The French Catholic priest and biblical scholar Alfred Loisy (1857-1940) was at the heart of the Roman Catholic Modernist crisis in the early part of the twentieth century. He saw much of his work as an attempt to bring John Henry Newman’s notion of development of doctrine into the realm of Catholic biblical studies, and thereby transform Catholic theology. This volume situates Loisy’s better known works on the New Testament and theology in the context of his lesser known work in Assyriology and Old Testament studies. His early training in Assyriology taught Loisy a comparative historical approach to studying ancient texts, in addition to providing him the requisite training in ancient Near Eastern languages and literature. Loisy built upon this Assyriological foundation with his historical critical work in biblical studies, first in the Old Testament. In his biblical scholarship, Loisy combined the then current trends of historical biblical criticism with his more comparative approach. Prior to his excommunication in 1908, Loisy attempted in his more popular writings to defend the inclusion of historical biblical criticism in the repertoire of Catholic biblical interpretation. He saw this as an important step in reforming Catholic theology. The Modernist crisis set the stage for the major debates that would occur in the Catholic theological world for more than a century. The controversy over Modernism became one important conflict that helped pave the way for the Second Vatican Council. The issues raised during Loisy’s time, remain contested today. Examining how Loisy approached biblical studies helps readers better understand his overall work, and the place it played in the pivotal intellectual turmoil of his day.
New English translations based upon the most up-to-date critical editions
This book for the first time collects the various ancient accounts of the martydoms of Peter and Paul, which number more than a dozen, along with more than forty references to the martyrdoms from early Christian literature. At last a more complete picture of the traditions about the deaths of Peter and Paul is able to emerge.
Greek, Latin, and Syriac accounts from antiquity translated into English
Introductions and notes for each text
Original texts are produced on facing pages for specialists
As we all know and as many of our well established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history, Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called “Hitler’s Pope,” the Dark Ages were a stunting of the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment, and the religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong?
In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (HarperSanFrancisco 1997) argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least positive light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so strongly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what, in fact, is the truth?
In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became the conventional wisdom, and presents a startling picture of the real truth. For example,
Instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for “imaginary” crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice.
Instead of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title, “Hitler’s Pope,” Stark shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Pope Pius XII was widely praised for his vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war.
Instead of the Dark Ages being understood as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church’s power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the “Dark Ages” was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of “Enlightenment.”
In the end, readers will not only have a more accurate history of the Catholic Church, they will come to understand why it became unfairly maligned for so long. Bearing False Witness is a compelling and sobering account of how egotism and ideology often work together to give us a false truth.
Engage the delightful and inspiring, sometimes rough and rocky road to inclusive and transformative Bible reading
This book offers the results of research within a new area of discipline—empirical hermeneutics in intercultural perspective. The book includes interpretations from the homeless in Amsterdam, to Indonesia, from African Xhosa readers to Norway, to Madagascar, American youths, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.
Interpretations from ordinary readers in more than twenty-five countries
Background introduction with history of the text
Discussion of intertextual connections with Greco-Roman authors
Ancient Israel did not emerge within a vacuum but rather came to exist alongside various peoples, including Canaanites, Egyptians, and Philistines. Indeed, Israel’s very proximity to these groups has made it difficult—until now—to distinguish the archaeological traces of early Israel and other contemporary groups. Through an analysis of the results from recent excavations in light of relevant historical and later biblical texts, this book proposes that it is possible to identify these peoples and trace culturally or ethnically defined boundaries in the archaeological record. Features of late second-millennium B.C.E. culture are critically examined in their historical and biblical contexts in order to define the complex social boundaries of the early Iron Age and reconstruct the diverse material world of these four peoples. Of particular value to scholars, archaeologists, and historians, this volume will also be a standard reference and resource for students and other readers interested in the emergence of early Israel.
A new reconstruction of cultic practices surrounding death in ancient Israel
In Caring for the Dead in Ancient Israel, Kerry M. Sonia examines the commemoration and care for the dead in ancient Israel against the broader cultural backdrop of West Asia. This cult of dead kin, often referred to as ancestor cult, comprised a range of ritual practices in which the living provided food and drink offerings, constructed commemorative monuments, invoked the names of the dead, and protected their remains. This ritual care negotiated the ongoing relationships between the living and the dead and, in so doing, helped construct social, political, and religious landscapes in relationship to the past. Sonia explores the nature of this cult of dead kin in ancient Israel, focusing on its role within the family and household as well as its relationship to Israel’s national deity and the Jerusalem temple.
A reevaluation of whether burial and necromantic rituals were part of the cult of dead kin
A portrait of the various roles Israelite women played in the cult of dead kin
A reassessment of biblical writers’ attitudes toward the cult of dead kin
The discovery and translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls transformed our understanding of the life and history of ancient Jewish communities when both rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity were emerging. As part of this rich discovery, the Community Rule serves to illuminate the religious beliefs and practices as well as the organizational rules of the group behind the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, there is no single, unified text of the Community Rule; rather, multiple manuscripts of the Community Rule show considerable variation and highlight the work of ancient Jewish scribes and their intentional literary development of the text. In this volume, Sarianna Metso brings together the surviving evidence in a new edition that presents a critically established Hebrew text with an introduction and an English translation.
A critical apparatus and textual notes
All the surviving evidence of the Community Rule
A new method for presenting complex developments and transmission history of ancient texts
Constructing Antichrist engages readers with the question: what does Paul have to do with the Antichrist? Integrating new scholarship in apocalypticism and the history of exegesis, this book is the first longitudinal study of the role of Paul in apocalyptic thought
An essential resource exploring orality and literacy in the pre-Hellenistic southern Levant and the Hebrew Bible
Situated historically between the invention of the alphabet, on the one hand, and the creation of ancient Israel's sacred writings, on the other, is the emergence of literary production in the ancient Levant. In this timely collection of essays by an international cadre of scholars, the dialectic between the oral and the written, the intersection of orality with literacy, and the advent of literary composition are each explored as a prelude to the emergence of biblical writing in ancient Israel. Contributors also examine a range of relevant topics including scripturalization, the compositional dimensions of orality and textuality as they engage biblical poetry, prophecy, and narrative along with their antecedents, and the ultimate autonomy of the written in early Israel. The contributors are James M. Bos, David M. Carr, André Lemaire, Robert D. Miller II, Nadav Na'aman, Raymond F. Person Jr., Frank H. Polak, Christopher A. Rollston, Seth L. Sanders, Joachim Schaper, Brian B. Schmidt, William M. Schniedewind, Elsie Stern, and Jessica Whisenant.
Addresses questions of literacy and scribal activity in the Levant and Negev
Articles examine memory, oral tradition, and text criticism
Do professional historians and New Testament scholars use the same methods to explore the past? This interdisciplinary textbook introduces students of the New Testament to the vocabulary and methods employed by historians. It discusses various approaches to historiography and demonstrates their applicability for interpreting the New Testament text and exploring its background. Overviews of the philosophy of history, common historical fallacies, and the basics of historiography are followed by three exegetical studies that illustrate the applicability of various historical methods for New Testament interpretation.
