Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting
Réunion annuelle de la Société canadienne des Études bibliques
Université Laval, Quebéc City, Québec
May 29-31 Mai, 1989


Programme with Abstracts



Steve Wilson, Carleton University, Presiding/Président

Wayne O. McCready, University of Calgary

John S. Kloppenborg, University of St. Michael’s College

Michel Desjardins, University of Toronto
Bauer and Beyond: The Scholarly Discussion of hairesis in the Early Christian Era

Adele Reinhartz, McMaster University
The Havurah: A Report on the State of the Question


NEW TESTAMENT                                                                            NOUVEAU TESTAMENT
Wayne O. McCready, University of Calgary, Presiding/Président

John Horman, Waterloo
Victory as an Image of Martyrdom in Revelation
The verb nikao is used frequently in the Book of Revelation as an image of martyrdom. This use is most common in chapters two and three, the ‘Letters to the seven churches’, but is also found elsewhere in the book. Often the symbolic nature of the use of the word is highlighted by novel grammatical constructions or abrupt breaks in context. This use of nikao is not found elsewhere in early Christian literature, nor is it found in most Jewish literature likely to have been available to the author, except for 4 Maccabees, which is the most probable source for this use.
Ernest Janzen, University of Toronto
God Giving: The Central Factor of the Book of Revelation
Throughout John’s Apocalypse, the recipients are told about those things that ‘must soon lake place’ (1:1, 3; 4:1; 22:6, 10, 20). They have already suffered some persecution, and more is to follow. In the midst of their present and future afflictions, they can be comforted not because of the assurance that evil will one day be eliminated for all time, but because it is God who allows and gives (didomi) all things to happen. God’s ‘giving’ becomes the control-factor in the Apocalypse, as demonstrated by this phrase occurring throughout the text at key transitional points.
Robert MacKenzie, McGill University
The Cultural Significance of the Apocalypse of John
Recent analyses of the Apocalypse of John have focused on the book as a polemic against the Roman imperial system, as a comfort in the midst of persecution, or as a symbolic means by which to transcend death or to ventilate feelings of anxiety. The significance of Revelation as an early expression of Christian culture has not been as thoroughly explored as has its ideological and psychological dimensions. In comparison with the Virgil’s Aeneid and the Gnostic Apocryphon of John, the Apocalypse can be viewed as a vigorous and dynamic declaration of the power of the emerging Christian church and its associated culture.


NEW TESTAMENT                                                                            NOUVEAU TESTAMENT
David Hawkin, Memorial University, Presiding/Président

Charles H. H. Scobie, Mount Allison University
Creation and History: The Dialectic of Biblical Theology

The so-called ‘Biblical Theology Movement’ emphasized history, ‘The God Who Acts’, and Heilsgeschichte at the expense of the theme of creation. This was done—so it was claimed—because God acting in history is unique to the Bible; because creation is a late theme in Old Testament theology; and because creation has little or no place in New Testament theology. These contentions are challenged in the light of more recent work, e.g., on Wisdom and on Blessing, and a plea made for the recognition of a dialectic between God’s presence in history and creation as a major feature of Biblical Theology.

Barry W. Henaut, University of Toronto
Mark 4:1-20 and Oral Tradition: A Trial Balloon

Mark 4:1-20 is easily one of the most controversial passages in the New Testament. Although the text may conveniently be divided into three distinctive units (parable, allegorical interpretation, and secrecy motif), scholars are divided over the history of the passage and just which verses represent earlier oral tradition and which are Markan redaction. This paper will explore the theories of ‘Oral Tradition’ of three scholars (B. Gerhardsson, J. C. Meagher, and J. D. Crossan) in the context of their treatment of this passage. It will be argued that fundamental lack of clarity regarding what constitutes oral tradition is often the root cause for mistaken exegesis of this passage. The study will also attempt a fresh tradition history of the text (with side glances to S. Brown, C. F. D. Moule—and apologies to G. P. Richardson) in order to clarify some of the controversies surrounding this text.

