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.
Translation Theory and the Old Testament in Matthew, Woojin Chung employs a rigorous method of Skopos theory to examine Matthew’s citation technique in his infancy narrative and locates the specific purpose of his use of Scripture. He argues that the complex nature of the formulaic quotations and allusion in Matthew 1‒2 can be understood in light of new methodological insights. The way Matthew cites the Old Testament for his communicative purpose is congruent to the approach of a Skopos translator who is motivated by a specific purpose of translation. The theory of interpretation of his use of Scripture, therefore, can be informed by the theory and method of translation.
This is the first translation of the twelfth century Armenian commentary on the death of John the Evangelist as found in the
Acts of John. The last section of the apocryphal life of the Evangelist became detached from the whole, and circulated widely in the churches of east and west. The Armenian version was included in service books, Bibles, and collections of saints’ lives. Yet no medieval commentary on that brief text is known in any other language.
Nersēs of Lambron [1153-1198], Archbishop of Tarsus, was a prolific author and an influential player in the ecclesiastical politics of his era. He used this work as a medium for spiritual reflection, and for an exposition of the Armenian tradition as opposed to the theologies of the Greek and Syrian churches.
Paul’s Language of Ζῆλος, Benjamin Lappenga harnesses linguistic insights recently formulated within the framework of relevance theory to argue that within the letters of Paul (specifically Galatians, 1-2 Corinthians, and Romans), the ζῆλος word group is
monosemic. Linking the responsible treatment of lexemes in the interpretive process with new insight into Paul’s rhetorical and theological task, Lappenga demonstrates that the mental encyclopedia activated by the term ζῆλος is 'shaped' within Paul’s discourse and thus transforms the meaning of ζῆλος for attentive ('model') readers. Such identity-forming strategies promote a series of practices that may be grouped under the rubric of 'rightly-directed ζῆλος'; specifically, emulation of 'weak' people and things, eager pursuit of community-building gifts, and the avoidance of jealous rivalry.