The thirty-four chapters included in the present book, written in English, Spanish, German, and Italian, are organized along five categories that represent the major concentrations of Professor Piñero's research career, namely: Old and New Testament Apocrypha, New Testament Philology, The Origins of Christianity, Church Fathers and Christian Apologists, and a final chapter that includes some papers on diverse topics, entitled Miscellanea.
In order to not lose sight of the one for whom this Festschrift seek to honor, we open and close the volume with two biographical sketches. To begin with, Professor Jesús Peláez describes Piñero as a person and researcher, and Professor Carmen Padilla, another friend and keen follower of Piñero's research, puts an end to this volume with a selective summary of his most recent publications and describes how his writing has been received in academia and beyond.
The project that has culminated in these pages began around two years ago, when Professor Jesús Peláez, a friend and colleague of Professor Piñero, suggested the publication of a collective volume on the occasion of his retirement. The goal was to bring together a number of essays that, while related to Professor Piñero’s research interests, would also constitute a fresh addition to current scholarship. By doing so, the book would capture a snapshot of the developments in the field of biblical studies, to which the honouree continues to make valuable contributions. The following months demonstrated the extent of Professor Piñero’s renown, as we received no less than fifty proposals, all of them exceeding our most ambitious expectations. Soon, we enlisted more colleagues to help us manage a venture of this calibre. We are grateful to Lourdes Sánchez Moreno (secretary of GASCO, Semantic Analysis Group of the University of Cordoba) for her impeccable organizational skills, and to other members of GASCO, especially to Dámaris Romero González, whose guidance has been invaluable. Likewise, we would like to thank the editorial committee and the reviewers of the international journal Filología Neotestamentaria, who anonymously carried out the arduous task of reviewing each paper, in order to achieve the necessary academic and formal quality the volume now boasts. At this point, we are sincerely thankful to Professor Thomas Hudgins for his comments and corrections. After this lengthy process, all that remained was to edit, typeset, and design the complete manuscript. Antonio Luis Beltrán Aranda created the final layout and has our gratitude for his excellent work and enthusiasm.
The volume’s first section, Old and New Testament Apocrypha, begins with two chapters that focus on the literary similarities and differences between the canonical and the apocryphal writings. These chapters analyse two figures that up to now have not received their due attention in current scholarship: Yahoel and Elihu. In “The Angel Yahoel and the Two Messiahs of the Apocalypse of Abraham”, Israel Knohl (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) sketches a portrait of Yahoel based on a variety of sources, such as the Old Testament, the literature of Qumran and, especially, the Apocalypse of Abraham. Knohl’s conclusions suggest answers to questions as intriguing as the similarities between Yahoel and Jesus, or the intentions of the anonymous author of the apocryphal Apocalypse. Jozef Jancovic (Comenius University in Bratislava, Catholic Theological Faculty of Saint Cyril and Methodius), in turn presents us with “The diabolization of Elihu in the Testament of Job”, in which he tackles the evolution of the character of Elihu from the canonical writings to the Testament of Job, tracing Elihu’s transformation into a ‘diavoli auditor et adiutor’.
The section continues with three additional chapters that focus on the similarities between the New Testament and Apocryphal literature by using a comparative approach. The authors are Ilaria Ramelli (Oxford University), Ángel Narro (University of Valencia), and Consuelo Ruiz Montero (University of Murcia). With “Two Syriac “Apocryphal Acts of Apostles”: the Doctrina Addai and the Acta Maris”, Ramelli brings to the fore the testimony of these two late apocryphal texts (dating from the 4th/5th and the 6th centuries respectively, even if rooted in the tradition of the first centuries of Christianity) to discuss the phenomenon of the evangelisation of strategically important cities in the history of Christianity. Indeed, the apocryphal texts attest how Edessa and Osrhoene were Christianised by the labour of Addai, one of the seventy-two disciples of Jesus, and Mar Mari, the former’s own disciple. Ramelli's conclusions are sure to echo throughout the scholarly world for years to come. She argues that the legendary elements of the two texts must not deter us from paying attention to the notable historical detail, which just might qualify them as a kind of 'historical novels" of their day.
The great interest of present scholarship in apocryphal characters is evident in the next two chapters of the volume, both of which focus on Thecla, but from differing, and perhaps even complementary, perspectives. Thus, on the one hand, Ángel Narro’s “Las otras Teclas. La importancia de un nombre en el cristianismo primitivo y la antigüedad tardía” glances over twelve illustrious characters in several Mediterranean regions, spanning from the 3rd to the 7th centuries. Narro traces the history of the name Thecla in early Christianity and late antiquity. Consuelo Ruiz Montero (University of Murcia), on the other hand, in her “Los apócrifos Hechos de Pablo y Tecla y sus modelos narrativos” turns to literary theory, applying Propp’s functionalist method of literary analysis to demonstrate convincingly the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles’ debt to Greek romantic works, such as The Ephesian Tale of Anthia and Habrocomes, Metiochus and Parthenope, or Joseph and Aseneth.
