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Journal of Biblical Literature

own treatment of the Johannine letters, not with some other treatment of the subject matter, that one becomes aware that the discussions of the other texts do not have that extra edge of excellence that characterizes this section. To illustrate Strecker's approach to the subject matter, the following selection of issues from the main section on Paul can serve as an example. After methodological remarks, a discussion of sources, and of the further developments in the Pauline school (Pastorals, Colossians, Ephesians, Acts), which of course subsequently receive individ- ual attention in their own right, Strecker divides his material into five sections. In section I, "The Religious-historical Presuppositions-Pre-Pauline Concepts in the The- ology of Paul," he discusses the following subtopics: "Judaism," "Gentile-Hellenistic Influences," and "Pre-Pauline Christian Traditions" (Rom 1:3b4a; Phil 2:6-11; and 1 Cor 15:3b-5a). In section 11, "The Person of Christ," he discusses "The Titles of Christ," each of which he typically traces back to the earliest pre-Pauline origins; "Jesus and Paul," including a history of research of the issue; "The Crucifixion and Resurrec- tion of Christ"; and the relationship between "God and Christ." Strecker points out that William Wrede identified two conceptual streams in Paul, the doctrines of salvation and of justification. He himself argues that salvation could be taken as an overarching category, but then chooses liberation "from the powers of the flesh. of sin and of death" as a category that can cover the entirety of Paul's theology (p. 125). Liberation as an overarching category is reflected in the use of the term in the titles of the last three sections. Section 111, "The Liberation through Christ," is a discus- sion of "Liberation from the Power of the Flesh, of Sin and of Death," "Justification," "Transmission of the Freedom" (through the proclamation, baptism, and the eucharist), and "Faith." Section IV, "The Community of the Liberated - the Church," has the fol- lowing three subsections: "The Church as Community," "The Church and the World," and "Israel and the Church." The final section V, "The Future of the Free," is a discus- sion of Pauline eschatology. It has no subsections. Strecker's work provides the reader with the relevant information to deal with the issues critically, independent ofjudgments the author makes along the way. This is not a powerful, single-minded interpretation, like Bultmann's, which tries to penetrate to the heart of the matter. Strecker's "Theology" does not abstract a single theology from the NT writings, but provides insight into the diversity of what he refers to as the theologies of the NT. In a course or seminar on NT theology, this book-along with, for example, especially Bultmann's--could be a powerful instructional tool, providing students with a basis on which to engage with the NT writings themselves, more than with the views of the author. A translation is urgently needed.

Hendrikus Boers Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322

The Earliest Christian Mission to "All Nations" in the Light of Matthew's Gospel, by

James LaGrand. International Studies in Formative Christianity and Judaism 1.Atlanta:

Scholars Press, 1996. Pp. xii + 290. N.P.

The stated purpose of this book is "to clarify the identity and vocation of the Mes- sianic mission to the nations in the light of Matthew's Gospel, with particular attention

Book Reviews

to the earliest stage, the three decades immediately followingJesus' death and resurrec-

mission to the

nations is constitutive of the Christian Gospel, which was understood by the earliest Christian community as expressing God's will for the world through his Son" (p. 250). In coming to this verdict LaGrand urges that Jesus himself spoke plainly about the univer- sal mission, so that its origin lies at the very beginning of the church. His labyrinthine argument covers a host of topics, including linguistic theory, the meaning of "Israel" and "the nations" in biblical and extra-biblical literature, Jesus' use of Scripture, Jewish mes- sianism, the prohibition in Matt 10:5-6, Jewish proselytizing, the Synoptic problem, and cognitive dissonance and the resurrection of Jesus. There is also a section-by-section review of universalism and particularism in Matthew. The earliest Gentile mission and the impulses behind it are certainly important topics, and how the historical Jesus fits into the picture remains an intriguing issue. LaGrand, moreover, makes some interesting suggestions. His claim that each "of the four evangelists has constructed his Gospel in terms of the Messianic mission to all nations" (p. 107) is worth further exploration. And his observation that the seal on Jesus' tomb marks "Jesus' resurrection itself as an act of civil disobedience" (p. 230) is well put. But, sadly, the book remains enigmatic on several accounts. First, the author's use of secondary materials is strangely dated. Most of the book could have been written during the 70s or even 60s. The two most cited commentaries are those of David Hill and Eduard Schweizer. The more recent contributions of Donald Hagner, Daniel Harrington, Ulrich Luz, Daniel Patte, Alexander Sand, and Rudolf Schnackenburg, among others, fail to put in an appearance. (There is, however, one reference to Gnilka's commentary.) The discussion of Jewish proselytism overlooks the 1991 book of Scot McKnight. The review of Matt 20:16-20 does not even mention the important article by Harrington and Douglas R. A. Hare on whether or not "all the nations" includes Israel. The most recent work cited on the possible Samaritan links to Stephen's speech in Acts 7 comes from 1973. The Son of man problem is addressed without mention of the relevant works of Maurice Casey and Barnabas Lindars. And these examples, so far from being exceptional, are typical: the citations of secondary lit- erature are consistently out of date. Second, LaGrand too often makes his case, not by examining the texts, but by referring to what others have said. For instance, in proposing a pre-70 date for Matthew he refers to the relevant studies of K. H. Rengstorf, C. H. Dodd, Bo Reicke, and John A. T. Robinson. But he does not review their arguments; he simply offers us their con- clusions-and then gratuitously dismisses Graham Stanton's remarks on Rengstorf with the assertion that "epistemological convictions which are stronger and deeper than exegetical arguments inform the judgment of critical orthodoxy" on Matt 22:7 (p. 162). There are also times when LaGrand simply notes various exegetical possibilities and moves on without judging between them (see, e.g., p. 169, on the meaning of Matt 1:l). Third, the book is characterized by a host of peculiar and controversial historical judgments. We are told that Gregory Dix's use of the terms "Messiah Jesus" and "Syriac Christianity" reduced the impact of his book Jew and Greek on the professional guild (p. 4); that Jesus himself cited "many or all" of the scriptural texts explicitly cited in Matthew "and many more" (p. 115);that Jesus may have "put Samaria and Judea off lim- its for the first mission and included them in subsequent missions" (p. 140);that John

