Petra von Gemünden on Affekte in the Synoptic Gospels

Today’s post will look at a model sentence from Petra von Gemünden‘s essay “Affekte in den synoptischen Evangelien. Die Bedeutung der literarischen Gattung für die Darstellung von Zorn, Begierde, Furcht/Angst und Neid” [Affects in the Synoptic Gospels: The Significance of the Literary Genre for the Presentation of Anger, Lust, Fear/Angst and Envy]. Pages 255-284 in Jesus – Gestalt und Gestaltungen: Rezeptionen des Galiläers in Wissenschaft, Kirche und Gesellschaft. Festschrift für Gerd Theißen zum 70. Geburtstag. Edited by Petra von Gemünden, David Horrell and Max Küchler. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013.

For Petra von Gemünden’s English publications, see here. For some of her other relevant publications on the topic of this post, see esp. her 2009 book Affekt und Glaube: Studien zur Historischen Psychologie des Frühjudentums und Urchristentums (UGAhere).

Translation and German Text

English Translation (wmc): Here an important role is assigned to the affects of the (male and female) disciples and their failure. In the figures of the (male and female) disciples problems are addressed and moved into the light anew in a correcting manner. Jesus functions as an overcoming model: he is afraid but overcomes his angst. In this way the figure of Jesus makes possible a learning in relation to a model. As psychology has shown, learning in relation to an overcoming model is more effective than the example of a “perfect” (here: an absolutely fearless) person.

“Affekte in den synoptischen Evangelien” (p. 278): Den Affekten der JüngerInnen und ihrem Versagen kommt hier eine wichtige Rolle zu. In den Figuren der JüngerInnen werden Probleme angesprochen und korrigierend neu ins Licht gerückt. Als überwindendes Modell fungiert Jesus: Er fürchtet sich, überwindet aber in Getsemane seine Angst. Damit ermöglicht die Figur Jesu ein Lernen am Modell. Wie die Psychologie gezeigt hat, ist das Lernen am überwindenden Modell effektiver, als das Exempel eines “vollkommenen” (hier: eines absolut furchtlosen) Menschen.

Grammatical analysis

(1) Den Affekten der JüngerInnen und ihrem Versagen kommt hier eine wichtige Rolle zu.

(1) the subject is eine wichtige Rolle, the verb is zukommen (it separates and zu moves to the end), the datives den Affekten and ihrem Versagen indicate what a role is assigned to, the genitive plural der JüngerInnen elegantly deals with the difficulty that German writers must choose between Jünger (which does not specifically signal that women are also in view and could be understood to mean that only men are in view) and the feminine Jüngerinnen (which includes only women): In other words, assuming my understanding is correct, the term JüngerInnen conveys something like Jünger and/or Jüngerinnen, like our “s/he” [Jünger/innen is also used]. I have translated zukommen somewhat freely as “is assigned to” rather than “belongs” or “is due to”.

(2) In den Figuren der JüngerInnen werden Probleme angesprochen und korrigierend neu ins Licht gerückt. 

(2) In + dative den Figuren + genitive plural der JüngerInnen, plural subject = Probleme, verbs = werden … angesprochen and werden gerückt, korrigierend and neu are adverbs. ins Licht = in + das Licht (accusative since it is with a verb of motion, i.e., into).

(3) Als überwindendes Modell fungiert Jesus: Er fürchtet sich, überwindet aber in Getsemane seine Angst.

(3) Jesus is the subject, fungiert is the verb, als = as, I think Modell is a predicate nominative, überwindendes is a nominative, singular, neuter, present participle that modifies Modell.  Er is the subject, fürchtet sich and überwindet are the verbs, aber is postpositive, in Getsamene indicates the location, seine = his, Angst is the direct object of überwindet; since P. v. Gemünden uses Furcht/Angst it seemed preferable to translate Angst with “angst” rather than “fear”, with the hope that the semantic range of the German “Angst” and the English “angst” are close enough that angst is not a false friend; it could be, however, and it might be better to translate it as “fear”.

(4) Damit ermöglicht die Figur Jesu ein Lernen am Modell. 

(4) Damit is hard to translate: sometimes it is best to turn it into a “this”, but I often translate it with “in this way” or sometimes with “thus”, “thereby”, or “with this”. die Figur is the subject, Jesu is genitive (the figure of Jesus), ein Lernen [the verb lernen is made into a noun by being capitalized, which makes it “a learning”] is the object of ermöglicht, an [am = an dem] is often difficult: I sometimes use “toward” or “in relation to”, though neither is quite right; Modell is dative.

(5) Wie die Psychologie gezeigt hat, ist das Lernen am überwindenden Modell effektiver, als das Exempel eines “vollkommenen” (hier: eines absolut furchtlosen) Menschen.

(5) Wie = as (introduces a subordinate clause here, verb moves to end), subject = die Psychologie, past-tense-verb of the clause introduced by Wie = hat gezeigt, verb of main sentence = ist, subject = das Lernen, am = an dem (dative neuter) + überwindenden Modell, effektiver = comparative form of effektiv, als with a comparative = than (more effective than), das Exempel is also nominative, eines Menschen is genitive and is modified by the adjective vollkommenen, (hier: eines absolut furchtlosen) provides a gloss for what is meant by ein vollommenen in this case, for which reason it is also put in the genitive.

Substantive Analysis

There are many things that I appreciate about this excerpt and P. v. Gemünden’s essay as a whole. Perhaps most of all, I like how this quotation rightly and powerfully underscores the way in which Jesus functions as an overcoming model in Gethsemane, i.e, against the tendency to undercut or minimize this function by stressing the extent to which Jesus’s particular way of suffering and death was unique and unrepeatable.