The volume covers Qumran scholarship in separate countries: the USA, Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Italy, and Eastern Europe. Each essay carries a detailed bibliography for the respective country. Biographies of all the major scholars active in the field are briefly given as well. This book thereby exhaustively surveys past and present Qumran research, outlining its particular development in various circumstances and national contexts. For the first time, perspectives and information not recorded in any other publication are highlighted.
Paperback format of an essential Brill resource
Twenty-seven articles by twenty-six of the top scholars in the field
Contributions represent the work of more than sixty years of scholarly research
Explore how the past came to address the present and the future and why it became important for emerging Jewish identity.
Experts explore the themes and topics that made Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets appealing to ancient readers leading ultimately to those texts becoming authoritative for Persian and Hellenistic readers. This unique collection of essays focuses on what larger impact these texts might have had on primary and secondary audiences as part of emerging Torah. Contributors include Klaus-Peter Adam, Yairah Amit, Thomas M. Bolin, Philip R. Davies, Serge Frolov, Susanne Gilmayr-Bucher, E. Axel Knauf, Christoph Levin, James R. Linville, and Thomas Römer, and Diana V. Edelman.
Essays focused on why texts became authoritative instead of when they were written or their historicity
Two scholars examine each book providing a range of views
Coverage of the socio-religious function of emerging Torah in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods
This inventive work explores Mark’s Gospel within the contexts of the empires of Rome and Europe. In a unique dual analysis, the book highlights how empire is not only part of the past but also of a present colonial heritage. The book first outlines postcolonial criticism and discusses the challenges it poses for biblical scholarship, then scrutinizes the complex ways with which nineteenth-century commentaries on Mark’s Gospel interplayed with the formation of European colonial identities. It examines the stance of Mark’s Gospel vis-à-vis the Roman Empire and analyzes the manner in which the fibers of empire within Mark are interwoven, reproduced, negotiated, modified and subverted. Finally, it offers synthesizing suggestions for bringing Mark beyond a colonial heritage. The book’s candid use of postcolonial criticism illustrates how a contemporary perspective can illuminate and shed new light on an ancient text in its imperial setting.
A reevaluation of the concept of the soul based on the latest evidence
Biblical scholars have long claimed that the Israelites “could not conceive of a disembodied nefesh [soul].” Steiner rejects that claim based on a broad spectrum of textual, linguistic, archaeological, and anthropological evidence spanning the millennia from prehistoric times to the present. The biblical evidence includes a prophecy of Ezekiel condemning women who pretend to trap the wandering souls of sleeping people. The extrabiblical evidence suggests that a belief in the existence of disembodied souls was part of the common religious heritage of the peoples of the ancient Near East.
A re-examination of the evidence for and against disembodied souls in the Hebrew Bible
A new look at the nature and behavior of disembodied souls in the Hebrew Bible
A new study of the meaning and sociolinguistic background of the Katumuwa inscription
A fresh literary analysis of political polemic in the Bible
The Book of Judges ends with a bizarre narrative of sex and violence that starts with a domestic tiff and ends with the decimation of a tribe that is restored by means of abduction and rape. Cynthia Edenburg applies a fresh literary analysis, recent understandings of historical linguistics, and historical geography in her exploration of the origin of the anti-Benjamin polemic found in Judges 19–21, the growth and provenance of the book of Judges, and the shape of the Deuteronomistic History. Her study exposes how Judges 19–21 function as political polemic reflecting not the pre-monarchic period but instead the historical realities of the settlement of Benjamin during the Babylonian and Persian period.
Methodological discussions that open each chapter
Charts and tables
Engagement with current research produced by scholars from around the world
Advance your understanding of divination’s role in supporting or undermining imperial aspirations in the ancient Near East
This collection examines the ways that divinatory texts in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East undermined and upheld the empires in which the texts were composed, edited, and read. Nine essays and an introduction engage biblical scholarship on the Prophets, Assyriology, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the critical study of Ancient Empires.
Interdisciplinary approaches include propaganda studies
Essays examine how biblical and other ancient Near Eastern texts were shaped by political and theological empires
A comprehensive history of a state on Judah’s border
Edom at the Edge of Empire combines biblical, epigraphic, archaeological, and comparative evidence to reconstruct the history of Judah's neighbor to the southeast. Crowell traces the material and linguistic evidence, from early Egyptian sources that recall conflicts with nomadic tribes to later Assyrian texts that reference compliant Edomite tribal kings, to offer alternative scenarios regarding Edom's transformation from a collection of nomadic tribes and workers in the Wadi Faynan as it relates to the later polity centered around the city of Busayra in the mountains of southern Jordan. This is the first book to incorporate the important evidence from the Wadi Faynan copper mines into a thorough account of Edom's history, providing a key resource for students and scholars of the ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible.
A new perspective on essential aspects of Esther’s plot and characters for students and scholars
Empire and Gender in LXX Esther foregrounds and highlights empire as the central lens in this provocative new reading of Esther. This book provides a unique synchronic reading of LXX Esther with the Additions, allowing the presence and negotiation of imperial power to be further illuminated throughout the story’s plot. Stone explores and demonstrates how performances of gender are inextricably intertwined with the exertion and negotiation of imperial power portrayed in LXX Esther and offers examples of connections to the range of imperial power experienced by Jewish people during the late Second Temple period.
An exploration of the tenets and methodology of imperial-critical approaches
Focused attention to the final form of LXX Esther
Construction of early audiences for LXX Esther in first-century BCE Ptolemaic Alexandria and Hasmonean Judea
This collection of essays continues the investigation of religious experience in early Judaism and early Christianity begun in Experientia, Volume 1, by addressing one of the traditional objections to the study of experience in antiquity. The authors address the relationship between the surviving evidence, which is textual, and the religious experiences that precede or ensue from those texts. Drawing on insights from anthropology, sociology, social memory theory, neuroscience, and cognitive science, they explore a range of religious phenomena including worship, the act of public reading, ritual, ecstasy, mystical ascent, and the transformation of gender and of emotions. Through careful and theoretically informed work, the authors demonstrate the possibility of moving from written documents to assess the lived experiences that are linked to them. The contributors are István Czachesz, Frances Flannery, Robin Griffith-Jones, Angela Kim Harkins, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, John R. Levison, Carol A. Newsom, Rollin A. Ramsaran, Colleen Shantz, Leif E. Vaage, and Rodney A. Werline.
Cognitive science of religion is a radically new paradigm in the study of religion. Historians of religion have shown increasing interest in this approach. The book is in four parts: an introduction to cognitive and social-scientific approaches, applications of cognitive science, applications of conceptual blending theory, and applications of socio-cognitive analyses.
Paperback format of an essential Brill resource
Essays that combine cognitive analysis with historical and social-scientific approaches to biblical materials, Christian origins, and early Judaism
Research for historians of religion, biblical scholars, and those working in the cognitive science of religion.
