Archives of Reception of the Bible

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New Testament: Use and Influence seminar papers

New Testament: Use and Influence seminar, British New Testament Conference, University of Sheffield, 30th August-2nd September, 2006.

Chair: Prof. Christopher Rowland and Dr Christine Joynes

Session 1:

Dr Ela Nutu (University of Sheffield) 'Salomé in Text and Performance: The Bible, Wilde and Strauss'

Session 2: Reception history of Pauline letters ~ (joint session with Paul seminar)

Emeritus Professor John Riches (Glasgow University)'The Reception History of Gal. 6:15'

Dr. Mark Elliott (St. Andrews University)'Behind and beyond Parker: the key moments and voices in Reformation Romans commentating''

We are indebted to T.H.L. Parker's Commentaries on Romans 1532-1542 (T&T Clark, 1986) in which he deals painstakingly with 11 commentaries proper written between 1532 and 1542. Parker was prepared to state his opinions: Melanchthon was a giant, Calvin is to be praised for his single-minded objectivity(x). There is admiration for Bucer even though he is unreadable. Bullinger is great on theory, less so in practice. Yet, Sadoleto (pace Roussel) is quite mediocre; indeed, as a group, the Catholics seemed to find Romans hard going. They did not use rhetorical tools to explain texts. Perhaps they were looking over their shoulders; after all, Sorbonne and Catharinus censured Caietan’s attempts for being interested in Erasmus NT and the OT Hebrew.

There are three matters in which there is room for complementing Parker's work. There seems in Parker a tip-toeing around controversial and polemical theology and no real account of the awareness of other opposed views. Second, in giving us what 11 commentators had to say on Rom 1.18-23; 2.13; 3.20-28, he does not centre on the passage which must have given the sharpest differences of opinion: Romans 7:14-8:4. Third, in limiting himself to a decade the story of Romans in the Reformation lacks its beginning as well as its resolution. Parker’s work is invaluable, but is a spur. In this paper, a review of treatments of Rom 7:14-8:4 and their reception will aim to show more clearly what was at issue between the interpreters.

Session 3:

Panel discussion: 'What do we mean by reception history and why do we do it?'

Prof Christopher Rowland, University of Oxford
Revd Dr Rachel Nicholls, University of Cambridge
Prof Kenneth Newport, Liverpool Hope University
Prof John Riches, University of Glasgow


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