Postscript

My own interest in the topic of historical psychology and New Testament interpretation was first ignited by my RBL review of Gerd Theissen’s 2007 book Erleben und Verhalten der Ersten Christen: Eine Psychologie des Urchristentum, and it received new life through my supervision of Amanda Atkinson‘s MA research on Pauline Conversion and Resurrection.

For my other posts on psychology and New Testament interpretation see here.

For a complete list of my blog posts, please see here.

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German Mondays: Thank you for making it to the end of this blog post! Unfortunately, I have found it increasingly difficult to write a new post each Monday, but I hope to be able to write at least one or two  Monday blog posts each month. We’ll see. Best, Wayne.

Michael Wolter, Martin Hengel, and the Titles of the Gospels

Happy New Year! With reference to an article by Simon Gathercole and Michael Kok’s new bookJames McGrath and Michael Barber have recently written substantial posts on the titles of the Gospels (cf. now also Jonathan Bernier’s perceptive post). As a contribution to this discussion, today’s key quotation will look at the way in which Michael Wolter differs from the influential viewpoint of Martin Hengel (cf. here and here) in his treatment of the probable date of these titles. I found this to be an especially fascinating quotation and am curious to learn what others think of the way that Wolter attempts to reverse Hengel’s logic at a key point.

Translation and German Text

The Gospel According to LukeThe formulations εὐαγγέλιον κατά + name or κατά + name are the same in all the gospels. It can be inferred from this that they arose and were attached to the respective works at the earliest (not “at the latest” as Hengel 1984, 47 thinks) at the point in time when at least two different gospels existed alongside one another. The superscripts had the task of distinguishing the gospels from one another and avoiding mix-ups. This procedure took place not earlier than the first half of the second century (see also Petersen 2006, 273), for in the superscripts the word εὐαγγέλιον is used as a designation for a literary work and elsewhere this meaning is relatively certain first in the middle of the second century in Justin (Apologia i 66.3) and at best perhaps already attested in the 120s in the Didache (cf. Kelhoffer 2004; see also section 6.1 below).

Das Lukasevangelium (p. 4): Die Formulierungen εὐαγγέλιον κατά + Name or κατά + Name sind in allen Evangelien gleich. Daraus lässt sich schließen, dass sie frühestens (nicht “spätestens”, wie Hengel* 47 meint) zu dem Zeitpunkt entstanden sind und den jeweiligen Werken beigegeben wurden, als mindestens zwei verschiedene Evangelienschriften nebeneinander existierten. Die Überschriften hatten die Aufgabe, die Evangelien voneinander zu unterscheiden und Verwechslungen zu vemeiden. Dieser Vorgang wird nicht früher als in der ersten Hälfte des 2. Jahrhunderts stattgefunden haben (s. auch Petersen* 273), denn in den Überschriften wird das Wort εὐαγγέλιον als Bezeichnung für ein literarisches Werk gebraucht, und einigermaßen sicher ist diese Bedeutung ansonsten erst in der Mitte des 2. Jahrhunderts bei Justin (1. Apol. 66,3) und höchstens vielleicht schon in den 120er Jahren in der Didache belegt (cf. dazu Kellhoffer, “How Soon…”; see auch u. Abschn. 6.1).

Grammatical Analysis: I will provide a detailed analysis of the crucial first two sentences as a model sentence. The plural subject is Die FormulierungenName. The verb is sind/are. Here in takes the dative allen Evangelien/all the Gospels. The predicate is gleich/the same. I usually render lassen + infinitive as “can be x-ed”: here lässt sich schliessen = it can be inferred + daraus/from this. dass/that indicates what can be inferred. sie = they (= Die Formulierungen … Name). The verbs entstanden sind/arose (or emerged) and beigegeben wurden/were attached (or added) move, as usual, to the end of the subordinate clause. frühestens = at the earliest. nicht “spätestens” = not “at the latest”. wie Hengel meint = “as Hengel thinks/says, believes/holds/reckons/fancies(not sure what is the best translation of meinen here; “fancies” seems to strong and “believes” has its drawbacks; but “says” or “reckons” might be better than “thinks”).  zu dem Zeitpunkt … als = “at the point in time … when“. The dative plural den jeweiligen Werken/”the respective works indicates” what they are attached to. mindestens zwei verschiedene/at least two different modifies the plural noun Evangelienschriften = gospels (gospels seemed better than gospel writings or gospels writings), which is the subject of existieren/existed. nebeneinander = alongside one another (or next to one another). As a rule I use “one another” when more than two things are in view and “each other” when only two things are in view (since two or more are in view I used “one another” here).

Substantive analysis: As I noted above, I am curious what others think about Wolter’s argument that the uniform character of the formulations indicates that they were attached “at the earliest” (Wolter) rather than “at the latest” (Hengel) when at least two different gospels existed alongside one another.

For other posts (in alphabetical order by last name) on the titles of the Gospels, see e.g. Michael Barber (cf. here), Jonathan BernierNicholas Covington, Simon GathercoleBart Ehrmann (cf. herehere, here), Matthew Ferguson, Michael Kok, Michael Kruger (cf. here), James McGrath, Keith Reich.

For my Roundup of “Top Posts Posts” from 2014, see here.

For a complete list of my blog posts, please see here.

For tips on how to use this blog, please see here.

Facebook Page: To receive notifications of future blog posts, please subscribe to this blog and/or like my facebook page here.

German Mondays: Thank you for making it to the end of this blog post! Unfortunately, I have found it increasingly difficult to write a new post each Monday, but I hope to be able to write at least two or three Monday blog posts each month. We’ll see. Best, Wayne.

Matthias Konradt on the Soteriological Significance of Jesus’s Death in Matthew

In today’s post I will look at another key quotation from this year’s BMSEC volume, namely Matthias Konradt‘s book Israel, Church, and the Gentiles in the Gospel of Matthew, which has been translated with great precision and elegance by Kathleen Ess. For my other posts on this book, see here.