The most up-to-date sourcebook on warfare in the ancient Near East
Fighting for the King and the Gods provides an introduction to the topic of war and the variety of texts concerning many aspects of warfare in the ancient Near East. These texts illustrate various viewpoints of war and show how warfare was an integral part of life. Trimm examines not only the victors and the famous battles, but also the hardship that war brought to many. While several of these texts treated here are well known (i.e., Ramses II's battle against the Hittites at Qadesh), others are known only to specialists. This work will allow a broader audience to access and appreciate these important texts as they relate to the history and ideology of warfare.
References to recent secondary literature for further study
Early Greek and Chinese illustrative texts for comparisons with other cultures
A fresh examination of early Christianity by an international team of New Testament and classical scholars
Volume 5 of The First Urban Churches investigates the urban context of Christian churches in first-century Roman Colossae, Hierapolis, and Laodicea. Building on the methodologies introduced in the first volume and supplementing the in-depth studies of Corinth, Ephesus, and Philippi (vols. 2-4), essays in this volume challenge readers to reexamine preconceived understandings of the early church and to grapple with the meaning and context of Christianity in its first-century Roman colonial context.
Analysis of urban evidence found in inscriptions, papyri, archaeological remains, coins, and iconography
Proposed reconstructions of the past and its social, religious, and political significance
A nuanced, informed portrait of ancient urban life in the cities of the Lycus Valley
Gregory of Nyssa’s fifteen Homilies on the Song of Songs offer an important resource for the history of Christian biblical exegesis, as well as for the history of Christian ascetical and spiritual teaching, and stand alongside Origen’s commentary on the Song as a source for the later interpretative tradition. In addition to offering the original text and an English translation of all fifteen homilies, Norris provides an analysis of the characteristic themes of Gregory’s ascetical teaching, emphasizes its connection in his mind with the institution of baptism, and stresses the degree to which Gregory sees the teaching of the Song as addressed not to a special class of believers but to any and all Christians.
The first expansive reference examining the texts and material culture related to children in ancient Israel
Growing Up in Ancient Israel uses a child-centered methodology to investigate the world of children in ancient Israel. Where sources from ancient Israel are lacking, the book turns to cross-cultural materials from the ancient Near East as well as archaeological, anthropological, and ethnographic sources. Acknowledging that childhood is both biologically determined and culturally constructed, the book explores conception, birth, infancy, dangers in childhood, the growing child, dress, play, and death. To bridge the gap between the ancient world and today’s world, Kristine Henriksen Garroway introduces examples from contemporary society to illustrate how the Hebrew Bible compares with a Western understanding of children and childhood.
More than fifty-five illustrations illuminating the world of the ancient Israelite child
An extensive investigation of parental reactions to the high rate of infant mortality and the deaths of infants and children
An examination of what the gendering and enculturation process involved for an Israelite child
A thorough case for a later date for of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles
In this collection of essays, Israel Finkelstein deals with key topics in Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, such as the list of returnees, the construction of the city wall of Jerusalem, the adversaries of Nehemiah, the tribal genealogies, and the territorial expansion of Judah in 2 Chronicles. Finkelstein argues that the geographical and historical realities cached behind at least parts of these books fit the Hasmonean period in the late second century BCE. Seven previously published essays are supplemented by maps, updates to the archaeological material, and references to recent publications on the topics.
Analysis of geographical chapters of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles
Study of the Hasmonean period in the late second century BCE
Unique arguments regarding chronology and historical background
A thorough overview of the history of ancient Israel for research and classroom use
Richard D. Nelson charts the beginning of the Iron Age and the emergence of Israel and its literature, including the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the downfall of Israel, Judah in the Assyrian and Babylonian periods, Yehud and Persia, and the Hellenistic period. Each chapter provides a summary of the period under consideration, a historical reconstruction of the period, based on biblical and extrabiblical evidence; a critical study of the biblical literature deriving from or associated with the period, and theological conclusions that readers may draw from the relevant biblical texts.
Balanced coverage of controversial topics
Extensive bibliographies at the beginning of each chapter
Lists of rulers and key dates for reference and classroom use
An insightful historical account of Phoenicia that illustrates its cities, culture, and daily life
Hélène Sader presents the history and archaeology of Phoenicia based on the available contemporary written sources and the results of archaeological excavations in Phoenicia proper. Sader explores the origin of the term Phoenicia; the political and geographical history of the city-states Arwad, Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre; and topography, climate, and natural resources of the Phoenician homeland. Her limited focus on Phoenicia proper, in contrast to previous studies that included information from Phoenician colonies, presents the bare realities of the opportunities and difficulties shaping Phoenician life. Sader’s evaluation and synthesis of the evidence offers a corrective to the common assumption of a unified Phoenician kingdom.
Historical as well as modern maps with the locations of all relevant archaeological sites
Faunal and floral analyses that shed light on the Phoenician diet
Petrographic analysis of pottery that sheds light on trading patterns and developments
Jesus and his followers defined their allegiances and expressed their identities in a communications culture that manifested itself in voice and chirographic practices, in oral-scribal interfaces, and in performative activities rooted in memory. In the sixteen essays gathered in Imprints, Voiceprints, and Footprints of Memory, Werner Kelber explores the verbal arts of early Christian word processing operative in a media world that was separated by two millennia from our contemporary media history. The title articulates the fact that the ancient culture of voiced texts, hand-copying, and remembering is chiefly accessible to us in print format and predominantly assimilated from print perspectives. The oral-scribal-memorial-performative paradigm developed in these essays challenges the reigning historical-critical model in biblical scholarship. Notions of tradition, the fixation on the single original saying, the dominant methodology of form criticism, and the heroic labors of the Quest—stalwart features of the historical, documentary paradigm—are all subject to a critical review. A number of essays reach beyond New Testament texts, ranging from the pre-Socratic Gorgias through medieval manuscript culture on to print’s triumphant apotheosis in Gutenberg’s Vulgate, product of the high tech of the fifteenth century, all the way to conflicting commemorations of Auschwitz—taking tentative steps toward a history of media technologies, culture, and cognition of the Christian tradition in the West.
This collection of essays by Thomas Kazen focuses on issues of purity and purification in early Judaism and the Jesus tradition. During the late Second Temple period, Jewish purity practices became more prominent than before and underwent substantial developments. These essays advance the ongoing conversation and debate about a number of key issues in the field, such as the relationship between ritual and morality, the role and function of metaphor, and the use of evolutionary and embodied perspectives. Kazen's research stands in constant dialogue with the major currents and main figures in purity research, including both historical (origin, development, practice) and cognitive (evolutionary, emotional, conceptual) approaches.
