CSBS-SCEB


Canadian Society of Biblical Studies Annual Meeting
Réunion annuelle de la Société canadienne des études bibliques
Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
May 27–29, 1991

 

Programme with Abstracts

Hebrew Bible                                                                                                           Bible hébraique
EILEEN  SCHULER, McMaster University, Presiding/Présidente

LYLE ESLINGER, University of Calgary
The Davidic Covenant in the Context of the Dtr Narrative
2 Samuel 7, with its “unconditional covenant” to David, is problematic to our understanding of Israelite religion and the historical books in the Hebrew Bible. Attempts to solve this difficulty, which will be reviewed briefly in this paper, are wide-ranging: the Davidic covenant is not really without conditions; the Sinai covenant is almost as unconditional as the Davidic; the two must be understood to stand within a complementary framework, each qualifying the other; the difficulty resolves itself when both the Davidic and Sinai covenants are set within the context of treaty documents from the A.N.E.; the difficulty resolves itself by reading the rhetoric of 2 Samuel 7 in its existing literary context. Having assessed these exegetical proposals, the paper goes on to explore yet another avenue of approach.

J. GLEN TAYLOR, Wycliffe College/Toronto School of Theology
The Cult of Yahweh and the Sun at Gibeon: A Fresh Look at Joshua 10:12-14

In this paper I will offer a new hypothesis concerning the meaning of the account of Joshua’s arrest of the sun in Josh 10:12-14. I will attempt to demonstrate that the hypothesis resolves a number of tensions in the story, including Dtr’s apparent supposition that Joshua addressed the sun as Yahweh. Finally, I will highlight briefly the understandable way in which both Dtr and Chronicles keep at arm’s length the old high place at Gibeon and its cultic apparatus.

CHRIS FOLEY, St. Thomas More College
The Social Implications of Late Bronze Age Intra-Mural Tombs at Ras Shamra-Ugarit

Within ancient Semitic cultures an intense though ambivalent relationship bound the living to the dead. Yet despite the vast amount of archaeological and textual data recovered from Ras Shamra, the ideological and social facets of Ugaritic tomb construction remain unknown. This situation is particularly striking since one of the unique archaeological features of Shamra- Ugarit is the large number of chamber tombs constructed beneath private dwellings located  within the city. These intra-mural chamber tombs appear to reflect neither physical constraint nor specific social status. The closest parallels to Ugarit’s intra-mural chamber tombs are said to be found on Cyprus, an island with which Ugarit had extensive commercial contact. The similarity of burials often has been cited as evidence for extensive Cypriote and Mycenaean influence at Ugarit during the later stages of the Late Bronze Age. Yet the parallels are not sufficient to account for the peculiar pattern of interment found at LBA Ugarit. This paper examines the ideological dimensions of the intra-mural constructed chamber tombs of ancient Ugarit and suggests a social context in which the physical proximity of the well-interred dead was regarded as an essential, benevolent aspect of the domestic milieu.

IAN RICHIE, McGill University
Sensory Ratios in the Hebrew Bible

Expanding upon the work of Walter Ong, this paper examines evidence of primary orality in ancient Israel, and also of the value given to the other non-visual senses. The contention of Boman and von Rad that the Hebrews were “people of the ears,” though helpful, requires expansion. The relevance of the phenomenology of olfaction to hermeneutics is drawn out in particular in Isa 11:3 where textual emendation is rendered unnecessary if one accepts that Israel included olfaction language among their metaphors of understanding. Israel thought understanding to be distributed more evenly throughout the body than is held in modern western societies.

 

Christian Origins                                                                                             Origines chrétiennes
DANIEL FRAIKIN, Queen’s University, Presiding/Président

BENNO PRZYBYLSKI, Edmonton Baptist Seminary
The Role of the Adam-Christ Schema in Paul’s Thought

On the basis of 1 Cor 15:20-22, 45-45 and Rom 5:12-19 it has been concluded that the Adam-Christ typology forms a vital element in Paul’s theology. For example, Paul’s Christology has been described as an Adamic Christology. This paper suggests that caution should be exercised in dealing with this topic. Rather than promoting a profound typology, Paul’s references to Adam may simply be evidence of the use of various Jewish hermeneutical principles.

