Editor: Antti Laato
The aim of The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is to address the theological issues arising when different ancient religious groups inside three Abrahamic religions attempted to understand or define their opinion on the Mosaic Torah. Twelve articles explore various instances of accepting, modifying, ignoring, criticizing, and vilifying the Mosaic Torah. They demonstrate a range of perspectives of ways in which the Mosaic Torah has formed a challenge. These challenges include Persian religious policy (when the Mosaic Torah was formed), intra-Jewish discussions (e.g. Samaritans), religious practices (the New Testament debates of ritual laws) and interreligious debates on validity of the Torah stipulations (with Christians and Muslims). All the papers were discussed at the international conference, “The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”, organized by Åbo Akademi University and held in Karkku, Finland, 17-18 August, 2017 .
The four kingdoms motif enabled writers of various cultures, times, and places, to periodize history as the staged succession of empires barrelling towards an utopian age. The motif provided order to lived experiences under empire (the present), in view of ancestral traditions and cultural heritage (the past), and inspired outlooks assuring hope, deliverance, and restoration (the future). Four Kingdoms Motifs Before and Beyond the Book of Daniel includes thirteen essays that explore the reach and redeployment of the motif in classical and ancient Near Eastern writings, Jewish and Christian scriptures, texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls, Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, depictions in European architecture and cartography, as well as patristic, rabbinic, Islamic, and African writings from antiquity through the Mediaeval eras.
Author: Daniel Schumann
In Gelübde im antiken Judentum und frühesten Christentum stellt Daniel Schumann auf breiter Quellenbasis die Diskurse zum „Gelübdewesen“ dar, wie sie sich in antik-jüdischen und frühchristlichen Quellen aus der Zeit des Zweiten Tempels schriftlich niedergeschlagen haben. Er zeigt dabei auf, wie Judentum und Christentum seit der Spätantike durch die Rezeption dieser Diskurse in ihrer Religionspraxis an antiken Formen des Gelübdewesen partizipierten und dieses auch weiterentwickelten. Ferner legt er offen, wie sich in jüdischer wie auch christlicher Wahrnehmung Stimmen der Wertschätzung aber auch der Reserviertheit durch die Jahrhunderte hindurch aneinanderreihen; handelt es sich doch beim Gelübdewesen um eine kultpraktische Übung, bei der Heil und Unheil so nah beieinander zu liegen scheinen wie wohl sonst bei kaum einer anderen frömmigkeitlichen Handlung.

In Gelübde im antiken Judentum und frühesten Christentum Daniel Schumann aims to trace the earliest discourses on vows, as they are recorded in ancient Jewish and early Christian sources from the time of the Second Temple. He also shows how Judaism and Christianity have participated in ancient forms of vow-making since late antiquity and how they also have developed these discourses further. By presenting these discourses on the basis of a broad range of sources, he reveals how in Jewish as well as in Christian perception, voices of esteem but also of reservation have been raised throughout the centuries; After all, vows are a cult-practical exercise in which well-being and disaster are in closer proximity than in most other acts of devotion.
The Pilgrimage of Meaning through Biblical Texts and Contexts
Editors: Jan Roskovec and Vít Hušek
The concept of intertextuality was originally coined as an instrument in answering the question of how meaning is communicated through texts. The Interactions in Interpretation discusses various aspects of how the world of the Bible (seen as a world of a certain language: a complex of ideas, notions, images, idioms, stories, that are shared and referred to) communicates with other worlds in both directions. The collection of studies follows three types of interactions with marked bearing on understanding: (1) interactions with a particular motif of dream, (2) interactions with a particular text of Isa 6:9–10, (3) intertextuality in changing contexts.
In Violence in the Hebrew Bible scholars reflect on texts of violence in the Hebrew Bible, as well as their often problematic reception history. Authoritative texts and traditions can be rewritten and adapted to new circumstances and insights. Texts are subject to a process of change. The study of the ways in which these (authoritative) biblical texts are produced and/or received in various socio-historical circumstances discloses a range of theological and ideological perspectives. In reflecting on these issues, the central question is how to allow for a given text’s plurality of possible and realised meanings while also retaining the ability to form critical judgments regarding biblical exegesis. This volume highlight that violence in particular is a fruitful area to explore this tension.
The zukru Festival in the Political History of Late Bronze Age Emar
In The Politics of Ritual Change: The zukru Festival in the Political History of Late Bronze Age Emar, John Thames explores the intersection of ritual and politics in ancient Syria. The cuneiform texts describing an elaborate festival called zukru invite the reader to consider the development of the ritual as a result of political influence. This book suggests a new understanding of the relationship between the Hittite Empire and the city of Emar that is best observed through religious texts.

The Harvard Semitic Monographs series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Harvard Semitic Studies and Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.
Proceedings of the International Conference Held at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 24–26 October 2017
Editor: Henryk Drawnel
The essays in Sacred Texts and Disparate Interpretations cover an array of core themes from various areas of Qumran studies, including textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple history, philology, paleography, Wisdom and religious poetry.
Contributors to this volume generally consider these themes from a historical perspective, trying to find new solutions to old questions and entering in constructive dialogue with the opinions of other scholars. Paleographic investigations, textual criticism as well as literary and philological approaches make this volume a valuable contribution to the variegated and often highly specialized directions of inquiry into the contents and historical background of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Author: Ken Penner
This work consists of an introduction, transcription, translation, and commentary to the Greek translation of Isaiah in the Codex Sinaiticus. It comments on the Greek language in its context, especially on how the Greek language is stretched beyond its normal range of function. It addresses the peculiarities of Codex Sinaiticus, including its history, scribes, divisions, and orthography. In line with the aims of the Brill Septuagint Commentary Series, it mainly discusses not how the text was produced, but how it was read.
Essays in Honor of Mark S. Smith
Mighty Baal: Essays in Honor of Mark S. Smith is the first edited collection devoted to the study of the ancient Near Eastern god Baal. Although the Bible depicts Baal as powerless, the combined archaeological, iconographic, and literary evidence makes it clear that Baal was worshipped throughout the Levant as a god whose powers rivalled any deity. Mighty Baal brings together eleven essays written by scholars working in North America, Europe, and Israel. Essays in part one focus on the main collection of Ugaritic tablets describing Baal’s exploits, the Baal Cycle. Essays in part two treat Baal’s relationships to other deities. Together, the essays offer a rich portrait of Baal and his cult from a variety of methodological perspectives.

The Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.
In Psalm 91 and Demonic Menace Gerrit Vreugdenhil offers a thorough analysis of the text, structure and genre of Psalm 91. Already in its earliest interpretations, Psalm 91 has been associated with the demonic realm. The use of this psalm on ancient amulets and in magic texts calls for an explanation. Examining the psalms images of threat from a cognitive science perspective, Vreugdenhil shows that many of these terms carry associations with sorcery and magic, incantations and curses, diseases and demonic threat. The psalm takes demonic threat seriously, but also draws attention to the protection offered by JHWH. Finally, the author proposes an outline of the situational context in which Psalm 91 might have functioned.