Bockmuehl on St. Peter

Bockmuehl’s New Book on Peter

by larryhurtado

As you’ll note from the announcements about the conference on the Apostle Peter to be held here in New College 4-6 July 2013, one of the featured speakers is Professor Markus Bockmuehl (Oxford University). Indicative of his expertise in matters concerning Peter is his latest book: Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory: The New Testament Apostle in the Early Church (Baker Academic Press, 2012). As I wrote after reading the proofs several months ago, this is “a valuable study that combines amazing breadth of coverage of evidence (textual, artistic, and archaeological), sensitive and cogent analysis, and thoughtful concluding reflections for Protestant and Catholic Christians today.”

This is the second of Bockmuehl’s book-length treatments of Peter, his earlier tome: The Remembered Peter in Ancient Reception and Modern Debate (Mohr Siebeck, 2010). That more technical work, directed more specifically toward fellow scholars, comprises the basis for the 2012 volume, which is aimed to be more widely accessible.

But, as Bockmuehl shows in this book, “accessible” doesn’t have to mean a work less solidly supported by references to primary data and engagement with relevant scholarship. Instead, he combines clear exposition of the issues and his views with helpful notices and engagement with the views of other scholars, which will enable students and other serious readers to conduct their own research further into matters.

Bockmuehl isn’t afraid to stake out his own position on controverted matters either. As an example, note his handling of the question of the authorship of 1 Peter (Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory, 126-31). Essentially, Bockmuehl proposes that the text was likely composed by colleagues (perhaps Silvanus), but that the historical Peter authorized the text and that his person and views are incorporated in it.

So, one of the numerous reasons to consider registering for the conference on Peter next July is the opportunity to hear more from Bockmuehl!

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