Open Thread: State of the the question

David Lincicum wrote the following suggestive comment:

Thank you all for such an interesting and informative site. It is quite helpful – especially the uploaded theses and articles. As one who is just completing a doctoral thesis in Paul but interested in expanding my knowledge about the Pauline legacy, I wonder if I could register a personal desideratum that might be useful to others as well: a post or perhaps series of shorter posts with some recommendations for entering the scholarly fray on these Acts. Having read, e.g., Klauck’s intro to the apocryphal Acts, I’m not necessarily asking for a full-blown introduction to the Acts of Paul, but more of an insider’s perspective on things to look at and things to avoid on certain issues – maybe some broad brush state-of-the-question type remarks on things like text, provenance, theological hot-buttons, relationship to canonical traditions, etc. (Perhaps including some positions one might encounter in the older scholarly literature but are now considered passé?) Obviously you have already discussed a lot of these on the blog already, but general orientating remarks would be equally welcome.

No pressure – just a thought

Thanks David for your interest in Acta Pauli. I open this thread to discuss the “state of the question” of the Acts of Paul, and we can add new posts as needed. I am curious about the subject of your PhD thesis (and where you study).

2 Responses to Open Thread: State of the the question

  1. Dave Lincicum says:

    Thanks for such a prompt reply! I’ve been working in Oxford under Markus Bockmuehl – whom I suppose you might know from Cambridge? My thesis has investigated Deuteronomy in Paul’s letters in a broad Second Temple context – trying to ask questions about the nature of the encounter as a whole in comparison to how other Jewish authors encountered the book and made holistic construals of it (and with a bit of Auseinandersetzung with F. Watson’s somewhat different reading of this encounter). After a few difficulties with a work permit are ironed out, I hope to return to Oxford with my wife this autumn to take up a two year post lecturing in NT while John Muddiman takes a sabbatical and serves as a university assessor. But the thesis must be finished first!

    Maybe I could add one more question to the list: the question of sources and what sort of unity the Acts of Paul has. At least in studies on Paul, the fate of Teilungshypothesen has waxed and waned over time, and it would be helpful to hear any thoughts on the issue in the Acts of Paul.

    Thanks again!

    • P. W. Dunn says:

      I know Markus Bockmuehl very well. He was the supervisor of my master’s thesis at Regent College and the one who first recommended Cambridge to me.

      Two studies of Greek in the Acts of Paul (Rostalski and Zachariades-Holmberg) have agreed that there is unity of language in Acts of Paul; and I’ve found in working on a commentary that there is significant thematic and theological unity, at least for the bits of the text that have survived. 3 Cor, however, may have been a source that the author included. Chs. 1 (preface) and 3 (intermediary narrative) are however by the author of the Acts of Paul. One very big reason for thinking this is that 3 Cor 2, and 4-6 are alone preserved in two cases without the intermediary narrative (Laon Latin MS and the Bodmer Papyrus). For source theory, that would be something like an equivalent of having a MS of Q.

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