SYLVIA KEESMAAT, Oxford University
The Spirit in Galatians 3:1-4:7

In the light of recent work by Richard B. Hayes on the narrative structure of Galatians 3 and 4, this paper demonstrates that for Paul the Spirit radically redefines the covenant by becoming the focal point of a new exodus event. To this end, I argue: first, that Paul is talking about the covenant in Galatians 3:1-4:7; second, that within this discussion of the covenant, Paul is providing a redefinition of the “sons of Abraham,” or, in other words, that he is addressing who belongs to the family of Abraham; third, that the centre of that redefined sonship is a new exodus event; and fourth, that the Spirit is revealed to be the focal point of this new exodus event.

JOHN MARSHALL, McMaster University
Paul and the
nomos empsychos

The idea of the nomos empsychos or “living law,” a Hellenistic Pythagorean kingship ideal, has been studied in depth by A. Delatte, E. R. Goodenough, L. Delatte, H. Thesleff, and W. Burkert. Some of these scholars have suggested that the ideal formed the basis for the later development of the Roman Emperor as the law. The ideal also appears in such writers as Philo, Musonius Rufus, and Plutarch. The kingship ideal contrasts the king as the “living law” with the written law. Not only does it make the contrast, but the king replaces the written law. He is said in some sources to be able to create virtue in his subjects if they would only gaze :if, upon him. Is it possible that this ideal, which consists of a number of other elements, could have influenced Paul’s view of the law.  Its appearance in a number of first century writers, and its apparent philosophical underpinning of the cult of the Caesars, indicates that the ideal could have been common. What are the parallels between the ideal of the king as living law and the portrait of Jesus as the replacement for the written law in Paul’s letters? This paper suggests not only the similarities, but also the numerous differences.

BRADLEY McLEAN, Trinity College/Toronto School of Theology
Scapeman and Scapebeast Soteriology in Galatians 1:13

I have argued elsewhere that Christ’s expiatory death cannot be explained in terms of Levitical sacrificial theology. This paper will suggest a new approach for interpreting texts such as Gal 3:13 and 2 Cor 5:21. If one thing emerges from these texts more clearly than any other, it is the fact that, in the eyes of Paul, deliverance form sin was effected by Christ becoming accursed and being defiled by sin. Unless we are to empty these texts of all content, it must frankly be admitted that this image cannot be confused with any model which does not include this central idea. I suggest that a fresh starting-point can be based on what I have terms “scapeman” and “scapebeast” rituals. In this category I include such rituals as the Levitical scapegoat, the Greek pharmakos, the Gerasene swine (Mark 5:1-14) and many others. Taken as a whole, this family of non-sacrificial rituals shares five characteristics which can be treated collectively as a kind of fingerprint for this ritual paradigm. I will argue that Gal 3: 13, and other texts, share all five of these characteristics. I will also demonstrate that Paul was familiar with some, if not many, of these rituals since they were practised throughout the area, and at the time of his missionary activity. The close identity between these rituals and Paul’s soteriology suggests that he was guided by this widespread ritual paradigm.

 

CSBS Student Prize Essays                                                     Gagnants du concours de la SCÉB
ALAN F. SEGAL, Barnard College, Presiding/Président

1991 Joachim Jeremias Prize
JOHN EARNSHAW, McMaster University
Reconsidering Paul’s Marriage Analysis in Rom 7:1-4

1991 Founders’ Prize
ROBERT MacKENZIE, McGill University
The Continuing 1mportance of the Grammatical and Stylistic Analysis of Hellenistic Documents

 

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS                                                         DISCOURS PRÉSIDENTIEL
S. G. WILSON, Carleton University, Presiding/Président

ALAN F. SEGAL, Barnard College
Jewish and Christian Universalism: A Mutual Endeavour

 

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

JACK LIGHTSTONE, Concordia University
The Institutionalization of Rabbinic Associations in Late Antiquity

SIMCHA FISHBANE, University of Toronto
Witches and Prostitutes in the Babylonian Talmud

JO-ANN MARTENS, McMaster University
The So-called Confusion of Oaths and Vows

 

