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Jenseitshoffnung in Wort und Stein

Nefesch und pyramidales Grabmal als Phänomene antiken jüdischen Bestattungswesens im Kontext der Nachbarkulturen


Lothar Triebel

This monograph deals with two phenomena of ancient (hellenistic and roman times) Jewish burial customs: The use of the term “nefesh” for denoting a tomb-monument etc. and the use of the pyramid as a distinct feature of tomb architecture and of decoration of burial sites. Every instance of Jewish use of either the term or the pyramid will be analysed, as well as a couple of instances from neighbouring cultures and languages (especially Nabatea and Palmyra). The widespread opinion that “nefesh” denotes specifically a pyramid is to be falsified. Palestinian Jewish burial customs turn out to be deeply embedded into their semitic environment. Finally the hypothesis is advanced that the pyramid often symbolizes a concept of afterlife. About 50 plates with ca. 200 photos and drawings accompany the text.

Jesus and His Contemporaries

Comparative studies


C.A. Evans

The first part of this book attempts to situate Jesus in his historical and cultural context through comparisons with the prayers, parables, prophecies, and miracles attributed to various Jewish figures of Palestine who are Jesus' near contemporaries. It is concluded that Jesus' teachings and activities do not represent a radical break with the piety and restorative hopes of many of his contemporaries. This conclusion stands in tension with some of the recent Jesus research, especially emanating from the Jesus Seminar, which tends to view Jesus as a Stoic or Cynic philosopher with little interest in the restoration of Israel and the fulfilment of prophecy.
The second part of the book explores the aims of Jesus and the factors that led to Jesus' death.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.

Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem

In the Context of Lukan Theology and the Politics of His Day



Taking into account the backgrounds of Graeco-Roman and Jewish 'triumphal entries', this volume deals with the Lukan version of Jesus' entry to Jerusalem and his subsequent 'cleaning' of its Temple. It is argued that Luke's account has been shaped by identifiable political and theological considerations, including the phenomenon of parousia and the place of Israel in the plan of God.
Early chapters explore Luke's political milieu together with various entry phenomena from the ancient world, including the advent of governors, emperors and Jewish kings; a close examination of the Lukan text and context follow.
This study breaks new ground in contributing to our understanding of how specific contemporary political issues and theological concerns led to the shaping of Luke 19:28-48 and context.

Jesus in Context

Temple, Purity, and Restoration


Bruce D. Chilton and Craig A. Evans

The Proclamation of Jesus seeks to place Jesus in the context of first-century Palestinian Judaism. The authors hope to discern the essence of his preaching, his concept of the kingdom of God, and the place of purity in his teaching and activities.
Better methods for assessing not simply the authenticity of reported sayings and deeds, but for tracing the development of tradition are considered. The authors are convinced that most of the Synoptic tradition is authentic, but that much of it has been reinterpreted and recontextualized. Herein lies the real challenge for those investigating the historical Jesus.
The Proclamation of Jesus opens up new avenues of study and makes new proposals for understanding Jesus in the context of his place and time.

The Jewish Dialogue with Greece and Rome

Studies in Cultural and Social Interaction


Tessa Rajak

Twenty-seven interdisciplinary essays on aspects of Judaism in the Greco-Roman world, exemplifying a wide range of techniques, by a well-known scholar. Three are previously unpublished, including a reappraisal of the Judaism and Hellenism debate and a study of the Sardis synagogue. The book's overall coherence derives from the author's long-standing interests in the analysis of texts as documents of cultural and religious interaction, and in how Jewish communities were woven into the social fabric of Greek cities in the Hellenistic and Roman East. The four sections are: Greeks and Jews, Josephus, The Jewish Diaspora and Epigraphy, and finally Beyond the Greeks and Romans, essays which extend into Christian literature and on to the nineteenth century reception of the Judaism/Hellenism dichotomy. Scholars and students from a wide variety of backgrounds will benefit.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.



Jewish Identity in Early Rabbinic Writings is more than a question of legal status: it is the experience of being Jewish or of 'Jewishness' in all its social and cultural dimensions. This work describes this experience as it emerges in Talmudic and Midrashic sources.
Besides the question of “who is a Jew?”, topics include the contrast between Israel and the non-Jews, the physical embodiment of Jewish identity, the 'boundaries' of Israel and resistance to assimilation. Jewish identity, it is argued, hinges essentially on the Divine commandments ( mitzvot) and on Israel's perceived proximity with the Divine.
Drawing on a variety of disciplines, including the theories of William James and Merleau-Ponty, this study raises important issues in anthropology, as well as accounting for central aspects of early rabbinic Judaism.

Josephus and Faith

Πίστις and Πιστεύειν as Faith Terminology in the Writings of Flavius Josephus and the New Testament



Explores the use of the words pistis and pisteuein as faith terminology by Josephus. This is the first major study of the pist- word group in the writings of Josephus.
The first part of the book examines the development of a religious understanding of the Greek word group. Special emphasis is given to the religious use of the pist- words in Classical and Hellenistic Greek, in the Septuagint, in Sirach and in Philo.
The second and main part of the book deals specifically with the use of the word group - both secular and religious - by Josephus. His use of this faith terminology is compared with that of the New Testament. This section includes a critical look at the thesis that 'faith' in the New Testament is primarily a Hellenistic concept.

Josephus' Contra Apionem

Studies in its Character and Context with a Latin Concordance to the Portion Missing in Greek


Edited by Louis H. Feldman and John R. Levison

This volume offers a state-of-the-art collection of papers on one of the most significant works of Flavius Josephus, by many of the leading scholars in current Josephus research. The collection, which includes a concordance by H. Schreckenberg of the Latin section Contra Apionem 2.52-113, forms a standard, indispensable resource for the study of Josephus' writings, of apologetic literature in general, and particularly for the study of Contra Apionem, one of the most significant apologetic treatises in Antiquity.


Edited by Henry Leeming and Kate Leeming

This volume presents in English translation the Slavonic version of Josephus Flavius' Jewish War, long inaccessible to Anglophone readers, according to N.A. Meščerskij's scholarly edition, together with his erudite and wide-ranging study of literary, historical and philological aspects of the work, a textological apparatus and commentary. The synoptic layout of the Slavonic and Greek versions in parallel columns enables the reader to compare their content in detail. It will be seen that the divergences are far more extensive than those indicated hitherto.