L. W. Hurtado, University of Manitoba
The Gospel of Mark: Evolutionary or Revolutionary Document?
In recent years, several scholars have proposed views of Mark as a revolutionary text in the religious history of early Christianity. These include the earlier proposal made famous by Weeden (now largely discredited), and more recently the proposals by W. Kelber (The Oral and the Written Gospel, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983) and now by B. Mack (A Myth of Innocence: Mark and Christian Origins, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1988). Though each proposal is very different, and perhaps in contradiction to the others, they share a common basic view of Mark as constituting a theological revolution in early Christianity. In this paper the bases for such a view of Mark will be examined and alternative proposals will be put forward for understanding the appearance of Mark in the literary history of the early church.


PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS                                                                DISCOURS PRÉSIDENTIEL
Sean McEvenue, Concordia University, Presiding/Président

Ben F. Meyer, McMaster University
How Jesus Charged Language with Meaning: A Study in Rhetoric



HEBREW BIBLE                                                                                         BIBLE HÉBRAÏQUE
Sol Nigosian, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président

Joyce Rilett Wood, University of St. Michael’s College
The Polemics of Amos and His Commentator
In broad terms the purpose of the paper is to show that the book of Amos combines both text and commentary on text. Using Amos 3:1-8 as a sample passage, I will first identify the Amos text, describe its structure, and show how it fits into the immediate and wider context. Second, I will identify the verses of the commentary and show how they alter the structure and meaning of the Amos text. Third, I will describe how the commentary functions in the immediate context and show how it is related to other parts of the book.

Stephen Dempster, Atlantic Baptist College
The Sense of Defense: The Form, Meaning, and Function of Amos 3

A study of the structure of Amos 3 reveals that it consists of a chiastically arranged series of units which present a prophetic apologia. The recognition of this literary arrangement not only elucidates the meaning of the chapter but some problematic features within it. Moreover, an examination of how this text functions in its literary context contributes to the understanding of the structure of the book of Amos.
Jacqueline R. Isaac, University of Toronto
1 Samuel 3: A Literary Analysis
Literary criticism has only recently gained respectability as a useful approach to the analysis of biblical texts. While this approach to the Bible is not exactly a new idea, the use of traditional literary-critical methods on biblical narrative and poetry has been slow to gain acceptance, due largely to the lack of a systematic approach and the resultant reliance on scholarly intuition. Recently much work has also been done focusing on the composition and structural artistry of biblical prose and poetry. Many scholars are finding well-defined structural patterns to be fundamental to Classical Hebrew literature. Unfortunately, their results have been subject to the same deficiencies and inconsistencies as earlier literary approaches. However, by recognizing the function of syntax in the narrative and utilizing the methods of discourse analysis, many of these difficulties may be overcome. Through syntactical analysis it is possible to perceive the structural dynamics which provide the shape of the text. Discourse analysis supports and substantiates the validity of literary analysis. It provides a concrete basis for defining and defending textual divisions and recognizing the function of repetition. This paper presents a literary analysis of 1 Samuel 3—‘Samuel’s Dream Theophany’—utilizing syntactical analysis as the foundation for the subsequent literary and rhetorical analysis.


Peter Richardson, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président

Lloyd Gaston, Vancouver School of Theology
Pharisaic Problems

Simcha Fishbane, Wilfred Laurier University
The Kuti as Viewed by the Framers of Mishnah

Wendy J. Cotter, University of St. Michael’s College
The Collegia and Roman Law: The State Restrictions on Private Associations, 64 BCE200 CE


HEBREW BIBLE                                                                                         BIBLE HÉBRAÏQUE
Sean McEvenue, Concordia University, Presiding/Président

