2010 NT & Second Temple Judaism

Session 1

Daniel Johansson

Does God alone forgive sin according to Second Temple Judaism?

Whether anyone other than God could forgive sin in Second Temple Judaism has long been a debated issue. Towards the end of the 19th century J. Weiss claimed that the Messiah was expected to forgive sin, but this view was soon repudiated by P. Billerbeck and G.F. Moore who both argued that forgiveness of sin was held to be a divine prerogative. Their conclusion has not gone unchallenged however. Scholars have pointed to, for example, priestly pronouncement of forgiveness, the Prayer of Nabonidus (4Q242), and the Targum to Isaiah 53 as evidence for that other figures forgave or was expected to forgive sins. More recently, it has been suggested that Josephus indicates that prophets could function in this role (with reference to Samuel in Ant. VI.91-93). This paper examines the main proposals and concludes that no unambiguous evidence has been put forward to challenge the view of Billerbeck and Moore.

Session 2

Yongbom Lee

The Son of Man as the Last Adam: the Early Church Tradition as a Source of Paul’s Adam Christology

Despite no explicit reference to 'the last Adam' in the Synoptic Gospels, the Evangelists implicitly compare and contrast Jesus and Adam (e.g. Mark 2:10, 27-28; 14:62; Luke 3:38-4:1). Did Paul invent the so-called 'Adam Christology' and influence the Evangelists? Or, did a primitive form of Adam Christology already exist in the Early Church? The thesis of my study is 'Paul uses the Early Church tradition as a source of his Adam Christology, particularly, its implicit primitive Adam Christology and Son of Man saying traditions, reflected in the Synoptic Gospels.' To support my thesis, I have investigated Paul’s creative use of various authoritative traditions – such as the Old Testament, contemporary Jewish exegetical traditions and the Jesus tradition – for his rhetorical purposes. Identifying Paul’s typical ways of handling authoritative traditions for his rhetorical purposes gives us a set of expectations as to how he may be using authoritative traditions elsewhere for his rhetorical purposes. I argue that Paul creatively uses the Early Church Adam Christology (reflected in Phil 2:6-11; Luke 3:38-4:1; Heb 2:5-11; Mark 14:62) for his rhetorical purposes in Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15. I also argue that Paul incorporates two Son of Man saying traditions – i.e. Mark 10:45 and Matt 19:28; Luke 22:30 – into his Adam Christology for his rhetorical purposes in Rom 5 and 1 Cor 15.

Session 3

Georg Walser

Psalm 40:7–9 in Hebrews 10:5–7; The History of the Text and Its Reception

The use of Scripture is a key element of better understanding Second Temple Judaism. An important document reflecting that use is the letter to the Hebrews. As most quotations in Hebrews the quotation from Psalm 40:7–9 in Hebrews 10:5–7 seems to be taken from the Septuagint, which here mostly appears to follow the standard Hebrew text. However, what is especially interesting with this quotation are the details where the version in Hebrews differs from the version found in the Septuagint. Several suggestions have been made about the origin of these differences: either the text found in Hebrews represents a different rendering of the Hebrew text, or the text of the Septuagint has been corrupted before it was used by the author of Hebrews, or the author of Hebrews is responsible for the change of the text, which was made to fit his argument in Hebrews. Although definite certainty about the origin of the text in Hebrews can hardly be achieved, a closer look at the use of the text of Psalm 40 during the Second Temple period as well as in the early Church will most likely shed some light upon how the author of Hebrews used his text, and hence on the use of Scripture in Second Temple Judaism as well.