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The Development of the Biblical Hebrew vowels

Including a Concise Historical Morphology

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Benjamin Suchard

The development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels investigates the sound changes affecting the Proto-Northwest-Semitic vocalic phonemes and their reflexes in Tiberian Biblical Hebrew. Contrary to many previous approaches, Benjamin Suchard shows that these developments can all be described as phonetically regular sound laws. This confirms that despite its unique transmission history, Hebrew behaves like other languages in this regard. Many Hebrew sound changes have traditionally been explained as reflecting non-phonetic conditioning. These include the Canaanite Shift of *ā to *ō, tonic and pre-tonic lengthening, diphthong contraction, Philippi’s Law, the Law of Attenuation, and the apocope of short, unstressed vowels. By reconsidering reconstructions and re-evaluating phonetic conditions, this work shows how the Biblical Hebrew forms regularly derive from their Proto-Northwest-Semitic precursors.
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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 shifts the understanding of context from its ontological dimensions to a spatial conception of a geopolitical space entangled with the intercontextual arena of the modern/colonial world system and intracontextual networks of knowledge production. His proposed multicentric dialogue then brings together a conscientisation of the specialist readers’ positionality in relation to nonspecialist readers and a rethinking of dialoguing with the Other that brings in interlocutors who are contextually determined. 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.
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The Sons of God in Genesis 6:1–4

Analysis and History of Exegesis

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J.J.T. Doedens

In The Sons of God in Genesis 6:1–4, Jaap Doedens offers an overview of the history of exegesis of the enigmatic text about the ‘sons of God’, the ‘daughters of men’, and the ‘giants’. First, he analyzes the text of Gen 6:1–4. Subsequently, he tracks the different exegetical proposals from the earliest exegesis until those of modern times. He further provides the reader with an evaluation of the meaning of the expression ‘sons of God’ in the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East. In the last chapter, he concentrates on the message and function of Gen 6:1–4. This volume comprehensively gathers ancient and modern exegetical attempts, providing the means for an ongoing dialogue about this essentially complex and elusive passage.
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Targum Song of Songs and Late Jewish Literary Aramaic

Language, Lexicon, Text, and Translation

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Andrew W. Litke

In Targum Song of Songs and Late Jewish Literary Aramaic, Andrew W. Litke offers the first language analysis of Targum Song of Songs. The Targum utilizes grammatical and lexical features from different Aramaic dialects, as is the case with other Late Jewish Literary Aramaic (LJLA) texts. The study is laid out as a descriptive grammar and glossary, and in the analysis, each grammatical feature and lexical item is compared with the pre-modern Aramaic dialects and other exemplars of LJLA. By clearly laying out the linguistic character of this Targum in this manner, Litke is able to provide added clarity to our understanding of LJLA more broadly. Litke also provides a new transcription and translation of the Paris Héb. 110 manuscript.
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Law, Literature, and Society in Legal Texts from Qumran

Papers from the Ninth Meeting of the International Organisation for Qumran Studies, Leuven 2016

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Edited by Jutta Jokiranta and Molly Zahn

Reflecting the increasing recognition of the importance of legal texts and issues in early Judaism, the essays in this collection examine halakhic and rule texts found at Qumran in light of the latest scholarship on text production, social organization, and material culture in early Judaism. The contributors present new interpretations of long-lived topics, such as the sobriquet “seekers of the smooth things,” the Treatise of the Two Spirits, and 4QMMT, and take up new approaches to purity issues, the role of the maśkil, and the Temple Scroll. The volume exemplifies the range of ways in which the Qumran legal texts help illuminate early Jewish culture as a whole.
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S. C. Daley

S. C. Daley’s book, The Textual Basis of English Translations of the Hebrew Bible, moves us beyond existing uncertainties about the textual basis of modern Bible translations to a fresh understanding of the text-critical constitution of well-known English translations of the past four hundred years. Most translations depart from the Masoretic Text selectively, and in-depth analysis of their textual decisions leads (1) to the identification of distinct periods in the textual history of the English Bible, (2) to a classification of the translations by eclectic type, and (3) to the observation that each translation is ultimately unique from a text-critical perspective. The study then revisits the topic of the text to be translated in Bibles intended for the wider public.
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Hannah W. Matis

In The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Hannah W. Matis examines how the Song of Songs, the collection of Hebrew love poetry, was understood in the Latin West as an allegory of Christ and the church. This reading of the biblical text was passed down via the patristic tradition, established by the Venerable Bede, and promoted by the chief architects of the Carolingian reform. Throughout the ninth century, the Song of Songs became a text that Carolingian churchmen used to think about the nature of Christ and to conceptualize their own roles and duties within the church. This study examines the many different ways that the Song of Songs was read within its early medieval historical context.
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Edited by Eric F. Mason and Edmondo F. Lupieri

The seventeen studies in Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explore the biblical origins of the golden calf story in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Kings, as well as its reception in a variety of sources: Hebrew Scriptures (Hosea, Jeremiah, Psalms, Nehemiah), Second Temple Judaism (Animal Apocalypse, Pseudo-Philo, Philo, Josephus), rabbinic Judaism, the New Testament (Acts, Paul, Hebrews, Revelation) and early Christianity (among Greek, Latin, and Syriac writers), as well as the Qur’an and Islamic literature. Expert contributors explore how each ancient author engaged with the calf traditions—whether explicitly, implicitly, or by clearly and consciously avoiding them—and elucidate how the story was used both negatively and positively for didactic, allegorical, polemical, and even apologetic purposes.
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Printing the Talmud

Complete Editions, Tractates, and Other Works and the Associated Presses from the Mid-17th Century through the 18th Century

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Marvin J. Heller

Printing the Talmud: Complete Editions, Tractates and Other Works, and the Associated Presses from the Mid-17th Century through the 18th Century is a profusely illustrated major work describing the complete editions of the Talmud printed from about 1650 to slightly after 1800. Apart from the intrinsic value of those editions, their publication was often contentious due to disputes, often bitter, between rival publishers, embroiling rabbis and communities throughout Europe. The cities and editions encompassed include Amsterdam, Frankfort am Main, Frankfurt on the Oder, Prague, and Sulzbach. This edition of Printing the Talmud addresses these editions as an opening to discuss the history of the subject presses, their other titles and their general context in Jewish history.
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The Question of God's Perfection

Jewish and Christian Essays on the God of the Bible and Talmud

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Edited by Yoram Hazony and Dru Johnson

Philosophers have often described theism as the belief in the existence of a “perfect being”—a being that is said to possess all possible perfections, so that it is all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good, perfectly simple, and necessarily existent, among other qualities. But such a theology is difficult to reconcile with the God we find in the Bible and Talmud. The Question of God’s Perfection brings together leading scholars from the Jewish and Christian traditions to critically examine the theology of perfect being in light of the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic sources. Contributors are James A. Diamond, Lenn E. Goodman, Edward C. Halper, Yoram Hazony, Dru Johnson, Brian Leftow, Berel Dov Lerner, Alan L. Mittleman, Heather C. Ohaneson, Randy Ramal, Eleonore Stump, Alex Sztuden, and Joshua I. Weinstein.