Author Archives: matthewnovenson

Sean Adams on the progymnasmata


(Matthew Novenson) The speaker for this Friday’s Biblical Studies Research Seminar is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and CSCO committee member Dr. Sean Adams. His major, BA-funded research project is a study of Hellenistic Jewish educational practices, especially as they illuminate the literary competencies of early Jewish and Christian authors. His paper for Friday is entitled “Luke and Rhetorical Education: The Role of the Progymnasmata and a Response to Recent Proposals.” As ever, the seminar meets on Friday from 11:15 to 12:30 in the Martin Hall, New College. Visitors are very welcome.


Discussion of Novenson, “Christ among the Messiahs” in the latest JSPL


(Matthew Novenson) The new Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters 2.2 (Fall 2012) includes Joel Willitts’s article “Davidic Messiahship in Galatians: Clearing the Deck for a Study of the Theme in Galatians” (in which he interacts at length with my Christ among the Messiahs [OUP, 2012]) and my response “The Messiah ben Abraham in Galatians: A Response to Joel Willitts.” This issue of JSPL is devoted to discussion of Galatians and also includes fine contributions from Martinus de Boer, Roy Ciampa, Bruce Longenecker, Jason Maston, Peter Oakes, Todd Still, and Michael Suh.

Davila’s Hekhalot translation and his upcoming Edinburgh seminar paper thereon


(Matthew Novenson) Good news regarding the accessibility of primary texts for Jewish studies: James Davila’s Hekhalot Literature in Translation: Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism is due out from Brill later this year. As it happens, just two weeks from today, on 25 January, Davila will be in Edinburgh giving a seminar paper on the topic “Translating the Hekhalot Literature” (11:15am in the Martin Hall, New College). It promises to be an interesting firsthand account of an important translation project. As always, visitors are most welcome.

Helen Bond on “Ten things I learnt about Jesus by writing a book about him”


(Matthew Novenson) Over at the Bible and Interpretation web site, CSCO director Helen Bond has an article entitled “Ten things I learnt about Jesus by writing a book about him,” in which she reflects on the process of writing her recent The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed (T. & T. Clark, 2012). She touches on classic methodological concerns about the sayings, miracles, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, as well as some recent metacritical questions about feminism and politics in historical Jesus studies. The article is a very interesting window into the actual process of New Testament research.

Paul Foster on the authorship of 2 Thessalonians in the latest JSNT


(Matthew Novenson) The latest (December 2012) issue of Journal for the Study of the New Testament includes an article by our own Dr. Paul Foster challenging the putative consensus on the authorship of 2 Thessalonians. Foster argues that, in light of recent developments in Pauline studies (e.g., the New Perspective, the rediscovery of apocalypticism), the classic arguments for the pseudonymity of 2 Thessalonians no longer hold up. In an appendix, he also reports the results of an informal poll on the authorship of the Pauline epistles taken at the 2011 British New Testament Conference. Very interesting piece. Take up and read.