Christine Kachur, Hebrew Union
The Symbolism of the Vision in Gen 15:17-21 and the Role of This Vision in the Abraham Cycle
The paper will examine the symbolism of the vision in Gen 15:17-21 in relation to the Abraham cycle as a whole. It will argue for an essential connection between the battle of the nine eastern and Jordanian kings, in which Abram intervenes in Genesis 14, and the vision in Genesis 15. In the vision the territory of the nine kings is represented by the five animals, cut into nine parts. The paper will argue further that the vision’s symbolism has implications for interpreting the pervasive theme of the granting of land to Abraham as it appears in Genesis 12-18.
 Sol A. Nigosian, Victoria College
Moses as Conceived by Biblical Authors/Editors
The profound disagreements among biblical scholars about every aspect of the image of Moses as preserved in tradition (Hebrew Bible/Tanakh) have caused unpleasant feelings of uncertainty. The clue to understanding the figure of Moses has been sought in viewing him as ‘prophet, priest, judge, king, lawgiver, intercessor, victor, exile, fugitive, shepherd, guide, healer, miracle-worker, man of God, and rebel’ (R. F. Johnson, IDB 3:441). I do not wish to defend or oppose anyone of these views. Rather, I intend to analyze several terms/phrases ascribed to Moses in the Old Testament literature which may serve as a clue for understanding the image of Moses as conceived by certain biblical authors/editors.
Bradley H. McLean, Toronto School of Theology
The Significance of
Hatta’th Sacrifice: A Critical Review of Noam Zohr’s Argument
Though a few scholars have noted the fundamental distinctiveness of the Levitical scapegoat ritual from hatta’t sacrificial ritual, these proposals are far from being decisive treatments of the subject. The scapegoat was selected to stand as a substitute for the community. It served as the second participant in a reversal of circumstance in which the collective sin of the people was transferred to the scapegoat, such that the accursed community became purified and the ritually pure scapegoat became accursed. Once laden with this sin, the scapegoat was expelled into the wilderness so as not to reinfect the community. The fundamental difference between the scapegoat and the hatta’t goat which was offered to the Lord (Leviticus 16) lies in the distinction between ‘forcing out’ in permanent social rejection and ‘offering up’ to God. Unlike sacrificial ritual, the distinctive features of the scapegoat ritual are substitution, transference, degradation, and alienation. Looking broadly at the whole question, the scapegoat is an image of no value and of man’s worst self; a sacrifice on the other hand is an image of value and of man’s best self.


Alan F. Segal, Barnard College, Presiding/Président

Tom Robinson, University of Lethbridge
Self Definition, Voluntary Association, and Theological Diversity in Early Christian Communities

Sandra Little and Louise Meyer, Concordia University
The Community Rule


BIBLICAL ARCHEOLOGY                                                          ARCHÉOLOGIE BIBLIQUE
Paul Dion, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président

John Van Seters, University of North Carolina
Joshua’s Campaign of Canaan and Near Eastern Historiography
In the past, biblical archaeology on the one side and literary critics like M. Noth on the other have attempted to account for the biblical version of Joshua’s campaign. This paper proposes a quite different solution by applying to the book of Joshua the model of military campaign report as seen in the royal annals of the Assyrian kings. The numerous parallels not only clarify the basic structure and content of DtrH’s presentation but also highlight as secondary those elements which are suspect on other grounds as well. The study carries important implications both for the history of Israel and for the literary evaluation of historiographic sources.
P. M. Michèle Daviau, Wilfrid Laurier University
Patterned Religious Behavior in Ancient Canaan: A Test Case—The Temples at Hazor
Biblical archaeologists have affirmed for decades the interrelationship between textual study and archaeology. While it is possible, to a certain extent, to relate information from the Biblical text to the archaeological remains of the Israelite cult, it remains that the most important texts for the study of Canaanite religion are those from Ugarit However, these texts can only be used with care when describing the religious belief system and practices of ancient Canaanites living at other sites, such as Hawr, Megiddo, and Lachish, because no comparable textual materials pertaining to the religious cult have been recovered from these sites. In such cases, the archaeological record constitutes the material culture correlates of Late Bronze Age religious behavior. This paper is a study of those correlates and an attempt to develop a methodology for the determination of patterns of religious behavior in ancient Canaan.
Michel Fortin, Université Laval
Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Eastern Syria: Excavations by the Canadian Expedition of L’Université Laval at Tell ’ATIJ