The field of Greek semantics remains a fertile ground for the exploration of the New Testament, be it an attempt to elucidate hidden meanings of sacred texts or using the New Testament as a core text for linguistic research with implications that go far beyond biblical studies. This is evidenced by the second section of the present volume, New Testament Philology. The section begins with the chapters of Paul Danove (Villanova University), Francis Pang (McMaster Divinity College), and Stephen Levinsohn (SIL International), each of whom has chosen to make a contribution to one of this field's most fruitful areas of research, namely the Greek verbal system. Danove, in “New Testament Verbs of Communication with Active and Middle Forms: The Distinction”, focuses on the verbs of communication ἀπειλέω, διατάσσω, εὐαγγελίζω, and, especially, αἰτέω. Building on his previous work on verb voices, Danove concentrates here on the role of context in determining whether a lexeme takes the active or middle voice.
In the second chapter of this section, “Why We Need an Annotated Representative Corpus of Hellenistic Greek: The Compositionality of Greek Aktionsart for Movement Verbs as an Example”, Francis Pang revisits the supposition that aspect is a feature of the tense-form, and that Aktionsart depends on tense-form as well as on other clausal and contextual features. Pang works on a representative sample of Hellenistic texts that allows him to revaluate the relationship between telicity and perfectivity in Koine Greek. Secondly, Stephen Levinsohn analyzes the oppositional system of the Greek verbal tense, concentrating on what is commonly seen as the three chief oppositions: a) verbs in the indicative are only marked for aspect, b) verbs in the indicative are marked for both aspect and tense, and c) verbs in the indicative are marked for aspect and location, remote or proximate. Following a detailed analysis of verbal tense in context, Levinsohn offers what is, in my view, a refreshing alternative to the well-known systems proposed by Mateos (1977), Fanning (1990), Porter (1992), Evans (2001), Conrad (2002), Rijksbaron (2006), and Campbell (2007), among others.
In keeping with the topic of New Testament Semantics, but moving away from the intricacies of the Greek verbal system, two authors undertake an analysis of certain semantic fields of the New Testament. J. Granger Cook (LaGrange College), in “The Greek Vocabulary for Resurrection in Paganism”, examines literary parallels close to the time of the New Testament that were likely sources of influence for its authors, on which the early Christians may have relied to make sense of the phenomenon of resurrection. Cook draws our attention to the similarities between the vocabulary of the New Testament and that used by writers to describe the resurrections of pagan gods, such as Dionysus, Osiris, Horus, Adonis, and the Tyrian Heracles.
Jordi Redondo (University of Valencia), in “Aticismos, Koinismos y semitismos en la lengua de Lucas”, tackles the vocabulary of Luke and the influence of non-literary Koine, Atticisms, and the alleged Semitic strand on its composition. The author weighs the importance of the blend of these three elements in Luke’s writings.
With a blend of semantics and lexicography, the next three chapters raise questions about the difficulties of the Bible's translation and offer innovative solutions. In “Opening the Greek World to All: Creating a Chinese-Greek Lexical Database of the New Testament”, Eric Wong (Chinese University of Hong Kong) argues how a Chinese-Greek lexical database of the New Testament could facilitate a clearer understanding of the text for Chinese-language readers, using information technology and the latest biblical linguistic scholarship. This telematic tool would also allow Chinese academics to approach the New Testament from a scholarly perspective without a knowledge of Ancient Greek.
Following this, three members of the GASCO research group demonstrate the usefulness of the analytical methodology developed by Juan Mateos and applied by Jesús Peláez in preparing the Diccionario Griego-Español del Nuevo Testamento (DGENT). Marta Merino (University of Cordoba), in “La preposición διά en el griego del Nuevo Testamento.
Ensayo de análisis semántico”, uses the methodological principles to approach one of the most versatile and semantically difficult units: of speech, namely the preposition. Her analysis of διά promises to advance not only the development of DGENT (in progress), but also the linguistic understanding of prepositions in general.
