxiii 33, 39-43)". There are also Addenda to vols. I and II. As the sub-title indicates, the author is concerned in this volume to interpret New Testament passages in the light of Jewish aggadic methods and texts. (B.S.J.)

J. Duncan M. Derrett, Studies in the New Testament, vol. IV: Midrash, the Composition of Gospels, and Discipline, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1986, ISBN 90 04 07478 3, Pp. x, 244, Price: Gld. 112. - The first three volumes in this series were noted at Survey nos. 228 (JLA II) and 952 (JLA VI). Twelve further articles are here reprinted. Of particular interest to historians of Jewish law are those on "'Behuqey Hagoyim', Damascus Document IX,1 Again" (from RQ XI (1983), 409-15) and "Binding and Loosing" (from JBL CII (1983), 112-17). It is a pity that the opportunity has not been taken to include rabbinic sources in the indices sources in these volumes. (B.S.J.)

James D.G. Dunn, Jesus, Paul and the Law, London: SPCK, 1990, Pp. x, 277, ISBN 0-281-04436-8, Price: £15.00 (pbk). - Sub-titled "Studies in Mark and Galatians", this is a volume of essays previously published by the author between 1984 and 1988, with varying degrees of revision. (B.S.J.)

J.W. Fuller, "Of Elders and Triads in 1 Tim. 5:19-25", New Testament Studies 29 (1983), 258-263. - The argument in 1 Tim. 5:19-25 is based on Deut. 19:15-20, and shows that 1 Tim. 5 is dealing with the trial of a church elder. Deut. 19:17 insists that witnesses must prove their accusations before God, the priests and the judges. 1 Tim. 5:21 reminds the judge Timothy that his verdict will be assessed by "God, Christ Jesus and the elect angles." (G.J.W.)

J.C. Gager, "Jews, Gentiles, and Synagogues in the Book of Acts", Harvard Theological Review 79 (1986), 91-99. - The size of the synagogue at Sariis and inscriptions from synagogues nearby support the view of Acts that there were Gentile worshippers (God-fearers) in synagogues who were not full converts, proselytes, to Judaism. (G.J.W.)

M. Hengel, The Charismatic Leader and His Followers, trld. J.C.G. Greig, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1981, ISBN 0 567 03001 6, Pp. xiii,111, Price: £8.95 - This is a translation of Hengel's classic study of 1968, in which he argues that the relationship between Jesus and his disciples differs from the rabbinic model, and has more (though not everything) in common with charismatic-prophetic leaders of the Maccabean-Zealot tradition. In this context, the author deals briefly with what he regards as the sovereign attitude adopted by Jesus towards the Mosaic Law. (B.S.J.)

C. Heubült, "Mt. 5:17-20. Ein Beitrag zur Theologie des Evangelisten Matthäus', Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 71 (1980), 143-149. - These verses are largely redactional and show the evangelist's concern to oppose the Pauline view that the law was made obsolete by the death of Jesus. Mt. believes that every detail of the law must be observed till the parousia. (G.J.W.)

M. Hilton and G. Marshal, The Gospels and Rabbinic Judaism, A Study Guide, London, SCM Press Ltd., 1988, Pp. viii, 167, ISBN 0-334-02021-2, Price: £6.95 (pbk.). - This is primarily a reader designed for inter-face study groups. There are chapters on "The Great Commandment", "The Synagogue", "The Parable and the Mashal", "The Ox in the Pit", "Shabbat", "Divorce", "Who Can Forgive", and a Conclusion. The chapter on Divorce provides translations of and extended comments on Deut. 24:1, T.Ket. 12:1, M.Ket. 7:6, M.Gitt. 9:10, M.Kidd. 1:1, Matt. 19:1-14, Mark 10:1-14. The comments are generally well informed and clearly written, and the material in several of these chapters could usefully be used for teaching purposes in universities for introductory courses in Jewish law. (B.S.J.)

M.D. Hooker, "Beyond the Things that Written. St. Paul's Use of Scripture", New Testament Studies 27 (1981), 295-309. - Paul's pesher type of exegesis of Ex. 34 in 2 Cor. 3 illustrates his understanding of the role of the law and its relationship to Christ. "Christ has replaced the Law in Paul's thinking as the expression of God's purpose, character and glory; but Paul cannot simply ditch the Law. He transfers to Christ his former beliefs about the Law without denying the law itself a role." "The Law's true role is to be a witness to Christ - that is why, when Christ comes, the Mosaic ministry is superseded." (G.J.W.)

