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Bethel and Gibeah) in Chronicles, Jonker discerns ambivalence in the Chronicler’s profile
of this territory in relation to Judah, Sometimes Benjamin is autonomous, but otherwise it
is united with Judah. Jonker suggests that this double emphasis on both the distinctiveness
of Benjamin and also its relationship with Judah corresponded with the desire of the Persian
administration to preserve ethnic uniqueness while maintaining peace in the region. Evans
argues that the offense David committed in conducting the census of Israel was his neglect
of the law requiring the temple tax from every enumerated person (1 Chronicles 2 1; cf. Exod
30:11 -16; 2 Chronicles 24). In his examination of the account of the Assyrian invasion dur­
ing Hezekiah’s reign, Evans attributes the divergences from the Deuteronomistic Vorlage
to the Chronicler’s skills as a theologian and historian rather than to his putative midrashic
technique (2 Chronicles 32; cf. 2 Kings 18-19). Ben Zvi perceives that Chronicles profiles
Manasseh as reflecting the experience of Israel insofar as his offenses provoke Yhwh to
banish him into exile and his repentance prompts Yhwh to restore him to the land. The
Chronicler presented Manasseh as a symbol of Israel, which assured the community in
Yehud that their ongoing repentance overrode their past failures and guaranteed their future
in the land (2 Chronicles 33).
The thematic essays make significant contributions to the study of prophecy, retribu­
tion, the Davidic heritage, and the exile in Chronicles. Knoppers’s extensive analysis of
prophecy illustrates the Chronicler’s concern to ground the tradition in the Deuteronomic
focus on Moses while expanding its scope to include an unprecedented array of personali­
ties, the sum of which serves to heighten the esteem for prophecy in Yehud in contrast to
the singular focus on the Torah in Samaria. Wright discloses that divine retribution for
violations of sacred precincts and defiance of oracles is common to Herodotus and the
Chronicler, but the singularity and otherness of God vis-a-vis humankind account for the
distinctive character of retribution in Chronicles. Boda proposes that, in Chronicles, while
the Davidic heritage is essential, the future realization of divine purposes will develop from
the integrity of temple-centered communal life in Yehud. According to Ben Zvi, the scant
references to the exile reflect the Chronicler’s strategy to diminish the significance of this
disaster in the collective memory in order to enhance the continuity between the era of the
First Temple and that of the Second Temple in the collective consciousness of Yehud.
This volume provides eloquent testimony to the contribution members of the Cana­
dian Society of Biblical Studies are making to Chronicles research.
Michael W. Duggan, St. Mary's University, Calgary, AB T2X1Z4, Canada
EVE-MARIE BECKER and a n d e r s r u n e s s o n (eds.), Mark and Matthew I: Comparative
Readings: Understanding the Earliest Gospels in Their First-Century Settings; Mark and
Matthew II: Comparative Readings: Reception History, Cultural Hermeneutics, and
Theology (WUNT 271, 304; Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011, 2013). Pp. ix + 491; viii +
418. €139 each.
Intended “to develop a new comparative approach to the study of the Gospels of Mark
and Matthew” (2:v), these volumes assemble papers delivered at Aarhus University (2008)
and McMaster University (2009). Following the editors’ introduction, vol. 1 contains seven
parts, the first of which offers a “History of Research.” Presenting “Current Research on
the Gospel according to Mark: A Report on Monographs Published from 2000-2009,”
Cilliers Breytenbach recognizes the importance of genre, historiographical character, and
formation of an ancient community’s ethos in recent study but laments “so little research
on [Mark’s] style, syntax, and semantics” (p. 32). Concluding “Matthew: The Current State
of Research,” David C. Sim asks, “Can we really determine a clear and authoritative theol­
ogy of Matthew when its relationship with Judaism is still in flux and when its place in the
early Christian community still remains unclear?” (p. 51).
Part 2 is dedicated to “Reconstructing the Artifacts: Text-Critical and Linguistic
Aspects of the Study of Mark and Matthew.” In “Was heisst Abschreiben? Neue Entwicklungen in der Textkritik und ihre Konsequenzen fur die Uberlieferungsgeschichte der friihesten christlichen Verkiindigung,” Barbara Aland affirms, “Vielmehr bezeugen die Varianten
der neutestamentlichen Handschriften die miihsame Arbeit fehlbarer Menschen, die ihrem
Beruf nachgingen—und das, trotz der Ftille der Kleinvarianten ist es zu sagen, erstaunlich
zuverlassig und genau taten [Rather, the variants in the NT manuscripts attest to the arduous
labor of fallible human beings pursuing their calling—and, despite the multitude of small
variations, one must say that they did so with astonishing reliability and exactitude]” (p. 76).
