Tyndale House Newsletter – October 2016

Tyndale House October Newsletter

This Tyndale House Newsletter is reproduced here by permission of the Tyndale House Communications Dept.

P. Beatty III (𝔓47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text

Peter Malik, one of our recently appointed Research Associates

Peter Malik, one of our recently appointed Research Associates, is working on a daily basis on the Codex Climaci Rescriptus. Amidst this work Peter is preparing to publish his Cambridge PhD dissertation successfully completed while at Tyndale House.

Malik investigated the earliest extensive handwritten copy of the Book of Revelation. In P. Beatty III (𝔓47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text, he applies codicology, palaeography and a knowledge of scribal practice to shed new light on the text.

Due out in 2017 and using the latest developments in digital photography this data-rich publication by Brill will offer, for the first time, high-resolution colour photographs of the manuscript.

‘Where Art Thou, O Hezekiah’s Tunnel?’

Another scholar to bring a fresh look on Biblical scholarship is Dr Mary Hom with her publication in the Journal of Biblical Literature this autumn.

Dr Mary Hom with her publication in the Journal of Biblical Literature this autumn

‘Where Art Thou, O Hezekiah’s Tunnel? A Biblical Scholar Considers the Archaeological and Biblical Evidence concerning the Waterworks in 2 Chronicles 32:3-4, 30 and 2 Kings 20:20’

Journal of Biblical Literature  Vol. 135, No. 3 (Fall 2016), pp. 493-503.

Mary writes: “The increase of Iron Age archaeological discoveries in the City of David in recent years has precipitated debates regarding the identification of the tunnel that Hezekiah built, as described in 2 Chronicles 32:30 (cf. 2 Kings 20:20). The possibility of Channel II instead of Tunnel VIII as the actual conduit that Hezekiah built in response to the approaching Assyrian threat has gained increasing attention among both archaeologists and biblical literary scholars, and new discoveries in the past fifteen years have both answered questions and raised new ones. This article is a rigorous interdisciplinary evaluation of the evidence from both fields, and it may be seen that when the issue of identifying Hezekiah’s tunnel is taken in consideration with an understanding of the biblical text in its ancient Near Eastern literary milieu along with the most reliably expert findings in archaeology, several recent questions may be resolved.”

Scholarship in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Revd Christophe Sadiki of the Anglican Church of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a land of past troubles, but future potential. Thanks to our International Scholars Programme we were able to welcome the Revd Christophe Sadiki of the Anglican Church of the Congo to Tyndale House for three months over the summer.

Christophe’s dissertation topic is “The Corruption of the Monarchy in Israel with Reference to Deuteronomy 17: 14-20; 1 Samuel 8; 1 and 2 Kings; a Look at the DRC”. He explains: “I think that this topic is pertinent in our African context where corruption is a scourge that is contributing to poverty among our people. It will challenge scholars to think about and interpret the Word of God in a way that speaks to the DRC context. Upon graduation I am planning to join the faculty at the Anglican University of Congo where I will be engaged to train leaders for the Anglican Communion in the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo.”

Christophe has clearly found these months a huge stimulus to his doctoral research and it has opened a new world of enquiry to him. The community at Tyndale House have welcomed him warmly, assisted him in so many ways, practical and academic, and provided a supportive environment for his studies. A mentor allocated to him has been assiduous in his supervision, meeting him weekly and prompting Christophe to take new avenues of thought, and compare different traditions and methods of study.

Christophe himself seems to have made the most of every moment, refusing to allow the newness of the culture and climate to stand in his way. It has been difficult to get him to take time off and rest! On his final day in Cambridge he was extremely positive about every aspect of his time here. He was very pleased to have had the opportunity to meet readers and was very grateful to everybody who had helped and encouraged him during his stay.


Tyndale Fellowship conferenceOver 120 scholars attended the Tyndale Fellowship conference, held at High Leigh Conference Centre this summer. The theme was ‘Marriage, Family and Relationships’. Each study group held six sessions, with plenary lectures including:

  • The Old Testament Lecture: ‘The Patricentric Vision of Family Order in the Book of Deuteronomy’ (Dr Daniel I. Block)
  • The Philosophy of Religion Lecture: ‘Marriage and the State: Cut the connection’ (Dr Daniel Hill)
  • The Ethics and Social Theology Lecture: ‘Does English law need “marriage”?’ (Professor Julian Rivers)
  • Special lecture: ‘Scars Across Humanity’ (Dr Elaine Storkey)

 

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These are examples of the many ways in which we here at Tyndale House are seeking to support and foster high level biblical scholarship in service of the church. Churches, seminaries and universities across the world need people who are intellectually and spiritually equipped to provide the most informed Christian teaching and education.

