The Semantics of Silence in Biblical Hebrew, Sonja Noll explores the many words in biblical Hebrew that refer to being silent, investigating how they are used in biblical texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Ben Sira. She also examines the tradition of interpretation for these words in the early versions (Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, Peshitta), modern translations, and standard dictionaries, revealing that meanings are not always straightforward and that additional work is needed in biblical semantics and lexicography. The traditional approach to comparative Semitics, with its over-simplistic assumption of semantic equivalence in cognates, is also challenged. The surprising conclusion of the work is that there is no single concept of silence in the biblical world; rather, it spans multiple semantic fields.
For half a century Jan P. Lettinga (1921), Professor emeritus of Semitic Languages at the Theological University Kampen (Broederweg), greatly influenced the teaching of Biblical Hebrew in the Faculties of Theology, Religious Studies and Semitic Languages in the Netherlands and Belgium by his widely used grammar. This volume honours his legacy and reputation as a Semitist. Lettinga always asked how a historical approach of the Semitic languages and literature would contribute to their understanding, and how this elucidates our reading of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Biblical Hebrew in Context applies this approach to issues reflecting the full breadth of Lettinga’s interests: Mesopotamian and Biblical Law, the history, grammar and teaching of Hebrew and Aramaic, and the translation and interpretation of Ugaritic and Old Testament texts.
Written by leading experts in the field,
The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Jeremiah. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, and helps situate Jeremiah in the scribal culture of the ancient world, as well as in relation to the Torah and the Hebrew Prophets. The second section contains commentary on and interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Jeremiah, as well as essays on its genres and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Jeremiah in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores various theological aspects of the book of Jeremiah.
Sanctifying Texts, Transforming Rituals: Encounters in Liturgical Studies explores the dynamics of Christian ritual practices in their relation to a broader cultural framework. The nineteen essays, written in honour of the liturgist Gerard A.M. Rouwhorst (Tilburg University), study liturgical developments in times of transition, in which religious and cultural changes set the development of worship practices in motion. The chapters in the first part (Texts) concentrate on the close connection between narrative texts and liturgical practice. In part two (Rituals), the focus shifts to the significance of liturgy as it expresses itself in rituals, and to the understanding of ritual acting. This section includes a variety of ritual aspects of liturgy, including the performance of the sacraments and the persons involved, as well as the relation between the liturgical ritual and material objects, such as images and relics. Section three (Encounters) crosses the borders of the discipline of liturgical studies. This final section of the book studies (ritual) relations between Christians and non-Christians through history, and includes contributions that study the dialogues between different liturgical languages and media.
Contributors are: Elizabeth Boddens Hosang, Paul Bradshaw, Harald Buchinger, Charles Caspers, Paul van Geest, Bert Groen, Martin Klöckener, Bart Koet, Clemens Leonhard, Ruben van Luijk, Gerard Lukken, Daniela Müller, Willemien Otten, Marcel Poorthuis, Paul Post, Ilia Rodov, Els Rose, Joshua Schwartz, Louis van Tongeren, and Nienke Vos.
Since ancient times Leviathan and other monsters from the biblical world symbolize the life-threatening powers in nature and history. They represent the dark aspects of human nature and political entities and reveal the supernatural dimensions of evil. Ancient texts and pictures regarding these monsters reflect an environment of polytheism and religious pluralism. Remarkably, however, the biblical writings and post-biblical traditions use these venerated symbols in portraying God as being sovereign over the entire universe, a theme that is also prominent in the reception of these texts in subsequent contexts.
This volume explores this tension and elucidates the theological and cultural meaning of ‘Leviathan’ by studying its ancient Near Eastern background and its attestation in biblical texts, early and rabbinic Judaism, Christian theology, Early Modern art, and film.
God and Grace in Philo and Paul, Orrey McFarland examines how Philo of Alexandria and the Apostle Paul understood divine grace. While scholars have occasionally observed that Philo and Paul both speak about God’s generosity, such work has often placed the two theologians in either strong continuity or stark discontinuity without probing into the theological logic that animates the particularities of their thought. By contrast, McFarland sets Philo and Paul in conversation and argues that both could speak of divine gifts emphatically and in formally similar ways while making materially different theological judgments in the context of their concrete historical settings and larger theological frameworks. That is, McFarland demonstrates how their theologies of grace are neither identical nor antithetical.
The Non-Israelite Nations in the Book of the Twelve Daniel Timmer offers the first comprehensive survey of the ‘nations’ in the Minor Prophets. The study approaches this important but highly diverse theme through the lens of conceptual coherence and demonstrates the interrelation of synchronic/holistic and diachronic/compositional approaches. After exploring the theme in each of the individual books of the Twelve and noting the varying degrees of coherence evident in each case, Timmer brings his findings to bear on contemporary understandings of the Twelve as a collection, arguing for the theme’s coherence across the collection on the basis of each book’s unique treatment of the nations.
Papers Read at the First Meeting of the European Association for Biblical Studies, Utrecht, 6-9 August 2000
The Persian era in Ancient Israel’s history is an intriguing period. The time span between Cyrus the Great and Alexander the Great was a theatre of shifts and changes. These changes are observable in daily life, in the organisation of society as well as in various religious phenomena. The essays in this volume originate from a seminar about developments and movements in the religion of Israel after the Exile, which was part of the first meeting of the European Association for Biblical Studies (Utrecht, 2000). The essays deal with questions like: How did religion help inhabitants of Yehud to cope with the new reality? How did this new reality influence the (re)formulation of Yahwism? What was the character of the existing Yahwism that was reformulated?
Rainer Albertz (PhD Heidelberg, 1972; Habilitation Heidelberg, 1977) is ordinary Professor of Old Testament Studies at the University of Münster (Westfalen, Germany). His most recent book is: Die Exilszeit 6. Jahrhundert v. Chr. (Biblische Enzyklopädie 7), Stuttgart 2001.
Bob Becking (PhD Utrecht, 1985) is ordinary Professor of Old Testament studies at Utrecht University. He was co-editor of the Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible, Leiden 1995; 21998.
From the contents
Rainer Albertz & Bob Becking, Problems and Possibilities: Perspectives on Postexilic Yahwism
Rainer Albertz, The Thwarted Restoration
Bob Becking, Law as Expression of Religion (Ezra 7-10)
Ehud Ben Zvi, What is New in Yehud? Some Considerations
Mark J. Boda, Zechariah: Master Mason or Penitential Prophet?
Meindert Dijkstra, The Law of Moses: the Memory of Mosaic Religion in and after the Exile
William Johnstone, The Revision of Festivals in Exodus 1-24 in the Persian Period and the Preservation of Jewish Identity in the Diaspora
Antje Labahn, Antitheocratic Tendencies in Chronicles
Herbert Niehr, The Changed Status of the Dead in Yehud
Thomas Pola, Form and Meaning in Zechariah 3
Wolter Rose, Messianic Expectations in the Early Postexilic Period
Rüdiger Schmitt, Gab es einen Bildersturm nach dem Exil? - Einige Bemerkungen zur Verwendung von Terrakottafigurinen im nachexilischen Israel
Zipora Talshir, Synchronic Approaches with Diachronic Consequences in the Study of Parallel Redactions: First Esdras and 2 Chr 35-36; Ezra 1-10; Neh 8
David S. Vanderhooft, New Evidence Pertaining to the Transition from Neo-Babylonian to Achaemenid Administration in Palestine