Equally optimistic is Tommy Wasserman, who proposes that a majority of second-century
papyri of all the Gospels adhere so tenaciously to the Alexandrian tradition that “reconstruc­
tion of the original text remains an ‘impossible possibility’” (“The Implications of Textual
Criticism for Understanding the ‘Original Text,”’ here 96). In “Matthew and Mark: The
Contribution of Recent Linguistic Thought,” Stanley E. Porter stresses that these Gospels’
linguistics and semantics are exegetically important yet widely neglected.
Part 3 takes up “Date and Genre.” In “Dating Mark and Matthew as Ancient Litera­
ture,” Eve-Marie Becker claims that reconstructing absolute dates for Mark’s and Matthew’s
compositions “remains an important task o f Gospel exegesis” (p. 125; author’s emphasis),
even though “[b]oth Gospels obviously refuse a precise dating”: “both . . . were written
either before or after 70 c .e .” (p. 143). David E. Aune argues that Mark is a parody of ancient
biography, which, after deconstructing Q, Matthew transformed into a more typical bios
(“Genre Theory and the Genre-Function of Mark and Matthew”).
Most of this volume’s chapters are devoted to “Socio-Religious Location” (part 4) and
“Conflict and Violence” (part 5). The late Sean Freyne discerns appreciable continuity
within the conflicted Jewish matrix of post-70 Syria/Phoenicia, “the earliest traceable place
of reception of a gospel” (“Matthew and Mark: The Jewish Contexts,” here 194). Morten
Horning Jensen regards Galilee as these Gospels’ cradle, not their provenance; the complex
relationship of discipleship and family attested in Mark and Matthew “was ‘a Galilean fact’
rather than an intended program per se” (“Conflicting Calls? Family and Discipleship in
Mark & Matthew in the Light of First-Century Galilean Village Life,” here 231). In “Mat­
thew, Mark and Q: A Literary Exploration,” Linden Youngquist suggests, contra Aune, that
Q was Matthew’s focus and point of departure, with Marcan material adapted to illustrate
Q. Examining “Matthew, Mark, and the Shepherd Metaphor: Similarities, Differences, and
Implications,” Wayne Baxter positions these Gospels along a dynamic continuum of belief
in Jewish restoration, with Matthew “much closer to the nationalistic end pole than Mark”
(p. 282). Warren Carter asserts that the First Gospel’s polemics have been defined too nar­
rowly as religious conflict; the latter should be understood as a coefficient of imperial power.
which propped up synagogue leadership (“Matthew: Empire, Synagogues, and Horizontal
Violence”). Lorenzo Scomaienchi (“The Controversy Dialogues and the Polemic in Mark
and Matthew”) presents Jesus as vir bonus; whereas Mark writes an apology of Jesus for
pagans, Jesus’ rebuttals in Matthew reveal “the Jewish internal search for a new identity”
(here 320). Surveying “The Representation of Violence in Synoptic Parables,” John S.
Kloppenborg reconstructs a spectrum: from the Marcan Jesus’ dispatch of demons in the
manner of an imperial legate to Q’s Jesus as an ordinary householder capable of violence
toward disobedient partisans to Matthew’s expansion of divine, lethal violence upon both
adversaries and underperforming insiders.
Part 6 concentrates on “Building Community Using Text.” For Oda Wischmeyer,
identifying the particular community for which Mark was written is less important than its
author’s provision of a book consolidating early Christians’ new and independent cultural
standing (“Forming Identity through Literature: The Impact of Mark for the Building of
Christ-Believing Communities in the Second Half of the First Century c.E.”). In “Building
Matthean Communities: The Politics of Textualization,” Anders Runesson contends that
Matthew’s aim, post-70, “was to provide and spread a theo-political road map for an active
takeover of the Roman Empire, replacing it with the rule o f the God of Israel as heaven and
earth were expected to merge in the Kingdom of Heaven” (p. 381). Part 7, “Notes from the
Conference: Further Discussion,” consists of Adela Yarbro Collins’s “Reflections on the
Conference at the University of Aarhus, July 25-27, 2008,” reflections limited to the likely
heterogeneity of the Matthean community and her dissatisfaction with Aune’s identification
of Mark’s genre. In her view, Mark reconfigures Greco-Roman historiography through
Septuagintal adaptation, apocalyptically concentrated.