As usual I will begin with the English translation so that the selective grammatical analysis can directly follow the German text.

Translation and Text

Israel, Church, and the Gentiles in the Gospel of Matthew (p. 298; trans. K. Ess, bracketed material added by W. Coppins): While the soteriological dimension of the Matthean model of Jesus’ divine sonship is made clear already in 1.18-25 as well as in the pericope of Jesus’ walk across the water in 14.22-33, this dimension is emphatically reinforced in the Passion Narrative. Matthew concisely expresses the soteriological significance of Jesus’ death by adding εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν [for the forgiveness of sins] to the words of institution in 26.28. Matthew left out these very words in the portrayal of John the Baptist, in contrast with Mark 1.4. In Matthew, the forgiveness of sins is linked not with the baptism of John but with Jesus’ death. In the preceding narrative, this soteriological significance is reflected in the authority of the Son of Man to forgive sins in 9.6, as well as Jesus’ ministry to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” in general. Both elements together develop the basic christological statement of 1.21: “For Matthew the forgiveness of sins stands at the center of Jesus’ mission.” The connection between 1.21 and Jesus’ passion is not only achieved through 26.28 but also further substantiated in that the name Jesus, which in 1.21 is explained in the statement of salvation, is inserted in the titulus crucis in 27.37: the Markan ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων [the king of the Jews] becomes in Matthew οὗτός ἐστιν Ἰησοῦς ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων [this is Jesus the king of the Jews]. It is plausible to assume that Matthew here creates an intentional reference to the interpretation of the name in 1.21, and thereby, in line with 26.28, connects Jesus’ death with the forgiveness of sins.

* The quoted sentence is from the translation of U. Luz’ commentary on Matthew 21-28 (p. 381 = p. 116 in vol 4 of the German version).

Israel, Kirche und die Völker im Matthäusevangelium (p. 320): Wurde bereits in 1.18-25 sowie durch die Seewandelperikope in 14.22-33 die soteriologische Dimension der mattäischen Profilierung der Gottessohnschaft Jesu deutlich, so wird dies durch die Passionserzählung mit Nachdruck untermauert. Die soteriologische Bedeutung des Todes Jesu findet bei Matthäus einen konzisen Ausdruck in der Hinzufügung von εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν im Kelchwort in 26.28. Ebendiese Worte hat Matthäus bei der Präsentation des Täufers gegenüber Mk 1,4 ausgelassen. Sündenvergebung wird von Matthäus nicht schon an die Johannestaufe, sondern an den Tod Jesu gebunden. In der vorangehenden Erzählung steht dem in 9,6 die Vollmacht des Menschensohns zur Vergebung der Sünden wie überhaupt die Zuwendung Jesu zu den “verlorenen Schafen des Hauses Israel” zur Seite. Beides zusammen entfaltet die christologische Basis-aussage von 1,21. “Die Vergebung der Sünden ist für Matthäus das Zentrum der Sendung Jesu”. Die Verbindung zwischen 1,21 und der Passion Jesu erfolgt dabei nicht allein durch 26.28, sondern wird noch dadurch untermauert, dass der Name “Jesus”, der in 1,21 durch die Rettungsaussage erläutert wird, im titulus crucis in 27,37 eingefügt ist: Aus dem markinischen ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων wird bei Matthäus οὗτός ἐστιν Ἰησοῦς ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων. Die Annahme liegt nahe, dass Matthäus hier einen gezielten Rückvereis auf die Namensdeutung in 1,21 setzt und damit ganz auf der Linie von 26,28 den Tod Jesu als Ort der Sündenvergebung ausweist.

Grammatical Analysis

Rather than providing a selective analysis of the entire passage, let me now treat the last two sentences in detail as a model sentence: Die Verbindung … Jesu forms the subject of the verb erfolgt. Die Verbindung = the connection; zwischen = between + dative (1.21 und der Passion/the passion); Jesu is genitive (of Jesus); K. Ess has translated erfolgt with “is … achieved” rather than adopting a more wooden solution such as “takes place”. She appears to have left dabei untranslated (as I often do). nicht allein = not only. durch 26.28 = through 26.28 (it might have been preferable to write “is achieved not only through 26.28). sondern = but. I like the translation “is substantiated” for wird untermauert. She has rendered sondern … noch as “but also further”, which works well, since “not only” needs to be followed by “but also” in English. dadurch … dass has been translated with “in that”, which works well, though I might have gone with “but is further substantiated also by the fact that”. der Name Jesus / the name Jesus is the subject. It is modified by the non-defining relative clause der … wird: der = which; as usual the verb wird erläutert is moved to the end of the subordinate clause; durch die Rettungsaussage (acc) = “by the statement of salvation”. The verb of the main sentence, eingefügt ist has been moved to the end of the subordinate clause introduced by dass: I might have translated it with “has been inserted” rather than “is inserted” though I think it works well as it stands. In the German I would have expected (no doubt incorrectly!) the accusative (into the titulus crucis) rather than the dative im titulus crucis, which is correctly translated as “in the titulus crucis“. Aus X wird Y can be translated as “X becomes Y” (as K. Ess has done here). I always struggle with the translation of liegt nahe, and I might have rendered this phrase as “The assumption is suggested that” or “the assumption lies close at hand that”. But I much prefer K. Ess’s translation of this phrase as “It is plausible to assume”: dass introduces what is being assumed; that Matthäus … setzt und … ausweist. The object of setzt/creates is einen gezielten Rückverweis/an intentional reference, which is probably better than adopting a more expansive solution such as “an intentional reference back”. auf = to + die Namensdeutung/the interpretation of the name (accusative). damit is always troublesome. As K. Ess has done, I often translate it with “thereby”, which I think works well here, though I have increasingly begun to leave it untranslated or use “in this way”. K. Ess has left ganz untranslated, writing “in line with 26.28” rather than adopting a more cumbersome solution such as “completely in line with”. She has translated the last part of the sentence freely with “connected the death of Jesus with the forgiveness of sins” rather than adopting a more wooden translation such as “and thereby designated the death of Jesus as (the) place of the forgiveness of sins”, which might be preferable insofar as it retains the emphasis on place in the German.

