What Glasses Are You Wearing? Reading Hebrew Narratives Through Second Temple Lenses -- By: Peter H. Davids

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 55:4 (Dec 2012)
Article: What Glasses Are You Wearing? Reading Hebrew Narratives Through Second Temple Lenses
Author: Peter H. Davids


What Glasses Are You Wearing? Reading Hebrew Narratives Through Second Temple Lenses

Peter H. Davids

Peter Davids is visiting professor in Christianity at Houston Baptist University, 7502 Fondren Road, Houston, TX 77074.

The Catholic Epistles are variegated works of rhetorical and theological art that call upon various types of Vorlage.1 James, for example, has been repeatedly shown to be very dependent upon the Jesus tradition, particularly the Matthean form of the “Q” tradition, which he cites using the rhetorical technique of aemulatio.2 This means that the author of James expects that his ideal reader will recognize the source and view the restructuring of the source as an honoring of the source and at the same time a skilled use of the source. First Peter has also been linked to this same tradition, although his dependence is less extensive that that of James.3 Furthermore, it is clear that James and 1 Peter also cite a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures;4 both of them, for example, cite Prov 3:34. James makes reference to the Decalogue in James 2, and 1 Peter, who is quite explicit about his Christological hermeneutic (i.e. 1 Pet 1:11), makes use of a collection of texts from the prophets and the Torah in 1 Pet 2:4-10; most significantly, he applies Exod 19:5-6 to his largely Gentile readers. All of this intertextuality5 is quite interesting and raises issues about the respective author’s hermeneutic (especially 1 Peter’s hermeneutic), his use of intermediary sources (such as collections of testimonia rather than the LXX itself), and his rhetorical strategy. However, so far we have mentioned intertextuality only with materials that would become part of the Christian canon, that is, the LXX and the Gospel tradition.6 The same would be true if we

discussed possible intertextuality between Jas 2:14-21 and Pauline texts.7 What we have not mentioned is the intertextuality between Second Temple Jewish literature and the Catholic Epistles, and it is this relationship to which the r...

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