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

ROGER BECK, University of Toronto
The Mithras Cult as Association

Bible and Politics                                                                                          La politique et la Bible
TOPIC: Liberalism in the Bible
WILLI BRAUN, University of Toronto, Presiding/Président

KIM PARKER, Memorial University
Liberalism and the Bible

MICHAEL SHUTE, Memorial University
Historicity and Biblical Politics

SAMUEL AJZENSTAT, McMaster University
‘It is not in heaven: Reflections on Biblical Secularism and the Liberal Idea of Contract

EUGENE COMBS, McMaster University
Political Foundations in Spinoza and the Bible

 

Bible and Politics                                                                                          La politique et la Bible
TOPIC: Modernity and the Bible
DONNA RUNNALLS, McGill University, Presiding/Présidente

DAVID HAWKIN, Memorial University
Reading the Fourth Gospel Politically

MARY ANN BEAVIS, University of Winnipeg
The Use of the Biblical Motif of Stewardship in Contemporary Environmental Ethics and its Role in Public Policy

DAVID JOBLING, St. Andrew’s College
Feminism, Womanism, Gender-Critique: An Outsider’s View of the Reconfigured Debate in Biblical Studies

 

Bible and Politics                                                                                          La politique et la Bible
TOPIC: Biblical Texts and Political Issues  
DAVID HAWKIN, Memorial University, Presiding/Président

TERENCE KLEVEN, Boston College
Why Political Philosophy and Biblical Studies? An Initial Inquiry into the Nature of Law

ROBERT FORREST, Bishop’s University
The Critique of the Law in the Book of Judges

CAMERON WYBROW, McMaster University
The Significance of the City in Genesis 1-11

 

THE CRAIGIE LECTURE
SEAN McEVENUE, Concordia University, Presiding/Président

MEIR STERNBERG, Tel Aviv University
The Code of Double Refusal in the Bible

 

Hebrew Bible                                                                                                           Bible hébraique
BILL MORROW, Queen’s University, Presiding/Président

JOYCE RILETT WOOD, University of St. Michael’s College/Toronto School of Theology
Amos’ Prophecy to Judah and its Revision

It is accepted as a fact that Amos directed his prophecy to the Northern Kingdom. Accordingly, scholars have been inclined to emend or delete the reference to Zion (6:1) or treat it as a Deuteronomistic supplement. Amos’ sixth poem (6:1-3, 4-7, 12-13) is part of a developing composition that begins in chapter one. It marks a transition in Amos’ thought and gradually makes us aware that the real subjects of his prophecy are the wealthy ruling classes in the South. The revision (6:8, 9-11, 14) conflirms that Judah is the target of the prophetic diatribe. It repeats parts of the Amos text but assimilates the quotations to its own ongoing interpretation. It moves away from Amos’ picture of Judah’s complete doom to the invasion of both Israel and Judah and their survival as a remnant.

ARMIN SIEDLECKI, Wilfrid Laurier University
Cultic Obscenities: the Ideology and Rhetoric of Purity and Defilement in Ezek 8

The book of Ezekiel displays a significant concern with the concepts of purity and defilement. The ideology comprised by this concern has been insufficiently analyzed to this point, in spire of important advancements in the anthropological or sociological study of purity as an ideological component in social or religious systems. I propose that the concept of purity in Ezekiel serves as a mechanism for social identity formation in the conflict between Ezekiel’s Babylonian golah and the Jerusalemite community, both of which were contending for the status of being the “true” remnant of Israel. In my paper I shall analyze the rhetoric of purity in Ezekiel 8 to demonstrate how the idea of defilement was employed by the author to determine the national and religious identity of the Jerusalemite community at the time of the exile, so as to exclude them from the parameters by which the “house of Israel” defiles itself.