Substantive analysis

I found this quotation to be a wonderfully compact presentation of the soteriological significance of Jesus’ ministry and death in Matthew. And for me at least Konradt’s interpretation of the significance of Matthew’s addition of Jesus’ name to the titulus was both convincing and new (it does not, however, appear to be a new idea as such; in his footnote to this point, Konradt writes: Compare Senior 1985, 131; Heil 1991a, 80; Luck 1993, 305; Repschinksi 2006, 264 (= CBQ 68); and Herzer 2009, 139).

Let me conclude this post by thanking Jason Maston again for interviewing me last week about the BMSEC series at Dunelm Road!

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German Mondays: Thank you for making it to the end of this blog post! Unfortunately, I have found it increasingly difficult to write a new post each Monday, but I hope to be able to write at least two or three Monday blog posts each month. We’ll see. Best, Wayne.

 

Jens Schröter on Jesus’ use of the Son of Man Expression as Aufmerksamkeitssignal

Today’s model sentence is excerpted from Jens Schröter‘s attractive attempt to answer the Gretchenfrage of the Son of Man Problem in his book Jesus of Nazareth – Jew From Galilee, Savior of the World (2014)Jesus von Nazaret: Jude aus Galiläa – Retter der Welt (1st = 2006; 4th = 2012).

For my other posts on this book, see here. For all my Schröterposts, see here.

Jesus of Nazareth (p. 167): The Son of Man expression can then be placed into the profile of the activity of Jesus as follows: Jesus used this expression in such a way that with it the distinctive character of precisely his activity was stressed … Thus, Jesus used the expression “Son of Man” rather than merely saying “I” in order to point to the distinctiveness of his person: everything that took place through him and toward him was of singular significance because as the representative of God he established God’s reign and confronted human beings with the decision over salvation and judgment. Thus, one can understand Jesus’ use as an attention-attracting signal with which he pointed to the distinctiveness of his person.

Jesus von Nazaret (4th edition, p. 254-255): Der Menschensohnausdruck lässt sich dann folgendermaßen in das Profil des Wirkens Jesu einzeichnen … Jesus benutzt demnach den Ausdruck “Menschensohn” und sagte nicht einfach “ich”, um damit auf die Besonderheit seiner Person hinzuweisen: Alles, was sich durch ihn und an ihm ereignete, war deshalb von einzigartiger Bedeutung, weil er als Repräsentant Gottes dessen Reich aufrichtete und die Menschen mit der Entscheidung über Heil und Unheil konfrontierte. Man kann die Verwendung durch Jesus also als ein Aufmerksamkeitssignal verstehen, mit dem er auf die Besonderheit seiner Person hinwies.

Grammatical Analysis: the subject is Menschensohnausdruck/Son of Man expression. I usually translate the expression lässt sich + infinitive (here: einzeichnen) as can be verb-ed (here: “can be placed into” or “can be sketched into”). dann = then. folgendermaßen = as follows. in das Profil (acc) + des Wirkens (genitive) + Jesu (genitive) goes with einzeichnen: can be placed/sketched into the profile of the activity of Jesus. Jesus is the subject and benuzt/uses is the verb. With a view to readability, I translated demnach as “thus” rather than “according to this”. den Ausdruck/the expression is the object of the verb and Menschensohn/Son of Man represents the expression that is in view. I translated und sagte nicht einfach (and said not simply) as “rather than merely saying” with a view to English style. “ich” = “I”. um + zu + infinitive = in order to verb: the zu is found in the verb at the end (hinzuweisen = zu hinweisen = “in order to point to”). I left damit untranslated: I sometimes translate damit with “thereby” or “in this way”. auf goes with the verb (to point to); it takes the accusative die Besonderheit/the distinctiveness + genitive seiner Person/of his person. Alles, was = everything which/that (I chose “that” because it seems to me that the clause is defining rather than non-defining). sich ereignete is the verb (happened/took place); durch ihn = through him. an ihm is more difficult and I’ve never discovered a great way to capture the sense in English, since “on him” doesn’t work so well and “toward him” or “to him” is not much better; sometimes I use “in relation to him”. war von Bedeutung = was of importance/significance + einzigartiger = was of singular or unique significance. deshalb/weil literally means  “therefore/for this reason …. because” but in this construction it is probably better to leave deshalb untranslated. weil/because introduces a subordinate clause and therefore the verbs aufrichtete/established and konfrontierte/confronted move to the end of their sentence segments. als Repräsentant Gottes = as representative God; in English it seemed necessary to write “as the representative of God”, though it probably would have been better to translate this phrase with “as God’s representative”. dessen Reich is the object of aufrichtete: established his reign/kingdom. In the context, his = God’s. Given the German word choice it may have been preferable to translate Reich as kingdom, but the translation really depends on knowing what emphasis the author wants to set with each use of this term. die Menschen = “people” or “human beings” is the object of konfrontierte. mit + dative (der Entscheidung) goes with konfrontierte = “confront … with the decision”, which is defined further via the preposition über/over + the two objects of the preposition, namely Heil/salvation and Unheil/judgment. Unfortunately, the word “unsalvation” doesn’t exist in English, so it is necessary use a word such as “judgment”, “ruin” or “disaster”: one of the the latter options may be preferable. Man = one or people. Man kann …x…als … verstehen = “one can understand x” or “x can be understood as”: the latter is often preferable despite the change from active to passive. die Verwendung (object of verstehen) = the use; durch Jesus = by Jesus: it would have been possible to alter the syntax and simply write “Jesus’ use”. also = thus/therefore (not “also”, which is a false friend): in English it is often best to move “Thus” to the beginning of the sentence. als ein Aufmerksamkeitssignal = “as an attention-attracting signal”: it is in the same case as die Verwendung (accusative), which would make it an object complement in Greek, but I’m not sure if this is the way one would speak of this construction in German/English. mit dem = with which. It introduces a subordinate clause and the verb hinwies (from hinweisen) moves to the end: with which er/he … points + auf/to + accusative die Besonderheit/the distinctiveness + genitive seiner Person/of his person.

