CSBS-SCEB


Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting
Réunion annuelle de la Société canadienne des études bibliques
University of Victoria, British Columbia
May 20 – 22, 1990

 

Programme with Abstracts

SUNDAY, MAY 20

Hebrew Bible                                                                                                           Bible hébraïque
John Sandys-Wunsch, Thorneloe College, Presiding/Président

Ray Shankman, Vanier College
The Explicit and Implicit Patterns in Genesis 4:1-16
As Meier Sternberg (The Poetics of Biblical Narrative) says, the Bible is persuasive, catering to the reader’s involvement. It is interesting to see how text provokes “the drama of reading,” how text works in order to move the reader. In any case, how does text/language work? That is, the text must have some energy in space and time, in what is explicitly stated and in what is implied to create response (energy) in the reader. Genesis 4 is a passage worth exploring to illustrate how this works. For here we see an obvious patterning in interplay between what is said and what is suggested or implied. This patterning is analogous to how the physiology of the brain works when we consider the focal significance of the synapse, “the junction point of two neurons, across which a nerve impulse passes.” Literary technique is Cain and Abel makes good use of this patterning.

Peggy Day, University of Winnipeg
Feminist Scholarship and the Hebrew Bible

This paper will make a distinction between feminist theological approaches to the Hebrew Bible and more recent feminist biblical scholarship that draws on methodology and analytical frameworks developed in the humanities and social sciences. A selection of concrete examples of the latter will be presented and discussed.

Jacqueline R. Isaac, University of Toronto
The Documentary Hypothesis Reassessed

The Documentary Hypothesis (DH) has been with us for over 100 years. It is old, tired and worn out. Under its aegis the Hebrew Bible has been spliced and diced, rearranged and reinterpreted until it seems pointless to continue. Indeed many scholars have thrown up their hands in dismay and will now deal only with the received text. Yet the questions which made the acceptance of the DH the only reasonable approach remain. How, then, can we now proceed? Can the DH be salvaged from the excesses of redaction criticism which have given use biblical editors to the power of x? If we are to continue working with the DH how far back must we go; how many steps need retracing before we can move forward again? This paper will examine these questions, with special consideration given to the biblical legal codes and the implications of the inscription from Mesad Hashavyahu.

 

Christian Origins                                                                                            Origenes chrétiennes
DAVID HAWKIN, Memorial University, Presiding/Président

P. JOSEPH CAHILL, University of Alberta
The Metaphor of Light in the Bible

I should like to examine the usage and efficacy of light as employed throughout the Bible, with particular emphasis on its appearance in the NT. The text will proceed through: God, the creator of light; the Lord God as light; frequency of usage and range of meaning; the symbol and experience; Jesus as the God of light. The presentation will thematize the realistic dimensions of external and internal light as necessary components in pursuing a human life and, in this case, one elevated to a new level by the apprehension of an omnipresent reality.
DIETMAR NEUFELD, University of British Columbia
A Speech Act Analysis of the incipit of 1 John

The beginning of 1 John continues to generate interest Comparisons with the prologues of the Johannine Gospel (John 1:1-18) tend to focus the discussion on the identity of the author’s precise referent (“that which”) and on the issues of authorship and milieu. The solutions proposed remain disputed. After reviewing some of the recent proposals for understanding the writing’s opening verses this paper attempts a fresh analysis by suggesting that a modified version of J. L. Austin’s speech act theory sheds new light on the nature and function of the incipit. Its purpose and meaning is not to be sought in its Sitz im Leben; rather it is to be found in the text’s power to constitute the subjectivity of both writer and reader/hearer.

MARY ROSE D’ANGELO, Villanova University
Abba and the Fatherhood of God in the Church’s Memoires of Jesus

A substantial number of Christian theologians have adopted Jeremias’ view that the address’ ’abba characterized the teaching of Jesus and have accepted this interpretation of the word as a kind of intimate baby-talk, an equivalent of “Daddy.” But both the special meaning Jeremias gives the words and its attribution to Jesus are highly problematic in the light of the NT evidence. “Abba” was clearly of importance in the early Christian experience of equality in the spirit, and it is probable that Jesus used the title “father” for God. But this title must be understood in the context of contemporary Greek and Jewish theologies.

 

Biblical Studies                                                                                                       Études bibliques
EILEEN SCHULLER, McMaster University, Presiding/Présidente

PAUL GOOCH, University of Toronto
Early Christian Universalism: A Source for Academic Freedom in Theology?