DAVID REIMER, Wilfrid Laurier University
Political Prophets? Another Look at the Oracles against Foreign Nations

The oracles against the nations (OAN) in the Hebrew Bible have for a long time been understood to be a type of “salvation” oracle for Israel (and Judah). What else could this prophetic address to Egypt and Babylon, e.g., mean? Models of prophets as ministers of state responsible for foreign policy have grown up alongside this interpretation of the OAN. A reexamination of the OAN suggests another line of inquiry that calls into question our perception of “political” prophets. This paper argues that the OAN make more sense when understood in the very same terms as the oracles against “native” Israel and Judah, viz. destruction of these foreign powers was expected, and the OAN are not to be seen as backhanded “salvation” oracles for the prophet’s own people. Once this perceptual shift is made, our model of the writing prophets as policy advisors on international affairs looks less plausible.

AL WOLTERS, Redeemer College
Halley’s Comet and the Origin of Hanukkah

Recent cuneiform discoveries, supported by astronomical calculations, have established that Halley’s Comet was observed in the Seleucid empire from September to November 164 BCE (before perihelion) and should have appeared again shortly thereafter (after perihelion) (see Nature 314 [1985] 587-92). It seems to have been overlooked hitherto that this return of the comet is in all likelihood alluded to in Sib. Or. 3.334-336, and that this two appearances of the comet at that time virtually coincide with the death of Antiochus IV and the Maccabean rededication of the temple. Since the latter is the origin of the Jewish feast of Hanukkah, it may be that the appearance of the comet at that time may have had something to do with the name “feast of lights” for Hanukkah, which is otherwise wrapped in obscurity. This seems to be confirmed by the vocabulary of Josephus Ant. 12.316-325.

 

Christian Origins                                                                                             Origines chrétiennes
DOROTHY SLY, University of Windsor, Presiding/Présidente

LARRY HURTADO, University of Manitoba
Christos in the Four Gospels
There are important recent discussions of the christos title in Paul’s writings or in individual evangelists or in particular passages (e.g., the passion accounts). This paper, however, offers a survey and analysis of all the occurrences of christos by all four canonical evangelists. This analysis shows that (1) the term is used with approval by all, but with significant modifications in meaning in comparison with pre-Christian usage; (2) the occurrences of christos are clustered in particular sections of the Gospels, indicating the term’s association with particular themes; (3) the term has a particular role in the christological rhetoric of the evangelists; and (4) the evangelists vary significantly in the frequency and ways they use the term.
FREDERIK WISSE, McGill University
Historical Method and Johannine Community
Using as an example J. Louis Martyn’s “Glimpses into the History of the Johannine Community” (The Gospel of John in Christian History: Essays for Interpreters [New York: Paulist Press, 1978J 90-121), this paper isolates and evaluates the methodological assumptions and difficulties in the historical analysis of early Christian texts which is commonly employed in recent NT studies. A set of methodological guidelines is suggested for historical reconstruction in cases—such as earliest Christianity—where the evidence is limited to literary documents.
BRAD EASTMAN, McMaster University
Understanding John’s Eschatological Language as Analogue Modelling
I hope to show that, like other early Jewish and Christian eschatological texts, the Gospel of John’s juxtaposition of realized and future eschatology can be understood in light of the linguistic distinction between “analogue modelling” and “scale modelling.” A scale model attempts identically to reproduce properties common to the model and original. An analogue model is designed to reproduce the structure or web of relationships in an original. If the eschatological language of John is read as analogue modelling, the clash between future and present tenses disappears. Differences in detail are not important, since the language is not to be read as an exact literal description of the future. The underlying structure is seen in John’s assumption that there is a common pattern (life) between the present and the future.

 

Hebrew Bible                                                                                                           Bible hébraïque
SUSAN SLATER KUZAK, Atlantic School of Theology, Presiding/Présidente