Substantive analysis: I am attracted to and convinced by Schröter’s interpretation of Jesus’ use of the Son of Man expression as an Aufmerksamkeitssignal, which I think makes good sense of what we find in the narratives of the Gospels and good sense of what seems likely for the earthly Jesus.

Let me conclude today’s post by giving a plug for my wife Ingie Hovland‘s latest blog post on the anthropology of Christianity: Hidden determinants of Christians’ behavior: Reading Annelin Eriksen and Joel Robbins on values in Christianity!

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German Mondays: Thank you for making it to the end of this blog post! Unfortunately, I have found it increasingly difficult to write a new post each Monday, but I hope to be able to write at least two or three Monday blog posts each month. We’ll see. Best, Wayne.

 

 

Michael Bachmann on the New Perspective on Paul (Paulus Handbuch Series)

Before beginning today’s post, let me share a link to a translation competition that may be of interest to readers of this blog (see here).

This week’s post is devoted again to the Paulus Handbuch (ed. Friedrich W. Horn; Mohr Siebeck, 2013; see here and PDF).

In my last Paulus Handbuch Series post I looked at Reinhard von Bendemann‘s discussion of Bultmann, Käsemann, and the Righteousness of God in Paul. Building on this post, today’s quotation is taken from Michael Bachmann‘s section on “The New Perspective on Paul” and “The New View of Paul”.

As usual I will begin with the English translation so that the grammatical commentary directly follows the German text. Since it is a both a difficult and a short sentence, I will analyze it as a model sentence.

I. Text and Translation

If one summarizes what has thus far been said on the New Perspective, then the result is as follows: The concern is with a direction of research, which has been developing since the 1960s and is in itself quite differentiated, that finds a unifying point above all in the fact that in the proto-Pauline letters, precisely also in formulations on justification, it believes it can make out something like a sociological dimension, which has more precisely to do with the relation of early Christianity to Judaism. Here an important role is usually assigned to the expression “works of the law”, insofar as with it a connection to Jewish identity markers is often claimed. Then the concern, especially in the formulation of a justification “not from works of the law”, would be with the possibility of an inclusion of non-Jews precisely as non-Jews into the community of salvation.

Fast man das bislang zur New Perspective Gesagte zusammen, so ergibt sich: Es handelt sich um eine sich seit den 1960er Jahren entwickelnde, dabei in sich durchaus differenzierte Forschungsrichtung, die v.a. darin einen Einheitspunkt findet, dass sie in den protopaulinischen Briefen, gerade auch in Formulierungen zur Rechtfertigung, so etwas wie eine soziologische Dimension auszumachen meint, die es genauer mit dem Verhältnis der frühen Christenheit zum Judentum zu tun hat. Dabei kommt zumeist dem Ausdruck “Werke des Gesetzes” eine wichtige Rolle zu, sofern bei ihm oft ein Bezug zu jüdischen Identitätsmerkmalen behauptet wird. Dann ginge es zumal bei der Formulierung von einer Rechtfertigung “nicht aus Werken des Gesetzes” um die Möglichkeit einer Inklusion von Nichtjuden eben als Nichtjuden in die Heilsgemeinde.