Readers of the Hebrew Bible know the basic story line: during the early sixth century BCE the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem, deported a portion of the population to Mesopotamia, and triggered a crisis of faith in the minds of prophets, priests, and liturgists that still echoes through the centuries. Though many Judahites chose to make their way home under Persian imperial control, the straightforward biblical story of exile and return masks many complex issues of evidence and fact. Unlike previous studies that focused narrowly on the Babylonian exile of the Judahite elites, this volume widens the geographical and temporal scope to include the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Empires. Improved access to and understanding of relevant texts, iconography, and material culture provide an opportunity for scholars to reappraise methods of imperial control and the responses of those in exile and under occupation. Contributors Pamela Barmash, Ryan P. Bonfiglio, Caralie Cooke, Lisbeth S. Fried, Martien A. Halvorson-Taylor, Mark W. Hamilton, Matt Waters, and Ian D. Wilson lay a firm foundation for future work on the long sixth century.
Was Deuteronomy created to be a subversive text based on Assyian treaties?
In this new book Crouch focuses on Deuteronomy’s subversive intent, asking what would be required in order for Deuteronomy to successfully subvert either a specific Assyrian source or Assyrian ideology more generally. The book reconsiders the nature of the relationship between Deuteronomy and Assyria, Deuteronomy’s relationship to ancient Near Eastern and biblical treaty and loyalty oath traditions, and the relevance of Deuteronomy’s treaty affinities to discussions of its date.
A thorough investigation of the nature and requirements of subversion
A focused examination of the context in which Deuteronomy would have functioned
An appendix focused on redactional questions related to Deuteronoy 13 and 28
Jerome’s Abbreviated Psalter was one of the most important collections of psalm verses in the Middle Ages. Commonly found in primers and books of hours, it was the primary medium for lay people to imitate the monastic divine office, even as it offered concessions to harsh personal circumstances. This edition presents the Middle English versions in parallel, followed by the Latin version in the Lincoln Thornton manuscript. An introductory review considers the psalter in general and the origins of abbreviated psalters in particular. Jerome’s Abbreviated Psalter is the most widespread text in the abbreviated psalter tradition and it illustrates an important aspect of lay devotional life from the eighth to the sixteenth century. The English versions contribute both to the history of English prose and to the history of biblical translation in English.
The first Greek text of the Epistle of Aristeas published in more than a century
The Greek text Epistle of Aristeas is a Jewish work of the late Hellenistic period that recounts the origins of the Septuagint. Long recognized as a literary fiction, the Epistle of Aristeas has been variously dated from the third century BCE to the first century CE. As a result, its epistolary features, and especially those in which the putative author, Aristeas, addresses his brother and correspondent, Philocrates, have largely been ignored. In light of more recent scholarship on epistolary literature in the Greco-Roman world, however, this volume presents for the first time a complete Greek text and English Translation with introduction, notes, and commentary of the Epistle of Aristeas with key testimonia from Philo, Josephus, and Eusebius, as well as other related examples of Jewish fictional letters from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.
Relevant excerpts from Eupolemus, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, and the Greek Additions to Esther with translations and introductions
A critical introduction to ancient Greek letter-writing
The Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. was a watershed event in the history of Judah, the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the exilic period, during which many of the biblical texts were probably written. The conquest left clear archaeological marks on many sites in Judah, including Jerusalem, and the Bible records it as a traumatic event for the population. Less clear is the situation in Judah following the conquest, that is, in the sixth century, a period with archaeological remains the nature and significance of which are disputed. The traditional view is that the land was decimated and the population devastated. In the last two decades, archaeologists arguing that the land was not empty and that the exile had little impact on Judah’s rural sector have challenged this view. This volume examines the archaeological reality of Judah in the sixth century in order to shed new light on the debate. By expanding research into new avenues and examining new data, as well as by applying new methods to older data, the author arrives at fresh insights that support the traditional view of sixth-century Judah as a land whose population, both urban and rural, was devastated and whose recovery took centuries.
Investigate a relatively neglected but momentous period in Judean history
Nadav Sharon closely examines a critical period in Judean history, which saw the end of the Hasmonean dynasty and the beginning of Roman domination of Judea leading up to the kingship of Herod (67-37 BCE). In this period renowned Roman figures such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Gaius Cassius (a conspirator against Caesar), and Mark Anthony, led the Roman Republic on the eve of its transformation into an Empire, each having his own dealings with—and holding sway over—Judea at different times. This volume explores the impact of the Roman conquest on the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, enhances the understanding of later Judean-Roman relations and the roots of the Great Revolt, and examines how this early period of Roman domination had on impact on later developments in Judean society and religion.
Part one dedicating to reconstructing Judean history from the death of Alexander to the reign of King Herod
Part two examining the effects of Roman domination on Judean society
The period of Assyrian domination over Israel and Judah (ca. 750–650 B.C.E.) can be reconstructed with reasonable accuracy. For example, both biblical and extrabiblical records indicate that the northern kingdom (Israel) came to an end in 722 with the fall of Samaria, while several decades later Jerusalem, capital of the southern kingdom (Judah), narrowly escaped being taken by Sennacherib. The first half of the seventh century was dominated by Manasseh in Judah, who not only served his overlords the Assyrians but also practiced a bloody form of despotism. With regard to biblical literature, the eighth century was the period of Israel’s first great literary prophets: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah. Other important texts, such as the Book of the Covenant, the early stories about the kings, the early forms of the patriarchal narratives in Genesis, and collections of proverbs, were either created or underwent profound editorial shaping during this time. This volume surveys the history of this formative period and presents a critical study of the biblical literature that originated within this historical context, as well as theological conclusions that readers may draw from these texts.
An incomparable interdisciplinary study of the history of Judah
Experts from a variety of disciplines examine the history of Judah during the seventh century BCE, the last century of the kingdom’s existence. This important era is well defined historically and archaeologically beginning with the destruction layers left behind by Sennacherib’s Assyrian campaign (701 BCE) and ending with levels of destruction resulting from Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian campaign (588-586 BCE). Eleven essays develop the current ongoing discussion about Judah during this period and extend the debate to include further important insights in the fields of archaeology, history, cult, and the interpretation of Old Testament texts.
A new chronological frame for the Iron Age IIB-IIC
Close examinations of archaeology, texts, and traditions related to the reigns of Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah
An evaluation of the religious, cultic, and political landscape
The authoritative new account of the Bible’s origins, illuminating the 1,600-year tradition that shaped the Christian and Jewish holy books as millions know them today.
The Bible as we know it today is best understood as a process, one that begins in the tenth century BCE. In this revelatory account, a world-renowned scholar of Hebrew scripture joins a foremost authority on the New Testament to write a new biography of the Book of Books, reconstructing Jewish and Christian scriptural histories, as well as the underappreciated contest between them, from which the Bible arose.
Recent scholarship has overturned popular assumptions about Israel’s past, suggesting, for instance, that the five books of the Torah were written not by Moses but during the reign of Josiah centuries later. The sources of the Gospels are also under scrutiny. Konrad Schmid and Jens Schröter reveal the long, transformative journeys of these and other texts en route to inclusion in the holy books. The New Testament, the authors show, did not develop in the wake of an Old Testament set in stone. Rather the two evolved in parallel, in conversation with each other, ensuring a continuing mutual influence of Jewish and Christian traditions. Indeed, Schmid and Schröter argue that Judaism may not have survived had it not been reshaped in competition with early Christianity.