tion" (p. 14). The author's "fundamental conclusion" is that "Israel's

Journal of Biblical Literature

the Baptist, who knew about the mission of the Twelve in Galilee, might have regarded Jesus' instructions to the Twelve as "regressive policy" (p. 144);that Matt 23:15 settles the issue of whether there was "intense [Jewish]proselytizing" in Jesus' day (p. 149); that Jesus may have thought that the Pharisees, through their mission, were wrongly "forcing the End" (p. 155);that Matthew should be dated ca. 60 (p. 160);that "if we are willing to suspend judgments about the star and the divine warnings in dreams" the events in Matthew 2 are "historically plausible" (p. 177);and that "Jesus' promise to the nations was a fundamental element of his words and deeds before his death" (p. 229). LaGrand's conservative orientation appears from his remark, in n. 28 on p. 112, that his belief in the unique resurrection of Jesus "puts all historical methods in suspension." The chief problem with the work, however, is that there is really no coherent the- sis. Perhaps others will find this less of a difficulty than this reviewer. After all, Lacrand says that his main purpose is to "clarify the identity and vocation of the Messianic mis- sion to the nations in the light of Matthew's Gospel." These words specify a subject to be examined, not a thesis to be argued. Nonetheless, the various sections and chapters seem rather loosely connected, and there are no summaries to enable readers to see whither everything is headed. Pp. 48-100. for example. contain an overview of the meaning of "Israel," "nations," and related terms in sources from the Pentateuch to the Talmud; but the reader is never told exactly what all this has to do with the rest of the book. Again, an entire chapter is given over to "language analysis" wherein we are introduced to J. L. Austin, Saussure, and Wittgenstein; but that anything in the remain- der of the book rests upon what is said here is, unfortunately, not manifest. The book seeins to consist of pieces that do not make a whole.

Dale C. Allison, Jr. Friends University, Wichita, KS 67213

Die "anderen" Winzer:Eine exegetische Studie sur Vollmacht]esu Christi nach Markus

11,27-12,34, by Ulrich Mell. WUNT 77. Tiibingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1994. Pp. xiv + 438. DM 248,OO.

In the last decade or so the Markan controversy stories have been scrutinized in full-length German-language monographs by Jean-Gaspard Mudiso Mb?i Mundla (1984),Wolfgang Weiss (1989), and Klaus Scholtissek (1992).Now Ulrich Mell weighs in with a study of 11:27-12:34. Taking his lead from Scholtissek's analysis of the central- ity of the authority motif in Mark, Me11 divides this section of the Gospel into a direct (11:27-12:12) and an indirect (12:13-34) argument concerning Jesus' authority. After an introduction that describes his method, which is a fairly orthodox application of form and redaction criticism, Me11 considers each of the two subsections in turn, first analyz- ing Mark's redactional contribution. This turns out to be minimal; Me11 shares Rudolf Pesch's view of Mark as a conservative redactor. The real creativity in the elaboration of the Markan tradition, then, occurred at the pre-Markan level, and Mell is confident of his ability to chart it. In his analysis of the Parable of the Vineyard in 12:1-12, for example, he believes that he can distinguish an original parable, two successive stages of pre-Markan redaction, and Mark's own small