Power, status and influence in Paul’s Corinth – Student dissertation (part 2)

In Part 1 of Newman graduand Isabella Wray‘s examination of Paul’s use of ‘slave’ and ‘freedman’ in 1 Corinthians 7:20-24 she described the geopolitical setting of Corinth and emphasised how the tumultuous events of the re-establishment of this Roman colony contributed to creating a climate in which social advancement was made possible even for those who would normally have been excluded by law from it – namely freed slaves (the apeleutheroi). This excerpt develops this theme by including an example of just such a freedman, Babbius Philinus.

As Isabella remarked during one tutorial, people like Babbius must have sprung into the minds of the Corinthian readers at his mention of ἀπελεύθερος (apeleutheros), in v.22…

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Planning your journey Roman style!

Did you know that, in the Roman Period, it would take you roughly eight and half days to travel from Jerusalem to Damascus in the summer time (July) or that if you traveled from Antioch to Thessalonica during the winter it would have taken you only eleven days, which is four and a half days quicker than the same journey in summer? What if your journey from Jerusalem to Damascus entailed a lot of luggage? Travelling by oxcart would take you twenty-one and a half days and set you back nine denarii per kg  (based on transporting wheat)!

Welcome to Orbis: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World produced by Walter Scheidel and Elijah Meeks.

Screenshot from Orbis Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World showing the journey from Jerusalem to Damascus

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Newman Research Focus – Saara-Maria Jurva: The Cognitive-Emotive Functions of Biblical Narration in the Letter to the Hebrews

We’ve had the pleasure of welcoming Saara-Maria Jurva from the University of Eastern Finland to our department for the last few months. Saara is currently working on her doctoral research on the Letter to the Hebrews and has been working closely with, our resident Hebrews and OT in the NT specialist, Susan Docherty.

On October 24th, Saara presented a PhD seminar on her work. Her research examines the way the author of Hebrews retells stories and events from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) in a way that resonates on both cognitive and emotional levels. Saara’s seminar focused upon the author’s retelling of the wilderness experience in Hebrews 3: 7-19. Continue reading

Short notice announcement – Saara-Maria Jurva on Hebrews

Saara-Maria JurvaWe have the pleasure of having Saara-Maria Jurva (University of Eastern Finland) studying with us at Newman for a couple of months while she completes her doctoral research into “The Cognitive-Emotive Function of Renarrated Biblical Stories in the Letter to the Hebrews.”

Saara-Maria is an ordained priest with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and completed her MTh at the University of Helsinki in 2009.

We are really pleased to announce that she will be leading a seminar on her work at Newman University on Monday 24th October at 15.00 – 16.30. If you would like to attend and for more information, please contact r.goode@staff.newman.ac.uk.

 

Susan Docherty to speak at this year’s Swedish Exegetical Society Exegetical Day

On the 26th September, Susan Docherty will be speaking at this year’s Exegetical Day 2016 run by the Swedish Exegetical Society at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

This year’s theme will be the ‘Rewritten Bible’  and Sue’s paper is titled, ‘“Why So Much Talk?” Direct Speech as a Literary and Exegetical Device in Rewritten Bible‘. Those of you who heard Sue’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture on the Exagoge (it can still be viewed here:Rewriting the Exodus) earlier this summer will appreciate how examining the way different biblical texts are appropriated and re-worked is helpful in building a clearer picture of the development of the biblical tradition within later historical and cultural landscapes.

A pdf programme of the day can be downloaded here.

 

Advance notice of ‘Rewriting the Exodus’ and other events

The Centre has a number of upcoming events that we are very excited about. More details will be appearing over the coming weeks.

After Easter time we will have cause for a double celebration. Firstly, we will be welcoming back to the fold, Susan Docherty (Head of Theology and  Professor of New Testament and Early Judaism here at Newman University). Sue has been working at Trinity College Glasgow since January following her award of the 2016 William Barclay Distinguished Research Fellowship in Biblical Studies. We will then also have a proper chance to formally celebrate her being conferred as professor when she gives her Inaugural Professorial Lecture in May. Continue reading

Egypt in Israel: Research of Ancient Egypt News

When thinking about the world in which the Hebrew biblical texts were created we often look toward the great ‘superpowers’ that were amassed to the north of Israel; the empires of Assyria, Babylonia, Persia and then more latterly Greek and Roman. Quite often, we can overlook the enormous influence of the ‘superpower’ to the south; Egypt.

Israel was sandwiched between the power bases of two competing empires. It was precariously sited on a narrow and mountainous land bridge (with the Mediterranean sea to the west and arid deserts to the east) which were the main routes for trade and the mobilisation of the military. This meant that control of the Levant (the area in which Canaan/Israel was part) provided an important strategic and economic advantage. The histories of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are played out against this tense backdrop.

Ancient Egypt Magazine
Ancient Egypt Magazine

Consequently, anyone wanting a clearer understanding of the historical, social and political context of the Bible would benefit from the huge amount of archaeological and textual research of Egypt. Ancient Egypt Magazine is a particularly accessible and helpful resource. It is published bimonthly and is written by academics and postgraduate students for a general-interest market.

I was perusing the latest issue and two items in their ‘News’ section struck me as being of interest some readers of this blog. Continue reading

The Nano Bible – something new or very old?

This is rather fun – The Nano Bible, the world’s tiniest Bible, is now on view at the Israel Museum. However, it can also tell us some interesting things about the use of the Bible past and present.

Haaretz image
Image: Haaretz

Measuring roughly the size of a grain of sugar, using powerful microscopes 1,200,000 Hebrew letters were engraved upon a piece of silicon coated with gold less than 100 atoms thick. It is being hailed as the world’s smallest Bible. The creators of the Nano Bible, Technion,   In order to read the text, it is necessary to use a microscope capable of 10,000 times magnification or higher. Continue reading