A remarkable synthesis of the latest Old and New Testament scholarship, The Making of the Bible is the most comprehensive history yet told of the world’s best-known literature, revealing its buried lessons and secrets.
Hasselbalch asserts that current theories about the social background of Thanksgiving Hymns are unable to explain its heterogeneous character. Instead the author suggests a reading strategy that leaves presumptions about the underlying social contexts aside to instead consider the collection’s hybridity as a clue to understanding the collection as a whole.
Systemic Functional Linguistics applied to four Hodayot
Analysis that highlights the role of a mediator in the agency of God
An approach that highlights the unity of the collection
This book presents an academic introduction to the life and teachings of five Middle Eastern founders of religion -- five individuals whose systems of faith, thought, and action have won the allegiance of millions. All believed to have experienced a personal encounter with the divine -- a "voice" directly from the "beyond" -- to proclaim God's message to the community or people to which they belonged. All attracted followers and opponents. Similarities in their religious outlook abound; but differences between the five pervade their approach toward society and culture, with issues of law, war, women, morality, ethics, the kingdom of God, life after death, and eternal judgment distinguishing their respective beliefs. An Introduction provides an overview of the political history of the Middle East based on four periods (Early, Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman) and a brief description of the surviving religious traditions of the Middle East (including a proposal regarding the nature of so-called "selected" individuals). Five chapter texts separately address each religious founder from the viewpoint of readers from the Judaic and Christian traditions in terms of the religious world into which each individual appeared; the traditional account as presented by available sources or evidences; the reliability of the available sources or evidences for reconstructing their biographies; and a critical assessment of both the sources or evidences and the traditional account. A concluding chapter compares the similarities and differences of the received divine messages, and notes that no new message has ever succeeded in shaking off entirely the influence of the faith from which it arose. The work has been specifically designed for student adoption in Religious Studies.
A focused, interdisciplinary examination of a tumultuous, history-making era
The Middle Maccabees lays out the charged, complicated beginnings of the independent Jewish state founded in the second century BCE. Contributors offer focused analyses of the archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, and textual evidence, framed within a wider world of conflicts between the Ptolemies of Egypt, the Seleucids of Syria, and the Romans. The result is a holistic view of the Hasmonean rise to power that acknowledges broader political developments, evolving social responses, and the particularities of local history. Contributors include Uzi ‘Ad, Donald T. Ariel, Andrea M. Berlin, Efrat Bocher, Altay Coşkun, Benedikt Eckhardt, Gerald Finkielsztejn, Christelle Fischer-Bovet, Yuval Gadot, Erich Gruen, Sylvie Honigman, Jutta Jokiranta, Paul J. Kosmin, Uzi Leibner, Catharine Lorber, Duncan E. MacRae, Dvir Raviv, Helena Roth, Débora Sandhaus, Yiftah Shalev, Nitsan Shalom, Danny Syon, Yehiel Zelinger, and Ayala Zilberstein.
Up-to-date, generously illustrated essays analyzing the relevant archaeological remains
A revised understanding of how local and imperial histories overlapped and intersected
New analysis of the book of 1 Maccabees as a tool of Hasmonean strategic interest
A ground-breaking collection exploring the rich array of emotions in biblical literature
An international team of Hebrew Bible and New Testament scholars offers incisive case studies of passions displayed by divine and human figures in the biblical texts ranging from joy, happiness, and trust to grief, hate, and disgust. Essays address how biblical characters' feelings affect their relationship with God, one another, and the world and how these feelings mix together, for good or ill, for flourishing or vexation. Deeply engaged with both ancient and modern contexts, including the burgeoning interdisciplinary study of emotion in the humanities and sciences, these essays break down the artificial divide between reason and passion, cognition and emotion, thought and feeling in biblical study.
Case studies drawn from multiple genres across the Bible: narrative, prophets, poetry, wisdom, Gospels, and letters
Helpful select bibliographies of interdisciplinary resources at the end of each essay
Critical balance between theory and practice and between method and close textual analysis
Distinctive ancient Hebrew and Greek uses of emotional terms and concepts compared with each other and with evolving understandings in Western culture
Celebrate a trailblazer in the areas of women and re
Celebrate a trailblazer in the areas of women and religion, Jews and Judaism, and earliest Christianity in the ancient Mediterranean
Ross Kraemer is Professor Emerita in the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University. This volume of essays, conceived and produced by students, colleagues, and friends bears witness to the breadth of her own scholarly interests. Contributors include Theodore A. Bergren, Debra Bucher, Lynn Cohick, Mary Rose D’Angelo, Nathaniel P. DesRosiers, Robert Doran, Jennifer Eyl, Paula Fredriksen, John G. Gager, Maxine Grossman, Kim Haines-Eitzen, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Jordan Kraemer, Robert A. Kraft, Shira L. Lander, Amy-Jill Levine, Susan Marks, E. Ann Matter, Renee Levine Melammed, Susan Niditch, Elaine Pagels, Adele Reinhartz, Jordan Rosenblum, Sarah Schwarz, Karen B. Stern, Stanley K. Stowers, Daniel Ullucci, Arthur Urbano, Heidi Wendt, and Benjamin G. Wright.
Articles that examine both ancient and modern texts in cross-cultural and trans-historical perspective
Twenty-eight original essays on ancient Judaism, Christianity, and women in the Greco-Roman world
This autobiography of prominent American archaeologist William G. Dever is unabashedly his story, in which he offers candid, often brutally honest, reflections on his life and sixty-five-year career. Dever places himself in the midst of a remarkable generation of giants in archaeology in Israel during a period when the fields of biblical and Israeli archaeology were evolving. With technical expertise developed over a lifetime of working alongside four generations of Israeli and foreign excavators, he recalls their exploits and shares numerous personal stories that few others would know. His memoir concludes with a postscript on the likely future of biblical archaeology and an annotated bibliography for serious readers who wish to explore some of the scholarly literature to flesh out Dever’s narrative.
Donna Laird examines Ezra and Nehemiah in the light of modern sociological theorist Pierre Bourdieu. How did this context of hardship, exile, and return change what Ezra and Nehemiah viewed as important? How did they define who was a part of their community, and who was an outsider? It goes on to explore how the books engaged readers at the time: how it addressed their changing circumstances, and how different groups gained and used social power, or the ability to influence society.
Chapters dedicated to penitential prayer and to the role of ritual
Illustrations of how the writers used past traditions to justify dividing those who belong, the repatriates, from the local population
Demonstration of how shifting strategies of discourse in the various sections of Ezra-Nehemiah reflect the changing political and social contexts for the community and the authors
New translations of fifty transliterated texts for research and classroom use
This collection of sixth-century B.C.E. Mesopotamian texts provides a close-up, often dramatic, view of ancient courtroom encounters shedding light on Neo-Babylonian legal culture and daily life. In addition to the legal texts, Holtz provides an introduction to Neo-Babylonian social history, archival records, and legal materials. This is an essential resource for scholars interested in the history of law.
