Bockmuehl, Markus N. A.
BOCKMUEHL, Markus N. A.
CAREER: Biblical scholar. Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, research assistant, 1987-88; Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, assistant professor of biblical studies, 1988-89; University of Cambridge, Faculty of Divinity, assistant lecturer, 1989-94, lecturer, 1994-99, Fitzwilliam College reader, New Testament studies, 1999—. Member of Research Council, Centre for Cultural Renewal in Public Policy, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
MEMBER: Catholic Biblical Society, European Association for Jewish Studies, Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.
Gott lieben und seine Gebote halten: Loving God andKeeping His Commandments: In Memoriam, Klaus Bockmühl (English and German), Brunnen (Giessen, Germany), 1991.
(Translator) H. L. Strack and G. Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, T. & T. Clark (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1991.
This Jesus: Martyr, Lord, Messiah, T. & T. Clark (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1994, InterVarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 1996.
Revelation and Mystery in Ancient Judaism andPauline Christianity, J. C. B. Mohr (Tübingen, Germany), 1990, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1997.
(Editor, with Michael B. Thompson) A Vision for theChurch: Studies in Early Christian Ecclesiology in Honour of J. P. M. Sweet, T. & T. Clark (Herndon, VA), 1997.
The Epistle to the Philippians ("Black's New Testament Commentary" series), A. & C. Black, 1997, Hendrickson Publishers (Peabody, MA), 1998.
Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakhah and theBeginning of Christian Public Ethics, T. & T. Clark (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2000.
(Editor) The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Contributor to Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions: Corpus and Concordance, by G. I. Davies, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1991, and to periodicals, including the Scottish Journal of Theology.
SIDELIGHTS: Markus Bockmuehl is a biblical scholar and the author or editor of a number of volumes, including Revelation and Mystery in Ancient Judaism and Pauline Christianity, which is based on his doctoral dissertation. Alan F. Segal noted in the Journal of Biblical Literature that Bockmuehl shows how the theme of revealed heavenly mysteries developed "by showing where ideas of revelation and mystery coalesce. His primary interest is in the revelation of secrets, the disclosure of divine secrets to humanity."
Journal of Theological Studies contributor A. J. M. Wedderburn noted that the first half of the study is a "survey of 'ancient Judaism' as represented by apocalyptic writings, Qumran, Philo, Josephus, the ancient versions of the Old Testament, and early rabbinic literature." Wedderburn commented that when Bockmuehl turns to Paul, "then we find past, present, and future dimensions to revelation." Wedderburn further noted that the study "reads well, spiced by the author's penchant for Latin tags and other memorable phrases, and has brought together material from an enormously wide range of primary and secondary literature."
In This Jesus: Martyr, Lord, Messiah, Bockmuehl studied the link between the historical Jesus and the "Christ of Faith." The Epistle to the Philippians is a commentary based on the most recent scholarship and studies that focus on the religious and social context of first-century Philippi.
Bruce Chilton reviewed Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakhah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics in Shofar. Chilton wrote, "Studies such as Bockmuehl's mark the sea change in the study of the New Testament that has taken place since the publication of Ben F. Meyer's The Aims of Jesus in 1979. After better than two hundred years worth of characterizations of 'the Jewish background' of earliest Christianity, Meyer and his followers have made it clear that Judaism was also Jesus' foreground: the locus of cultural commitment, personal practice, and eschatological expectation. Markus Bockmuehl here pursues a consequent phase of that shift, into the initial evolution of Christianity, by means of this collection of erudite but crisply written essays."
Bockmuehl is also editor of The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, a collection of essays by seventeen contributors. R. D. Kernohan wrote in Contemporary Review that Bockmuehl "has managed to organize some of their strengths—diversity of background and range of expertise—and minimize the difficulties and limitations imposed by such a format. It is roughly divided into a group of essays on the 'Jesus of history' and a slightly longer, second, part on the history of Jesus as the Church's one foundation and at the center of Christian theology and culture. As Dr. Bockmuehl chooses to put it, 'Jesus is a household name whose brand recognition still far outstrips that of McDonald's, Microsoft, or MTV.'"
Morna D. Hooker commented in the Times Literary Supplement that "over half the book is given up to an exploration of the impact of Jesus on others. It is, indeed, the underlying rationale of the book that Jesus cannot be understood apart from that impact." Graeme Rutherford, who reviewed the volume for Culture Vulture, the Web site of the Anglican media, explained that this book challenges religious fundamentalism and added that Bockmuehl "lays bare the presupposition behind most of the contributions." Bockmuehl wrote that "for all that we have learned from three centuries of so-called 'critical' (but almost exclusively western) scholarship, the simultaneous late modern globalization and retribalization of human culture has at last thrown us back on one basic insight: knowledge is always relative to the knower, not just the object known."
Rutherford, who is the assistant bishop of Newcastle, asserted that "most fundamentalists think they have the objective truth. The long history of Jesus studies makes it clear that such objectivity is harder to obtain than they suppose." He concluded that this volume should be studied, "especially by those who have the responsibility of teaching the truth and rebuking the error of fundamentalist teaching on the one hand and the Jesus-Seminar on the other."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Review, June, 2002, R. D. Kernohan, review of The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, p. 374.
Journal of Biblical Literature, winter, 1992, Alan F. Segal, review of Revelation and Mystery in Ancient Judaism and Pauline Christianity, pp. 730-731.
Journal of the American Oriental Society, July-September, 1993, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, review of Revelation and Mystery in Ancient Judaism and Pauline Christianity, p. 506.
Journal of Theological Studies, April, 1991, A. J. M. Wedderburn, review of Revelation and Mystery in Ancient Judaism and Pauline Christianity, pp. 240-242; April, 1993, Alan Millard, review of Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions: Corpus and Concordance, p. 216.
Religious Studies Review, April, 1997, Tina Shepardson, review of This Jesus: Martyr, Lord, Messiah, p. 178; October, 1999, Ken L. Berry, review of The Epistle to the Philippians, p. 426.
Shofar, summer, 2002, Bruce Chilton, review of Jewish Law in Gentile Churches: Halakhah and the Beginning of Christian Public Ethics, p. 157.
Theology, July, 2001, David G. Horrell, review of Jewish Law in Gentile Churches, p. 282; May, 2002, Leslie Houlden, review of The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, p. 217.
Times Literary Supplement, May 24, 2002, Morna D. Hooker, review of The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, p. 32.
Culture Vulture,http://www.media.anglican.com/ (December 3, 2002), Graeme Rutherford, review of The Cambridge Companion to Jesus.
Markus Bockmuehl Home Page,http://www.bockmuehl.net (March 16, 2003).*