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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Scribal Practices and Social Structures among Jesus Adherents: Essays in Honour of John S. Kloppenborg
Arnal, William E., Richard S. Ascough, Robert A. Derrenbacker Jr. and Philip A. Harland, editors

Leuven: Peeters, 2016 pp. xxiv + 630. Ä115.00

Series Information
Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 285

Description: Building on the influential efforts of John S. Kloppenborg to integrate our understanding of Christian origins more closely and carefully within its cultural matrix, this volume explores two main phenomena of Hellenistic and Roman antiquity: scribes and scribalism, on the one hand, and voluntary associations, especially as evidenced in honorific and other inscriptions, on the other. In part one, nineteen essays by both established and younger scholars explore ancient scribalism, bureaucracy, literacy, and book production, with a view to drawing innovative new conclusions about a range of ancient Christian writings, including the gospels, Q, the Gospel of Thomas and other Nag Hammadi writings, the Letter of James, and apocalyptic literature, as well as insights into the synoptic problem and memory theory. Part two offers nine articles drawing on papyrological and epigraphic evidence to illuminate group behaviors and the concrete dynamics of smaller social bodies in the Hellenistic and Roman world, with several of the papers explicitly applying this analysis to the ekklesiai established by Paul. The essays in this section contribute to a more detailed understanding of ancient voluntary associations, and along with them, a richer picture of ancient values, economics, politics, and clothing. Contributors include William E. Arnal, Peter Arzt-Grabner, Richard S. Ascough, Alicia J. Batten, Giovanni Bazzana, Andreas Bendlin, Agnes Choi, Zeba Crook, Alex Damm, Richard E. DeMaris, Robert A. Derrenbacker, Dennis C. Duling, Paul Foster, Philip A. Harland, Karen L. King, Alan Kirk, Richard Last, Markus ÷hler, Stephen Patterson, David B. Peabody, Duncan Reid, Sarah E. Rollens, Daniel A. Smith, Dennis E. Smith, Christopher Tuckett, Leif E. Vaage, Erin K. Vearncombe, and Joseph Verheyden.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, New Testament Apocrypha, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Greco-Roman Period, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Textual Criticism, Archaeology

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Review by John Marshall
Published 1/30/2020
Citation: John Marshall, review of William E. Arnal, Richard S. Ascough, Robert A. Derrenbacker Jr., and Philip A. Harland, eds., Scribal Practices and Social Structures among Jesus Adherents: Essays in Honour of John S. Kloppenborg, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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