Fifty new English translations
Transliterations for use in advanced Akkadian courses
Background essays perfect for courses dealing with ancient Near Eastern history and law
Explanatory essays preceding each text and its translation
The search for the biblical Philistines, one of ancient Israel’s most storied enemies, has long intrigued both scholars and the public. Archaeological and textual evidence examined in its broader eastern Mediterranean context reveals that the Philistines, well-known from biblical and extrabiblical texts, together with other related groups of “Sea Peoples,” played a transformative role in the development of new ethnic groups and polities that emerged from the ruins of the Late Bronze Age empires. The essays in this book, representing recent research in the fields of archaeology, Bible, and history, reassess the origins, identity, material culture, and impact of the Philistines and other Sea Peoples on the Iron Age cultures and peoples of the eastern Mediterranean. The contributors are Matthew J. Adams, Michal Artzy, Tristan J. Barako, David Ben-Shlomo, Mario Benzi, Margaret E. Cohen, Anat Cohen-Weinberger, Trude Dothan, Elizabeth French, Marie-Henriette Gates, Hermann Genz, Ayelet Gilboa, Maria Iacovou, Ann E. Killebrew, Sabine Laemmel, Gunnar Lehmann, Aren M. Maeir, Amihai Mazar, Linda Meiberg, Penelope A. Mountjoy, Hermann Michael Niemann, Jeremy B. Rutter, Ilan Sharon, Susan Sherratt, Neil Asher Silberman, and Itamar Singer.
A thorough analysis of metaphor translation techniques used in Isaiah
In this study Benjamin M. Austin analyzes all the plant metaphors in Isaiah and classifies them according to the metaphor translation techniques used by the Septuagint translator. Austin illustrates how the translator took the context of each metaphor into account and demonstrates how the natural features of the plants under discussion at times influenced their translation. He argues that the translator tried to render metaphors vividly and with clarity, sometimes adjusting them to match the experience of his audience living in Egypt. Austin also examines metaphors in terms of their vehicles (the objects of comparison), so that the translation of similar metaphors can be compared.
A comparison of the Masoretic Text to the Septuagint and Targum
A classification of metaphor translation strategies
An introduction to the Hellenistic and the Jewish conception of metaphors
An up-to-date analysis of the history of the ancient Near East and the Arameans
K. Lawson Younger Jr. presents a political history of the Arameans from their earliest origins to the demise of their independent entities. The book investigates their tribal structures, the development of their polities, and their interactions with other groups in the ancient Near East. Younger utilizes all of the available sources to develop a comprehensive picture of this complex, yet highly important, people whose influence and presence spanned the Fertile Cresent.
The best, recent understanding of tribal political structures, aspects of mobile pastoralism, and models of migration
A regional rather than a monolithic approach to the rise of Aramean polities
Thorough integration of the complex relationships and interactions of the Arameans with the Luwians, the Assyrians, the Israelites, and others
Various disciplines that deal with Achaemenid rule offer starkly different assessments of Persian kingship. While Assyriologists treat Cyrus's heirs as legitimate successors of the Babylonian kings, biblical scholars often speak of a "kingless era" in which the priesthood took over the function of the Davidic monarch. Egyptologists see their land as uniquely independently minded despite conquests, while Hellenistic scholarship tends to evaluate the interface between Hellenism and native traditions without reference to the previous two centuries of Persian rule. This volume brings together in dialogue a broad array of scholars with the goal of seeking a broader context for assessing Persian kingship through the anthropological concept of political memory.
Articles present the results of an international symposium held in Leiden, the Netherlands, 2014
More than twenty illustrations
Seventeen articles, an introduction, and a summary response
This volume returns to where initial interest in postcolonial biblical criticism began: the Hebrew Bible. It does so not to celebrate the significant achievements of postcolonial analysis over the last few decades but to ask what the next step might be. In these essays, established and newer scholars, many from the interstices of global scholarship, discuss specific texts, neo/post/colonial situations, and theoretical issues. Moving from the Caribbean to Greenland, from Ezra-Nehemiah to the Gibeonites, this collection seeks out new territory, new questions, and possibly some new answers. The contributors are Roland Boer, Steed Davidson, Richard Horsley, Uriah Y. Kim, Judith McKinlay, Johnny Miles, Althea Spencer-Miller, Leo Perdue, Christina Petterson, Joerg Rieger, and Gerald West.
A view of Persian and Hellenistic Judean communities through theological and socioeconomic lenses
Johannes Unsok Ro employs philological, historical, and sociological approaches to investigate the close connections between socioeconomic structures, social inequality, and theological developments in the Judean communities in Persian- and Hellenistic-era Palestine. Ro contends that competing points of view from communities of lay returnees, priestly returnees, and communities of resident Judeans and Samaritans were juxtaposed within the Hebrew Bible, which took shape during the postexilic period. By exploring issues such as the relationship between the shaping of the canon and literacy in the Judean community, the term strangers in the biblical law codes, the socioeconomic structures of Judean communities reflected in the biblical law codes, the development of the theological concept of divine punitive justice, the piety of the poor in certain psalms, and the concept of poverty in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ro illustrates that the communities behind each text and its redactions can be ascertained through sociological and theological lenses.
Demonstration that a theology of the poor materialized orally among the poor but found written expression among Levites
Insight into the socioeconomic and theological concerns of the authorial groups behind various biblical law codes
A case that biblical “poverty” sometimes refers to humility and a theologically reflected consciousness of lowliness toward God
A new, expanded edition of a classic reference tool
This volume of more than 170 documents of prophecy from the ancient Near East brings together a representative sample of written documents from Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt dating to the second and first millennia BCE. Nissinen's collection provides nonspecialist readers clear translations, transliterations, and discussions of oracles reports and collections, quotations of prophetic messages in letters and literature, and texts that reference persons with prophetic titles. This second edition includes thirty-four new texts.
Modern, idiomatic, and readable English translations
Thirty-four new translations
Contributions of West Semitic, Egyptian, and Luwian sources from C. L. Seow, Robert K. Ritner, and H. Craig Melchert
A fundamentally revisionist approach that leaves behind the constructed social reality of a “sectarian” paradigm
Gwynned de Looijer reexamines the key hypotheses that have driven scholars’ understandings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the archaeological site of Khirbet Qumran, and the textual descriptions of the Essenes. She demonstrates that foundational hypotheses regarding a sect at Qumran have heavily influenced the way the texts found in the surrounding caves are interpreted. De Looijer’s approach abandon’s those assumptions to illustrate that the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect a wider range of backgrounds reflecting the many diverse forms of Judaism that existed in the Second Temple period.
