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Children and Methods

Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World

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Edited by Kristine Henriksen Garroway and John W. Martens

In Children and Methods: Listening To and Learning From Children in the Biblical World, Kristine Henriksen Garroway and John W. Martens bring together an interdisciplinary collection of essays addressing children in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and broader ancient world. While the study of children has been on the rise in a number of fields, the methodologies by which we listen to and learn from children in ancient Judaism and Christianity have not been critically examined.

This collection of essays proposes that while the various lenses of established methods of higher criticism offer insight into the lives of children, by filtering these methods through the new field of Childist Criticism, children can be heard and seen in a new light.

The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises

The Making of the Matthean Self

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George Branch-Trevathan

What, in Matthew’s view, should a human being become and how does one attain that ideal? In The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises: The Making of the Matthean Self, George Branch-Trevathan presents a new account of Matthew’s ethics and argues that the evangelist presents the Sermon on the Mount as functioning like many other ancient sayings collections, that is, as facilitating transformative work on oneself, or “spiritual exercises,” that enable one to realize the evangelist’s ideals. The conclusion suggests some implications for our understanding of ethical formation in antiquity and the study of ethics more generally. This will be an essential volume for scholars studying the Gospel of Matthew, early Christian ethics, the relationships between early Christian and ancient philosophical writings, or ethical formation in antiquity.

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Edited by Douglas Estes

The tree of life is an iconic visual symbol at the edge of religious thought over the last several millennia. As a show of its significance, the tree bookends the Christian canon; yet scholarship has paid it minimal attention in the modern era. In The Tree of Life a team of scholars explore the origin, development, meaning, reception, and theology of this consequential yet obscure symbol. The fourteen essays trek from the origins of the tree in the texts and material culture of the ancient Near East, to its notable roles in biblical literature, to its expansion by early church fathers and Gnostics, to its rebirth in medieval art and culture, and to its place in modern theological thought.

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Judith V. Stack

Metaphor and the Portrayal of the Cause(s) of Sin and Evil in the Gospel of Matthew traces the range and significance of metaphors used in Matthew for the origin and sin and evil and their congruence with key texts of the Second Temple milieu.

While traditional theology has often sought to pinpoint a single cause of sin and evil, Matthew’s use of a spectrum of metaphors undermines theologically reductionist approaches and opens up a rich range of ways for conceiving of and talking about the cause of sin and evil. Ultimately, the use of metaphor (necessary to discussions of sin) destabilizes foundationalist theologies of sin, and any theology of sin must grapple with the inherently tensive nature of metaphorical language.

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Thomas E. Hunt

In Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386–393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.

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Laura Delbrugge

A Scholarly Edition of the Gamaliel (Valencia: Juan Jofre, 1525) is a modernized edition of a late medieval devotional that formed part of the narrative tradition of La Vengeance de nostre Seigneur, which gained popularity from the twelfth century. The 1525 compendium Gamaliel is comprised of seven loosely related texts, including the Passion of Christ, the Destruction of Jerusalem, the biographies of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, and the Slaughter of the Innocents. The Gamaliel was reproduced in over a dozen Spanish and Catalan printed editions in the first half of the sixteenth century until it was banned by the Spanish Inquisition beginning in 1558, likely due to its anonymous authorship and apocryphal content.

The Lukan Lens on Wealth and Possessions

A Perspective Shaped by the Themes of Reversal and Right Response

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Rachel L. Coleman

In The Lukan Lens on Wealth and Possessions: A Perspective Shaped by Reversal and Right Response, Rachel Coleman offers a detailed look at Luke’s wealth ethic. The long-debated question of how Luke understands the relationship between followers of Jesus and material possessions is examined with careful exegesis and keen literary and theological sensitivity. The twin motifs established in Luke’s introductory unit (Luke 1:5–4:44)—reversal and right response—provide the hermeneutical lenses that allow the reader to discern a consistent Lukan perspective on wealth in the life of disciples. With an engaging style and an eye to the contemporary church, the book will appeal to both scholars and pastors.

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Edited by Einar Thomassen and Christoph Markschies

The Coptic Life of Aaron

Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary

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Jacques van der Vliet and Jitse Dijkstra

The Life of Aaron is one of the most interesting and sophisticated hagiographical works surviving in Coptic. The work contains descriptions of the lives of ascetic monks, in particular Apa Aaron, on the southern Egyptian frontier in the fourth and early fifth centuries, and was probably written in the sixth century. Even though the first edition of this work was already published by E.A. Wallis Budge in 1915, a critical edition remained outstanding. In this book Jitse H.F. Dijkstra and Jacques van der Vliet present not only a critical text, for the most part based on the only completely preserved, tenth-century manuscript, but also a new translation and an exhaustive commentary addressing philological, literary and historical aspects of the text.

Bar Ṣalībī’s Treatise Against the Jews

Edited and Translated with Notes and Commentary

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Rifaat Ebied, Malki Malki and Lionel R. Wickham

Dionysius Bar Ṣalībī’s Treatise against the Jews offers rare and illuminating insight into Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations during the Crusader era, not from the perspective of western Crusaders, but from the frequently neglected viewpoint of the oriental orthodox tradition. Bar Ṣalībī, a distinguished hierarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church, lived in a turbulent time of heightened tensions in the Levant. The Treatise against the Jews, which forms part of the corpus of Syriac Polemical Works, investigates the prejudices of Christians and Jews towards each other during the 12 century AD.This edition and translation is based on all the available manuscripts of the text, accompanied by extensive introductions, notes and commentary as well as studies of its place in the field of Syriac Patristic Polemics.