Jesús Peláez (University of Cordoba) in “Definition of the Lexeme ἀγάπη in Greek New Testament Dictionaries: A Comparative Study” deals with the meaning of the lexeme ἀγάπη with the aim of comparing the analysis’s results in the framework of DGENT with those of the two only dictionaries of the New Testament that usually, but not systematically, take a step forward in their lexicographical method by offering definitions of words, namely the J.P. Louw - E.A. Nida (eds) and the Bauer-Danker (BDAG). In his view, what highly strikes the attention is their absence of a semantic analysis’s method when constructing the definitions of lexemes, and that there is not indications concerning to the contextual factor that modifies the basic meaning and, consequently, the translation of a given lexeme.
Bringing together semantics and biblical exegesis, Lourdes García Ureña (CEU San Pablo University, Madrid) treats a topic that is returning to scholarly attention after being off the radar for almost two decades: the meaning of colour terms. Her article “El oro: metal y color en el Nuevo Testamento” is a revision of the meaning in context of the lexemes χρυσοῦς, χρυσός, and χρυσίον, by also noticing how this meaning changes between the Apocalypse (the author’s field of expertise) and the rest of the New Testament.
The section entitled Textual Criticism and Translation is more eclectic in its topics. It begins with Wim Hendriks (Tilburg University) and his contribution “Translating New Testament Greek: A Critical Discussion”. The roots of this chapter can be traced to Hendriks’s research in the early 1970's, which culminated in the following controversial pronouncement: “The Greek text of the Gospels does not represent the original, but is rather a text of the third and fourth centuries”. Building on his research in the field over the years, Hendriks now offers a collection of examples that present a kind of panorama of the consequences of his theory, both in the interpretation of the Gospels and in their translation into modern languages.
Adelbert Denaux (University of Leuven) and Albert Hogeterp (Tilburg University) make a further contribution to Lukan studies with their “Parallelismus Membrorum in Luke’s Greek: Revisiting a Synoptic Perspective”. The researchers reevaluate the widely accepted hypothesis that Luke’s writing strives to avoid any repetition or redundancy while preserving the substance of Jesus’ words. Denaux and Hogeterp examine the Semitic Parallelismi Membrorum, as well as several Semitic linguistic traits that underlie Luke’s Gospel.
Moving on to the transmission of biblical texts, Didier Lafleur (Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes – CNRS) and Luis Gil (Complutense University of Madrid) dedicate their chapters, respectively, to recent findings in Albanian manuscripts and to the history of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible. Lafleur’s “Greek New Testament Philology and Rediscovered Treasures: The Case of the Manuscripts from Albania” presents new findings from one of the most important libraries of the Byzantine period, The Albanian National Archives of Tirana, approaching volumes dated between the 6th and 14th centuries. Future research will no doubt demonstrate the high impact of this discovery on New Testament textual criticism.
Luis Gil, in “Sobre el texto griego del NT de la Poliglota Complutense”, carries out a detailed study of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible’s New Testament, which celebrated its quincentennial only two years ago. This chapter focuses primarily on the textual origins of the Greek edition, trying to determine the texts the authors may have used for editing the fifth volume of this Bible. Gil points to three codices mentioned in the 1512 inventory of San Ildefonso’s College, the first one related to the Gospels, the second to the Apocalypse and the Gospel of Matthew, and the third to the Acts of the Apostles and the canonical epistles.
The next topic of the volume are the Pauline epistles, with a section comprising works of seven researchers who demonstrate the vigour of this field in current academic research.
To begin with, “‘Together with all those who in every place call on the name of the Lord’ (1Cor 1,2): Paul’s References to Other Christians in 1 and 2 Corinthians”, by Christoph Stenschke (Forum Wiedenest, Germany, and University of South Africa, Pretoria), explores the significance and function of the church by analysing Paul’s references to ‘other churches’. Stenschke begins with a detailed commentary of where other congregations are mentioned in 1 and 2 Corinthians, answering many questions and raising many others. Without a doubt, ecclesiology is one of Paul's major focal points in his letters. Not only does he attempt to relativize the peculiarities of each congregation, he also tries to situate these communities in the broader context of early Christianity. In Stenschke’s view, Paul’s first step is to make himself into a “hub of the wheel”, the centre of the Christian movement, and to apply the same rules to all believers. Paul then wishes to establish a communitarian network of a variety of churches scattered across the Mediterranean, strengthening the union through an ethical consensus – and a monetary one. Rhetorically, Paul attempts to demonstrate that the isolation where many congregations find themselves living is illusory, and that they are not “the only pebbles on the beach”, as Stenschke says.
Similarly inspired by historical research, Xabier Deop (Catholic University of Avila), in “La crisis de Corinto”, deals with an issue that has remained open since the writings of Friedrich Bleek in 1830. Deop reviews existing proposals and offers a complete reconstruction of the events of the Corinthian crisis that aims to tie up loose ends in the discussion.