To argue that modem notions of freedom have their source in the NT is not my aim; nor do I wish to trace the development of academic freedom from its historical roots. Instead I want to argue that reflection upon the universalism we can discover in Christianity’s beginnings may yield a theological justification for academic freedom, and that this justification is important for theological education. This first part of this paper describes briefly the institutional arrangements between the University of Toronto and its affiliated theological schools. The question of early Christian universalism occupies the second part; and in the third I reflect on implications for academic freedom in theology, in the context of statements by the Association of Theological Schools and the position taken by the University of Toronto in its recent negotiations to renew its agreement with the Toronto School of Theology.
JOHN SANDYS-WUNSCH, Thorneloe College
Human Destiny in the Bible
The purpose of this paper is to explore attitudes to human destiny as reflected in the books of both the Hebrew Bible and the NT. By human destiny I mean here not only what is the worthwhile life but when, if at all, does it end. Various beliefs which seem to imply an afterlife will be examined to see how relevant they may be. Finally the great gap between the two testaments on this point will be discussed.
JOHN NEEB, Waterloo Lutheran
The Function of Genesis 28:10-22 in Third Century Caesarea
Both Rabbi Hoshaya and Origen founded schools in Caesarea about 280 CE. This paper examines how both Origen and the rabbis used Genesis 28: 10-22 as Scripture, and it seeks to set their interpretations within the context of third century Caesarea. Origin’s Contra Celsum and his Homilies on Genesis as well as collections of rabbinic midrashim such as Genesis Rabbah will be examined to show how. this scriptural text functioned to shape the identities of their respective communities.

 

Biblical Archaeology                                                                                        Archéologie biblique
JOHN VAN SETERS, University of North Carolina, Presiding/Président

JOHN OLES0N, University of Victoria
The Water Supply System of Nabataean and Roman Auara

This paper summarizes the third campaign of the Humeima Hydraulic Survey which was carried out from June 12 through July 6, 1989. This project has as its objective the analysis of the character and evolution of the system of water supply of the ancient settlement of Auara, 50 km. south-east of Petra, during the Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine and Omayyad periods. The excavations in 1989 provided important new information on the water supply structures built at Auara at the time of its foundations, and concerning the changes in water use at the site during the Byzantine period. The survey has also yielded new data on house and settlement design at the site, and has provided the basis for planning a new campaign of excavation by a collaborative team of Canadian, Jordanian and American scholars.

PAUL DION, University of Toronto
The Faithful of Yahweh in Persian Period Judaea as a ‘Temple Community’: A Response to insights from Eastern Europe

In several essays published from 1966 through 1977, Joel P. Weinberg studied the Jewish community of Persian Period Judaea from a social, economic, and political standpoint, comparing it to the West Asian “temple states,” a type of society best documented in the Seleucid empire but already extant under the Achaemenids. Weinberg’s promising use of this model to explain and expand our small and ambiguous data from a neglected period has been all but ignored by Western scholars. This paper will expound and evaluate the Latvian historian’s contribution in the light of his German publications and of responses they evoked in East Germany.
MICHÈLE DAVIAU, Wilfrid Laurier University
Ammonites in the Madaba Plains: 1989 Excavations at Tell Jawa and Tell el-'Umeiri
In 1989 the Madaba Plains Project began the excavation of a second Iron Age town in the Balqa hills overlooking the Madaba Plains. The site is called Tell Jawa and is located along the King’s Highway, 10 km. south of Amman. The discovery of a casemate wall surrounding the town and a figurine head wearing an Atef crown suggests that Tell Jawa was an integral part of the Ammonite kingdom. Excavations at Tell el-‘Umeiri were continued for a third session, exposing additional areas of the Iron Age town. New excavations at Jalul, east of Madaba, projected for the 1991 season, should clarify the extent of Ammonite control in this region.

 

Seminar on Voluntary Associations                                                   Les associations volontaires
PANEL: The Sociology of Sectarianism
DONNA RUNNALLS, McGill University, Presiding/Présidente

LORNE DAWSON, University of Lethbridge
A Critical Survey of the Literature

HARRY MAIER, Victoria
Sociology of Sects and Early Christian Communities

JACK LIGHTSTONE, Concordia University .
Sociology of Sects and Early Jewish Communities

 

Seminar on Voluntary Associations                                                   Les associations volontaires
PETER RICHARDSON, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président

STEVE N. MASON, York University
Philosophia as a Group Designation

PAUL GARNET, Concordia University
Qumran, yahad, and NT ecclesia

SANDRA LITTLE, Concordia University
Qumran as a Voluntary Association?

