Markus Vinzent's Blog

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Matthew Twigg: Review of 'Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity'

Matthew Twigg in his review calls the book an 'exciting and controversial study' and shows that 'the widespread absence of references to, and speculations upon, Christ's Resurrection in Christanity before Marcion, and even up to the close of the third century' does not need to face 'the accusation of interpreting absence of evidence as evidence of absence', as I can also show 'by examining texts like Tertullian's De Resurrectione Carnis and Athenagoras' On the Resurrection ... that even in texts defending a general resurrection of the dead, Christ's Resurrection was neither appealed to as a proof, nor mentioned at all.'
When Twigg mentions (and thinks I had downplayed) evidence like Barn 15:8 or 1Clement - then, let me state again, that the latter not only clearly knows of Paul, as he mentions him twice, so was acquainted with at least 1Corinthians, and still does not deploy its rich Resurrection topology, but instead refers to all sorts of natural explanations for the general resurrection of the dead and only hints at Christ's resurrection, and similarly, the long epistle of Barn focusses so much on the Lord's suffering and only once, in Barn 15:8 in a liturgical half-verse introduces it - but theologically it does not play a role in either of these two texts. So my intention was not to downplay something which is prominently there, but the pointing out that it has a minor role in these texts, especially if we compare them with Paul.
Despite his criticisim, Twigg writes towards the end: 'Overall, Vinzent provides an admirable and wide-ranging defence of a controversial thesis. I would certainly recommend his book to experts, for whom it will surely become a classic in its field.'

Monday, 28 January 2013

William Arnal, Review of my Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity

Sorry for being a few weeks absent from my blog - but I had been asked, among other things, to contribute a longer article for the first issue of a new journal, Judaisme ancien, and it was supposed to be on Marcion and the Gospels. Instead, I have chosen a related topic, as I thought, I'd like to work out the relation the Marcion and Judaism had, as I felt uncomfortable with the older solutions, and found Sebastian Moll's note convincing that Marcion rather excused Jews instead of being himself anti-Jewish. So, the article which will be submitted to the new journal is entitled: 'Marcion the Jew'. More about this soon.

Today, however, let me point you to a new review of my previous book, Christ's Resurrection in Early Christianity, written by William Arnal, Associate Professor and Department Head at the University of Regina in the Journal of Religion in Europe 5 (2012): 415-424, from which I learned a lot. Especially the reference to Mark and the fact that I could have made more of looking into the reluctancy with which Mark approached Christ's Resurrection. Indeed, I agree, the Marcion/anti-Marcion reception overwhelmed me a bit, not in overstressing the texts that I read, but I should have also demonstrated more widely those texts which are unrelated to Marcion. I can only recommend this review, as it is both critical and also very encouraging and, as he says at the end, 'a must-read, as rewarding for those who will disagree with its conclusions as for those who will assent to them' - thanks Willam!