Friday, May 26, 2006

Balla on Nomina Sacra

I'm probably a little slow, since I really should have known about a work produced back in 1997, but I was delighted while in Hungary earlier this week to make the acquaintance of Peter Balla, author of Challenges to New Testament Theology (WUNT 2.95; Mohr Siebeck, 1997). In one of those interesting crossovers between the more theological and historical disciplines, Balla built upon Trobisch to argue that the Nomina Sacra could be related to the question of canon. He did this to justify the existence of a canon and therefore of New Testament Theology not merely as a confessional discipline but also as one that can be justified in a secular setting within a history of religions framework. He was responding to Heikki Räisänen's denial that the NT canon could function as a justifiable boundary for an academic discipline called New Testament Theology.

Balla's work has been reprinted by Hendricksen at a good price, and he has also written a response to the second edition of Räisänen's Beyond New Testament Theology in T.C. Penner and C. Vander Stichele Moving Beyond New Testament Theology? I'll post more about the interaction between textual criticism and New Testament Theology shortly.

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