Hans. Hübner, Law in Paul's Thought, trld. J.C.G. Greig, ed. J. Riches, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1984, ISBN 0567 09313 1, Pp. xi, 186, Price: £10.95 (Studies of the New Testament and its World). - The German original appeared as Das Gesetz bei Paulus, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1978; it is supplemented by new sections discussing subsequent English-language literature (including a reply to E.P. Sanders' Paul, the Law and the Jewish People, 1983). The author's thesis relates differences between Paul's attitude to the law as found in Galatians and Romans to the development of his theology of justification. (B.S.J.)

L.E. Keck, "The Law and 'The Law of Sin and Death' (Rom. 8:1-4): Reflections on the Spirit and Ethics in Paul", in The Divine Helmsman: L.H. Silberman Festschrift, ed. J.L. Crenshaw and S. Sandmel (New York: Ktav, 1980), 41-57. - Though foundational for Paul's ethics, Rom. 8:1-4 poses various exegetical difficulties. Verse 2 is to be understood as a heading to the whole discussion in chapter 8. 'The law' mentioned by Paul in v.2 is not the torah mentioned subsequently in vv.3 and 7, but 'the law of the Spirit of life' is the life-giving power which the believer in Christ experiences through the gift of the Spirit. This brings freedom from 'the law of sin and death', i.e. the state of spiritual death brought about by sin. Paul is not opposed to the moral demands of the Torah, but he sees it as powerless to conquer sin which dominates the self until the Spirit comes. Then man can enjoy life, which is the goal of the Torah, here called 'the just requirement of the law' (v.4). (G.J.W.)

A.T. Kraabel, "Greeks, Jews and Lutherans in the Middle Half of Acts", Harvard Theological Review 79 (1986), 147-157. - Acts is an unreliable historical source, so that its supposition that many Gentiles (God-fearers) attended synagogue worship should not be taken seriously. (G.J.W.)

A. Lindemann, "Die Gerechtigkeit aus dem Gesetz. Erwägungen zur Auslegung und zur Textgeschichte von Römer 10:5", Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 73 (1982), 231-250. - L. Discusses the textual variants in Rom. 10:5, concluding that the usual reading is the best. 'Paul states that according to the testimony of Moses there is life through works and that Moses calls this the righteousness of the law. This righteousness, which involves doing, is not however God's righteousness (Scripture says this too), because God's righteousness only comes from faith' (author's summary). (G.J.W

Brice L. Martin, Christ and the Law in Paul, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1989, pp. xi, 186, ISBN 90-04-09178-5. - Based on a doctoral thesis, this book offers a thorough review of the problem of Paul's attitude to the Law, and seeks to resolve the apparent inconsistencies in it. The explanation resides in internal developments within Paul's thinking on the one hand, and his response to different external situations on the other. Thus, in writing to the Galatians he tends to downplay the law because of their attempts to be saved by means of it, while in I Corinthians he stresses the law and moral values since he is facing an antinomian front. In Romans he gives a carefully balanced statement and assures his readers that he is not an "antinomian" (p. 155). Martin's conclusion provides a very clear statement of the essential differences between the Jewish and Christian views of the theological significance of the law. He suggests that though, for Christians, the law is not to viewed as a means of salvation, it does have a role as "a way of life for the Christian". Christians "obey the law not to get saved, or to stay saved, but because they have been saved." (B.S.J.)

Wayne A. Meeks, The First Urban Christians, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1983, ISBN 0-300-02876-8, Pp. XII, 199, Price: £15. - In this important book, the author analyses the Pauline letters with a view to providing a social description of early Christianity. He focuses upon the urban environment of the first century, in terms of the social composition of the Greco-Roman City, the mobility of its population, the forms of association it contained (the household, the voluntary association, the synagogue, the School); he relates theological language to such social institutions. An instructive chapter is devoted to the internal discipline of the early Christian community, and the patterns of leadership within it: the norms of the Pauline communities are only rarely stated as rules; the impression is one of fluidity, of a complex, open-ended process of mutual discipline. Comparison is only occasionally made with rabbinic literature and Qumran; the posing of similar questions to these sources would undoubtedly be instructive. (B.S.J.)