II. Extensive Grammatical Analysis

Fast … zusammen = zusammenfassen = summarizes; the fact that the verb stands in the first position lets you know that it needs to be translated “if …”. man = one. das … Gesagte = that which has been said = what has been said (past particle of sagen; with the neuter article “das” + capitalization it becomes a substantive); bis lang modifies Gesagte (what has been said “thus far/to date/up to now/previously”) and zur New Perspective specifies the topic “on the New Perspective”. so ergibt sich is difficult: as part of the if-then-construction, so can be translated as “then”; ergibt sich = arises or emerges but here the sense probably needs to be unpacked to read “then the result is as follows” or “then the following emerges” etc. Es handelt sich um = the concern is with or we are dealing with. eine … Forschungrichtung depends on um. It is modified by participial phrases (sich … entwickelnde and … in sich differenzierte …) and a relative clause (die … findet), which creates a problem since this usually can’t be reproduced in English. I converted the participial modifiers to two relative clauses, namely “which has been developing and is in itself quite differentiated” and “that finds …”, using “which” and then “that” because it seemed to me that the first relative clause (which) was a “non-defining relative clause” and the second one a defining relative clause (that), but I often struggle with this issue so I could be off here. sich entwickende is present but in English it has to become a past tense (has been developing) with seit 1960er (since the 1960s): German (like Greek, I think) uses the present tense when a past action extends into the present whereas English uses a past tense in such cases. I left dabei untranslated. I translated durchaus as “quite” and differenzierte as differentiated. die is feminine singular because this is the gender and number of its antecedent Forschungsrichtung; it is nominative because it is the subject of findet (that finds). v.a. = vor allem = above all. einen Einheitspunkt is accusative because it is the direct object of findet. darin … dass = therein that = in the fact that. sie is the subject and meint is the main verb; I translated sie … meint auszumachen as “believes it can make out”, which I hope is correct. so etwas wie eine soziologische Dimension = “something like a sociological dimension”: not sure exactly how to describe what is going on grammatically, which reminds me that I really do need to work through a German grammar at some point! The relative pronoun die, which I think looks back to eine soziologische Dimension (rather than Forschungsrichtung) is the subject and hat zu tun is the main verb (has to do). I’m not sure what es is doing? Perhaps literally “which has it to do more precisely with…”? genau becomes genauer in the comparative form: “more precisely/exactly”. mit (with) + dative dem Verhältnis (the relationship) + genitive der frühen Christenheit (of early Christianity) + zu (to) + dative dem Judentum => zum Judentum. I translated the always troublesome Dabei as “Here”. kommt zu with Rolle (role) + dative (dem Ausdruck) = an important (wichtige) role is usually (meist) ascribed (zukommen) to the expression (dem Ausdruck). Werke (works) + genitive des Gesetzes (of the Law). sofern = insofar as. bei is difficult to capture in English; sometimes “in” works best and sometimes “with” is better; ihm refers back to dem Ausdruck: with it. I often translate Bezug as “reference” but I was concerned that this translation might say more than Bachman wanted to say, so I went with “connection” (relation would perhaps also have worked); it is the subject of wird behauptet (is claimed). a connection zu (to/with) + dative Jewish identity markers. Dann = then. I believe ginge is subjunctive, and that it has the force of “would be concerned with” (see further my post on es geht um). I am uncertain about the force of zumal: I think it has the force of “especially” or “above all”, but it might have the sense of “namely” or perhaps even “at least”, though I couldn’t find support for the last proposal. Here I translated bei as “in” + dative der Formulierung + von (of) + dative einer Rechtfertigung. I translated Rechtfertigung as justification (there is obviously lots of discussion about what terminology to use for the Greek word here); like the Greek the German has “not from works of the law”; English usually has “not by works of the law”, but I retained “from”. um die Möglichkeit (with the possibility) + genitive einer Inklusion (of an inclusion) + von (of) + dative Nichtjuden (non-Jews). eben has the force of “precisely” + als (as) + Nichtjuden (non-Jews). I expected to find in der Heilsgemeinde rather than in die Heilsgemeinde but Inklusion must have an active force so that the accusative is used, for which reason I chose to write “into” the community of salvation.

III. Substantive analysis

On the one hand, I agree with Michael Bachmann that one of the enduring contributions of the New Perspective on Paul resides in its sensitivity to the presence of a sociological dimension that can be discerned in many of the key Pauline texts under discussion. And I think it is a shame when detractors of the New Perspective are unwilling to acknowledge this contribution with appreciation. On the other hand, I think there is much room for debate concerning the exact place that is assigned to this dimension in our attempts to unpack Paul’s argumentation in general and his language about justification and “works of the law” in particular. To name one point of hesitation, I seems problematic to me when the language of “justification” and “works of the law” is linked too exclusively to the inclusion of Gentiles, since Paul’s argument in Galatians 2 proceeds from a claim about justification/works of the law in relation to Jewish believers to a claim about justification/works of the law in relation to Gentile believers. Readers of Bachmann’s discussion of the “works of the law” in this section of the Paulus Handbuch may also wish to consult Otfried Hofius’s critique of Bachmann’s interpretation of “works of the law” in his Exegetische Studien (pp. 49-88 and 89-94).

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German Mondays: Thank you for making it to the end of this blog post! Unfortunately, I have found it increasingly difficult to write a new post each Monday, but I hope to be able to write at least two or three Monday blog posts each month. We’ll see. Best, Wayne.

 

Jens Schröter on the Areopagus Speech and Not Reducing Historicity to Facticity

Before turning to things German, let me begin this post by saying happy anniversary to my wife Ingie!

Whereas my posts from January 13, February 17, and March 17 dealt with Jens Schröter’s theoretical reflections on historiography, this post, like my posts from May 19 and July 7th, will focus more specifically on Jens Schröter’s perspectives on the historical value of Acts in From Jesus to the New Testament, which will presumably inform his forthcoming HNT commentary on Acts. Needless to say, I would be delighted if these posts would initiate/provoke a more substantive response to Schröter’s treatment of this topic by one (or several) of the many Acts specialists in the blogging community!

As usual I will begin with the English translation so that the (selective) grammatical commentary directly follows the German text.

Translation

From Jesus to the New Testament ( p. 46): “This is not, of course, to claim that Paul actually delivered or would have delivered a speech such as that in Acts 17. In the sense of the aforementioned Thucydidean principle, the Areopagus speech can, however, be viewed as a composition that reproduces the ξύμπασα γνώμη of how Paul, according to the view of Luke, could have spoken in such a situation. Its programmatic character is emphasized thereby not only through the location, but also through its position at the center of the independent mission of Paul within the book of Acts. The Areopagus speech thus shows itself to be a configuration of the historian Luke, who links the activity of Paul with its historical consequences – the hardening of Judaism and the emergence of the Gentile-Christian church. Only on this foundation can the Lukan Paul and the Paul of the Letters be placed in relation to each other in a meaningful manner. The assessment that Paul, if he gave the speeches [correction: speech] reported by Luke at all, did not, in any case, give them [correction: it] in this way, would, by contrast, be a truncated understanding of historical reference – as would the opposite attempt, which is undoubtedly more difficult to carry out, to prove the actuality of the speech. Both models reduce historicity to facticity and thereby remain behind the aforementioned methodology-of-history insights.”

