Archive for September 2009
The articles include: ‘And Their Children After Them’: A Response to Reformed Baptist Readings of Jeremiah’s New Covenant Promises by Neil Jeffers; An Intertextual Analysis of Romans 2:1-16 by Paul White; What the Bible Says, God Says: B. B. Warfield’s Doctrine of Scripture by Marc Lloyd; and Trinitarian Telos: Tracing Some Theological Links from God’s Triunity to Christian Eschatology by David Batchelor.
There are also some book reviews, including one by me on Beale and Carson’s Commentary on the NT use of the OT.
At £15 for a year’s subscription it’s a bargain you can’t afford to miss out on! Would also make an ideal Christmas present for any Reformed pastors or theologians in your life.
- In: sacraments
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There has been lots of hoo-ha recently in the biblioblog world (I was trying to type biblioblogosphere but my fingers just wouldn’t let me use such an awful word) about the lack of women who blog biblical studies. Some people have compiled lists of female bibliobloggers, some of which include me.
Um, okay. On the biblioblog list, this blog appears as a ‘related blog’ under the category of ‘Christian Spiritual, Theological, Homiletic, Patristics’. That is to say, I sometimes blog about biblical studies, but that is not the primary focus of the blog. That sounds about right to me. I blog about all kinds of things, and occasionally that includes my studies, though usually only when I come across something that I think might have wider interest for, say, pastors or other Christians. But if other people want to define things differently and include this as a biblioblog, that’s fine too. The more links, the merrier. Feel free to stick around if you find things you like. And if you can’t bear the pink and green, well that’s what the Lord gave us feed readers for.
Anyway, here’s some biblical studies. ;)
This is from Gerald Sheppard’s Wisdom as a Hermeneutical Construct in a section where he is examining Sirach 24:3-9 and observing some links to the Song of Songs:
It is possible that the choice of imagery in Sir. 24 is influenced by Song of Songs 3:6-11. The difficulty in dating the Song of Songs naturally complicates this hypothesis. However, early in the history of interpretation, the Song of Songs passage attracted exposition in terms of the ark of the covenant moving through the wilderness to Zion.
If one identifies Solomon with Wisdom, some interesting correspondences to the Sirach Song emerge. Solomon (the bridegroom?) comes up “from the wilderness” in procession that appears like a “column of smoke” (כתימדות עשׂנ, cf. Joel 3:3). Wearing his royal crown (v. 11), he rides a majestic litter (v. 6) or palanquin (v. 9) which is equipped with silver posts, a gold back, and a purple seat. Observers from Jerusalem watch enthusiastically. The daughters of Zion rush forward to greet him on what seems to be his royal wedding day.
In Sirach 24, instead of Solomon, the alleged author of the wisdom books, it is Wisdom who comes “circling” (v.5a) and “walking” (v.5b) through the cosmos in search of a resting place and an inheritance, as did Israel and the tabernacle in the wilderness. Just as Solomon’s royal litter appears as a “column of smoke,” her throne is in a “pillar of cloud.” Both are destined for the elect city of Zion. While Solomon rides on a portable throne, Wisdom is, likewise, carried on her throne in the transient pillar of cloud. With Solomon, the smoke is fragrant with “myrhh (sic) and frankincense,” two of the elements which compose the sanctuary’s perfumed holy incense with which Wisdom is intimately related in Sir. 24:15. (Sheppard:33 n.42)
I have previously noted various links between this passage in the Song and temple/sanctuary imagery, and also with NT passages about the coming of the bridegroom (most notably Mt 2:11). I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly connected it with the arrival of the ark in Zion after its journey through the wilderness before.
I’m working at the moment on the links between the Song and the wisdom literature, I don’t think the Song is wisdom literature, per se, but I do think that when you read the Song with the wisdom literature, it raises some very interesting possibilities indeed.
- In: meme
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There is a tricky meme going round at the moment asking bibliobloggers to list the five most influential female scholars in their field. This is comparatively easy for me, since I am working on one of the books that most naturally draws female interest, so without too much thought I would say:
1. Ellen Davis (her work on the Song has probably influenced me more than any other scholar of either gender)
2. Adele Berlin (for her work on Hebrew poetry)
3. Phyllis Trible (whose ‘God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality’ is still one of the most important works on the Song)
4. Athalaya Brenner (for both editions of the ‘Feminist Companion to the Song of Songs’)
5. Carey Ellen Walsh (for her ‘Exquisite Desire’, exploring the themes of desire and frustration in the Song).
Thus the principal clue to the meaning of the Song has, to the best of my knowledge, never been noticed, namely, that there are twenty-six occurrences of the term ‘my beloved’ in the Song, and that twenty-six is the numerical value of the divine Name, YHWH.
From Sr. Edmée Kingsmill’s unpublished PhD thesis, The Song of Songs and the Eros of God.
A study day on the Song of Songs? Sign me up now!
Look, there will be sessions on:
Poetry and emotion in the Song of Songs
Canonical connections to the Song of Songs (oh, someone should write a PhD on that…)
Proclaiming the Song of Songs
Behold, he comes: the eschatology of the Song of Songs
Go here, for more information and to book your place. I suppose that means I’d better start working out what to say…