John H. C. Neeb, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary
The Joint Expedition to Caesarea Maritima: Some Observations

Excavations conducted at Caesarea Maritima since 1971 under the joint sponsorship of the American Schools of Oriental Research and twenty-four educational institutions have yielded significant material remains. This illustrated presentation will give a brief overview of the importance of the excavations with particular attention to the inscriptions from the Roman and Byzantine periods in field C. These inscriptions, along with other discoveries, provide valuable information for assessing the civic and religious life of this capital city. This paper serves as an introduction to the teaching exhibit, ‘King Herod’s Dream: Caesarea on the Sea’, which will be at the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa from October 7, 1989, through January 14, 1990.


NEW TESTAMENT                                                                            NOUVEAU TESTAMENT
John C. Hurd, Trinity College, Presiding/Président

Margaret MacDonald, St. Francis Xavier University
Paul’s Response to Elitist Sexual Ethics in Corinth
In his important essay ‘Paul and the Eschatological Woman’, Robin Scroggs makes the following observation: ‘Recent investigations into the Sitz-im-Leben of the Corinthian correspondence have suggested that, contrary to the older views, the label ascetic belongs not to Paul but to a group of Corinthian extremists, whom Paul is actually countering in chapter 7’ (JAAR 40 [1972] 295-296). The purpose of this paper is to analyze Paul’s response to these Corinthian extremists. Special attention will be given to the community’s place within Greco-Roman society. It will be argued that Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 7 reveal a desire to curtail behaviour that could cast unnecessary suspicion on a group which sought to embrace the whole world. The implications of the highly visible activity of women in Corinth win be considered.
Frederik Wisse, McGill University
Redactional Theory and the Pauline Corpus
It is widely accepted in critical scholarship that the text of the Pauline Corpus underwent extensive editing during the early history of its transmission. This opinio communis is surprising in view of the fact that only one (Rom 16:24-27) of the many proposed interpolations has proven convincing, and the manuscript and Patristic evidence shows no hint of, or motivation for, anything but minor scribal alterations. As is normal in other fields, New Testament scholarship needs to protect its basic data from unwarranted and inconclusive challenges to its reliability. The burden of proof is such that redactional theories which lack manuscript evidence can only be suggested as a last resort and do not deserve the scholarly prestige they have enjoyed in the study of early Christian literature.
Roy Jeal, University of Sheffield
Integrating Theology and Ethics in the Epistle to the Ephesians
The theological (chapters 1-3) and ethical (chapters 4-6) sections of Ephesians are very distinct and difficult to reconcile with each other. The highly realized eschatology of chapters 1-3 speaks of a fully accomplished salvation without leaving room for believer-generated good works. By contrast, the paraenetic material of chapters 4-6 encourages Christians to supply their own good behaviour.
An analysis of the ‘rhetoric’ (i.e., a rhetorical critical study) of Ephesians leads to the conclusion that the author did not intend to present a clearly explicated connection between theology and ethics. Rather, Ephesians builds a rapport with its audience, impressing ideas, bringing beliefs to memory, and stimulating thoughts and emotions, thereby setting the stage for moral exhortation.
Barry Smith, Atlantic Baptist College
Paul and the Suffering of the Righteous
In the Judaism of the second-temple period, one can isolate three explanations for the suffering of the righteous. These may be termed the eschatological, the didactic, and the expiatory. The eschatological explanation says that the righteous must suffer, because God has chosen to postpone judgement until an appointed time in the future. The didactic explanation claims that suffering is the means by which God disciplines those loved by God. Finally, God graciously allows the righteous to expiate their sins through suffering. We find that Paul uses the eschatological and the didactic explanations in his accounting for his own suffering and that of his converts. He does not, however, take over the expiatory explanation.