 

MONDAY, MAY 21

Hebrew Bible                                                                                                           Bible hébraïque
MICHÈLE DAVIAU, Wilfrid Laurier University, Presiding/Présidente

JOHN VAN SETERS, University of North Carolina
Moses as Intercessor in the Wilderness Murmuring Traditions
The tradition history of the wilderness tradition since Gressman has focused on the folkloristic form and etiological character of the murmuring stories as a clue to their early origins in the nomadic south before their incorporation into the earliest stratum, the Yahwist. Some, like Childs, have argued for oral tradition patterns of the murmuring stories, but H. H. Schmid has point to some similarities with Dtr’s structuring of Judges. Most recently, the discussion of Moses’ role as intercessor in the wilderness traditions by E. Aurelius raises important issues requiring a reevaluation of the whole murmuring tradition. When Moses’ intercessory role is given its due it becomes apparent that the murmuring stories could not predate the exilic period.
MICHAEL DEROCHE, University of Calgary
A Prelanguage Language and the Description of Chaos in Genesis 1:2
In Genesis 1 God creates through language. He speaks the universe into being. The order imposed upon the cosmos at the time of creation is thus a linguistic order. Although much has been made of this fact, there is a logical difficulty associated with it that scholars have not recognized. If language is synonymous with creation, how can the text describe the chaos that existed prior to creation? And yet it does just that in Gen 1:2. This paper will explore the description of chaos in Gen 1:2 with this question in mind.
AL WOLTERS, Redeemer College
An Allusion to Libra in Daniel 5
The elaborate wordplay involved in Daniel’s interpretation of the handwriting on the wall (Daniel 5) refers on three different levels (weights, weighing, and outcome) to the image of a balance. This in turn embodies an allusion to the constellation Libra (Akkadian zibanitu), whose name also means “balance.” This allusion becomes clear when we realize that celestial divination (“astrology”) played a prominent role at the court of the Neobabylonian kings, and that the dramatic tale of Daniel (the fall of Babylon on 16 Tashritu in 539 BCE) comes immediately after the annual heliacal rising (according to the Babylonian astronomical series MUL.APIN) of the constellation Libra.

ROBERT FORREST, Bishop’s University
Was Noah Good?

More than a flood story, the biblical account of Noah is a dialogue on good, order and freedom in relation to Law/Torah. In responding to the good, even the most exemplary individual must recognize constraints, without which life is spiritually tenuous. The “history” of Noah illustrates the biblical conviction that without Law/Torah society and the individual are susceptible to chaos. The Noah episode in the Primeval History (Genesis 1-11) is a re-examination of the theme of the Fall, this time on an individual who, unlike Adam/Eve, is the quintessence of obedience.

 

Christian Origins                                                                                            Origenes chrétiennes
MICHEL DESJARDINS, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président

JOHN HORMAN, Waterloo
Paul as Wonder Worker: Wonder Works as a Means of Social Control
Paul in his letters frequently indicated that he both could and did perform wonder works. Yet most scholars have attached little importance to these indications, partly because of our modern scepticism about such activities, and partly because of a prejudice that such activities are somehow unworthy of Paul’s “theology.” In this paper it will be shown that Paul regarded such wonder works as an important part of his work. The emphasis of this paper is on the use of wonder works for attracting converts and retaining control of the newly founded churches; other implications for Paul’s work and thought will be left for future work.
DAVID JOBLING, St. Andrew’s College
Transference and Tact in Biblical Studies: A Psychological Approach to Gerd Theissen’s PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF PAULINE THEOLOGY
The psychoanalytic reading of texts has been both revitalized and transformed in response to Jacques Lacan’s re-reading of Freud. In the hands of an interpreter like Jane Gallop (Reading Lacan), the key category is transference, understood in a dialectical relation to interpretation; the ‘interpretation’ tends to repeat the drama of the text, and the interpreter needs to be aware of and own this dynamic. In his ground-breaking and influential book, Theissen follows ‘objective’ biblical scholarship in leaving himself out of the interpretation. This paper attempts to insert him into it. For example, Theissen’s work on Paul’s success/failure in achieving his conversion from Judaism (especially 2 Corinthians 3–4) invites a tranferential reading of Theissen’s own success/failure in achieving his conversion from traditional historical criticism.
TERENCE DONALDSON, College of Emmanuel and St. Chad
Why Paul’s Mission to the Gentiles?
The paper addresses itself to the question, How did the self-proclaimed “zealot” for Jewish tradition (Gal 1:4) become the “apostle of the Gentiles” (Rom 11:23)? The bulk of the paper will be given over to a survey of scholarly approaches to this question. This survey is carried out, however, in the interests of a particular thesis, viz. that the origin of Paul’s Gentile mission is to be found in his pre-Damascus convictions about Israel and the Gentiles. While Damascus precipitated a significant re-configuration of his convictional universe, with Christ replacing the Torah at centre and horizon, both before and after his experience he believed that God has chosen Israel to be a channel of salvation for all nations, and that salvation was available to both Jew and Gentile on equal terms.

