Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday is for Ad Fontes - NDIEC

As a Ph.D student I remember Prof. Michael Lattke giving me two bibliographic pieces of advice: (1) BDAG [i.e. the Greek-English Lexicon] should be on your desk, not your bookshelf; and (2) You should own every copy of New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity. The NDIEC series is put together and edited by the Ancient History Documentary Research Centre Macquarie University in Sydey, Australia.

I have BDAG in both hard copy and electronic forms. And, finally, I've just started acquiring the NDIEC volumes. The first one I've got is volume nine which I found useful for composition of my Colossians/Philemon commentary (forthcoming with Cascade books).

To give an example, I point to one of the texts in NDIEC 9.36-37 which mentions a king being in the "image" of Zeus:

"great [Hephaestus,] king like [the Sun, great king of the up]per and lower regions, [child of the Benefactor gods,] of whom Hephaestrus appr[oved to whom the sun gave his po]wer, living image of Ze[us, son of the Sun]". Text is dated ca. 221-25 BC from Egypt. While theologians debate what it means to be in the "image of God" the designation was a royal title in ANE literature and to attribute it to humanity, as happens in Genesis 1 and 9, is perhaps to say no more than humanity is royal in God's eyes.

Also, the Society for the Study of Early Christianity is having its annual conference on "The Paradoxes of Paul" and keynote speakers include Judith Lieu and Beverly Gaventa in Sydney on 8 May 2009.


jeallman said...

The image as royalty idea is the immediate context in Gen 1.26 and 28.


John Davies said...

The date for the SSEC Conference is actually 9th May, despite their website saying 8th. I hope they will correct this soon.