Donna Runnals, McGill University, Presiding/Président

The 1989 Joachim Jeremias Prize
Gloria Neufeld Redekop, University of Ottawa
Let the Women Learn: 1 Timothy 2:8-15 Reconsidered

The 1989 Founders Prize
John McLaughlin, University of St. Michael’s College
And Their Hearts Were Hardened: The Use of Isaiah 6:9-10 in the Book of Isaiah

The 1988 Joachim Jeremias Prize
Michael Knowles, Wycliffe College
Moses, the Law, and the Unity of 4 Ezra

Much of the scholarly interest in 4 Ezra has for over a century focused on the issue of its unity or disunity, which is to say the literary integrity of the whole. This study proposes a new solution. Two forty-day periods frame 4 Ezra, recalling for us the circumstances of Moses’ encounter with God on Sinai, and thus placing the events of 70 CE, to which the work is ultimately addressed, within the contexts both of Moses’ and of Ezra’s day. Just as God’s covenantal faithfulness prevailed then, says the author, so it will now. Proof of this contention is provided in one form by the content of Ezra’s visions, which recall the wonders first revealed to Moses on the mountain and affirm that God remains in control of history, and in another form by the way in which the Law takes root within Ezra himself, affording him unexpected consolation and inspiring him to share its riches with a disconsolate Israel.

The 1988 Founders Prize
Randy Klassen, McMaster University
The Quest for Centre: The Adam-Christ Typology of Romans 5:12-21

Paul’s hermeneutical key to the human situation is found in the schema of Adam-Christ typology. This typology is brought to expression most explicitly and comprehensively in the text of Rom 5:12-21. The eschatological category of ‘life’, newly experienced in Christ, implied for Paul a previous and contrasting category of ‘death.’ These categories reflect two human dynamisms, the latter set in motion by Adam, the former by Christ. The critical juncture between the two dynamisms, which confirms the superiority of Christ over Adam, is Christ’s ‘obedience’ (5:20). Within this comprehensive salvation history, the Torah has no life giving significance.


CRAIGIE LECTURE                                                                          CONFERENCE CRAIGIE
Ben Meyer, McMaster University, Presiding/Président

Krister Stendahl, Harvard Divinity School
From History of Salvation to Wisdom Common and Eternal



Michel Desjardins, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président

Joanne McWilliam, Trinity College

Paul-Hubert Porler, Université Laval

Randi Warne, St. Stephen’s College

Elaine Pagels, Princeton University


John S. Kloppenborg, University of St. Michael’s College, Presiding/Président

Ian Henderson, McGill University
Gnomic Verse: An Experiment in Synoptic Genre-Criticism
The steps from identifying Formal similarities among texts to describing resultant categories as Gattungen having tradition-historical implications have occasioned much stumbling in New Testament studies. Even initially defining Form involves risks, e.g., of over-reliance upon an aesthetic of parallelism for description of relatively poetic texts. The further task of selecting Formal classes as categories for historical inference, e.g., designating poetic texts ‘poems’, requires additional, increasingly abstract criteria: it is no longer texts which are being described, but their historical relationships, Confusion between description of poetic Form and that of historical Gattung is particularly easy when the proposed Gattung is itself ‘poetry’ or ‘verse.’ In the context of Synoptic criticism and oral-traditional theories, such confusion can show itself in over commitment to reconstruction, retroversion, and the emendation of ‘mistranslations.’ Gattungsgeschichtliche description may also detach itself from formal description of texts, its only actually historic datum, by relying too heavily on the ‘keys’ of aesthetic/hermeneutical abstraction, This danger is realized in relation to Jesus’ parables, the coherence of which as a Gattung can only be maintained with unusual (perhaps anachronistically ‘profound’) interpretive efforts.
Experimental comparison of six texts (Luke 16: 13; 16:10-12; Matt 6:22-23 and par.; Matt 7:6; 10:24 and par.; Mark. 2:21-22 and par.) will therefore be interesting (1) for the texts themselves, (2) for the sake of possible generic/genetic relationship, and (3) as an essay on the limits of Synoptic Gattungsgeschichte.

