LOY Excursus: Mark’s Editorial Style

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This LOY Excursus is a compendium of our observations regarding the redactional changes the author of Mark typically made to his sources and discusses the image of Jesus he wanted to portray in writing his Gospel.

More on the Absence of an Aramaic Bible at Qumran: A Response to Jack Poirier’s “The Qumran Targum of Job as a Window into Second Temple Judaism: A Response to Randall Buth”

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I appreciate this opportunity to return to some issues concerning the Targum of Job that I raised in Where Is the Aramaic Bible at Qumran? Scripture Use in the Land of Israel and to evaluate Jack Poirier’s response entitled, The Qumran Targum of Job as a Window into Second Temple Judaism: A Response to Randall Buth.

Where Is the Aramaic Bible at Qumran? Scripture Use in the Land of Israel

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The documents at Qumran allow us to reconstruct Scripture access in the Province of Judea in the first century. From the evidence, we must assume that the Qumran community and the other Jewish communities in the land had direct access to the Hebrew Bible, generally understood it, and were interested in teaching that related directly to the Hebrew text.

Leah’s Tender Eyes

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The King James Version translates Genesis 29:17 as follows: “Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.” The New International Version has, “Leah had weak eyes,” while the New American Bible reads, “Leah had lovely eyes.” What did the Hebrew original mean to say?

The Teaching of Balaam

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Revelation 2:12-16 is one of those occasions when it is necessary for the Christian reader to be familiar with first-century Jewish interpretation of an Old Testament account.

Were Women Segregated in the Ancient Synagogue?

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Did women play a passive role in the synagogue congregations of antiquity? Were they separated from male members of the congregation during prayer and study, as is the case today? According to Professor Shmuel Safrai, the answer to both questions is a resounding “No.”

John’s Targumic Allusions

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The viewpoint of scholars toward the Gospel of John has changed considerably during the last generation. (See “Scholarly Attitudes to John” below.) Thanks to several recent discoveries, we are now able to appreciate a number of literary allusions in the Gospel’s introductory verses (1:1-18) that had previously escaped attention. We will discuss the background of a few of these allusions, and then consider some implications for translation.

Pieces to the Synoptic Puzzle: Papias and Luke 1:1-4

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When the argument is advanced for a Hebrew “undertext” behind the Greek of the Synoptic Gospels, the evidence may be separated into two categories: internal and external. Internal evidence refers to evidence that is contained within the Greek text such as Hebraisms and the presence of parables or other types of rabbinic literary forms. External evidence refers to statements preserved in other ancient literature that affirm that Jesus’ life was originally recorded in Hebrew. The most important external evidence is a statement made by Papias, bishop of Hierapolis.

“He Shall Be Called a Nazarene”

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One of the titles given to Jesus was “Nazarene.” Where did the title come from, and did it have any special significance? Ray Pritz traces the title’s origins.

Book Review: Michael Sokoloff’s A Dictionary of Jewish Palestinian Aramaic of the Byzantine Period

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From the third to the seventh century A.D., the Jews of Palestine used Aramaic as their primary spoken and written language. This dialect has been of considerable interest to Christian scholars, and some have argued that it is the closest dialect to the Aramaic which Jesus would have spoken.

The Queen of Teman

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According to the Greek texts of Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31, Jesus used the expression “queen of south.” Why didn’t Jesus use “Queen of Sheba,” which is found in the Bible, and second, why is there no definite article before “south” (i. e., queen of the south)? More importantly, how can “south” be an equivalent for “Sheba”?

The Syndicated Donkey

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Randall Buth may have discovered a significant idiom in the Greek text of Luke. This idiom could help us in determining the original language of Jesus’ biography. In Luke 19:33, did the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday have more that one owner as the Greek text states?