Will you help the next generation of biblical scholars by praying for us and supporting us financially? If you are outside the UK, your support is particularly powerful at this time when the Pound Sterling is so low.

With warmest regards,

Peter Williams

Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives

Essays on the Patriachal NarrativesEssays on the Patriarchal Narratives brings together a team of seven Old Testament scholars who examine the evidence for the authenticity of Genesis 12-50. All of the essays are available for free access. Just click on the individual links below to view.

Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives – Table of Contents

The Patriarchs in Scripture and History – John Goldingay

Methods of Studying the Patriarchal Narratives as Ancient Texts – Alan R. Millard

Archaeological Data and the Dating of the Patriarchs – John J. Bimson

Comparative Customs and the Patriarchal Age – Martin J. Selman

Abraham Reassessed – Donald J. Wiseman

The Religion of the Patriarchs – Gordon J. Wenham

Diversity and Unity in the Literary Structure of Genesis – David W. Baker

Preface

Today there is renewed interest in the history and traditions of the patriarchal period. Recent publications have sought, among other things, to show that the biblical patriarchs were a literary, even fictional, creation of the first millennium BC, produced to provide the nation of Israel, which came into prominence only then, with ‘founding fathers’. Much of this new writing is helpful in distinguishing what are traditional or speculative interpretations from the basic text of Genesis. Sometimes archaeological evidence has been adduced in support of the historicity of the patriarchs and their cultural background in the second millennium BC which can no longer be sustained. Sometimes, however, the value of such evidence is ignored or belittled.

In the light of the importance of this subject for the proper understanding of the historical reliability and the theological teaching of the Bible (which cannot be separated), the Council of Tyndale House set up an Old Testament project group to look afresh at aspects of the problems raised. These essays are the first fruits of its work. We are grateful to all who have supported the research and to those scholars who have given time to it.

Since such studies depend largely on the validity of the methods of study, this matter has initial place. Attention is given also to matters of tradition-history and structural analysis of the text. The essays review past work and attempt, in their various ways, to break new ground and stimulate further study. They aim to make a positive contribution, not merely to criticize the works of other writers. Each, necessarily, reflects the views of its own author, rather than of the contributors as a whole.

These essays are offered in the context of a continuing debate, yet with the hope that they will prove of interest and help to many concerned with a subject of absorbing historical and theological importance.

D.J.W.
A.R.M.

© 1980 A.R. Millard & D.J. Wiseman, reproduced by permission. Prepared for the web by Robert I. Bradshaw, January 2004. Please report any typographic errors.

Notes on Some Problems in the Book of Daniel

Notes on Some Problems in the Book of DanielNotes on Some Problems in the Book of Daniel was one of the first collections of articles that I placed on-line. It remains one of my favourites, both for the enduring value of the essays included in it and for Professor Wiseman’s response to my letter requesting his permission to digitise it:

“My own contribution has been wisely followed and I still feel that it answers problems & I would be willing for you to reproduce my chapter with due acknowledgement.”

– D.J. Wiseman, 15th July 2005.

You can download the each article by clicking on the links below.

Some Historical Problems in the Book of Daniel – D.J. Wiseman – pp. 9-18.

The Musical Instruments in Nebuchadnezzar’s Orchestra – T.C. Mitchell and R. Joyce – pp. 19-27.

The Hebrew of Daniel – W.J. Martin – pp. 28-30. 

The Aramaic of Daniel – K.A. Kitchen – 31-79.

Foreword

This monograph brings together, in expanded form, some of the papers first read at the Tyndale Fellowship Old Testament Study Group meeting at Tyndale House, Cambridge, in July, 1964 to consider some of the many problems to be found in the book of Daniel. While the views here expressed are those of the individual authors, it is considered that the data collected, the subjects covered, and the new theories proposed are sufficiently important to warrant their presentation in a more permanent form. They present a challenge to commonly held views and it is hoped that they will contribute to the further understanding of some of the difficulties studied. All the writers would wish it to be remembered that these contributions were primarily intended to be the basis of discussion, the re-examination of theories, and an indication of further lines of research which might lead to an elucidation of a selected problem.