In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

The current scholarly milieu has placed great interest in the topics of children and family household religion of ancient Israel; however, scholarship exploring the intersection of the two has not yet been undertaken. This article draws attention to children as vital participants in that domestic cult. Using theories of socialization and enculturation, the article explores how ancient Israelite children interact with the religion that surrounded them daily. This child-centered approach examines textual, archaeological, and ethnographical data and concludes that the process of enculturating ancient Israelite children with household religion produced children who were both passive and active participants in the domestic cult. In doing so, the article informs our knowledge of family household religion, while at the same time expanding our understanding of a child’s role within the Israelite household.

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
Author: M. Richey

Abstract

In an arrival formula that recurs throughout the Ugaritic epics Baˁlu and ˀAqhatu, the dwelling of the chief god, ˀIlu, is described as encompassing, among other things, a {dd}. Scholars have understood this term in various ways, chiefly as “field,” “mountain,” and “defense.” I argue that the etymological rationales grounding the first two semantic analyses are unsound, and that the case for the third understanding, by far the least commonly adopted, can be strengthened by observing a Sabaic cognate that occurs together with terms for land holdings. On these grounds, I offer the English translation “pasture” as the best approximation of the semantics of Ugaritic {dd}. This situates ˀIlu as a tent-dwelling pastoralist, for which there are suggestive parallels elsewhere in West Semitic texts, including the Hebrew Bible.

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
Author: Shalom E. Holtz

Abstract

In the Akkadian anti-witchcraft ritual Maqlû, the incantation in i.73–121 exemplifies the theme of conducting adjudicatory proceedings against the witch in the divine courtroom. In particular, the patient’s presentation of the witch in effigy and the demand for judgment accord well with similar features attested in Neo-Babylonian trial records. Study of the incantation in light of these court records reveals the incantation’s attention to the details of legal procedure.

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

Abstract

The article puts forward a new hypothesis concerning the origin of the goddess of Ekron, mentioned in Ekron’s royal dedicatory inscription from the early 7th century bce. Contrary to a widely held view, it is suggested that the origin of the Philistine Goddess of Ekron should not be sought in the Aegean world but rather in northern Syria.

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
Author: Megan Warner

This paper proposes envisaging the ancestral narratives (with a special focus on the Abraham cycle) as Persian period ‘prequel’ as a fruitful approach to exploring relationship between Genesis and the Moses and monarchic traditions.  The literary capacity of a prequel to influence and alter its audience’s perceptions of an earlier, principal, work means that understanding the ancestral narratives as ‘prequel’ may highlight matters not immediately apparent when the ancestral narratives are envisaged as ‘introduction’, ‘prelude’ or ‘prologue.’ Recent insights associated with the so-called ‘Death of the Yahwist,’ including Konrad Schmid’s argument about the lack of a pre-P literary source spanning Genesis and Exodus, have been important, but remain largely unexplored from the point-of-view of the ancestral narratives. This paper proposes the application of the literary category of ‘prequel’ to the ancestral narratives as one means of exploring the issues, both synchronic and diachronic, raised by these insights. 


In: Biblical Interpretation

In this article I explore the way in which popular perceptions of the Bible have become drawn into the ideology of the contemporary far right. By examining the far-right ideology that inspired Anders Behring Breivik’s terrorist attacks in Norway on 22 July 2011, I demonstrate how the Bible goes from operating as a foundational corpus for ‘Western culture’, to being employed as a militant mouthpiece calling for violent defence of this culture. Analysing the simultaneous recourse and resistance to Enlightenment interpretations of the Bible in this far-right milieu allows for a better understanding of the connections between dominant discourses about the Bible and more marginal and extreme ideologies.


In: Biblical Interpretation

Central to all christological models are concepts of agency, identity, and divinity, but few scholars have directly addressed these frameworks within their ancient West Asian contexts. Rather, the proclivity has been to retroject modern, Eurocentric, and binary frameworks onto the ancient texts, resulting in christological models that inevitably reflect modern orthodoxies and ontological categories. The future of christological research will depend on moving beyond this tendentiousness. In an effort to begin this process, this paper will apply findings from the cognitive sciences – which examine the way the human brain structures its perception of the world around it – to the reconstruction of ancient frameworks of agency, identity, and divinity. Applying these findings to early Jewish literature reveals the intuitive conceptualization of God’s agency, reified as the divine name, as a communicable vehicle of divine presence and authority. These observations support the conclusion that early Jewish conceptualizations of divine agency provided a conceptual template for the development of early christology.


In: Biblical Interpretation
In: Biblical Interpretation
Author: David Tollerton

This article considers the relationship between biblical reception studies and Holocaust memory, with particular reference to the construction of a new Holocaust memorial in central London. I suggest that although in the twenty-first century there has been a small but growing body of literature on the interface of Bible and Holocaust memory, this scholarship has been unable to engage with the fullest possibilities of encounter between the two. Amidst plans for the new memorial we see an unconventional kind of reception taking place, one that resonates with Primo Levi’s description of Holocaust witness accounts as ‘stories of a new Bible’. To explore the implications of this phenomenon I turn to Brennan Breed’s recent discussion of the Bible as ‘nomadic text’, proposing that an extended version of his ideas can speak valuably to this context.


In: Biblical Interpretation