Thomas W. Hudgins (Capital Seminary and Graduate School of Washington, D.C.), in “Paul’s Unique Appeal for Mimesis in Gal 4,12”, explores the meaning of mimesis among the Paul’s letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians. In Hudgins’s opinion, it is not a coincidence that the first direct imperative in the Galatians is a call to imitation, μιμηταί μου γίνεσθε, with which Paul incites the Galatians to be like him (Gal 4:12). Still, the meaning of this invitation is far from clear, so Hudgins explores different examples of mimesis in the Pauline corpus in order to shed some clarity on this riddle.
The next four works devote their attention to Paul’s letter to the Hebrews. Keith Elliott (University of Leeds), in “The Epistle to the Hebrews: Textual Variation and Philological Considerations”, approaches some of the most problematic sections of the letter, such as Heb 2:9, 4:2, 11:11, 11:37, and 12:3. For Elliott, rather than a letter sensu stricto, the letter to the Hebrews should be considered an anonymous homily, the circumstances of composition and the authorship of which are extremely difficult to determine. For this reason, Elliott considers it essential to closely analyse the textual variations in terms of what these can reveal about the original text, before any judgment can be made about the text’s exegetical significances.
David Alan Black (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary of Wake Forest, NC), a collaborator in the base translation of the New Testament for the International Standard Version, restricts his discussion to the translation of a single verse in his “Notes on the Translation of Hebrews 6:1”. Black begins by reviewing how other English translation of the New Testament have dealt with the passage, and approaches it from both lexicographic and semantic perspectives, with special emphasis on aspect. This leads him to a detailed consideration of φερώμεθα in its linguistic and exegetical qualities.
Vittorio Ricci (Posta Fibreno), in turn, treats a controversial ethical aspect of Hebrews in “La δύναμις di συμπαθεῖν (Eb 4,15) e di μετριοπαθεῖν (Eb 5,1)”. In his view, “συμπαθεῖν means the perennial and continuous action of sustaining really and efficiently the human weakness in the merciful context. On the contrary, μετριοπαθεῖν describes the same experience of earthly and temporal situation, every levitical high priest in having common weakness, like every human being shares in”. Ricci performs a profound exegetical analysis of the two concepts by focusing on the letter to the Hebrews while also opening his inquiry to a wide range of biblical and extra-biblical literature.
Finally, Panayotis Coutsoumpos (University of Montemorelos) closes the section on Pauline studies with his “Jesus the High Priest in the Epistle to the Hebrews”. Coutsoumpos’s article engages with a dispute in academia regarding the idea of priesthood, as it appears in Heb 5:1-10. While discussing the differences between two kinds of priesthood – that of Melchizedek and that of Jesus – the author also points out notable similarities.
As the volume moves onto the subject of synoptic texts, Fernando Bermejo Rubio (National Distance Education University, Madrid) discusses the Gospel of John in “‘Y vendrán los romanos…’ (Jn 11, 48). Sobre la identidad de los responsables del arresto de Jesús el galileo”. Bermejo Rubio summarizes the many inconsistencies that baffle readers who try to determine who was responsible for Jesus' arrest. He questions the scholarly consensus and offers his own reconstruction of the arrest narrative, from both an exegetical and historical point of view.
The Origins of Christianity may be seen as the main topic of this celebratory volume. In this section, three distinguished researchers dedicate their efforts to considering the origins of Christianity from the cultural and the textual perspectives. Anders Klostergaard Petersen (University of Aarhus) opens this section with “Cultural Evolution, Axial Age, and the Formation of Early Christianity”. In this chapter, Klostergaard puts forward a description of Christianity’s long voyage across cultural contexts by making use of his concept of ‘axial age thinking’. The author likens time and space in Christian historiography, declaring that “Christianity is a cultural entity that has succeeded in reproducing itself for almost two thousand years just as it has managed to disseminate itself over wide areas of space”.
In the next chapter, “Dating the Composition of New Testament Books and Their Influence upon Reconstructing the Origins of Christianity”, Stanley E. Porter (McMaster Divinity College of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada), sets aside his renowned interest in verbal aspect in order to tackle one of the most basic issues of New Testament philology: the date of Paul's Letters, the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles. Porter highlights certain problems pertaining to traditional dating schemes and, somewhat provocatively, advocates very early dating for the books in question.