ADELE REINHARTZ, McMaster University
The Unnamed Wife of Manoah
There are many biblical stories in which the female characters, though central to the plot, are unnamed. This paper will explore one such story, with attention to the literary function served by the anonymity of the wife of Manoah, the mother of Samson. It will be argued, contrary to most analyses, that the anonymity of this character serves not to denigrate, but rather to elevate her status within the story.
JENNIFER BLEND, College of Emmanuel and St. Chad
Token and Taboo: A Psychoanalytic Reading of Genesis 38
The story of Tamar and Judah in Genesis 38 has both dismayed and delighted readers for generations. This paper proposes that chap. 38 is a Cinderella folk tale, and that our reactions to it may be rooted in our own fear and fascination with the ambiguous relationship between the patriarch and his young daughter-in-law. Cinderella tales are typically tied to the concept of sibling rivalry, a theme present throughout the Joseph novella. Beneath that rivalry, however, lies the even more potent psychological predicament of the child’s thwarted affection for the parent of the opposite sex. This desire must normally be repressed and resolved in order for the child successfully to achieve autonomy and emotional maturity. This essay suggests that the Oedipal involvement of Judah and Tamar exceeded the conventional boundaries of a healthy father-daughter relationship and became, instead, incestuous. This relationship was not only tolerated, but was also apparently approved by the primary focalizer, the Narrator, and . implicitly, by Yahweh himself. Though the relationship is righted at the last, in Genesis 38 the loss of innocence is both real and metaphorical, for the text, character and reader.

ROBERT CULLEY, McGill University
The Sufferer in Psalm 6

The figure of the sufferer who is the speaker in Psalm 6 invokes a number of images. The speaker mentions the anger of Yahweh, sickness, the possibility of death and descent to Sheol, and the existence of enemies. Yet they are briefly stated and none is developed fully. Then too, while these are common images, it is not entirely clear how all are to be related to each other (Yahweh’s anger, physical sickness and possible death, the enemies). The brief allusions pass very rapidly and the short psalm is over. This paper will explore the problem of how these terse images may be associated with each other.

 

Christian Origins                                                                                             Origines chrétiennes
STEPHEN WESTERHOLM, McMaster University, Presiding/Président

BILL ARNAL, University of Toronto
The Role and Function of John the Baptist’s Preaching in Q
While critical scholarship has gone beyond Harnack’s exuberant assessment of Q’s value as a source for the teaching of the historical Jesus, very few researchers have arrived at anything but a positive evaluation of the authenticity of Q’s preservation of the words of John. Even’ those who, on form-critical grounds, would dissect Q 3:7-9,16-17 into originally separate elements tend to assume that this material ultimately derives from the Baptist. Bultmann’s evaluation of the material seems to have fallen by the wayside. Such a perspective inevitably affects one’s interpretation of Q’s regard for John. Nearly every scholarly assessment of John’s role in Q assumes that the Q community regards him in a speculative fashion, reflecting on his relationship to Jesus, Wisdom and Salvation history. It is possible to argue, however, on form- and redaction-critical grounds, that “John’s” preaching in Q derives from the community itself. This conclusion would suggest, in turn, that Q’s John does not have a role so much as a function. He would appear in the document not so much for his own sake, but as a legitimating device, an “outsider” who attests to the integrity of the Q proclamation of Jesus and the eschaton by offering such a proclamation himself.
LINDA WHEATLEY-IRVING, University of Texas at Austin
Kai egeneto/egeneto de as a Structural Element in Luke’s Gospel
These constructions (excluding use as a copula) have been classified as “Septuagintalisms.” But here, they are not used simply to add scriptural flavour, they play a structural role: (1) they are at the centre of most “recognition” scenes; (2) they highlight important changes in context; and (3) they are sometimes used to indicate dramatic turns in stories. Examination of the synoptic parallel texts shows that the construction’s use is not a question of how Luke modified individual source pericopae, but rather how he organized time and space. To understand why it was used, the syntax of the corresponding expression in Biblical Hebrew must be examined.
ALLISON TRITES, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Blessings and Curses in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount
Matthew’s gospel pays special attention to blessings and curses (e.g., Matt 25:34,41). It is profitable to study the Sermon in the connection. The Beatitudes at the beginning of the Sermon describe the blessings of the kingdom character (Matt 5:3-12). Blessings also appear at the end of the Sermon in the story of the “wise man,” but here they are contrasted with the curses that fall on “the foolish man” (Matt 7:24-27). These contrasting patterns of blessing and cursing will be carefully analyzed to see what light they shed on Matthean theology.