Von Jesus zum Neuen Testament (pp. 51-52): “Damit ist selbstverständlich nicht behauptet, dass Paulus eine Rede wie diejenige aus Apg 17 tatsächlich gehalten hat oder gehalten haben würde. Die Areopagrede kann jedoch im Sinne des oben genannten thukydideischen Prinzips als eine Komposition angesehen werden, die die ξύμπασα γνώμη dessen wiedergibt, wie Paulus nach Auffassung des Lukas in einer derartigen Situation geredet haben könnte. Ihr programatischer Charakter wird dabei nicht nur durch den Ort, sondern auch durch ihre Stellung im Zentrum der selbständigen Mission des Paulus innerhalb der Apostelgeschichte hervorgehoben. Die Areopagrede erweisst sich somit als eine Gestaltung des Historikers Lukas, der das Wirken des Paulus mit seinen geschichtlichen Konsequenzen – der Verstocken des Judentums und der Entstehung der heiden-christlichen Kirche – verknüpft. Erst auf dieser Grundlage können der lukanische Paulus und derjenige der Briefe sinnvoll miteinander in Beziehung gesetzt werden. Die Feststellung, Paulus habe die von Lukas berichtete Rede wenn überhaupt, dann jedenfalls nicht so gehalten, wäre dagegen ein verkürztes Verständnis von historischer Referenz – genauso wie der entgegengesetzte, zweifellos schwieriger durchzuführende Versuch, die Tatsächlichkeit der Rede zu erweisen. Beide Modele reduzieren Historizität auf Faktizität und bleiben damit hinter den oben genannten geschichtsmethodologischen Einsichten zurück.”

Grammatical Analysis

Rather than offering a selective grammatical analysis of the entire passage, I will skip over the first part and comment on the last part of the passage as a model sentence.

Die Feststellung (the assessment) is the subject. habe is subjunctive, which signals that Paulus habe … gehalten conveys what someone might say as their assessment or claim. Die … Rede is the direct object of “habe … gehalten”. It is singular and therefore should have been translated as “speech” rather than “speeches”(mea culpa). It is modified by the past participle (berichtete/reported), which is modified by von Lukas/“by Luke”. Wenn überhaupt [gehalten] = if at all, i.e., if [he delivered/gave the speech reported by Luke] at all. dann = then. jedenfalls = “in any case” or “at any rate”. “habe … nicht so gehalten” = delivered/gave [the speech/it] not in this way, which becomes “he did not give it [not: them!] in this way”. Die Feststellung + Paulus habe … gehalten (i.e., the content/expression of the assessment voiced by another) is the subject of wäre = “would be”. dagegen = by contrast. einVerständnis … is the predicate. The past participle verkürztes is easy enough to understand but difficult to translate: I opted for “truncated”. The adjective + noun historischer Referenz is dependent on von/“of” and is dative since von takes the dative. genauso wie = just as. der … Versuch/”the attempt” is the subject, which is complemented by the infinitive zu erweisen (the attempt to show/prove/demonstrate). erweisen takes the direct object die Tatsächlichkeit, which is modified by the genitive der Rede (“the actuality of the speech”). der Versuch is modified by“entgegengesetzte” and “zweifellos schwieriger durchzuführende”. As often, I retained the first modifier with the noun (the opposite attempt) and transformed the second into a clause (which is undoubtedly more difficult to carry out). I think that entgegengesetzte is the past participle of entgegensetzen, but I forget how to describe the grammar of durchzuführende. Beide Modelle is the subject of reduzieren (which picks up verkürzte in terms of content) and Historizität is the direct object. One reduces something to (zu) something else (here: Faktizität), which is dative because it is governed by “zu”. Beide Modelle is also the subject of zurückbleiben/“remain behind or fall behind”, which becomes bleiben … zurück. damit has the force of “with this”, but I often translate it with “thus”. Hinter/”behind” takes the dative object den … Einsichten/”the insights”, which is modified by the participle oben genannten (above mentioned = aforementioned) and the adjective geschichtsmethodisch, which I rendered as “methodology-of-history” rather than “historical methodological” (or the like) in order to make clear that these models are being criticized from the perspective of a certain approach to doing history.

Substantive Analysis

What I like about this point is that it shows how Schröter attempts to relate his theoretical reflections to the interpretation and evaluation of a classic issue, namely the relevance of the areopagus speech for thinking about Luke as an ancient historian. I think Schröter is probably right to argue against reducing historicity to facticity, which is not to say that questions about the facticity of a given event are unimportant.

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For two interviews with me about the Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Series, see Clifford Kvidahl and Michael Hölscher.

German Mondays: Thank you for making it to the end of this blog post! In an effort to provide a sense of regularity and predictability for this blog’s readership, I plan on writing a new post each Monday. So hopefully I will ‘see’ you again in a week’s time. Best, Wayne.

 

Friedrich W. Horn on the Paulus Handbuch (Mohr Siebeck, 2013)

Today I will begin what will be an extended series of posts on the Mohr Siebeck Paulus Handbuch (ed. Friedrich W. Horn; 2013; see also PDF).  I hope that the process of writing the “Paulus Handbuch Series” will give me a better overview of German scholarship on Paul and help me to mediate this knowledge to others (For another valuable work on German scholarship on Paul, see Oda Wischmeyer‘s edited volume Paul: Life, Setting, Work, Letters).

This post will introduce the Paulus Handbuch with a quotation from  Prof. Horn’s preface, which I will analyze as a model sentence.

As usual I will begin with the English translation so that the (selective) grammatical commentary directly follows the German text.