After its introduction, vol. 2 contains two parts. The first, “Reception and Cultural
Hermeneutics: Reading Mark and Matthew from the 1st to the 21st Century,” opens with
Eve-Marie Becker’s “The Reception of ‘Mark’ in the 1st and 2nd Centuries c.E. and its
Significance for Genre Studies.” “Mark’s primary im pact. .. lies in its inventive power of
creating a literary concept of gospel-writing that is soon imitated and modified,” by Matthew
and the noncanonical Gospels (p. 33). Appropriating social-scientific criteria— forms of
discourse, group consolidation, identity building, and ritual— Petri Luomanen explains why
Matthew emerged as most influential, why Mark nevertheless survived, and why Q disap­
peared (“From Mark and Q to Matthew: An Experiment in Evolutionary Analysis”). The
title of Benedict T. Viviano’s chapter announces its thesis: "Who Wrote Q? The Sayings
Document (Q) as the Apostle Matthew’s Private Notebook as a Bilingual Village Scribe
(Mark 2:13-17; Matt 9:9-13).” Likewise, Rene Falkenberg’s “Matthew 28:16-20 and the
Nag Hammadi Library: Reception of the Great Commission in the Sophia o f Jesus Christ”:
eyeing the Great Commission, Sophia o f Jesus Christ presents itself as an elevated con­
tinuation of Matthew. Peter Widdicombe studies “The Patristic Reception of the Gospel of
Matthew: The Commentary of Jerome and the Sermons of John Chrysostom,” comparing
Jerome’s tendency toward spiritual readings with Chrysostom’s preference for the literal
sense. Revisiting a twelfth-century masterpiece, Joseph Verheyden’s “Reading Matthew
and Mark in the Middle Ages: The Glossa Ordinaria” demonstrates how medieval interpret­
ers interpreted both Gospels, recognizing yet ultimately resolving tensions between them.
In “Protestant Reading of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew in the 20th Century,” Martin
Meiser notes academic exegetes’ various tendencies to read those Gospels sociopolitically.
Referring to papal documents from 1893 to 1993, Detlev Dormeyer appraises “A Catholic
Reading of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew in the 20th Century.” In “Judging the Theo­
logical Tree by Its Fruit: The Use of the Gospels of Mark and Matthew in Official Church
Documents on Jewish-Christian Relations,” Runesson focuses Dormeyer’s topic on the
checkered appropriation of Matthew and Mark in Nostra Aetate (1965), Guidelines and
Suggestions fo r Implementing (1975) that conciliar declaration, and Notes on the Correct
Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic
Church (1985).
The second part of vol. 2 covers “History, Meaning, and the Dynamics of Interpreta­
tion.” Adela Yarbro Collins’s “Mark and the Hermeneutics of History Writing” maintains
that the Gospel’s incipit (1:1) would have cued ancient readers to construe Mark as a his­
torical work. By contrast, Stephen Westerholm emphasizes that “the story of Jesus in the
Gospels seems intended to inspire faith, allegiance, and obedience, and worship” (“Hearing
the Gospels of Matthew and Mark,” here 252-53). Free o f the Glossa's fretful harmonizing,
Mogens Muller highlights both continuity and variety in the Gospels and Paul’s letters (“The
Place of Mark and Matthew in Canonical Theology: A Historical Perspective”). Janice
Capel Anderson’s principal interest lies in her contribution’s subtitle: “Mark and Matthew
in Feminist Perspective: Reading Matthew’s Genealogy”: “[The] five women [in Matt 1:117] challenge their readers to read both with and against the grain" (pp. 287-88). In “Mark
and Matthew after Edward Said,” Hans Leander warns of colonial biases that have infested
the modern commentary tradition. Nudging that warning to a deconstructive conclusion,
Todd Penner and Caroline Vander Stichele advocate “a model of instability and fragmenta­
tion” coupled with deeper appreciation of “contingent foundations and communities of
accountability,” in place of a historical criticism that creates an “illusion of stability and
consistency” (“Re-Assembling Jesus: Rethinking the Ethics of Gospel Studies,” here 33032). Considering “The Interpretation of Mark and Matthew in Historical Perspective: The
Transfiguration as a Test Case,” Michael P. Knowles reinvites into exegetical conversation
the church in its theology, preaching, liturgy, hymnody, and iconography.
Scrupulously researched, all of these essays exhibit a high level of scholarship; some
are truly insightful. Collectively they describe the salient contours (and extremes) of earlytwenty-first-century Marcan and Matthean research, with one notable exception: although
several chapters nod toward “a literary turn” in recent exegesis (1:20-21,49, 125; 2:160-64,
171-72), none actually practices it. Notwithstanding the editors’ aspiration for “a new com­
parative approach” to the study of these Gospels, only half of the contributions attempt such
an approach; the rest are comfortably nestled in either Mark or Matthew. The former’s
motley genre and the latter’s obscure Sitz occasion a lot of hand-wringing; absent either
issue’s resolution, the interpretation of both Gospels merrily rolls along.
C. Clifton Black, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N J 08542
v o l l m e r (eds.), Theologizing in the Corinthian Conflict: Studies in the
Exegesis and Theology o f 2 Corinthians (Biblical Tools and Studies 16; Leuven: Peeters,
2013). Pp. xi + 475. €89.
T h o m a s A.
O f all Paul’s epistles, perhaps none is as perplexing as 2 Corinthians. The confusing
nature of the argument has led to speculation about the epistle’s unity, as well as to conjee-
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