In depth analysis of 4QMMT
Reevaluation of the concept of dualism as it has been applied to Qumran texts
Charts and tables illustrate complex theories, concepts, and connections
This volume includes essays presented in the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section of the Society of Biblical Literature. Contributors explore facets of ongoing research into the interplay of history, fiction, and narrative in ancient Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian texts. The essays examine the ways in which ancient authors in a variety of genre and cultural settings employed a range of narrative strategies to reflect on pressing contemporary issues, to shape community identity, or to provide moral and educational guidance for their readers. Not content merely to offer new insights, this volume also highlights strategies for integrating the fruits of this research into the university classroom and beyond.
Insight into the latest developments in ancient Mediterranean narrative
Exploration of how to use ancient texts to encourage students to examine assumptions about ancient gender and sexuality or to view familiar texts from a new perspective
Close readings of classical authors as well as canonical and noncanonical Jewish and Christian texts
A collection of essays commemorating the career contributions of Peter W. Flint
An international group of scholars specializing in various disciplines of biblical studies—Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and Christian origins—present twenty-seven new contributions that commemorate the career of Peter W. Flint (1951–2016). Each essay interacts with and gives fresh insight into a field shaped by Professor Flint’s life work. Part 1 explores the interplay between text-critical methods, the growth and formation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the making of modern critical editions. Part 2 maps dynamics of scriptural interpretation and reception in ancient Jewish and Christian literatures of the Second Temple period.
Essays that assess the state of the field and reflect on the methods, aims, and best practices for textual criticism and the making of modern critical text editions
Demonstrations of how the processes of scriptural composition, transmission, and reception converge and may be studied together for mutual benefit
Clarification of the state/forms of scripture in antiquity and how scripture was extended, rewritten, and recontextualized by ancient Jewish and Christian scribes and communities
This volume, designed for classroom use, reflects contemporary trends in the study of an important and complex biblical text. Essays address major interpretive issues and emphasize the importance of interpreting Hebrews in light of its ancient Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman contexts.
Winner of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies 2015 F. W. Beare Award
Did Paul have formal training in Greco-Roman rhetoric, or did he learn what he knew of persuasion informally, as social practice? Pauline scholars recognize the importance of this question both for determining Paul’s social status and for conceptualizing the nature of his letters, but they have been unable to reach a consensus. Using 2 Corinthians 10–13 as a test case, Ryan Schellenberg undertakes a set of comparisons with non-Western speakers—most compellingly, the Seneca orator Red Jacket—to demonstrate that the rhetorical strategies Paul employs in this text are also attested in speakers known to have had no formal training in Greco-Roman rhetoric. Since there are no specific indicators of formal training in the way Paul uses these strategies, their appearance in his letters does not constitute evidence that Paul received formal rhetorical education.
A fresh exploration of apologetic material that pushes beyond form criticism
Andrew Knapp applies modern genre theory to seven ancient Near Eastern royal apologies that served to defend the legitimacy of kings who came to power under irregular circumstances. Knapp examines texts and inscriptions related to Telipinu, Hattusili III, David, Solomon, Hazael, Esarhaddon, and Nabonidus to identify transhistorical common issues that unite each discourse.
Compares Hittite, Israelite, Aramean, Assyrian, and Babylonian apologies
Examination of apologetic as a mode instead of a genre
Critical and creative studies that offer fresh perspectives on ancient ideas and practices
The contributions to this volume deal in various ways with the cult at the Jerusalem Temple that epitomized the religious, cultural, and socio-political identity of Judaism for many centuries. Some essays examine ancient constitutive practices and concepts, such as purification rituals, sacrifices, atonement, or sacred authorities at the temple, with the goal of interpreting their meanings for modern readers. Other essays explore alternatives to ancient cultic meaning and practice. Essays critique established traditions, attempt to renegotiate them, or use metaphor and spiritualization to expand the potential of these phenomena to serve as terminological and ideological resources. Thus they examine and affirm the continuing relevance of ancient Jewish cultic notions long after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
An international group of scholars representing different fields and diverse religious backgrounds
A thorough examination of traditions as through the lens of contemporaneous interpretive traditions such as Jewish prophecy, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Early Christian literature
Examination of topics such as purification, sacrifice, and atonement, and the depiction and development of sacred authority throughout the Bible
A critical resource that traces the reign of Sargon in context
Josette Elayi's book is the only existing biography of Sargon II, the famous Assyrian king, who was a megalomaniac and a warlord. Elayi addresses such important questions, including what was his precise role in the disappearance of the kingdom of Israel; how did Sargon II succeed in enlarging the borders of the Assyrian Empire by several successful campaigns; how did he organize his empire (administration, trade, agriculture, libraries), and what was the so-called sin of Sargon?
Interpretations of decisive events during the life and reign of the Assyrian king
Ponder questions of the united monarchy under Saul and David in light of current historical and archaeological evidence
Reconstructing the emergence of the Israelite monarchy involves interpreting historical research, approaching questions of ancient state formation, synthesizing archaeological research from sites in the southern Levant, and reexamining the biblical traditions of the early monarchy embedded in the books of Samuel and Kings. Integrating these approaches allows for a nuanced and differentiated picture of one of the most crucial periods in the history of ancient Israel. Rather than attempting to harmonize archaeological data and biblical texts or to supplement the respective approach by integrating only a portion of data stemming from the other, both perspectives come into their own in this volume presenting the results of an interdisciplinary Tübingen–Tel Aviv Research Colloquium.
Essays on Israel's monarchy by experts in biblical archaeology and biblical studies
Methods for integrating archaeology and biblical traditions in reconstructing ancient Israel's history
New research on the sociopolitical process of state formation in Israel and Judah
A critical resource for students and scholars of the ancient Near East and the Bible
Josette Elayi’s Sennacherib, King of Assyria is the only biography of Sargon II’s famous son.
Elayi traces the reign of Sennacherib in context in order to illuminate more fully the life and contributions of this warlord, builder, innovator, and social reformer—a unique figure among the Assyrian kings. Elayi offers both an evaluation of this royal figure and an assessment of the Assyrian Empire by interpreting the historical information surrounding the decisive events of his reign.
Exploration of why Sennacherib did not seize Jerusalem or remove Hezekiah from the throne
An extensive investigation of annals, royal inscriptions, letters, palace reliefs, clay tablets, and excavation reports
A crucial text for any university course on the interaction of archaeology and the Bible
The world of early Christians was not a world lived in texts; it was a world saturated with material reality and concerns: what, where and when to eat or drink; how to present oneself in the space of bodily life and that of death; how to move from one place to another; what impacted status or the adjudication of legal charges. All these and more controlled so much of life in the ancient world. The Christians were not immune from the impact of these realities. Sometimes they absorbed their surrounds; sometimes they quite explicitly rejected the material practices bearing in on them; frequently they modified the practice and the rationale to create a significant Christian alternative. The collection of essays in this volume come from a range of international scholars who, for all their different interests and critical commitments, are yet united in treasuring research into the Greek and Roman worlds in which Christians sought to make their way. They offer these essays in honor of one who has made a lifetime's work in mining ancient material culture to extract nuggets of insight into early Christian dining practices: Dennis E. Smith.
