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Dead Sea Media

Orality, Textuality, and Memory in the Scrolls from the Judean Desert

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Shem Miller

In Dead Sea Media Shem Miller offers a groundbreaking media criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although past studies have underappreciated the crucial roles of orality and memory in the social setting of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Miller convincingly demonstrates that oral performance, oral tradition, and oral transmission were vital components of everyday life in the communities associated with the Scrolls. In addition to being literary documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also records of both scribal and cultural memories, as well as oral traditions and oral performance. An examination of the Scrolls’ textuality reveals the oral and mnemonic background of several scribal practices and literary characteristics reflected in the Scrolls.

Contextual Biblical Hermeneutics as Multicentric Dialogue

Towards a Singaporean Reading of Daniel

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Chin Ming Stephen Lim

In this book, Stephen Lim offers a contextual way of reading biblical texts that reconceptualises context as an epistemic space caught between the modern/colonial world system and local networks of knowledge production. In this light, he proposes a multicentric dialogical approach that takes into account the privilege of specialist readers in relation to nonspecialist readers. At the same time, he rethinks what dialogue with the Other means in a particular context, which then decides the conversation partners brought in from the margins. This is applied to his context in Singapore through a reading of Daniel where perspectives from western biblical scholarship, Asian traditions and Singaporean cultural products are brought together to dialogue on issues of transformative praxis and identity formation.

The Plot-structure of Genesis

‘Will the Righteous Seed Survive?’ in the Muthos-logical Movement from Complication to Dénouement

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Todd L. Patterson

In The Plot-structure of Genesis Todd L. Patterson argues that Genesis is organized by a development from complication to dénouement. The question 'Will the righteous seed survive?' drives the narrative to climax. Gen 4 sets up the complication. Cain and Abel are the seed of the woman who should lead humanity back to God's creation-sanctuary. Because Cain does not master sin, his unrighteousness threatens the survival of the seed. Each narrative tôlĕdôt division develops this theme until dénouement in the Joseph narrative when God ensures the survival of the promised seed.

By showing how plot integrates with the widely recognized tôlĕdôt structure, prominent motifs, and enigmatic features of the text, Todd L. Patterson provides a surprisingly novel interpretation of Genesis.

Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof: Poetry, Prophecy, and Justice in Hebrew Scripture

Essays in Honor of Francis Landy on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday

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Edited by Andrew Colin Gow and Peter Sabo

Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof: Poetry, Prophecy, and Justice in Hebrew Scripture. Essays in Honor of Francis Landy on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday is a collection of essays by colleagues, friends, and students of Prof. Francis Landy. It is the second Festschrift dedicated to this remarkable teacher and colleague, friend and mentor, and thus bears witness to the remarkable esteem in which Prof. Landy is held in the Biblical Studies community and beyond (including literary studies, film studies, and poetry).

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Youri Desplenter, Jürgen Pieters and Walter Melion

Over the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as more and more vernacular commentaries on the Decalogue were produced throughout Europe, the moral system of the Ten Commandments gradually became more prominent. The Ten Commandments proved to be a topic from which numerous proponents of pastoral and lay catechesis drew inspiration. God’s commands were discussed and illustrated in sermons and confessor’s manuals, and they spawned new theological and pastoral treatises both Catholic and Reformed. But the Decalogue also served several authors, including Dante, Petrarch, and Christine de Pizan. Unlike the Seven Deadly Sins, the Ten Commandments supported a more positive image of mankind, one that embraced the human potential for introspection and the conscious choice to follow God’s Law.

Hyphenating Moses

A Postcolonial Exegesis of Identity in Exodus 1:1-3:15

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Federico A. Roth

Postcolonial biblical criticism took shape, largely, by critiquing the book of Exodus. Because of the eventual dispossession of Canaanites in the conquest narratives, so goes the thinking, the Hebrews’ God amounts to little more than a dangerous, destructive, and ethnocentric figure.

In Hyphenating Moses Federico Alfredo Roth challenges this consensus by providing an alternative reading of its early narratives (1:1-3:15). Redeploying postcolonial theory and themes, Roth presents a reading of these well-known scenes as orbiting around the topic of identity formation, climaxing in the burning bush episode. In the giving of the name, YHWH promotes the virtue of conceiving identity as a malleable reality to be sought after by all parties caught in the dehumanizing discourse of colonial subjugation.

Medieval Midrash

The House for Inspired Innovation

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Bernard H. Mehlman and Seth M. Limmer

Medieval Midrash: The House for Inspired Innovation is the first book-length study of this under-examined genre of Jewish Literature. Mehlman and Limmer cover the history of scholarship of these curious texts and evaluate the origins, dating, and authors of Medieval Midrash. In addition to addressing such scholarly questions, Medieval Midrash illustrates its themes and judgments through the annotated translation of the six extant texts that revolve around the key figure of King Solomon. This book, whose underlying tropes speak to the continuing need for creative religious expression, will be of interest to scholars and non-academics alike.

Reduced Laughter

Seriocomic Features and their Functions in the Book of Kings

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Helen Paynter

In this book Helen Paynter offers a radical re-evalution of the central section of Kings. Reading with attention to the literary devices of carnivalization and mirroring, she demonstrates that it contains a florid satire on kings, prophets and nations.
Building on the work of humorists, literary critics and biblical scholars, the author constructs diagnostic criteria for carnivalization (seriocomedy), and identifies an abundance of these features within the Elijah/Elisha and Aram narratives, showing how literary mirroring further enhances their satirical effect.
This book will be of particular interest to students and scholars concerned with the Hebrew Bible as literature but will be valued by those who favour more historical approaches for its insights into the Hebrew text.