Willi Braun, University of Toronto
‘Agon with Anteriority’: An Assessment of the Revisionist Criticism of Harold Bloom

This paper begins with an exposition of the writings of Harold Bloom, the controversial literary critic and Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Bloom earned his notoriety as a critic of English literature, but his avid and provocative commentary on biblical and other ancient Jewish and Christian literature alone has enough consequences and possibilities for biblical scholars to pay attention. The second part of the paper focuses the Bloomian prism on select problems of early Christian literary history.
Dietmar Neufeld, McGill University
Language as Performance: An Interpretive Re-Appraisal of the so-called Epistle of 1 John
I will consider the pseudonymous writing known as I John for its use of language. What function does the language in the prologue have? Even though the pseudonymous writing known as I John has received considerable attention, outstanding problems still exist. The identity of the author and the historical setting continue to remain a mystery in spite of the diligent efforts of Brown, et al. While the ‘Johannine Community theory’ has provided a reasonable, and what is by now standard, ‘solution’ used to describe the historical context facing the author of I John, this complex developmental theory is not necessary to explain or understand the textual phenomena of I John.
Instead, I should like to test a modified version of a literary approach known as ‘Speech Act Theory’ and suggest that it may provide new and interesting solutions to some old problems. Rather than asking questions about what historical clues the author mayor may not have embedded in the text which correspond to historical reality, speech act theory, being performance oriented, seeks to understand and analyze literary texts from the perspective of language use. In other words, how does the language which the writer uses function? The assumptions which undergird and guide speech act theory serve to challenge a view of language which implies that texts yield historical fact and biographical detail if squeezed enough. Speech act theory has opened the possibility of a functional approach to language and text which is less encumbered with metaphysical and essentialist concerns.
Robert C. Culley, McGill University
When Is a Text Not a Text?
This is a mild consideration of the question: what is a text? In current discussion the question of text has been subjected to radical critique. This paper treats the matter in a relatively restricted framework. Many biblical texts are recognized as composites, the products of more than one written source or tradition. Different strategies have been used in dealing with these. One is to read the text in its historical stages of growth from the separate sources to the combined document. Another is to read the text as a whole, either ignoring signs of its composite nature or accounting for tensions in terms other than as signs of different sources. Specific examples will be discussed.


NEW TESTAMENT                                                                            NOUVEAU TESTAMENT
Benno Przybylski, North American Baptist Divinity School, Presiding/Président

Adrian M. Leske, Concordia College
The Ebed Yahweh in the Gospel of Matthew

This paper is a reexamination of those passages, both explicit and implicit, in the Gospel of Matthew which allude to the Ebed Yahweh of Deutero-Isaiah. In the past there have been many attempts to see the Suffering Servant motif as fulfilled in Jesus’ messiahship through his vicarious suffering and death. Yet the Gospel of Matthew which quotes from the Ebed Yahweh hymns never does so in terms of vicarious atonement or even in terms of a ‘suffering servant.’ This paper endeavours to show that Matthew saw Jesus as fulfilling the Ebed Yahweh role primarily in terms of the New Israel.
Rob Cousland, University of Calgary
Few Are Called: A Brief Examination of Why Matthew’s Crowds Follow Jesus
In the Gospel of Matthew, the crowds (hoi ochloi) are frequently depicted as following Jesus (4:25, 8:1, [12:15], 14:13, 19:2, 20:29, 21:9). This ‘following’ has often been understood metaphorically. Paul Minear (‘The Disciples and the Crowds in the Gospel of Matthew’, ATR [Supp] 3, [1974] 28-44, 30) and Sjef Van Tilborg (The Jewish Leaders in Matthew, [Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972], 164), for instance, argue that the crowds’ following of Jesus is analogous to that of the disciples. I want to argue, however, that Matthew sharply distinguishes between the ‘following’ of the two groups. The crowds follow Jesus not out of commitment but out of need -- they want to be healed. This correlates with Matthew’s emphasis on Jesus as Servant and therapeutic Son of David and very likely prefigures the post-resurrection healing ministry of Matthew’s Community amongst the Jewish crowds.
John Kampen, Payne Theological Seminary
‘Torah’ in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Matt 5:21-48
Understanding the peculiar manner in which the law has both negative and positive roles in the Gospel of Matthew continues to be a problem. An important text in this discussion is Matt 5:21-48. Building on the work of W. D. Davies and others, this paper argues that the literary unit called the antitheses should be understood as a response to that viewpoint which finds expression in the sectarian writings among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The view of Torah in those documents then becomes instructive as one component in Matthew’s use of the law.
P. Joseph Cahill, University of Alberta
Matt 11:2-14:12 as Prophetic Discourse
I should like to indicate the literary unity of this extended passage and show that it emphasizes intimacy and communion and is directed both to the recognition of the continuity of Yahweh’s activity and particularly its presence in Jesus the apocalyptic prophet. I shall proceed from an examination of structure, theme, motifs, and literary characteristics.


