Four New Titles from T&T Clark’s LNTS Series

From the T&T Clark Blog (which will be added to my blogroll now that I know of it):

There are four titles that will be available in March 2011 and one of these is Geir O. Holmås’ volume titled ‘Prayer and Vindication in Luke-Acts. The Theme of Prayer within the Context of the Legitimating and Edifying Objective of the Lukan Narrative.’ This comprehensive study discusses the literary function of prayer in Luke-Acts, employing narrative critical methodology and focuses on the theme’s relation to Luke’s historiographical aims. This study is divided into three parts. In Part I Holmås ‘sets the framework by defining the scope of examination in terms of text selection and by presenting, in a general way, the pragmatic-rhetorical motivations underlying Luke-Acts as an ancient historical work and the implications of this for the interpretation of Lukan prayer’. In Part II he examines the passages featuring prayer in Luke’s gospel, whereas in Part III he investigates the continuation of the prayer theme in Acts.

‘Who is this son of man? The Latest Scholarship on a Puzzling Expression of the Historical Jesus’, edited by Larry W. Hurtado and Paul L. Owen is another title that is coming out in March 2011. This volume is the first ever collection of scholarly essays in English devoted specifically to the theme of the expression ‘son of man’. This lively discussion is taken up by contributors such as Albert L. Lukaszewski, David Shepherd, P.J. Williams, Darrell L. Bock, Benjamin E. Reynolds and Darrell D. Hannah, as well as by both editors.

Stefanos Mihalios examines the links between the Johannine eschatological hour and the eschatological hour in the book of Daniel in his volume titled ‘The Danielic Eschatological Hour in the Johannine Literature.’ Mihalios scrutinizes here the uses of the ‘hour’ in the writings of John and demonstrates the contribution of Danielic eschatology to John’s understanding of this concept. After a thorough examination Mihalios concludes that for the Johannine Jesus use of the term ‘hour’ indicates that the final hour of tribulation and resurrection, as it is depicted in Daniel, has arrived.

There is one more title that will be published in March 2011 – a collection edited by Trevor J. Burke and Brian S. Rosner titled ‘Paul as Missionary. Identity, Activity, Theology, and Practice.’ The main theme of this volume is a view that Paul, first and foremost, must be identified as ‘missionary’, therefore all the essays use the entire Pauline corpus in attempt to discover what Paul’s correspondence can tell us about how Paul himself perceived his role and identity. The list of contributors is very impressive – Seyoon Kim, James W. Thompson, James C. Miller, Richard Gibson, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, J. Daniel Hays, J. Ayodeji Adewuya, Paul W. Barnett, Arland J. Hultgren, Karl O. Sandnes Stanley E. Porter, Roy E. Ciampa, William S. Campbell, James Ware, Steve Walton, Michael Barram and E. Randolph Richards.

via The T & T Clark Blog: Four New Titles in the Library of the New Testament Studies Series.

All of them look interesting.  So on the wishlist they must go!

Zombie Ants! Zoinks!

Well, here is another one for the books.  I fully expect this to become a movie at some point.  Hollywood, don’t disappoint.

The world just got a little weirder: Scientists have identified four new species of brain-controlling fungi that turn ants into zombies that do the parasite’s bidding before it kills them.

Identified from samples collected at two sites in Brazil’s tropical rain forest, each of the four species specializes in controlling a different species of carpenter ant.

The original zombie-ant fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, was first identified in 1865, and it seems to exist around the world.

“So we knew, right off the bat, there was a range of other species within that,” said study researcher David Hughes, an entomologist at Pennsylvania State University. “I think it will turn out to be in the hundreds.”

Once it infects an ant, the fungus uses as-yet-unidentified chemicals to control the ant’s behavior, Hughes told LiveScience. It directs the ant to leave its colony (a very un-ant-like thing to do) and bite down on the underside of a leaf — the ant’s soon-to-be resting place. Once it is killed by the fungus, the ant remains anchored in place, thanks to its death grip on the leaf.

Ultimately, the fungus produces a long stalk that protrudes from the ant’s head, shooting spores out in the hopes of infecting other ants. Two of the four newly discovered species also sprouted smaller stalks elsewhere, including from the victim’s feet and lower leg joints – the equivalent of knees.

via What? Brain-controlling fungi & zombie ants?! – Technology & science – Science – LiveScience – msnbc.com.

Scripture Citing Scripture: Intertextuality

James McGrath remarks on a mythicist position today on his blog:

The other problematic criterion claims that, if something in the New Testament resembles some detail in Scripture, that is reason to believe that the story was fabricated on the basis of that Scripture.

But James is perhaps unfamiliar with the fact that, as I have said again and again, this is a mainstream academic position.  This has nothing at all to do with mythicists; it just seems that some mythicists are actually up to date on more recent trends in mainstream scholarship.  The idea of intertextuality (which perhaps James just refuses to look into?) has been around since Julia Kristeva coined the term following her time in Tel Quel and the discussions ongoing between the poststructuralists and (neo)structuralists in the 1970’s.  The concept behind intertextuality, however, goes back to Ferdinand de Saussure and his Course in General Linguistics (1916).

I am continually amazed that scholars are seemingly clueless about this, since monographs and edited volumes concerning methods and studies of intertextuality in New Testament have been published for decades.  I am even told (al la Steph Fisher) that in Europe, intertextuality is part of the NT curriculum.  I imagine that it is also a part of OT Theology courses in Europe as well (since every scholar I talk to from Sheffield and Copenhagen–or who might have studied under a scholar from these Universities–knows about it and incorporates it in some of their works).  Among those many studies, Dennis R. MacDonald and Thomas L. Brodie were crucial in introducing this into mainstream academia some time ago, and they weren’t alone (links will bring you to various monographs and studies on the subject; obviously this isn’t comprehensive). And the concept has been in the field of Classics for longer than that.

James might have some quarrels with certain arguments for intertextuality with a certain part of the text (e.g., he might have a problem with my comparison between 1 Sam and 2 Cor and Acts) but he will have to demonstrate that via an actual argument rather than claiming the whole concept of intertextuality is bunk which seems to be his position here.   Intertextuality has become the prime consideration in almost every modern exegetical work by scholars.  It shocks me that he’d make this sort of claim; some might wonder if James might need to expand his reading list when he finds the time.

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