Tobias Nicklas in “Neutestamentliche Kanongeschichte als Geschichte eines Buches?” offers a critical discussion of David Trobisch’s thesis. In the Trobisch’s view, the history of the New Testament canon should not be understood as the history of the development of several collections of early Christian books, but as the history of one book already edited in the second century. Nicklas, however, discusses Trobisch’s main arguments regarding nomina sacra, the codex form, and the sequence of books, and concludes that the classical hypothesis is still to be preferred to the Trobisch's one.
Pedro Giménez de Aragón Sierra (University of Pablo de Olavide, Seville) ponders the value of the Epistle of James for reconstructing the origins of Judeo-Chistianity in “La Carta de Santiago y los orígenes del judeocristianismo”. Like Porter, Giménez de Aragón debates the dating of the New Testament books and concludes that there exists enough information to support the early dating that places them around the first century A.D. He proceeds to analyse the fundamental concepts of the epistle, such as Logos, the theology of Wisdom, the social doctrine, and the Epistle’s role in the debate on faith and works. The implications of this analysis lead Giménez de Aragón to position James’s epistle in opposition to that of Paul, thereby gaining further ground in situating each one in its proper context.
The section closes with Xabier Pikaza’s “Gebira: en el comienzo de la ‘mariología’”, an exegetical study of biblical and extra-biblical sources that allow Pikaza (Pontifical University of Salamanca) to amalgamate an impressive description of Mary, the mother of Jesus, of the events of her life, and of the way she was perceived by those who mention her in their writings.
The next section, Church Fathers and Christian Apologists, represents another field of interest that the honoree has explored quite extensively. Miguel Herrero (Complutense University of Madrid) opens the section with a chapter inspired by Piñero's research. “Problemas textuales y de traducción en las Sentencias del Pseudo-Focílides” is a study of the textual problems of Pseudo-Phocylides’s The Sentences, as contained in verses 1-2, 23, 69b, 81-82, 97-98, 104, 105-111, 141, 189, 218, and 228. Herrero’s convincing argumentation, supported by lexical and grammatical rather than ideological justifications, is bound to influence future editions and translations of Pseudo-Phocylides’s work.
“La novela del Pseudo-Clemente”, by Gonzalo del Cerro (University of Malaga), like the aforementioned chapters of Ramelli, Narro, and García Montero, delves into the current scholarly debate on the origins of the novelistic genre and its relationship with biblical characters and topics. Here, the author focuses on what is known as Pseudo-Clementine Literature to argue that the novel did not appear on the literary landscape in a spontaneously, but as a result of a long process of stylistic and directional experimentation.
The fruitful field of Gnostic studies, to which Prof Piñero has been a valuable contributor, is the topic of the next chapter, “Justino Mártir y el gnosticismo: comparación de teorías sobre el mal con un origen común”. In it, María José Brotóns (University of Valladolid) explores the intercultural links between early Christianity (2nd century A.D.), and the surrounding pagan cultures concerning the problem of evil. Brotóns touches on issues as varied as the necessity of gaining knowledge (gnosis) of evil so as to be able to avoid it, the character of the snake in the Old Testament, the prominence of angels in the treatment of human sin, and, finally, the theory of free will in the writings of Justin.
The three chapters closing the volume venture beyond the thematic parameters of previous sections, and, consequently, are collected in a section of their own, entitled Miscellanea. Jaime Vázquez Allegue (Pontifical University of Comillas), in “4Q318: El Libro de Brontología de Qumrán”, presents a study of one of the major elements of the Qumranic canon – the calendar. By concentrating on the latter part of the 4Q318 manuscript – identified as PAM 43.374 and ROC 805 –, Vázquez Allegue offers a new revised edition, translation, and commentary.
Emilio Suárez de la Torre (Pompeu Fabra University) devotes his chapter “El azufre y la pentápolis en un hechizo erótico (PGM XXXVI = P. Bibl. Univ. Oslo inv.1, ll. 295-311)” to the examination of magic in the Jewish tradition, preserved directly through the Papyri Osloenses. Per the author, view, these texts exemplify intercultural permeability through evidencing a Judaeo-Hellenico-Egyptian ‘cross-fertilization’.
Finally, Chrys C. Caragounis (University of Lund) calls due attention to an error common in New Testament philology, Classics, and historiography, in “‘Greco-Roman’: A Term of Convenience or of Uncertainty?” In current scholarship, the term ‘Greco-Roman’ is used widely, but without a consensus – or even much reflection – on its meaning. To clarify matters, Caragounis cites no less than sixty cases in which the meaning of ‘Greco-Roman’ is vague, and calls for a standardized terminology that would clearly distinguish “between things Hellenic and things Roman”.
The briefly reviewed articles are followed by a complete bibliography, an Index of References, of Authors, and of Key Words.
Israel M. Gallarte
University of Cordoba