The Value of Egyptian Aramaic for Biblical Studies by Collin Cornell
Articles , Old Testament / June 23, 2022

The Value of Egyptian Aramaic for Biblical Studies Collin Cornell Collin Cornell is Visiting Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies for the School of Theology at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Abstract: Biblical Aramaic accounts for a small fraction within the two-testament Christian Bible. Studying it would seem therefore to present a modest value for biblical studies, and Egyptian Aramaic, a nonbiblical counterpart from the same historical era, even more so. The present article argues, however, that comparing Egyptian Aramaic with biblical texts sharpens understanding of the Bible’s distinctive theological profile. It demonstrates the value of Egyptian Aramaic through two comparative case studies: the first is lexically-focused and traces the contrast between “former” (as in, “former times”; Hebrew ראשון//Aramaic √קדם) and “latter” in Haggai and in several Aramaic letters from the Egyptian island of Elephantine.  The second is more genre-focused and engages with the transmission of royal traditions, especially promissory oracles to the king, in post-monarchic texts: namely, biblical royal psalms and the Egyptian Aramaic Papyrus Amherst 63. Keywords: Egyptian Aramaic; early Judaism; Persian Period; Achaemenid; Elephantine; Haggai; royal psalms; Papyrus Amherst 63 Read the full article: The Value of Egyptian Aramaic for Biblical Studies Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Introduction to Aramaic and the Bible by Adam J. Howell
Articles , Old Testament / June 23, 2022

Introduction to Aramaic and the Bible Adam J. Howell Adam J. Howell is Assistant Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at Boyce College & Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. While the Aramaic portions of Scripture may be minimal, Aramaic studies proves to be fertile ground for understanding biblical linguistics, history, and interpretation. With only 269 verses (Gen 31:47 [partially], Jer 10:11; Dan 2:4b–7:28; Ezra 4:8–6:18; 7:12–26) of the Tanakh written in Aramaic, one may question the attention given here to the topic of “Aramaic and the Bible.” However, as with any topic in biblical studies, deeper investigation into these matters will reveal more and more context into which we place the biblical narratives. Aramaic particularly becomes helpful in this regard due to its long history as a written and spoken language in the ancient Near East. According to Franz Rosenthal, the earliest Aramaic inscriptions date to the ninth century bc.[1] Beginning as the spoken language of Aramean tribes, the language moved into Assyria and Babylon, eventually supplanting Akkadian as the lingua franca of the region.[2] By the time of King Hezekiah in Judah (2 Kgs 18:26), Aramaic was apparently an international language and continued to be so into the Persian period….

JBTS 7.1 Full Issue
Articles , Old Testament / June 10, 2022

JBTS 7.1 Aramaic and the Bible Introduction to Aramaic and the Bible by Adam J. Howell The Value of Egyptian Aramaic for Biblical Studies by Collin Cornell “All Manner of Music:” The Author of Daniel 3 as Master Storyteller by H. A. Hopgood How Targum Onqelos Can Help Discern Between the Biblical Hebrew Frequentative and Preterital Imperfects by Richard McDonald Aramaic to Greek Transliterations in the Western Middle Aramaic by Andrew Messmer Targumic Forerunners: How Codex Colbertinus-Sarravianus (G) Demonstrates Targumic Tendencies by Matthew R. Miller Understanding the Paraclete Title: Any Help from the Targums? by John Ronning Genesis 3:15 in the New Testament and in the Pentateuchal Targums: Enmity as a Spiritual Conflict by Iosif J. Zhakevich Book Reviews Share this on: FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Christology and Economic Ethics: Herman Bavinck’s Prophet, Priest, and King in the Marketplace by Matthew Kaemingk

