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The Book of the Twelve

A Pentecostal Commentary

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Edited by John Christopher Thomas

This commentary, written from a distinctively Pentecostal perspective is primarily for pastors, lay persons and Bible students. It is based upon the best scholarship, written in popular language, and communicates the meaning of the text with minimal technical distractions. The authors offer a running exposition on the text and extended comments on matters of special significance for Pentecostals. They acknowledge and interact with alternative interpretations of individual passages, and this commentary also provides periodic opportunities for reflection upon and personal response to the biblical text.

Edited by Tom Holmén and Stanley E. Porter

A hundred years after A. Schweitzer's Von Reimarus zu Wrede, the study of the historical Jesus is again experiencing a renaissance. Ongoing since the beginning of the 1980's, this renaissance has produced an abundance of Jesus studies that also display a welcome diversity of methods, approaches and hypotheses. The Handbook of the Study of the Historical Jesus is designed to handle this diversity and abundance. Drawing from first-class scholarship throughout the world, the four large volumes of the Handbook offer a unique assembly of leading experts presenting their approaches to the historical Jesus, as well as a thought-out compilation of original studies on a large variety of topics pertaining to Jesus research and adjacent areas.

The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity

Development, Decline and Demise ca. A.D. 270-430

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David Walsh

In The Cult of Mithras in Late Antiquity David Walsh explores how the cult of Mithras developed across the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. and why by the early 5th century the cult had completely disappeared. Contrary to the traditional narrative that the cult was violently persecuted out of existence by Christians, Walsh demonstrates that the cult’s decline was a far more gradual process that resulted from a variety of factors. He also challenges the popular image of the cult as a monolithic entity, highlighting how by the 4th century Mithras had come to mean different things to different people in different places.

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Ian Wilson

This essay offers an introduction to select disciplinary developments in the study of history and in historical study of the Hebrew Bible. It focuses first and foremost on “cultural history,” a broad category defined by nineteenth- and twentieth-century developments in anthropology and sociology, literary theory and linguistics, and other fields of study. The first part of the essay comments on developments since the so-called “linguistic turn,” highlighting some key works on culture, narrative, and memory, in order to establish a contemporary historical approach to biblical studies. It then turns to questions of the Hebrew Bible’s usefulness for historical study, and highlights studies of King David and the Davidic polity in ancient Israel/Judah, to show how scholars of the Bible have done historical work in recent years. And finally, it provides a case study of the book of Joshua, demonstrating how historians can utilize biblical texts as sources for cultural history.

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Harvey E. Goldberg

Interchange between anthropology and biblical scholarship began because of perceived similarities between “simpler” societies and practices appearing in the Hebrew Bible. After some disengagement when anthropologists turned mainly to ethnographic fieldwork, new cross-disciplinary possibilities opened up when structuralism emerged in anthropology. Ritual and mythology were major topics receiving attention, and some biblical scholars partially adopted structuralist methods. In addition, anthropological research extended to complex societies and also had an impact upon historical studies. Modes of interpretation developed that reflected holistic perspectives along with a sensibility to ethnographic detail. This essay illustrates these trends in regard to rituals and to notions of purity in the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the place of literacy in Israelite society and culture. After discussing these themes, three examples of structuralist-inspired analysis are presented which in different ways take into account historical and literacy-based facets of the Bible.

Sola Scriptura

Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Scripture, Authority, and Hermeneutics

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Edited by Hans Burger, Arnold Huijgen and Eric Peels

Sola Scriptura offers a multi-disciplinary reflection on the theme of the priority and importance of Scripture in theology, from historical, biblical-theological and systematic-theological perspectives, aiming at the interaction between exegesis and dogmatics. Brian Brock and Kevin J. Vanhoozer offer concluding reflections on the theme, bringing the various contributions together.

Handbook of Jewish Languages

Revised and Updated Edition

Edited by Lily Kahn and Aaron D. Rubin

This Handbook of Jewish Languages is an introduction to the many languages used by Jews throughout history, including Yiddish, Judezmo (Ladino) , and Jewish varieties of Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Berber, English, French, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Iranian, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Malayalam, Occitan (Provençal), Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Syriac, Turkic (Karaim and Krymchak), Turkish, and more. Chapters include historical and linguistic descriptions of each language, an overview of primary and secondary literature, and comprehensive bibliographies to aid further research. Many chapters also contain sample texts and images. This book is an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in Jewish languages, and will also be very useful for historical linguists, dialectologists, and scholars and students of minority or endangered languages. This paperback edition has been updated to include dozens of additional bibliographic references.

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Jennifer L. Koosed

This work provides a brief introduction to feminist interpretation of scripture. Feminist interpretation is first grounded in feminism as an intellectual and political movement. Next, this introduction briefly recounts the origins of feminist readings of the Bible with attention to both early readings and the beginnings of feminist biblical scholarship in the academy. Feminist biblical scholarship is not a single methodology, but rather an approach that can shape any reading method. As a discipline, it began with literary-critical readings (especially of the Hebrew Bible) but soon also broached questions of women’s history (especially in the New Testament and Christian origins). Since these first forays, feminist interpretation has influenced almost every type of biblical scholarship. The third section of this essay, then, looks at gender archaeology, feminist poststructuralism and postcolonial readings, and newer approaches informed by gender and queer theory. Finally, it ends by examining feminist readings of Eve.

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Kevin T. Van Bladel

This historical study argues that the Mandaean religion originated under Sasanid rule in the fifth century, not earlier as has been widely accepted. It analyzes primary sources in Syriac, Mandaic, and Arabic to clarify the early history of Mandaeism. This religion, along with several other, shorter-lived new faiths, such as Kentaeism, began in a period of state-sponsored persecution of Babylonian paganism. The Mandaeans would survive to become one of many groups known as Ṣābians by their Muslim neighbors. Rather than seeking to elucidate the history of Mandaeism in terms of other religions to which it can be related, this study approaches the religion through the history of its social contexts.

The Sense of Quoting

A Semiotic Case Study of Biblical Quotations

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David W. Odell-Scott

In The Sense of Quoting, Odell-Scott argues that the neutral continuous script of ancient manuscripts of the Greek New Testament composed with no punctuation and no spacing provided readers discretionary authority to determine and assess the status of phrases as they articulate a cohesive and coherent reading of the script. The variety of reading renditions each differently scored with punctuation supported the production of quotations. These cultivated and harvested quotes while useful for authorizing sectarian discourse, rarely convey the sense of the phrase in the continuous script. Augustine’s work on punctuating the scriptures in service to the production of plainer quotable passages in support of the rule of faith is addressed. Odell-Scott’s textual analysis of a plainer quotable passage at verse 7:1b concerning male celibacy supports his thesis that plainer passages are the product of interpretative scoring of the script in service to discursive endeavours. To quote is often to misquote.