You are on page 1of 4

!"#$"%&'()*+$+,"-.

/)+012345&'67'87'9,,$1++
!"#$"%"-'%12:345&
;0"'/<+4'1='+0"'/>14+,"4'?@'A7'87'BC22"++
;0"'/<+4'1='+0"'/>14+,"4&'/'D"%';2C*4,C+$1*'%$+0'E*+21-)<+$1*'C*-'A1FF"*+C2@'?@
614">0'/7'G$+HF@"2
I1)2<"&'D1#)F';"4+CF"*+)FJ'K1,7'LMJ'GC4<7'M'3/>27J'MNNN5J'>>7'OPLQOPR
S)?,$40"-'?@&'B!ETT
I+C?,"'U!T&'http://www.jstor.org/stable/1561336
/<<"44"-&'MVWNMWMNNP'OM&NO
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless
you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you
may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.
Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at
http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=bap.
Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed
page of such transmission.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with the
scholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform that
promotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

BRILL is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Novum Testamentum.

http://www.jstor.org

194

BOOK REVIEWS

and justification of this theoretical base, although there are a few practical applications of the methodology to short passages of text. I note, however, that there
is no discussion of the legitimacy of transferringspeech-act theory, which properly belongs to linguistics and the study of language use, into the analysis of narrative structuresand the search for the point of view of the implied author. Within
these chaptersthere is also a considerationof the nature of the relationshipbetween
the implied author, with his post-resurrectionperspective, and the figure of the
beloved disciple perceived both as a character within the story-world and as its
authoritativesource. This precipitates,later in the book, some examination of the
value of the Fourth Gospel as an historical source and some discussion of the
issue of genre.
Chapters 7 and 8 are undoubtedly the most user-friendlysection of the book,
after the introductorychapter, because in them there is a progressive diminution
in the amount of technical vocabulary from the fields of literary theory and linguistics. It is the extensive use of this jargon, together with some tautological sentences, which will make much of this book incomprehensiblefor the vast majority
of students (part of the publisher's intended readership) and for those scholars
whose interests do not lie exclusivelyin the realm of literarytheory. This is hardly
surprising,because, as the author states, the book is a slightly revised version of
his doctoral thesis. The provision of a glossary and/or subject index would benefit
the non-specialistreader but, I would suggest, more revision of the thesis prior to
publication would have been useful.
I reached the final two chapters with a feeling of relief but also with some
hope that new insights might be offered. Unfortunately my expectations were not
fulfilled. The exploration of the pericope of the "cleansing"of the Temple and
the concluding remarkscontained little that has not been said before. The excursions into the topic of ancient literature, of historicity and of the value of the
Gospel as an historical source are disappointing because they contain little evidence that the author is conversant with the extensive current literatureabout the
Jesus of history and every indication that he lacks the expertise in the field of historical criticism which he has in that of literary theory.
Those who are knowledgeableabout literary theory in general and about narrative-criticalstudies of the Gospels in particular may well be fascinated or even
illuminated by the methods of analysis employed in this book. It does not, however, seem likely to me that it will provide "... a framework against which further research may be set..." (p. 9), nor that it will be of assistance to those
engaged in the work of exegesis of the text, except perhaps with respect to the
author's own future work.
BBA RA E. SPENSLEY

C.K. BARRETr,
TheActsof theApostles,2 vols. (Edinburgh:T & T Clark, 1994
and 1998), Vol. 1: PreliminayIntroduction
and Commentary
onActsI-XIV, pp. xxv
+ pp. 1-693. ISBN 056709653X. ?39.95; Vol. 2: Introduction
and Commentary
on Acts XV-XXVIII,pp. cxx + pp. 695-1272. ISBN 05670785422. ?39.95
CriticalCommentary)
(= International
A. FrrZMYER,
TheActs of theApostles:
A New Translation
with Introduction
JOSEPH
and Commentary
(New York: Doubleday, 1998), pp. xxxiv + 830. ISBN
0385490208. $45 (= TheAnchorBible Commentaries)
Serious students of Acts now have two recent commentarieson which to draw.
Both are by experienced masters of New Testament study, who are already well
? KoninklijkeBrill NV, Leiden, 2000

