May 16, 2016

Obstacles to Studying the "New Exodus" Theme

Daniel Smith has nice article in the most recent issue of Currents in Biblical Research where he takes a careful look at the use of “new exodus” in New Testament studies. The “new exodus” idea is not “new” but its use always seemed to me a bit faddish. In any case, Smith has a great paragraph that I have reproduced below. I especially love the last sentence.
Several obstacles prevent a tidy presentation of the history of scholarship in this time period. Foremost among them is the commonplace nature of the term ‘new exodus.’ Little creativity is required to conjure up this phrase-especially for scholars familiar with the ‘new creation’ in Paul’s letters (2 Cor. 5.17; Gal.6.15), the ‘new Jerusalem’ in Revelation (3.12; 21.2)’ or the ‘new covenant’ that appears throughout the New Testament writings (Lk. 22.20; 1 Cor. 11.25; 2 Cor. 3.6; Heb. 8.8, 13; 9.15; 12.24). Although some scholars rely on and cite the work of earlier scholars who use the phrase, ‘new exodus’ frequently appears on the scene like a terminological Melchizedek, without father, mother, or footnote.
Daniel Lynwood Smith, “The Uses of ‘New Exodus’ in New Testament Scholarship: Preparing a Way through the Wilderness,” Currents in Biblical Research 14 (2016): 208.

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