The latest edition of the Journal of the Jesus Movement in its Jewish Setting (5) is now out with the great news that it has also secured more funding to ensure that it can continue its commitment to the production of a quality open access journal that maintains the high academic standards that it has set itself.
JJMJS is strongly committed to remain open access. Moving forward, we, as any other open-access journals, must secure long-term economic stability without compromising academic quality. We are therefore very pleased to announce that, through a unique collaborative effort, JJMJS is now entering a multilateral partnership with Hebrew University of Jerusalem, DePaul University in Chicago, and the University of Oslo.
This edition is something of a feast for those interested in Paul, Pauline scholarship, and first century CE Judaism and is timed to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of E.P. Sanders’ Paul and Palestinian Judaism. The edition is divided into two parts. Part I considers the “impact of the work of E.P. Sanders forty years after the publication of his magisterial Paul and Palestinian Judaism“. Part II then explores Paul in contemporary research with three articles reflecting on the work of Paula Fredriksen and John Gager. The final article is Paula Fredriksen’s response to these articles. Continue reading →
One of the oldest methods of using biblical texts is ‘proof-texting’. This is when a specific text is used to legitimate or ‘prove’ a particular argument or position. The early Church fathers were fond of it and it can be frequently found in the writings of the Bible. It is therefore not surprising that most of the references to biblical texts today take this form. Particularly important texts are even referred to as ‘clobber texts’ (originally associated in relation to the homosexual debate) as they are known to deliver the knockout blow in a debate, thereby rendering the opposing side speechless. Follow any theological argument, whether that be abortion, sexual orientation, or female ministry (and countless others) and you will quickly begin to recognise each side’s favourite ‘clobber texts’.
As someone who makes a living from studying and lecturing on the Bible, I have to admit to finding proof-texting often rather irritating and unsatisfactory – whether that is Matthew’s use of them (although I do recognise they also have other functions), Justin Martyr’s or from a participant in the latest Facebook/Twitter argument. I do, however, accept that this practice has a long heritage and, like it or not, has a place within the community of faith. It is the trend towards clobber-texting that I find very concerning. Whereas proof-texting seeks to advance a scripture that neatly encapsulates a particular viewpoint (albeit in an often simplified shorthand form), clobber texts are often grabbed texts that are used to support an existing ideological view (in other words to argue that that viewpoint is ‘biblical’) and they are employed to shut down the debate. Anyone encountering an argument between two Christian positions will be familiar with this tactic.
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There’s nothing quite like the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS). There is an energy, courage and that slight whiff of danger about them – quite frankly, what’s there not to like? If anyone is going to be the first to touch the toppling ark it’s going to be one of them! The great news is that this year their annual Bible, Critical Theory and Reception seminars are coming to Birmingham on the 9th & 10th September.
I would strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to attend. It is totally free – although James Crossley or John Lyons would appreciate letting them know if you are hoping to come.
Part of its remit is to take biblical studies out of the institute and so, as in previous years, the 2015 BCTR seminar will be held at the Prince of Wales pub, Mosely – expertly selected by our own Tom Hunt. Continue reading →