The latest Currents in Biblical Research is now out; abstracts of the main articles are as follows:
J. Kenneth Kuntz
Continuing the Engagement: Psalms Research Since the Early 1990s
Updating the writer’s previous essay in Currents, ‘Engaging the Psalms: Gains and Trends in Recent Research’ (1994), this extensive essay targets the many diverse books and articles reflecting the multi-faceted research on the Psalms published during the past two decades. While necessarily selective, this survey opens with article and book-length studies focused on the Psalter in its entirety. These studies range from those primarily intended for novice readers, to intricate, in-depth scholarly commentaries. Subsequently, many publications invested in more specific topics are discussed. These address the Psalms in their ancient Near Eastern milieu, probe crucial form-critical and rhetorical-critical issues, and focus on the shaping of the Psalter, its potential as a book of theology, and its reception across the centuries.
Joel R. White
Recent Challenges to the communis opinio on 1 Corinthians 15.29
The conventional interpretation of 1 Cor. 15.29, according to which the phrase hoi baptizomenoi hyper tōn nekrōn (generally translated as ‘those baptized on behalf of the dead’) refers to vicarious baptisms for the dead, still enjoys majority support even though it is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. Older minority positions have failed to offer convincing alternatives. In the last 15 years, however, several scholarly works have been published, all which dispute the majority position and are similar to each other in that they posit a causal nuance for the preposition hyper and take the literary context of this verse more seriously. Together they point to a possible way forward in the discussion of this enigmatic text.
The Second-Century Reception of John: A Survey of Methodologies
The last sixty years have witnessed quite different results on the topic of the reception of the Fourth Gospel in the second century. It is however at hand to notice that these significantly differing results are indebted to the dissimilar methodological approaches assumed by each scholar. The main aim of this paper is to reassess methodologically the bibliography on the reception of John in the second century. Given that we are far from having a consensus on the question of how to seek for John in the earliest Christian texts, some concluding considerations are offered on future possible development of the topic.
Kerygma, Catechesis and Other Things We Used to Find: Twentieth-Century Research on Early Christian Teaching since Alfred Seeberg (1903)
Inquiry into the content of the preaching and teaching of the early Church was commonplace in the first part of the twentieth century. Such research was carried out under a number of different headings – kerygma, catechesis, etc. – and pursued with the form-critical tools of the day. However, these reconstructions encountered serious criticism and since the 1970s such inquiries have been more reserved. Today the field is divided, if sparse, with some employing the methods and results of earlier scholarship and others all but ignoring the question entirely. The present article examines this history of scholarship from Alfred Seeberg into the twenty-first century.
Current Trends in Targum Research
This article proposes that targum studies is in the midst of a significant transition away from the traditional philological disciplines and toward methodologies more informed by contemporary literary and linguistic theory. This article traces the broad contours of this transition, surveying philological scholarship on the targums and outlining some of the ongoing issues with this scholarship. The article then moves to examine some of the emerging modes of study, ending with a brief discussion of some of the finished projects in the field.