Call for Papers: The St Andrews Symposium for Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Atonement: Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity

The St Andrews Symposium for Biblical and Early Christian Studies

Atonement: Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity

4-6 June 2018 St Mary’s College, University of St. Andrews

Plenary Addresses:

  • Christian Eberhart
  • Martha Himmelfarb
  • David Moffitt
  • Carol Newsom
  • Andrei Orlov
  • Deborah Rooke
  • Catrin Williams
  • David Wright
  • N.T. Wright

Short papers are invited that explore the diverse aspects of atonement within the following corpora: Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, Pseudepigrapha, New Testament, Rabbinic Judaism, and early Christianity. Abstracts if 250 words on the following topics will be accepted until 1 February 2018 and should be sent to Justin Duff ([email protected]):

  • Priesthood and temple cult
  • Blood, redemption, and non-cultic reparation
  • Temple and cosmology
  • Angelology, anthropology and sacred space
  • Political Ideologies in the Second Temple period
  • Messianism
  • Impurity and demonology
  • Corporate priesthood and the people of God
  • Early Christian sacrificial imagery
  • Apocalyptic and early mystical traditions
  • Ancient and scriptural exegesis
  • Other related topics

Registration for the symposium opens 1 December and closes 1 May 2018. It will be available here. Early bird registration fee (£50) will be available until 1 March 2018 (£75 thereafter). Short papers will be considered for publication in a conference volume. Submission of short papers must be made by September 2018.

[tweetthis]Call for Papers: Atonement: Sin, Sacrifice, and Salvation in Jewish and Christian Antiquity 4-6 June 2018 University of St. Andrews[/tweetthis]

Where were the nail-prints in Jesus’ hands – in his wrists or his palms?

This question was raised last Saturday during a day conference on biblical archaeology at Tyndale House in Cambridge. Put simply the problem was stated as follows:

Crucifixion normally involved nailing the victim to a horizontal beam through the wrist between the radius and the ulna (the two bones of the forearm). The nail was then firmly trapped by the carpals from ripping out of the hand between the fingers. If the victim were nailed through the palm of the hand the weight of the suspended body would simply cause the nail to pull through the flesh between the metacarpals. That much seems clear. However, in John 20:27 Jesus commands Thomas to:

“…See my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” [Italics mine]

Surely, the argument goes, if the nail marks where in Jesus’ wrists then he would have told Thomas to look there for them and not in his hands?

A Possible Solution to the Location of the Nail Prints

I think the answer to the problem is fairly straightforward, once we look at the Greek text. The Greek word for hand – χειρ – which is used twice in the passage cited above means “A hand or any relevant portion of the hands, including, for example, the fingers.” (Nida & Louw, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, Vol. 1, p. 98.). The question is whether the word “hand” in Greek also included the wrist. The word “wrist” or “wrists” appears only in Acts 12:7 in the NIV New Testament. In the Old Testament it appears twice in the Genesis 38:27 & 30, in Jeremiah 40:4 and Ezekiel 13:18. In Acts 12:7 and in the Septuagint of the OT verses the “wrist” is a translation of χειρ. So, it would seem that “wrist” was included within the semantic range of χειρ and so the problem seems to be solved. John 20:27 could quite accurately be translated: “…See my wrists. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Nida & Louw note that there is a precedent for using a specific body part in place of the general term “hand”. Luke 15:22 reads “…Put a ring on his χειρ…” χειρ here is to be translated finger, not hand.