Novum TestamentumXLII, 2

BOOK REVIEWS

195

recognised as authors of major commentaries.Fitzmyeris the author of the Anchor


Commentary on Luke. Both have obviously been conditioned by the conventions
and expectations of the respective series for which their commentarieswere commissioned. Thus Barrett'sICC volumes contain a vast amount of detail, especially
textual and grammatical, absent from Fitzmyer's Anchor volume. Both provide
translations:in Fitzmyer's case his translation (taken from UBS4 except at 11:20
where he translates "Greeks",and at 16:12 where he eschews the conjecture in
that edition), signalled as "new" in the subtitle, not only stands at the head of
each section of commentary with a subjoined paragraph on the variants in the
"Western"text, but is also reproducedin its entirety at the beginning of the book
(pp. 3-43).
We have good and up to date bibliographies throughout both commentaries.
Fitzmyer has some thirty eight pages of General Bibliographyas well as full bibliographical sections not only within his introductorymatter (e.g. seven pages on
the text) but throughout the commentary. Barrett equally has very full bibliographical details. In the ICC it is in proportion-in Fitzmyer's Anchor volume
such detail seems almost excessive.
Fitzmyer's Introduction, set out in one hundred and eighty seven numbered
paragraphs, deals with the title, author, date, text, sources, the use of the Old
Testament in Acts (a particularstrength of this commentary-and a special interest of Fitzmyer's), its composition, language and style (another interest of the
author), structure, and historicity, and it ends with a long section on the Lucan
story of Paul.
Barrett reserves his full introduction until his second half. The brief introductory matters in vol. 1 concern the manuscriptscontaining Acts and patristic and
other early references to Acts. (Uncials 056 0142 0294 and 0304 are excluded,
probably because Barrett based his apparatus only on the MSS. used in NA26.)
The full Introductionin vol. 2 is over one hundred pages long, with chapters on
the text, sources, historicity,the use made of Acts in scholarship,and an important
section of thirtypages on the theology of Acts (not discussedas such in the Anchor
volume in its introductory matter, although obviously analyzed in the exegetical
part). Barrett'schapter on theology has subsectionswhich deal with the holy spirit,
Friihkatholizismus,Jews, gentiles, Christology etc.
Readers of Acts are more aware of the text-criticalproblems in this book than
in any other NT book. Fitzmyer (and especially Barrett)give very full attention
to the "two texts" of Acts. Readers are also alerted to questions of the historical
value of Acts. Fitzmyer adopts the designation "Hellenistichistorical monograph"
to describe Acts but writes (p. 127): "That designation does not guarantee, of
course, the historicity of every Lucan statement or episode, but it reveals that
what is recounted in Acts is substantiallymore trustworthyfrom an historicalpoint
of view than not. To admit that, however, does not absolve one of the obligation
of checking the historical value of every episode." This checking permeates his
commentary. Barrett'sapproach is not dissimilar:e.g. (p. cxiv) "Where he [Luke]
agrees with other historicalsources, his evidence is confirmed:where he disagrees,
or where other evidence is lacking, he must at least be taken seriously. These
matters are incidental to his purpose, for he was not writing political, social, economic, military, or institutionalhistory, but Christian history, and it is in this field
that he must be judged."
No commentary serves every purpose. It all depends what one needs. Both
these commentaries are excellent in their different ways. Barrett's represents the
distillation of decades of reading and thinking and the writing of numerous articles on aspects of Acts that arose during the preliminarystages of preparing this
commentary; his is a very detailed analysis of the Greek text and the variants,
and of the style and deals with the minutiae of exegesis.As such, it is a commentary

196

BOOK REVIEWS

to be consulted if one is wrestling with a particularverse or pericope in Acts. It


is not a commentary for beginners. I do not see an ICC volume as one to read
through like a monograph despite Barrett's statement (in the Preface to vol. 1)
that the absence of footnoting in the exegetical parts of the work allows the commentary to be so read. A commentary in the Anchor series (althougheach is individually adapted-and this Acts volume does not conform in all respects to others
in the series) is always less detailed than an ICC volume. Fitzmyer'scommentary
proper (apart from the introductory and editorial matter) runs to six hundred
pages, compared to over double that number of pages in Barrett. Fitzmyer separates a "Comment"on each section from the detailed "Notes" and bibliography.
Barrett's commentary uses Greek. Inevitably Fitzmyer is also obliged to refer to
many Greek words, and so it is particularlyirritating to have them transliterated.
Barrett'scommentaryis easier to consult in that chapter and verse numbers stand
at the head of each right hand page of exegesis. In Fitzmyer's commentary one
has to use the contents page to be able readily to locate or identify the chapter
and verse being commented on. Both commentarieshave indexes of proper names.
Fitzmyer's also has a useful Index of Subjects.
We congratulatethe publishersof both commentariesfor maintainingthe standards of their series-and even for enhancing their standingby including the mature
and magisterial writing by these veteran scholars.
J.K. ELLOTrr
1-5 (Dallas:Word Books, 1997), pp. ccxi + 1-374.
DAVIDE. AUNE,Revelation
ISBN 0849902517; Revelation6-16 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), pp.
17-22 (Nashville:Thomas Nelson,
xlv + 375-904. ISBN 0849907861; Revelation
1998), pp. xlvi + 905-1354. ISBN 0849915457. $32.99 each. (= WordBiblical
Commentary
52a, 52b, 52c)
David Aune worked on this commentary for 12 years. This is a surprisingly
short period when one surveys the vast amount of reading, the amassing of statistics and linguistic details, the assembling of very full bibliographies,both general and specific, the writing of an erudite introduction (211 pages) and thoughtful
commentary, and the preparation of impressivelycopious and exhaustive indexes
(over 100 pages). Aune is to be congratulated on his industry and on the successful publication (under two publishing houses) of a commentary that in many
ways sets a new high standard of work on this difficult book.
Scholarly commentaries on Biblical books seem to be published nowadays in
ever larger scale. The huge compass of this present commentary is fully justified.
In the Introduction alone we have a fine reference tool containing much original
research, not easily found elsewhere. Thus under the usual introductory sections
on authorship, date, sources, text etc., are to be found helpful lists of hapax legomena, including hapaxes that occur only in variant readings (scil. not in the NA27
text that is used as the base text for the commentary). Under 'Syntax' is to be
found a substantialand valuable survey of grammar and style. Aune's section on
the manuscriptscontaining Revelation has been well researched and carefullyexecuted: textual witnesses are listed in great detail.
Extended essays are presented appropriatelyas excursus
throughoutthe Commentary. There are 31 of them covering topics as diverse as hymns in Revelation,
the Roman Imperial cult in Asia, gematria, and alternativeways of counting the
Roman Emperors.
The Book of Revelation is divided up into sections. To take Section II B 3 as
an example, this covers 2:12-17 under the subheading "The Proclamation to
? KoninklijkeBrill NV, Leiden, 2000

Novum TestamentumXLII, 2