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Elisa Uusimäki

In Turning Proverbs towards Torah, Elisa Uusimäki offers the first monograph on the early Jewish wisdom text 4Q525 from Qumran. Following the reconstruction of the fragmentary manuscript, Uusimäki analyses the text with a focus on the reception and renewal of the Proverbs tradition and the ways in which 4Q525 illustrates aspects of Jewish pedagogy in the late Second Temple period. She argues that the author was inspired by Proverbs 1-9 but sought to demonstrate that true wisdom is found in the concept of torah. He also weaved dualistic elements and eschatological ideas into the wisdom frame. The author's intention, Uusimäki argues, is to form the audience spiritually, encouraging it to trust in divine protection and blessings that are bestowed upon the pious.

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Edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold Attridge

Scholars of Hebrews have repeatedly echoed the almost proverbial saying that the book appears to its reader as a "Melchizedekian being without genealogy". For such scholars the aphorism identified prominent traits of Hebrews, its enigma, its otherness, its marginality. Although Franz Overbeck might unintentionally have stimulated such correlations, they do not represent what his dictum originally meant. Writing during the high noon of historicism in 1880, Overbeck lamented a lack of historical context, one that he had deduced on the basis of flawed presuppositions of the ideological frameworks prevalent of his time. His assertion made an impact, and consequently Hebrews was not only "othered" within New Testament scholarship, its context was neglected and by some, even judged as irrelevant altogether. Understandably, the neglect created a deficit keenly felt by more recent scholarship, which has developed a particular interest in Hebrews’ contexts. Hebrews in Contexts, edited by Gabriella Gelardini and Harold W. Attridge, is an expression of this interest. It gathers authors who explore extensively on Hebrews’ relations to other early traditions and texts (Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman) in order to map Hebrews’ historical, cultural, and religious identity in greater, and perhaps surprising detail.

Paul and the Rise of the Slave

Death and Resurrection of the Oppressed in the Epistle to the Romans

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K. Edwin Bryant

Paul and the Rise of the Slave locates Paul’s description of himself as a “slave of Messiah Jesus” in the epistolary prescript of Paul’s Epistle to Rome within the conceptual world of those who experienced the social reality of slavery in the first century C.E. The Althusserian concept of interpellation and the Life of Aesop are employed throughout as theoretical frameworks to enhance how Paul offered positive ways for slaves to imagine an existence apart from Roman power. An exegesis of Romans 6:12-23 seeks to reclaim the earliest reception of Romans as prophetic discourse aimed at an anti-Imperial response among slaves and lower class readers.

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Michael Azar

In Exegeting the Jews: The Early Reception of the Johannine "Jews", Michael G. Azar analyzes the rhetorical function of the Gospel of John’s "Jews" in the earliest surviving full-length expositions of John in Greek: Origen’s Commentary on John (3rd cent.), John Chrysostom’s Homilies on John (4th cent.), and Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John (5th cent.). While scholarship often has portrayed the reception history ( Wirkungsgeschichte) of the Gospel’s “Jews” as simply and uniformly anti-Jewish or antisemitic, Azar demonstrates that these three writers primarily read John’s narrative typologically, employing the situation and characters in the Gospel not against contemporary Jews with whom they regularly interacted, but as types of each patristic writer’s own intra-Christian struggle and opponents.

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Dean R. Ulrich

In The Antiochene Crisis and Jubilee Theology in Daniel’s Seventy Sevens, Dean R. Ulrich explores the joint interest of Daniel 9:24-27 in the Antiochene crisis of the second century B.C.E. and the jubilee theology conveyed by the prophecy’s structure. This study is necessary because previous scholarship, though recognizing the jubilee structure of the seventy sevens, has not sufficiently made the connection between jubilee and the six objectives of Daniel 9:24. Previous scholarship also has not adequately related the book’s interest in Antiochus IV to the hope of jubilee, which involves the full inheritance that God has promised to his people but that they had lost because of their compromises with Antiochus IV.

The Gospels in First-Century Judaea

Proceedings of the Inaugural Conference of Nyack College's Graduate Program in Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins, August 29th, 2013

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Edited by R.Steven Notley and Jeffrey P. García

In The Gospels in First Century Judaea experts of Greco-Roman Judaism employ their expertise to offer fresh and innovative interpretations of gospel texts. Each study examines closely a passage from one of the four canonical gospels in order to shed light on it from various pertinent subject areas (e.g., linguistics, archaeology, fine art).

The studies presented in this volume follow on the heels of more than forty years of research into the Jewish backgrounds of the New Testament, with one innovative development, namely, reading and interpreting the gospels as accounts that originate in the first century Judaea and play a more integral role in the body of ancient Jewish literature.

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Karl Olav Sandnes

From early on, Christians passed down the account of Jesus’s agony at the prospect of his own death and his prayer that the cup should pass from him (Gethsemane). Yet, this is a troublesome aspect of Christian tradition. Jesus was committed to his death, but as it approached, he prayed for his escape, even as he submitted himself to God’s will. Ancient critics mocked Jesus and his followers for the events at Gethsemane. The ‘hero’ failed to meet the cultural standards for noble death and masculinity. As such, this story calls for further reflection and interpretation. The present book unfolds discourses from the earliest centuries of Christianity to determine what strategies were developed to come to terms with Gethsemane.

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Stewart Moore

In Jewish Ethnic Identity and Relations in Hellenistic Egypt, Stewart Moore investigates the foundations of common assumptions about ethnicity. To maintain one’s identity in a strange land, was it always necessary to band tightly together with one’s coethnics? Sociologists and anthropologists who study ethnicity have given us a much wider view of the possible strategies of ethnic maintenance and interaction.

The most important facet of Jewish ethnicity in Egypt which emerges from this study is the interaction over the Jewish-Egyptian boundary. Previous scholarship has assumed that this border was a Siegfried Line marked by mutual contempt. Yet Jews, Egyptians and also Greeks interacted in complicated ways in Ptolemaic Egypt, with positive relationships being at least as numerous as negative ones.

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Gunnar Magnus Eidsvåg

The Old Greek translation of Zechariah has not received much scholarly attention even though it contains several well known passages. Questions concerning its origin and character as a translation have yet to be dealt with in a comprehensive manner. The present monograph aims to bridge this gap by offering new methodological perspectives. The Old Greek Translation of Zechariah attempts to answer questions concerning the outlook of the translation, and what faction of the Jewish society was interested in translating this book into Greek. It argues that the translator had pro-Hasmonean sympathies.

Viewing Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology

VeHinnei Rachel – Essays in Honor of Rachel Hachlili

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Edited by Ann Killebrew and Gabriele Faßbeck

In honor of eminent archaeologist and historian of ancient Jewish art, Rachel Hachlili, friends and colleagues offer contributions in this festschrift which span the world of ancient Judaism both in Palestine and the Diaspora. Hachlili's distinctive research interests: synagogues, burial sites, and Jewish iconography receive particular attention in the volume. Archaeologists and historians present new material evidence from Galilee, Jerusalem, and Transjordan, contributing to the honoree’s fields of scholarly study. Fresh analyses of ancient Jewish art, essays on architecture, historical geography, and research history complete the volume and make it an enticing kaleidoscope of the vibrant field of scholarship that owes so much to Rachel.