Christology and Economic Ethics: Herman Bavinck’s Prophet, Priest, and King in the Marketplace Matthew Kaemingk Matthew Kaemingk (PhD, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is Richard John Mouw Assistant Professor of Faith and Public Life And Director of The Richard John Mouw Institute of Faith And Public Life at Fuller Theological Seminary.   Introduction How should a Christian follow Jesus in the marketplace? Around the world Christian activists and academics, pastors and professionals offer a wide variety of dissenting answers to the critically important relationship between faith and economic life. This article explores a latent potential within Herman Bavinck’s Christology to present a way forward for a divided church on the major marketplace questions of the day. An essay of “public theology,” this brief article develops and applies Herman Bavinck’s munus triplex Christology—Christ as prophet, priest, and king—to illustrate both the unity and diversity of the church’s marketplace responsibilities. This article will examine a Jesus-follower’s threefold vocation in the marketplace: a prophetic calling to speak words of economic truth and justice, a priestly calling to marketplace ministries of reconciliation, grace, and spiritual communion, and a royal calling to economic responsibility, creativity, productivity, and service. Read the full article: Christology and…

Revisiting Bavinck and the Beatific Vision by Cory C. Brock

Revisiting Bavinck and the Beatific Vision Cory C. Brock Cory Brock (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is an assistant pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi. He serves as lecturer in Christian thought at Belhaven University, and he is the author of Orthodox yet Modern: Herman Bavinck’s Use of Friedrich Schleiermacher (Lexham Press, 2020). Introduction This current year, 2021, marks the centenary death of Herman Bavinck—a season in which the world lost several superior theologians. With such an occasion, one reflects on the most noteworthy and meaningful contributions of the Dutch theologian with such magisterial influence in the discipline of theology as well as the life of the church. As Bavinck’s readership rises in the twenty-first century, it has been common for readers to reflect on the doxological character of his dogmatics, his irenic, catholic spirit that accompanied his catholic theological vision, and his unflinching commitment to biblical and confessional dogmatic logic. In all these ways and in all his efforts, his writing is a typically Godward, theological theology, to borrow a phrase from Webster, where dogmatics proceeds according to its own principia despite the modern turn to Wissenschaft.[1] Bavinck defined his theological project commensurate with the history of Christian theological…

Dogmatics: A Progressive Science? by Cameron Clausing

Dogmatics: A Progressive Science? Cameron Clausing Cameron Clausing (PhD University of Edinburgh) is Lecturer in Applied Theology and Missional Engagement at Christ College, Sydney, Australia. Introduction In an interview with economist, Russell Roberts, John Maynard Keynes’ biographer, Robert Skidelsky, stated, “Economics is not a progressive science.”[1] By this Skidelsky was asserting that economics, unlike physics or chemistry, is not a science in which the body of knowledge has seen growth on a macrolevel. One wonders if this provocative comment about the science of economics could be made about the theology as a science. To what extent is theology a progressive science? To what extent does the body of knowledge grow?[2] Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) was unequivocal in his assertion that the science of dogmatics includes a progressive quality. In one article Bavinck asserted that dogmatics has a characteristic of “being progressive and striving for perfection.”[3] For the contemporary reader this statement does not seem to be radical. The obvious appeal, at least in the Reformed tradition, that the church is ecclesia reformata semper reformanda is taken for granted. There is a sense in which the church is striving for perfection. However, the assertion that dogmatic theology is progressive in nature was…

Bavinck’s Doctrine of God: Absolute, Divine Personality by Gayle Doornbos

Bavinck’s Doctrine of God: Absolute, Divine Personality Gayle Doornbos Gayle Doornbos (PhD, University of St. Michael’s College) is an Associate Professor of Theology at Dordt University. She has also taught in Calvin Theological Seminary’s distance program. She lives in Sioux Center, IA. Introduction[1] Given the Dutch Reformed Theologian Herman Bavinck’s insistence on the centrality of the doctrine of the Trinity and the serious debates surrounding the doctrine at the turn of the twentieth century, it is surprising that there remain few extended treatments of Bavinck’s doctrine of God within secondary scholarship, especially those situating his theology proper within his theological and philosophical context. While there remains a widespread recognition of the trinitarian nature of Bavinck’s theology as well as examinations of the triniform structure of various doctrines,[2] the structure, shape, sources, and context of Bavinck’s doctrine of God remains underexamined (at best) and unexamined (at worst).[3] Why is this? Syd Hielema’s treatment of Bavinck’s doctrine of God in his 1998 dissertation “Herman Bavinck’s Eschatological Understanding of Redemption” illuminates at least two potential reasons in older scholarship. First, describing the doctrine of the Trinity, Hielema claims that Bavinck’s treatment is “certainly not remarkable or unusual in any way.”[4] Second, describing Bavinck’s…

