This volume honours Professor H. G. M. Williamson, Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University through a collection of essays by colleagues and former students from across the globe. The various contributions intersect with the previous work of Professor Williamson, with special emphasis on the history of biblical research, study of the Hebrew language and Hebrew textual traditions, post-exilic historiography (Chronicles, Ezra-Nehemiah) and the prophets (especially Isaiah).
In current usage polemics is broadly defined as the practice of rhetorical persuasion or as the rhetorical presentation of an argument in dispute. The phenomenon of polemics is found throughout the whole corpus of biblical literature. In most instances the polemics is direct, but sometimes indirect, and occasionally it appears to be deliberately covert.
This book is primarily concerned with exploring the phenomenon of covert polemics. Dealing first with considerations of method, definition and characterization, the study moves on to the analysis of a number of narrative texts and the uncovering of their covert polemical content.
Polemics of this type is a feature of biblical writing on a range of central issues, and can be instructively isolated in texts relating to cultic locations (Beth El, Jerusalem), questions of leadership (the houses of Saul and David), community boundaries (the Samaritans) and other problems of legitimation.
The Aramaic Levi Document is a collection of larger and smaller fragments identified in Aramaic, Greek and Syriac. The discovery of Aramaic fragments among at Qumran confirmed its antiquity and it is now considered to be one of the oldest Jewish works outside the Hebrew Bible. It presents surprising ideas about the priesthood, sacrifice, wisdom and ideals of piety.
Greenfield, Stone and Eshel, each expert in their field, have for the first time presented this work as a single coherent whole (as far as the fragments allow). As well as the original texts, they have translated the book into English and written an extensive and detailed commentary as well as an introduction. Indexes, Concordances of Greek and Aramaic words complete the study. This book will move the study of this pivotal document to a new level.