 

Prize Essays                                                                   Les gagnants du concours pour étudiants
SEAN McEVENUE, Concordia University, Presiding/Président

The 1990 Joachim Jeremias Prize
BRADLEY H. McLEAN, Trinity College/Toronto School of Theology
The Absence of an Atoning Sacrifice in Paul’s Soteriology

The 1990 Founder’s Prize
JEFFREY WEIMA, Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology
The Function of the Law in Relation to Sin: An Evaluation of the View of H. Räisänen

 

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS                                                         DISCOURS PRÉSIDENTIEL
ALAN SEGAL, Barnard College, Presiding/Président

SEAN McEVENUE, Concordia University
An Academic Interpretation and Religious Truth

 

Voluntary Associations                                                                      Les Associations volontaires
S. G. WILSON, Carleton University, Presiding/Président

SIMCHA FISHBANE, Wilfrid Laurier University
Synagogues in Talmudic Literature

PETER RICHARDSON, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président
Pre-70 Synagogues as collegia in Rome, the Diaspora and Judaea

 

Post-Biblical Judaism                                                                                                   Le Judaisme
MARY ROSE D’ANGELO, Villanova University, Presiding/Présidente

TONY CUMMINS, Oxford University
‘Salvation’ and the Temple: Josephus’ use of sotereia with particular reference to the Temple in Jerusalem
“Salvation” in the NT has normally been viewed as privatized and transcendental in its orientation. Within post-war attempts to reconstruct a Jewish history-of- religions background for NT thought, such a perspective has been closely allied with a similar reading of strands within contemporary Judaism. I intend to counter such an approach by arguing that “salvation” in Second Temple Judaism has a demonstrably socio-political quotient, and that this may be especially illustrated in reference to the soteriological significance of the Temple in Jerusalem. I shall take Josephus as a particular representative of this claim.
DONNA RUNNALS, McGill University
Josephus’ Biblical Women Revisited
By changing the role of the female characters in the annunciation stories related to Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Manoah’s wife, and Hannah, Josephus has, in the Antiquities of the Jews, weakened the literary support by which the biblical narrative maintained the powerful patriarchal mechanism of motherhood. This paper will explore whether such a change simply conceals women as significant participants in Josephus’ narrative, or whether a different patriarchal role is being attributed to them.
PETER FRICK, McMaster University
Providential Terminology in Philo of Alexandria and Flavius Josephus
The aim of this paper is to delineate Philo’s and Josephus’ understanding of divine governance as this is reflected in their Greek terminology. A first part of this paper will outline the development of the concept of divine providence in Greek literature and will thus serve as the foil against which the notions of our authors become more intelligible. In a second and third part, I shall discuss the concepts of divine providence of Philo and Josephus respectively. Special emphasis will be on the way in which their monotheistic understanding of Judaism influenced their adaptation of Greek terminology. In a concluding section, I shall place their overall conceptions of divine governance within the context of Greek philosophy accentuating the nuances, similarities and differences of Philo and Josephus vis a vis their Greek predecessors.

 

Politics and the Bible                                                                                   La politique et la Bible
PEGGY DAY, University of Winnipeg, Presiding/Présidente

KIM PARKER, Memorial University
Solomon the Philosopher King? Law and Wisdom in 1 Kings 1-11
Perhaps no other king in biblical literature has generated as much controversy as Solomon. On the one hand, we are told that “Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east;” on the other hand, we are told that Solomon, in direct contravention of Israelite law, instituted slave labour, married foreign women, and had shrines built to pagan gods. How can one who is so wise be so foolish? This paper explore this problem by focusing on what appears to be a volatile relationship between Law and Wisdom, and its implications for political ordering.
TERENCE KLEVEN, Arlington
A Critical Review of the Account of Divine Providence in Aquinas’ Commentary on the Book of Job
The recent translation and publication in English of Thomas Aquinas’ The Literal Exposition on Job: A Scriptural Commentary concerning Providence (1989) by Anthony Damico with an interpretive essay and notes by Martin D. Yaffe provides an opportunity to evaluate the contribution of Aquinas’ exposition to our understanding of the import of the book of Job. Aquinas claims that the central purpose of Job is to give an authoritative account of the manner in which God rules human affairs. The purposes of this paper are (1) to summarize the main elements of Aquinas’ exposition, (2) to evaluate his explanation of the book, and (3) to note the political implications of the account of providence that he derives from the book.
DAVID HAWKIN, Memorial University
Christ and Caesar in the Gospel of Mark
Traditionally the discussion of politics in Mark’s gospel has been confirmed to the question of Jesus’ relation to the zealots. The crucial question has been: Did Jesus in any way identify with the zealot opposition to the Romans? The recent publication of Ched Myer’s Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus has, however, opened up new horizons in this debate. Using a socio-literary reading strategy Myers argues (I) for a broader understanding of “politics” than in the discussion so far, and (2) that Mark is in fact a conscious, thorough-going critique of the ideology of the rich and the powerful. This paper will examine the implications of Myer’s thesis and its claim to open up new avenues of approach to Mark’s gospel.

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