P.W. Meyer, "Rom. 10:4 and the 'End of the Law'", in The Divine Helmsman: L.H. Silberman Festschrift, ed. J.L. Crenshaw and S. Sandmel (New York: Ktav, 1980), 59-78. - Rom. 10:4 'Christ is the end (telos) of the law' lies at a turning point in Paul's difficult discussion of the relationship of Christianity and Judaism in Rom. 9-11. It does not mean that the Torah has been terminated by Christ's coming, for Paul has a very positive attitude to the law. (Meyer suggests that the stone laid in Zion - Rom. 10:33 - is the law, not Christ.) Rather Christ is the goal to which the law aspired: through Christ and the Spirit the believer enjoys life and a right standing before God, something the Torah looked for but was unable to deliver because of sin's dominating influence. Many commentators have wrongly followed Luther in supposing that Paul thought the law was made obsolete through the gospel. (G.J.W.)

H. Risnen, "Paul's Conversion and the Development of his View of the Law", New Testament Studies 33 (1987), 404-419 - The usual view of Paul's attitude to the law is that it changed immediately he was converted. But it is more likely that his idiosyncratic views developed gradually. Paul first accepted the standpoint of Hellenistic Jewish Christians, who, like Philo, reinterpreted spiritually those aspects of the law, such as circumcision, which were difficult for converts to observe. Later in disputes with Judaizers within the churches he adopted a more radical stance toward the law, rejecting it as a way of salvation. (G.J.W.)

E.P. Sanders, Paul, the Law and the Jewish People, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983, ISBN 0-8006-0698-1, pp.xi, 227, Price $19.95; London: SCM Press, 1985, ISBN 334-01208-X, pp.xi, 227, Price: £8.50 (pbk.). - Sanders considers Paul's diverse statements on the law as responding to a variety of different questions (e.g. soteriology and ethics), and as not amounting to a coherent system. Paul struggled with these questions to the very end of his life. The author also discusses Paul's relations with his fellow Jews. He concludes that Paul's thought was largely Jewish, and that his work as apostle to the Gentiles is to be understood within the framework of Jewish eschatological speculation. (B.S.J.)

E. P. Sanders, Jewish Law from Jesus to the Mishnah. Five Studies, London and Philadelphia, SCM Press and Trinity Press International, 1990, Pp.xii, 404, ISBN 0-334-02455-2, cloth, 0-334-02102-2, paper. - The first chapter, entitled "The Synoptic Jesus and the Law" contains sections on Sabbath, food, purity, offerings, tithes, temple tax, oaths and vows, blasphemy, worship at home and Synagogue, fasting, and conflict over the law, and is designed as an introduction to legal topics taken up in greater detail later. Chapters 2 & 3 respond to the view of Jacob Neusner on whether the Pharisees had an Oral Law and whether they ate ordinary food in a state of ritual purity. Chapter 4 deals with Purity, Food and Offerings in the Greek-speaking Diaspora, while the final chapter assesses Neusner's Philosophy of the Mishnah. Neusner's approach, he argues, "rests inter alia on a mistake about Genre, a confusion of structuralism with social history". The world view which Neusner attributes to the Mishnah "can be found neither in it nor behind it". Rather, Sanders argues, "a true account of the world view of the Mishnaic Rabbis will make them part of common Judaism, rather than a fleeting denial of it." (B.S.J.)

U. Wilckens, "Zur Entwicklung des paulinischen Gesetzesverständnisses", New Testament Studies 28 (1982), 154-190. - Law is always important in Paul's theology. The development of his views is traced chronologically through his writings. In the earliest days of the Gentile mission he proclaimed total freedom from the law because the death of Christ had made a temple cult obsolete. In I Cor. Paul appeals to the law as Scripture, but is equivocal about keeping its injunctions. In 2 Cor. Paul contrasts law and gospel. In Gal. 3 Paul argues from the law that Christians are free from the law. Gal. and Phil. were both written against opponents who insisted that Gentiles keep the law of circumcision. In Rom. Paul tries to deal with the accusation that he is a blasphemer in rejecting the law. For Paul, keeping the commandments, not possessing them, was important. The Spirit given in baptism enables a Christian to keep the law, while making it obsolete as a means of justification. (G.J.W.)

S.G. Wilson, Luke and the Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983, ISBN 0 521 25284 9, Pp. ix, 142, Price: £15.00 (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, 50). - The author finds a discrepancy between the attitude to the law a