Ritual Dynamics in Jewish and Christian Contexts investigates questions that arise in modern ritual studies concerning Jewish and Christian religious communities: How did their religious rituals develop? Where did different ritual communities and their ritual texts interact? How did religious communities and their authoritative texts respond to change, and how did change influence religious rituals? The volume is a product of the interdisciplinary and international research efforts taken by the Research Centre “Dynamics of Jewish Ritual Practices in Pluralistic Contexts from Antiquity to the Present” at the Universität Erfurt (Germany) and unites the voices of important senior and emerging scholars in the field. It focuses on antiquity and the medieval period but also considers examples from the early modern and modern period in Europe
Ancient Manuscripts in Digital Culture presents an overview of the digital turn in Ancient Jewish and Christian manuscripts visualisation, data mining and communication. Edited by David Hamidović, Claire Clivaz and Sarah Bowen Savant, it gathers together the contributions of seventeen scholars involved in Biblical, Early Jewish and Christian studies. The volume attests to the spreading of digital humanities in these fields and presents fundamental analysis of the rise of visual culture as well as specific test-cases concerning ancient manuscripts. Sophisticated visualisation tools, stylometric analysis, teaching and visual data, epigraphy and visualisation belong notably to the varied overview presented in the volume.
La Bibliothèque municipale de Colmar conserve plus de 330 fragments hébreux collés sur les reliures d’incunables. Chacun d’eux peut a priori être considéré comme le témoin d’un livre disparu, probablement tombé entre les mains de relieurs à la suite de circonstances historiques tragiques. Après les avoir décrits et identifiés dans cet ouvrage, Judith Kogel a pu reconstituer la collection de livres étudiés et utilisés par les juifs de Colmar et des environs, au Moyen Âge. Bien que l’on ne puisse savoir à qui ils appartenaient et où ils étaient conservés, ces livres recouvrent tous les textes indispensables à la vie juive quotidienne et reflètent une communauté structurée pour la transmission des savoirs.
The Colmar Public Library preserves more than 330 Hebrew fragments glued to the bindings of incunabula. Each of them a priori can be considered as a witness to a book that disappeared, probably fallen into the hands of bookbinders as a result of tragic historical circumstances. After describing and identifying them, Judith Kogel was able to partially reconstruct and present in this book, the collection of texts studied and used by Jews in Colmar and the surrounding area in the Middle Ages. Although we cannot know to whom these books belonged and where they were kept, the collection covers all areas essential to Jewish daily life and reflects a structured community committed to the transmission of knowledge.
For some time scholars have debated whether the Song of Songs has connections to the wisdom genre and how this changes our understanding of it. In
Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs, Jennifer Andruska shows that the influence of the wisdom genre on the Song is pervasive, running throughout the book, and offers an entirely new understanding of the book’s wisdom message. She demonstrates that the Song has combined elements of the ancient Near Eastern love song and wisdom genres to produce a wisdom literature about romantic love, inspiring readers to pursue a particular type of love relationship, modelled by the lovers throughout the poem, and aiming to transform them, through character formation, into wise lovers themselves.
Delicious Prose: Reading the Tale of Tobit with Food and Drink, Naomi S.S. Jacobs explores how the numerous references to food, drink, and their consumption within The Book of Tobit help tell its story, promote righteous deeds and encourage resistance against a hostile dominant culture. Jacobs’ commentary includes up-to-date analyses of issues of translation, text-criticism, source criticism, redaction criticism, and issues of class and gender. Jacobs situates Tobit within a wide range of ancient writings sacred to Jews and Christians as well as writings and customs from the Ancient Near East, Ugarit, Greece, Rome, including a treasure trove of information about ancient foodways and medicine.
Scribal Culture in Ben Sira Lindsey A. Askin examines scribal culture as a framework for analysing features of textual referencing throughout the Book of Ben Sira (c.198-175 BCE), revealing new insights into how Ben Sira wrote his book of wisdom. Although the title of “scribe” is regularly applied to Ben Sira, this designation presents certain interpretive challenges. Through comparative analysis, Askin contextualizes the sage’s compositional style across historical, literary, and socio-cultural spheres of operation. New light is shed on Ben Sira’s text and early Jewish textual reuse. Drawing upon physical and material evidence of reading and writing, Askin reveals the dexterity and complexity of Ben Sira’s sustained textual reuse. Ben Sira’s achievement thus demonstrates exemplary, “excellent” writing to a receptive audience.
The essays in
Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs seek to interpret John’s Jesus as part of Second Temple Jewish messianic expectations. The Fourth Gospel is rarely considered part of the world of early Judaism. While many have noted John’s Jewishness, most have not understood John’s Messiah as a Jewish messiah.
The Johannine Jesus, who descends from heaven, is declared the Word made flesh, and claims oneness with the Father, is no less Jewish than other messiahs depicted in early Judaism. John’s Jesus is at home on the spectrum of early Judaism’s royal, prophetic, and divine messiahs
Seeking out the Land describes the study of the Holy Land in the Roman period and examines the complex connections between theology, social agenda and the intellectual pursuit. Holiness as a theological concept determines the intellectual agenda of the elite society of writers seeking to describe the land, as well as their preoccupation with its physical aspects and their actual knowledge about it.
Ze'ev Safrai succeeds in examining all the ancient monotheistic literature, both Jewish and Christian, up to the fourth century CE, and in demonstrating how all the above-mentioned factors coalesce into a single entity. We learn that in both religions, with all their various subgroups, the same social and religious factors were at work, but with differing intensity.
The Coinage of Herod Antipas provides a comprehensive, multifaceted and up-to-date re-examination of the coins of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea between 4/3 BCE and 39/40 CE. Kogon and Fontanille classify about 800 coins by obverse and reverse dies. From this die classification they generate, for the first time ever for this tetrarch, about 300 composite die images. In addition, the authors examine both technical aspects of the coins (e.g. metrology, mint output) and non-technical aspects (e.g. inscriptions, iconography). They also review the geographic distribution of provenanced coins. Through this analysis of the coins of Herod Antipas, Kogon and Fontanille provide a greater understanding of the Sitz im Leben of first century Galilee.
Style and Context of Old Greek Job, Marieke Dhont offers a new understanding of the linguistic and stylistic diversity in the Septuagint corpus. To this end, the author innovatively uses Polysystem Theory, which has been developed in the field of modern literary studies.
After discussing the appropriateness of a systemic approach to understanding Jewish-Greek literature, the author reflects on the Jewishness of Greek-language texts. Dhont then presents a thorough literary analysis of the Old Greek version of the book of Job. On this basis, she explains the dynamics that produced the translation of Old Greek Job and its position within the development of a Jewish-Greek literary tradition.