Jeremy W. Barrier, PhD 2008

NB: This study is now superceded by WUNT II/270.

Jeremy W. Barrier, A Critical Introduction and Commentary on the Acts of Paul and Thecla.  PhD Dissertation, Brite University, 2008 (pdf).

I’ve known Dr. Jeremy Barrier in the Fall of 2005, when we met at the SBL meeting in Philadelphia.  At the time he was preparing a PhD dissertation under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Osiek.  Since then we have become friends based on our mutual interest in the Acts of Paul.  Jeremy defended his PhD thesis at Brite Divivinty School in May 2008.  Last week, on January 9, 2009, Dr. Barrier gave a presentation regading his PhD dissertation at Bex, Swizterland, for a regional meeting of the AELAC.  During the meeting I asked him if he would like to start this blog, and he agreed.  So hopefully this blog will be seeing numerous contributions from him.

The PhD dissertation has much to commend it, while it is still in pretty raw form and needs a bit of work before publication.  Barrier defends the thesis that the Acts of Paul and Thecla are a novel, being written in the hey day of the Greek novel.  After a solid introduction, he offers in the commentary a new text based upon Lipsius and the Heidelberg papyrus, giving pride of place to the later, as it is the oldest form of the text.  He provides retroversions from Coptic into his Greek text–while the manner in which he does this is not always valid, it provides the reader with a fresh Greek text significantly different from Lipsius.  He also provides numerous references to the Greek novels and other ancient literature.  These references are not always explained and we hope that he will flesh them out in the published version of his text and provide more extended argumentation for his view that the Acts of Paul and Thecla is an ancient romance.  Congratulations, Dr. Barrier, in your successful defense of your PhD dissertation!

Dr. Barrier is now Assistant Professor of Biblical Literature and Director of Missions at Heritage Christian University, Florence, Alabama.

4 Responses to Jeremy W. Barrier, PhD 2008

  1. […] III, 5-6 with the Matthean beatitudes has been clearly illustrated in a chart by Jeremy Barrier (in his dissertation, p. 133).  Inspired by Dr. Barrier, I’ve added colour code:  the red text indicate verbal […]

  2. […] sources.  For full bibliographies of the Acts of Paul, see my dissertation and more recently Dr. Jeremy Barrier’s. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The influence of 1 Corinthians on the Acts of […]

  3. Rick says:

    Hello, I am a Hebrew roots believer in God, who is a fierce scholarly bible student and love Yahshua, The Christ and the bible and I earnestly seek to study to show myself approved… And in my search for more Words of God and attempting to live by every word that proceeds out of His mouth, I have found some lost books and forgotten texts that I believe God actually inspired. But packaged within them, on my quest for the love of the truth, I read the Acts of Paul and Thecla and liked it alot and feel that it is edifying and increases my faith and might be inspired. But I am unsure because there is a problem with 2 verses that I need some help on and cannot find out what any of the original languages actually say. It is in chapter 8:5,7 where Queen Tryphena has a dream and talks to her dead daughter, who asks her mother to ask Thecla, to pray for her to be translated to life eternal. Then in verses 7 Thecla prays to Jesus for this.? This makes no sense to me since the girl is already dead and should have life eternal with Jesus up in heaven already.? She should have no need to ask the living to intercede for the dead.? I strive for sound doctrine and know that there is no purgatory to pray for the dead to get grace from God, like the false doctrine of Roman Catholicism teaches. Could the text here have been amended on purpose by Catholics to justify a false doctrine or does this book actually teach this false doctrine and is therefore not inspired? Or is the book legit and maybe I am not rightly understanding what the meaning is here and am missing some other purpose..? Please help me, anyone and let me know what ur studies show and what you hear from God in prayer. Thank you. Get a hold of me at AnswersInGenesis at live dot com. Hope to hear from someone soon. : )

    • Petros says:

      There is no chance that the AP was written by an eyewitness. Rather it probably represents uncontrolled oral tradition written down only a generation after the time period of the events that it retells. Thus, it probably represents things that people at the beginning of the 2nd century believed and taught. There might be a little deviation from the apostolic teaching for that reason.

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