Attending to ongoing debates about the "meaning of life" in Ecclesiastes, this article determines how Qoheleth addressed meaningfulness by drawing on a threefold scheme of definitions for life's meaning. These definitions are derived from psychological research and used to argue that all three conceptions appear within the book of Ecclesiastes. Qoheleth was primarily concerned with life's "coherence," which depends on predictable and reliable patterns in life that render it sensible, yet he also addressed life's "purpose" and "significance." While primarily determining how these three forms of meaning, along with their attendant ideas, are handled within Ecclesiastes itself, this article also demonstrates how resources from psychological research help to resolve debates among biblical interpreters, who agree far more than it at first appears once clearer definitions of "meaning" are employed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Scholars have not yet expounded on the importance and rationale of a key metaphor found in the Epistle of Barnabas: the circumcision of hearing (Barn. 9.1–3). In part, that is because the significance of this metaphor does not directly contribute to the theological outlook or background of Barnabas, which are topics that have largely preoccupied Barnabas scholarship. Yet, not only is this metaphor significant, but its significance lies in its social and communal implications. To explore these implications, I draw upon interdisciplinary research on canon and ritual. Research in these areas has independently demonstrated that canon and ritual are fundamental elements of any group, and I employ theoretical tools from these research areas to explain how Barnabas attempts to create and/or sustain his group by offering a new canon (or canonical interpretation) that could only be understood through the circumcision of hearing. Owing to the theoretical richness of canon and ritual, my study can also serve as a methodological template to examine the dynamics of other communal groups. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Calvinism, Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. -- History -- Netherlands -- 17th century, New Testament -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. -- History -- Netherlands -- 17th century, Bible -- Translating -- History -- Netherlands, and New Testament -- Translating -- History -- Netherlands
Harvard Theological Review. Oct 2019, Vol. 112 Issue 4, p467, 24 p.
Bible and literature -- Analysis and Bible as literature -- Analysis
Abstract This article investigates the early development of gendered Christian symbolism by focusing on discrepancies between two sections of the Shepherd of Hermas. Using close textual analysis and contemporary feminist [...]
Adoniram Judson's life and work have long been the subject of popular and scholarly interest, but the intellectual and exegetical background for his Burmese Bible translation has not been closely studied. This background was the biblical studies movement in New England, which began in the early nineteenth century and flourished before declining and eventually disappearing by about 1870. The opposing New England orthodox Calvinist and liberal Unitarian schools were equally involved in the movement. Judson was an early product of Andover Theological Seminary, the center for orthodox Calvinism in New England. From 1816 to 1840 Judson translated the Bible into Burmese and his references to the scholarly works he used, along with the text-critical and interpretive decisions in his Bible translation, identify him as an ongoing participant in the New England biblical studies movement. This scholarly background helps us understand interpretive decisions in the Judson Bible, which is still the main Burmese version used by Protestants in Myanmar. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Harvard Theological Review. Oct 2019, Vol. 112 Issue 4, p491, 26 p.
Rome (Ancient state). Army, Christians -- Public opinion, and Bible. O.T. (Sacred work) -- Public opinion
Abstract This article seeks to break the scholarly deadlock regarding attitudes toward war and bloodshed held by early Christian thinkers. I argue that, whereas previous studies have attempted to fit [...]
Harvard Theological Review. Oct 2019, Vol. 112 Issue 4, p421, 26 p.
Theologians -- Criticism and interpretation, Theology -- Analysis, and Bible. N.T. Romans (Sacred work) -- Criticism and interpretation
Abstract N. T. Wright offers a systematic and highly influential metanarrative to account for Paul's theology of Israel. However, Wright overlooks or underemphasizes important dimensions of Paul's thinking, leading to [...]
Early modern English Bibles are among the most significant texts in western Christianity. They contained the translation of the Bible into English and its authorisation, they facilitated the Protestant Reformation, and their effects on English Christianity and culture are felt vividly to this day. A vital facet of these editions are paratexts: the titles, summaries, glosses, and other non-canonical additions appended to scripture to aid its organisation and interpretation. Though neglected by literary, historical, and theological scholarship, these paratexts comprised huge portions of early modern Bibles and acted as productive vehicles to disseminate politics and theologies. One such form of paratext are the casus summarii , the chapter summaries that precede many chapters in early modern Bibles. In these summaries, significant biblical events or controversial subjects were condensed, omitted, reframed, rephrased, or otherwise represented to suit the editor's purposes. This article provides the first survey of the chapter summaries in early modern English Bibles, with a table detailing the extent to which they were copied between editions. The article focuses on the Matthew, Geneva, and KJV Bibles, with additional discussion of the Coverdale, Great, and Bishops' Bibles. The article addresses notable aspects of this material, including practices of translation, representations of Sodom, the anglicisation of names, and the sexualisation of Eve. By explicating the origins and influences of these summaries, this article facilitates the understanding and study of paratexts and demonstrates their importance to scholarship of early modern Christianity. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]