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.
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.
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.
Interpreting Quoted Speech, Samuel Hildebrandt analyzes the literary phenomenon of one speaker quoting the words of another speaker within prophetic discourse. Challenging approaches that categorize these speech quotations and use them as direct windows into Israel’s past, Hildebrandt makes a compelling case for reading quoted speech in its literary context. He presents a substantial method for such an interpretive approach, demonstrates its value in a detailed analysis of Jeremiah 2.1-3.5, and highlights the significance of quoted phrases in Jeremiah and other prophetic texts.
Interpreting Quoted Speech marks an important contribution to the exploration of Jeremiah’s discourse and polyphony and, due to its accessible methodology and exegesis, offers a model for further research in prophetic literature.
Since ancient works were preserved by means of handwritten copies, critical enquiry into their texts necessitates the study of such copies. In
P.Beatty III (P47): The Codex, Its Scribe, and Its Text, Peter Malik focuses on the earliest extensive copy of the Book of Revelation. Integrating matters of palaeography, codicology, and scribal practice with textual analysis, Malik sheds new light on this largely neglected, yet crucially important, early Christian papyrus. Notable contributions include a new proposed date for P47, identification of several previously unreported scribal corrections, as well as the discovery of the manuscript’s close affinity with the Sahidic version. Significantly, Malik’s detailed, data-rich analyses are accompanied by a fresh transcription and, for the first time, high-resolution colour photographs of the manuscript.
The essays in this volume originate from the Third Qumran Institute Symposium held at the University of Groningen, December 2013. Taking the flexible concept of “cultural encounter” as a starting point, the essays in this volume bring together a panoply of approaches to the study of various cultural interactions between the people of ancient Israel, Judea, and Palestine and people from other parts of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world.
In order to study how cultural encounters shaped historical development, literary traditions, religious practice and political systems, the contributors employ a broad spectrum of theoretical positions (e.g., hybridity, métissage, frontier studies, postcolonialism, entangled histories and multilingualism), to interpret a diverse set of literary, documentary, archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, and iconographic sources.
In Qumran studies, the attention of scholars has largely been focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls, while archaeology has concentrated above all on the settlement. This volume presents the proceedings of an international conference (Lugano 2014) dedicated entirely to the caves of Qumran. The papers deal with both archaeological and textual issues, comparing the caves in the vicinity of Qumran between themselves and their contents with the other finds in the Dead Sea region. The relationships between the caves and the settlement of Qumran are re-examined and their connections with the regional context are investigated. The original inventory of the materials excavated from the caves by Roland de Vaux is published for the first time in appendix to the volume.
The studies collected in this volume were written in honour of Johann Cook, emeritus professor of the Department of Ancient Studies at Stellenbosch University. They cover a variety of subjects including the translation of Hebrew expressions into Greek, the reception of LXX texts in various contexts, topics related to wisdom and the LXX versions of sapiential literature, Ben Sira as a scribe of the Second Temple period, themes in the works of Philo and Josephus and the references to Sumkhos ben Joseph in rabbinic writings. The contributions therefore focus on the Septuagint, early Jewish sages and ancient scriptures. They present the results of original research, identify new lines and topics of inquiry and make novel contributions to existing insights.
For this book the author has received THE MANFRED LAUTENSCHLAEGER AWARD FOR THEOLOGICAL PROMISE 2015
Kein Auszug ohne Einzug – erst mit dem Eisodus in das verheißene Land kommt der Exodus aus Ägypten an sein Ziel. Es verwundert daher nicht, dass der erste Teil des Josuabuches in den Kapiteln 1–5, in dem dieser Einzug dargestellt wird, vielfältige literarische Bezüge zur Exodusüberlieferung im Pentateuch aufweist. Wie aber sind diese Bezüge zu erklären, als intratextuelle Bindeglieder ein und desselben Werkes oder als intertextuelle Bezugnahmen? Mit dem Aufweis einer sukzessiven Ausgestaltung der Ereignisse beim Eisodus nach dem Vorbild des Exodus bietet die vorliegende Untersuchung der Komposition und Theologie von Josua 1–5 in den drei überlieferten Ausgaben des Josuabuches (MT, LXX, Qumran) Antworten auf alte, angesichts der gegenwärtigen Debatte um Hexateuch und Deuteronomistisches Geschichtswerk hochaktuelle Fragen der Forschung.
The Exodus from Egypt is perfect only with the Eisodus into the Promised Land. It does not come as a surprise, therefore, that the first part of the Book of Joshua, which is dedicated to the entry into the land, features a variety of literary affinities to the Exodus tradition as found in the Pentateuch. But how are these affinities to be explained? Do they testify to an original literary work which covered both Exodus and Conquest, or do they rather betray subsequent connections through intertextual references? Analyzing the composition and theology of Joshua 1–5 in the three extant versions of the book (MT, LXX, Qumran), the present study contributes to the current debate of the Pentateuch, Hexateuch, and Deuteronomistic History.
In the treatise
On Virtues (part of his so-called Exposition of the Law), Philo of Alexandria demonstrates how Moses, his laws, and the nation constituted by these laws each embody certain widely-discussed moral values, specifically, courage (andreia), humanity (philanthropia), repentance (metanoia), and nobility (eugeneia). Although it makes extensive use of material drawn from the Pentateuch, what the treatise provides is far more than a commentary on scripture. Rather, it contributes to a sophisticated apologetic reconstruction of Jewish origins, idealized according to the principles of both Greek philosophy and Roman political culture. Guided by such principles, Philo endeavors to establish the moral, legal, and social status of Judaism within the Greco-Roman world.