The Paroikos Bible Blog exists as a resource to those interested in Biblical studies and Koine Greek. It is hoped that this blog will simultaneously provide food-for-thought to the reader while pointing him or her in the direction of valuable resources, both in print and on the internet, that will further help his or her studies in the Word.

Dec 24, 2011

Some foreign language and lesser-known English articles on 1 Peter that are well-worth reading

As I prepare to celebrate this Christmas with my parents for the first time in 7 years, I wanted to get in one quick blog post (it's been quite a while since the last one, due to grading, writing, research, etc.).

 It's easy enough for students to search the more well-known journals such as JETS, Tyndale Bulletin, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, etc., and any serious researcher on 1 Peter should be familiar with articles by major Petrine scholars such as John H. Elliott, and Karen Jobes.  Yet in the interest of being a resource for students and researchers, let me present four lesser-known articles on 1 Peter that should not be overlooked.

Let me begin by pointing out one article in French and one in German. First of all, at the broader level,  Max-Alain Chevallier has written one of the few articles that deals specifically with the structure of 1 Peter. Chevallier, “1 Pierre 1/1 à 2/10: Structure Littéraire et Conséquences Exégétiques,” Revue D'Histoire et de Philosophie Religieuses 51 (1971), focuses specifically on that one section of 1 Peter from 1:1 to 2:10 and has some observations that should be taken into account. Secondly, I need to point out Wolff's interesting discussion entitled “Christ und Welt im 1. Petrusbrief,” Theologische Literaturzeitung 100 (1975). Wolff has much to say on what makes up the concept of "stranger" in the Greco-Roman era. On page 333, for example, he argues that three things could characterize the identity of a stranger: to be born of another tribe, to possess a different language or set of customs, and to worship a different god. While I certainly don't agree with all of what Wolff has to say in his article (and I'm somewhat more sympathetic to Elliott's views on the social context of 1 Peter than Wolff later would be) , this is an important contribution to the discussion of the social and spiritual setting of 1 Peter and should be looked up by the serious researcher.

Now on to two potentially overlooked English articles. Jocelyn A. Williams, “A Case Study in Intertextuality: The Place of Isaiah in the ‘Stone’ Sayings of 1 Peter 2,” RTR 66 (April 2007), has one of the bettter discussions, in my opinion, of Petrine use of the OT. Furthermore, although it's not that relevant to Williams' overall thesis, I appreciate and agree with the author's suggestion (p. 45) that 1 Peter changes the LXX in 1 Peter 2:6 (specifically from the LXX emballo to the word tithhmi), although we differ slightly on the reason Peter did so (I presented on this very topic in a regional ETS a few years ago).

Secondly, although the name Miroslav Volf should be familiar to theology students, his article entitlted “Soft Difference: Theological Reflections on the Relation Between Church and Culture in 1 Peter,” Ex Audito 10 (1994) may sadly be overlooked by Petrine students. Volf has much to say on the interaction of the Petrine Christian community with the world around it, and much of what he says is theologically powerful, in my opinion (warning: this article is deep and consequently somewhat difficult to wade through; multiple readings are advised). I especially appreciate the following  statement on p. 20: "Whatever the reason, the Petrine community was no aggressive sect in the sense of Ernst Troeltsch. It did not wish to impose itself or the kingdom of God on the world, but to live in faithfulness to God and to the values of God’s kingdom, inviting others to do the same. It had no desire to do for others what they did not want done for them. They had not covert totalitarian agenda. Rather, the community was to live an alternative way of life in the present social setting, transforming it, as it could, from within. In any case, the community did not seek to exert social or political pressure, but to give public witness to a new way of life."

With that in mind, may the Lord grant any readers a Merry Christmas and a great 2012!