Rich examples of method in the utilization of ancient material culture for biblical interpretation.
Thirteen essays with a response from Dennis E. Smith
This work presents in detail a description of archaeological data from the Iron II temple complex at Tel Dan in northern Israel. Davis analyzes the archaeological remains from the ninth and eighth centuries, paying close attention to how the temple functioned as sacred space. Correlating the archaeological data with biblical depictions of worship, especially the “textual strata” of 1 Kings 18 and the book of Amos, Davis argues that the temple was the site of “official” and family religion and that worship at the temple became increasingly centralized. Tel Dan's role in helping reconstruct ancient Israelite religion, especially distinctive religious traditions of the northern kingdom, is also considered.
Ancient Egypt is well known for its towering monuments and magnificent statuary, but other aspects of its civilization are less well known, especially its written texts. Now Texts from the Pyramid Age provides ready access to new translations of a representative selection of texts ranging from the historically significant to the repetitive formulae of the tomb inscriptions from Old Kingdom Egypt (ca. 2700-2170 B.C.). These royal and private inscriptions, coming from both the secular and religious milieus and from all kinds of physical contexts, not only shed light on the administration, foreign expeditions, and funerary beliefs of the period but also bring to life the Egyptians themselves, revealing how they saw the world and how they wanted the world to see them. Strudwick's helpful introduction to the history and literature of this seminal period provides important background for reading and understanding these historical texts.
The essays in this volume summarize an international research project on early Christian citations from Israel’s scriptures. These quotations are not only theologically significant but are also part of the textual history of the Septuagint and adjacent textual traditions of the Greek and Hebrew Old Testament. The essays discuss relevant manuscripts (Bible codices, papyri, etc.) up to the fifth century, signs and marginal notes (e.g., the diplé) that were used in the ancient scriptoria, and the specifics of the reception history in early Christianity from Matthew to 1 Peter and from the apostolic fathers to Theophilos of Antioch. The contributors are Felix Albrecht, Ronald H. van der Bergh, Heinz-Josef Fabry, Kerstin Heider, Martin Karrer, Christin Klein, Arie van der Kooij, Siegfried Kreuzer, Horacio E. Lona, Martin Meiser, Maarten J. J. Menken, Matthias Millard, Darius Müller, Ferdinand R. Prostmeier, Alexander Stokowski, Martin Vahrenhorst, Christiane Veldboer, and Johannes de Vries.
Most modern historians consider Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, to be the true founder of the Assyrian Empire. In Josette Elayi's latest work, she takes up this issue in her biography and history of his reign (745-727 BCE). Elayi explores questions surrounding how Tiglath-pileser managed to expand the Assyrian Empire after a period of weakness, what effects Assyrian domination had on Israel and Judah, and how the two kingdoms' fates differed. Using archaeological and textual remains from the period, she completes her trilogy of biographies, which includes Tiglath-pileser's successors, son Sargon II and grandson Sennacherib, who later led the Assyrian Empire to its greatest heights. Elayi provides yet another essential resource for scholars and students of Assyrian history and the Hebrew Bible.
New perspectives on Israelite warfare for biblical studies, military studies, and social theory
Contributors investigate what constituted a symbol in war, what rituals were performed and their purpose, how symbols and rituals functioned in and between wars and battles, what effects symbols and rituals had on insiders and outsiders, what ways symbols and rituals functioned as instruments of war, and what roles rituals and symbols played in the production and use of texts.
Thirteen essays examine war in textual, historical, and social contexts
Texts from the Hebrew Bible are read in light of ancient Near Eastern texts and archaeology
Interdisciplinary studies make use of contemporary ritual and social theory
Focused studies on the historical interactions and formations of Judaism
This volume of essays, from an internationally renowned group of scholars, challenges popular ways of understanding how Judaism and Christianity came to be separate religions in antiquity. Essays in the volume reject the belief that there was one parting at an early point in time and contest the argument that there was no parting until a very late date. The resulting volume presents a complex account of the numerous ways partings occurred across the ancient Mediterranean spanning the first four centuries CE.
Case studies that explore how Jews and Christians engaged in interaction, conflict, and collaboration
Examinations of the gospels, Paul’s letters, the book of James, as well as rabbinic and noncanonical Christian texts
New evidence for historical reconstructions of how Christianity came on the world scene
How did canonization take place, and what difference does it make?
Essays in this collection probe the canonical process: Why were certain books, but not others, included in the canon? What criteria were used to select the books of the canon? Was canonization a divine fiat or human act? What was the nature of the authority of the laws and narratives of the Torah? How did prophecy come to be included in the canon? Others reflect on the consequences of canonization: What are the effects in elevating certain writings to the status of “Holy Scriptures”? What happens when a text is included in an official list? What theological and hermeneutical questions are at stake in the fact of the canon? Should the canon be unsealed or reopened to include other writings?
Essays that contribute to our understanding of the complex processes of canonization
This engaging and informative introduction to the the Babylonians were important not only because of their many historical contacts with ancient Israel but because they and their predecessors, the Sumerians, established the philosophical and social infrastructure for most of Western Asia for nearly two millennia. Beginning and advanced students as well as biblical scholars and interested nonspecialists will read this introduction to the history and culture of the Babylonians with interest and profit.
A thorough study of the socio-economic and literary contexts of women in the Deuteronomistic History
Mercedes L. García Bachmann examines the key texts in the Deuteronomistic History that mention women in service occupations: slaves and dependents, cooks, wet nurses, childcare givers, prostitutes, and scribes. The mostly anonymous women who performed this work for others are sometimes mentioned only in a single verse. Consequently, they often are as unrecognized in modern scholarship as they seem in the biblical text. García Bachmann shows that these women were honored not in relation to matters such as sexual purity or marital faithfulness but on account of the valuable service that they provided.
A close examination of unnamed women
A review of previous work in feminist, ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and social-scientific studies
Extensive coverage of Hebrew terms used for women workers
This volume from the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) includes the papers given at the XVII Congress of the IOSCS, which was held in Aberdeen in 2019. Essays in the collection fall into five areas of focus: textual history, historical context, syntax and semantics, exegesis and theology, and commentary. Scholars examine a range of Old Testament and New Testament texts. Contributors include Kenneth Atkinson, Bryan Beeckman, Elena Belenkaja, Beatrice Bonanno, Eberhard Bons, Cameron Boyd-Taylor, Ryan Comins, S. Peter Cowe, Claude Cox, Dries De Crom, Paul L. Danove, Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Frank Feder, W. Edward Glenny, Roger Good, Robert J. V. Hiebert, Gideon R. Kotzé, Robert Kugler, Nathan LaMontagne, Giulia Leonardi, Ekaterina Matusova, Jean Maurais, Michaël N. van der Meer, Martin Meiser, Douglas C. Mohrmann, Daniel Olariou, Vladimir Olivero, Luke Neubert, Daniel Prokop, Alison Salvesen, Daniela Scialabba, Leonardo Pessoa da Silva Pinto, Martin Tscheu, and Jelle Verburg.