English Translation and German Text

English Translation (wmc): In this handbook these aspects, namely life, letters, and theology, distributed over large sections on person and work, represent the main emphasis of the handbook. They are framed, on the one hand, through an introductory orientation on the text and the collection of the Corpus Paulinum as well as through a presentation of the history of research that starts with Ferdinand Christian Baur and reaches into the present. On the other hand, in closing the impact and reception of Paul is presented in the pseudepigraphic writings and through an outlook on the apocryphal Paul tradition and into the proximate effective history up to Marcion.

[Based on his helpful comments on the difficult final sentence (see below), Christoph Heilig has suggested that it could be paraphrased as follows: “On the other hand, in closing the impact and reception of Paul is presented – in the form it is found in the pseudepigraphic writings and by means of an outlook on the apocryphal Paul tradition and into the proximate effective history up to Marcion.”]

Paulus Handbuch (p. VI; see PDF): In diesem Handbuch stellen diese Aspekte, nämlich Leben, Briefe und Theologie, verteilt auf große Abschnitte zu Person und Werk, das Hauptgewicht des Handbuchs dar. Gerahmt werden sie einerseits durch eine einleitende Orientierung über den Textbestand und die Sammlung des Corpus Paulinum sowie durch eine Darstellung der mit Ferdinand Christian Baur einsetzenden und bis in die Gegenwart reichenden Forschungsgeschichte. Andererseits werden abschließend Wirkung und Rezeption des Paulus in den pseudepigraphen Schriften sowie durch einen Ausblick auf die apokryphe Paulus-Überlieferung und in die unmitelbare Wirkungsgeschichte bis zu Markion geboten.

Grammatical Analysis

In diesem Handbuch = In + dative demonstrative pronoun + noun. stellen … dar: the compound verb darstellen is divided and dar goes to end of sentence; possible translations include portray, present, and represent. diese Aspekte = subject of darstellen (demonstrative pronoun + plural noun). nämlich = namely. Leben, Briefe und Theologie = life, letters, and theology (nominative, having the same case as diese Aspekte). verteilt auf = distributed over. In this context große = large (accusative plural adjective modifying Abschnitte, both dependent on auf, modifies Abschnitte) and Abschnitte = sections (accusative plural with auf). zu = on, takes dative Person/person and Werk/work. das Hauptgewicht = direct object of darstellen; it is modified by the genitive des Handbuchs/of the handbook: you know it is genitive because of the article des and the s-suffix that has been added to Handbuch. sie is the subject of the next sentence (plural, refers back to diese Aspekte). The verb is werden gerahmt/are framed. durch = through or by + acc eine Darstellung/presentation  + genitive der … Forschungsgeschichte/of the history of research/scholarship, which is modified by the participial phrase mit Ferdinand Christian Baur einsetzenden und bis in die Gegenwart reichenden. Here it is necessary to transform this participial phrase into a subordinate clause: “that starts with Ferdinand Christian Baur and reaches into the present”. Andererseits = on the other hand (in some cases, however, I translate einerseits as “first” and andererseits as “second”). The last sentence is very difficult. As I have noted elsewhere (see here), it is often difficult to translate abschließend, which I have rendered as “in closing” – other options would be “in conclusion”, “concluding the work”, or “to conclude”. Wirkung und Rezeption + des Paulus (genitive) is the subject of the verb “werden … geboten”: as usual part of the verb (werden) is in the second position and the other part (geboten) is at the end of the sentence. I am somewhat lost in relation to the last sentence. Specifically, I am not quite sure how the prepositional phrases “in den…Schriften” and “durch einen Ausblick auf … und in die … bis zu Markion“ relate to the verb (or subject in the first case?). Ausblick auf, which I have rendered as “outlook on”, is also difficult. I believe that “in die” is also dependent on Ausblick, but it might not be. I have rendered “unmittelbare” as “proximate”, though “immediate” might be better. Wirkungsgeschichte is often retained as a loan word. If translated, then I think “effective history” is probably the best translation, though “history of effects” might be more fitting for some authors. bis zu Marcion =  up to Marcion.

[In his helpful comment on this post, Christoph Heilig has explained the difficult grammar of the final sentence as follows: The last sentence is really difficult. My guess: “Andererseits werden abschließend Wirkung und Rezeption des Paulus … geboten.” is the main clause. “in den pseudepigraphen Schriften” modifies the “Wirkung und Rezeption” locally. “sowie durch einen Ausblick” is used adverbially with “geboten”: How is “Wirkung und Rezeption geboten”? By means of an “Ausblick”. What kind of “Ausblick”? a) “auf die apokryphe Paulus-Überlieferung” and b) “in die unmitelbare Wirkungsgeschichte bis zu Markion”. So I think what makes this sentence so difficult is that the “sowie” coordinates an adverbial phrase and a local modification of “Wirkung und Rezeption”.]

Substantive analysis

I would like to draw attention to three points from this quotation. First, it is salutatory that some space is devoted to the text and to the collection of the Corpus Paulinum. Secondly, it is notable that there is a threefold emphasis on Paul’s life, letters, and theology, a valuable feature that is also found in Bruce Longenecker and Todd Still’s introductory textbook on Paul (see here). Third, while pride of place is given – for better or for worse – to the undisputed letters of Paul, which form the building blocks for the material that constitutes the main emphasis of the handbook, significant attention is also given to the pseudepigraphic writings, the apocryphal Paul, and the Wirkungsgeschichte, which results in a more comprehensive presentation of the Pauline tradition than what is found in works that restrict themselves exclusively to the undisputed letters.

For a complete list of my blog posts, please see here.

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For two interviews with me about the Baylor-Mohr Siebeck Series, see Clifford Kvidahl and Michael Hölscher.

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German Mondays: Thank you for making it to the end of this blog post! In an effort to provide a sense of regularity and predictability for this blog’s readership, I plan on writing a new post each Monday. So hopefully I will ‘see’ you again in a week’s time. Best, Wayne.