Recent Publications in the Linguistic Biblical Studies Series by Brill

Linguistic Biblical Studies is one of the (if not the) leading monograph series that publishes in biblical linguistics, focusing on linguistically informed study of the Bible in its original languages. A variety of approaches are welcomed for submission and published in the series: “syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and text linguistics, corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, comparative linguistics, and the like, will be encouraged, and any theoretical linguistic approach will be considered, both formal and functional” (from the Brill website). While on the website it states that the series averages one monograph publication per year in the past five years, 2022 has already been a productive year with four published monographs (so far).

The most recent book in the Linguistic Biblical Studies (Brill) is by Alan E. Kurschner, A Linguistic Approach to Revelation 19:11–20:6 and the Millennium Binding of Satan (LBS 23; Leiden: Brill, 2022). The blurb states: “This study argues that the establishment of the millennium binding of Satan and the vindication of the saints in Revelation 20:1–6 are cohesively linked with Jesus’s victorious battle in Revelation 19:11–21. The major implication of this analysis views both these events as consequent effects of Christ’s victory at the eschatological battle. Applying systemic functional linguistics and discourse analysis of cohesion, this study advances critical scholarship on the Book of Revelation by offering the first fully sustained answer to this frequently debated question regarding Satan’s binding from a modern linguistic approach.”

The volume published just prior to Kurschner is by Zachary K. Dawson, The Message of the Jerusalem Council in the Acts of the Apostles (LBS 22; Leiden: Brill, 2022). The blurb on the website states: “By applying a stylistic analysis within a systemic-functional linguistic framework, this study argues that Luke’s construal of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 and its co-thematic passages attempt to persuade Jewish believers of Luke’s audience not to separate from multi-ethnic churches, a goal that is accomplished through subverting the value orientations of a prominent Noahic tradition within Second Temple Jewish literature that promotes strict Jewish isolation from Gentiles. As a result, this study breaks fresh methodological ground in the linguistic study on the New Testament and also advances critical scholarship on the book of Acts.”

Volume 21 is by Chiaen Liu, Register Variation in the New Testament Petrine Texts (LBS 21; Leiden: Brill, 2022). The blurb states: “This book examines the nature of the early church from a Petrine perspective, employing an analysis of register to implement a more synthetic study of relevant texts in the New Testament. Liu utilises a type of discourse analysis that provides a framework for classifying grammatical and lexical information so that the reader can better understand the social function of not only Peter’s speeches in Acts, but also the two epistles attributed to him. Liu’s original and detailed study looks at the content and structure of the texts to enhance our understanding of the early church, with particular attention paid to the dichotomy between Petrine and Pauline Christianity and their competing pictures of Christian origins. This book will interest all scholars and students who wish to extend their understanding of both the historical and literary Peter.”

The final mention for LBS books in 2022 is by Oscar Jiménez, Metaphors in the Narrative of Ephesians 2:11-22 (LBS 20; Leiden: Brill, 2022). The blurb states: “Oscar E. Jiménez opens up the multi-dimensional implications of Ephesians 2:11-22 for narrative and theological analysis, demonstrating that each metaphor in the text blends and creates a single, complex narrative. Concentric spatial places construct the text’s landscape on which the Gentiles move, each place representing increasing intimacy and familiarity through national, familial, architectural, and cultic images. Christ is the vehicle of that motion, and also the agent, breaking down walls and abolishing enmity, and ultimately building the structure as both builder and cornerstone. This will be an important book for New Testament scholars and scholars interested in the use of linguistics in Biblical studies, in particular literary and narrative analysis to the New Testament epistles.”

As is clear from the summaries provided here, even these four books published in LBS have a diversity of linguistically related topics—metaphor, register, stylistic analysis, and cohesion—but all share the same rigorous application of linguistic theory to the biblical text. I have heard (and read) laments, however, that Brill books are simply inaccessible to the average student, layperson, or professor. But there seems to be a program where those who have access to a library (which one can obtain even if not a student) can access Brill books for a reasonable cost. I have not used it myself yet, but it seems like a promising option.

Stay tuned, as there may be some more LBS books published before the year is over. LBS looks like it is coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic with a productive vengeance!

— David I. Yoon


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