Margaret MacDonald, St. Francis Xavier University, Presiding/Présidente

Sylvia Keesmaat-de Jong, McMaster University
Pharisaic Interpretation of Biblical Law: A Case Study of Sabbath and ’Eruvin Rulings
Scholars in the past have characterized Pharisaism by its involvement with biblical law. Few, however, have done an in-depth analysis of pre-70 Pharisaic rulings in order to ascertain exactly how the Pharisees interpreted biblical law. This paper examines pre-70 Pharisaic Sabbath and . ’Eruvin rulings, showing thereby that (a) Pharisees as a whole tended to use lenient ‘legal fictions’ in order to make Biblical law easier to follow, and (b) suggestions that made the Biblical law more severe were generally debated and rejected. The paper concludes with a comparison of Pharisaic and Qumran Sabbath law, showing that, within the larger picture of Judaism, Pharisaic rulings were less than severe.
Donna Runnalls, McGill University
Josephus’ Biblical Women: Recasting Scripture?
In rewriting the biblical traditions for his Greco Roman readers, Josephus has redrawn the portraits of the women as well as the men. By focusing on his presentation of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and the other women of the Genesis narratives, this paper will begin an examination of two questions: (I) How do these narratives fit into the overall pattern of Josephus’ biblical interpretation? (2) Do the portraits present an attitude toward women which is specific to himself, to the Jewish community of the first century CE, or to the Greco-Roman world in general?

Edith Humphrey, McGill University
Verbal and Visual Transformation in 4 Ezra

Most scholars now accept the structural unity of 4 Ezra and the pivotal function of its fourth vision. There is no consensus, however, as to how this peripeteia works. Is Ezra’s distress applauded or criticized? This paper proposes that vision four is a two-fold revelation. Ezra receives his answer first by communicating with a vision unawares (the mourning Zion), and then by beholding a vision (the glorious Zion) in essence incommunicable. In the first place, the solution is direct, dialogical, and verbal; in the second, indirect, experiential, and visual. The transformation of seer and subject matter is symbolized and aided by the transfiguration of Zion. Lamentation and glory are both essential to the final comfort of the community.
Mary Rose D’Angelo, Villanova University
The Androgyne Revisited: Imagining the Body in Antiquity
Gal 3:28 and other early Christian, gnostic, and Jewish texts have been read by a number of scholars through ‘the image of the androgyne’ (a) as interpretations of Gen 1:21 which describe the original creation in an androgynous image of God; (b) as expressing a spiritual ideal in which to be of both sexes and to be of neither is the same. This essay will review these texts both to question these readings and to suggest that the androgyne expresses a variety of purposes in the constructions of sexuality and gender in the spiritual imagination of the second and third centuries.


Shannon Farrell, Université Laval, Presiding/Président

Michel Roberge, Université Laval
Projet d’edition de la bibliotèque copte de Nag Hammadi

Pierre-René Coté, Université Laval
Ensiegnement universitaire télévise: Entre l’utopie et les résultats: l’encadrement

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