 

Christian Origins                                                                                             Origines chrétiennes
ANN JERVlS, Wycliffe College/TST Presiding/Présidente

JEFF WEIMA, Redeemer College
Pauline Letter Closings: Analysis and Hermeneutical Significance
Although the first three formal units of Paul’s letters (the opening, thanksgiving and body) have received a large amount of scholarly attention, the fourth (the closing) is virtually ignored. Commentaries generally treat the Pauline letter closings in a cursory manner and are usually at a loss to explain how to explain a particular closing section relates to the rest of the correspondence. This paper offers a corrective by proposing: (1) that the Pauline letter closing is a carefully constructed unit, shaped and adapted so that it synthesizes and stresses the major concerns of the letter as a whole; and (2) that consequently, the closing provides important interpretive clues to understanding the key issues previously addressed in the body.
TONY CUMMINS, Oxford University
Peter, Paul, and the Crucified Christ in Antioch: Galatians 2:11-21
From the patristic period to the recent debate between James D. G. Dunn and E. P. Sanders, the so-called “Antioch incident” recounted in Gal 2:11-21 has been the subject of much confusion and controversy. In this paper I shall argue that, from Paul’s perspective, the fundamental and synthetical issue at stake throughout his confrontation with Cephas is (the efficacy of) the crucified Christ. All other issues, such as table-fellowship, the Gentile mission, etc., are derived therefrom. that this is the case is particularly evident when Paul’s line of argumentation is, inter alia, viewed (1) against the background of the Maccabean literature, (2) within the context of his ongoing conflict with Jew(ish Christian)s—in Jerusalem, Galatia and elsewhere—and (3) in reference to the extra-Pauline data concerning the Jewish and Christian communities in Antioch.

ROBERT HURLEY, McGill University
To Marry or not to marry: The Interpretation of 1 Cor 7:36-38

1 Cor 7:36-38 and immediately adjacent passages have presented an interpretive conundrum since the days of the Church Fathers. The confusion is created when Paul uses a word (gamidzein), reported by Apollonius Dyskolus to mean “to give in marriage,” in a context where one expects to see a form of gameo, "to marry.” The entire passage hinges on one’s understanding of this verb and accordingly it has been translated as referring either to the “father of the bride” or the “engaged man.” Building on the noted article of W. G. Kümmel and incorporating work by the philologist W. P5tscher, an interpretation of gamidzein is proposed which overcomes the major difficulties of the passage.

 

Origins of Christianity & Judaism                                 Origines du christianisme et du judaisme
TERENCE DONALDSON, College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, Presiding/Président

ERNEST JANZEN, University of Toronto
The Polemic of the Apocalypse: First Century Numismatic Evidence from Ephesus
In seeking to address the message of the Apocalypse of John and more specifically the pervading motif of victory, I will draw upon recent classical research to establish better the Sitz im Leben of the text. The method will involve a gathering of the numismatic evidence as it pertains to Ephesus. A recent study (Klose) has suggested that an examination of the numismatic evidence in Asia Minor provides us with one of the best means whereby to understand the relationship of this Eastern province with Rome. This in turn also gives us valuable insights into life in Asia Minor at the time the Apocalypse was written and will assist our investigation of the victory motif dominant in the text.
EDITH HUMPHREY, McGill University
Transformation and Apocalyptic Identity in the Shepherd of Hermas
Transformation plays a key role in many apocalypses. It is particularly important in the Vision-book of Hermas because episodes of transformation highlight the theme of identity. The entire structural framework of Hermas is centred around the question of the Church’s identity, which is essentially set forth in Vision III. Here the images of the “Lady” and “Tower” come together with an exposition of the Church’s different forms to answer the question: “Who are the people of God?” The “identical” axis is as important as the “temporal” and “spatial” axes in determining the perspective of this apocalypse.
DAVID NEW, McMaster University
Rabbinic Literature and the Letter of Aristeas
This paper has several objectives. The first is simply to collate a number of passages in the rabbinic literature which refer to the narrative contained in the Letter of Aristeas or which cast some light on the material found in this narrative. Consider that they are of a later date, can any of these passages aid in the understanding and exegesis of Aristeas? Are they based on Aristeas or some other tradition of the narrative? In addition, we shall examine their contribution to the propagation and development of this narrative. Time permitting, some comparison with patristic development will be offered.

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