Jesus the Law Restorer: Law and the Imitation of Christ in Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics by Jessica Joustra

Jesus the Law Restorer: Law and the Imitation of Christ in Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics Jessica Joustra Jessica Joustra (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, Free University of Amsterdam) is assistant professor of religion and theology at Redeemer University and an associate researcher at the Neo-Calvinist Research Institute at the Theological University of Kampen (NL). She is an editor and translator of Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Ethics: Created, Fallen, and Converted Humanity and associate editor for the Bavinck Review. Introduction “Jesus matters,” asserts Reformed philosopher James K.A. Smith.[1] A seemingly innocuous claim in Christian scholarship, one might assume he was lauding the Reformed, specifically neo-Calvinist, tradition for its well-known insistence that “there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human life of which Christ, who is Sovereign of all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”[2] Smith’s claim, however, is a critique, not a praise of the Reformed tradition. He continues by offering an important insight into an area of theological deficiency, speaking specifically of theological ethics: “in the Reformed tradition, we also speak more about creation than we do cross, and we speak more about law than we do Jesus.”[3] In other words, the Reformed tradition needs to continue to mine its own resources—and…

Encyclopedia Bavinck: The Case of the History of the Theological Encyclopedia by Gregory Parker Jr.

Encyclopedia Bavinck: The Case of the History of the Theological Encyclopedia Gregory Parker Jr. Gregory Parker Jr. is a Ph.D. student in Systematic Theology at the University of Edinburgh, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, UK. He is a co-editor and co-translator of Herman Bavinck’s The Sacrifice of Praise (Hendrickson, 2019) and Guidebook for Instruction in the Christian Religion (Hendrickson, 2022). Introduction A familiar scene in the kids’ books Encyclopedia Brown is the arrival home of the befuddled chief of police, Mr. Brown. He is troubled by a case. His son Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown takes up the case that is puzzling his father. The cases are often worked out on account of some sort of wide-ranging trivia type knowledge that Leroy has gathered. “Encyclopedia” Brown’s encyclopedic knowledge is how he garnered his nickname. In modern parlance this is often how we think of the encyclopedia. It is a distended dictionary of sorts, swelling with far too much information. Alternatively, many think of the Encyclopedia Brittanica sitting somewhere in their parent’s homes sold to them by a travelling salesman years ago. This picture or understanding of the encyclopedia as strictly a set of information is novel to the twentieth century.[1] In the…

Planting Tulips in the Rainforest: Herman and Johan Bavinck on Christianity in East and West by James Eglinton

Planting Tulips in the Rainforest: Herman and Johan Bavinck on Christianity in East and West James Eglinton James Eglinton is Meldrum Senior Lecturer in Reformed Theology at the University of Edinburgh. His most recent book, Bavinck: A Critical Biography, won The Gospel Coalition Book of the Year for History and Biography in 2020, and was a finalist for the 2021 ECPA Christian Book of the Year in the Biography and Memoir category. Introduction In my earlier Bavinck: A Critical Biography,[1] I argued that the development of Herman Bavinck’s life and thought is best understood in two distinct phases: the two decades spent as a professor at the Theological School in Kampen (in the 1880s-90s), in which he wrote the first edition of the Reformed Dogmatics;[2] and in the following two decades at the Free University of Amsterdam (from 1902 until 1921), in which he revised the Dogmatics extensively, and was engaged in a multipronged effort to promote the importance of Christianity to the viability of a dechristianising Western culture.[3] These phases can be described in various ways. Bavinck himself spoke of the first phase as corresponding to the “age of Renan,” to which I have added a follow-on “age of…