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Cushites in the Hebrew Bible

Negotiating Ethnic Identity in the Past and Present

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Kevin Burrell

Cushites in the Hebrew Bible offers a reassessment of Cushite ethnographic representations in the biblical literature as a counterpoint to misconceptions about Africa and people of African descent which are largely a feature of the modern age.
Whereas current interpretations have tended to emphasize unfavourable portraits of the people biblical writers called Cushites, Kevin Burrell illuminates the biblical perspective through a comparative assessment of ancient and modern forms of identity construction. Past and present modes of defining difference betray both similarities and differences to ethnic representations in the Hebrew Bible, providing important contexts for understanding the biblical view. This book contributes to a clearer understanding of the theological, historical, and ethnic dynamics underpinning representations of Cushites in the Hebrew Bible.

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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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Sonja Noll

In The Semantics of Silence in Biblical Hebrew, Sonja Noll explores the many words in biblical Hebrew that refer to being silent, investigating how they are used in biblical texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Ben Sira. She also examines the tradition of interpretation for these words in the early versions (Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, Peshitta), modern translations, and standard dictionaries, revealing that meanings are not always straightforward and that additional work is needed in biblical semantics and lexicography. The traditional approach to comparative Semitics, with its over-simplistic assumption of semantic equivalence in cognates, is also challenged. The surprising conclusion of the work is that there is no single concept of silence in the biblical world; rather, it spans multiple semantic fields.

The Egerton Gospel (Egerton Papyrus 2 + Papyrus Köln VI 255)

Introduction, Critical Edition, and Commentary

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Lorne R. Zelyck

In this commentary on the Egerton Gospel, Lorne R. Zelyck presents a fresh paleographical analysis and thorough reconstruction of the fragmentary text, which results in new readings and interpretations. Details surrounding the acquisition of the manuscript are presented for the first time, and various scholarly viewpoints on controversial topics, such as the date of composition and relationship to the canonical gospels, are addressed. This early apocryphal gospel (150-250 CE) provides traditional interpretations of the canonical gospels that are similar to those of other early Christian authors, and affirms Jesus’ continuity with the miracle-working prophets Moses and Elisha, his obedience to the Law, divinity, and violent rejection by Jewish opponents.

Erzählte Bewegung

Narrationsstrategien und Funktionsweisen lateinischer Pilgertexte (4.-15. Jahrhundert)

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Susanna Fischer

In Erzählte Bewegung. Narrationsstrategien und Funktionsweisen lateinischer Pilgertexte (4.-15. Jahrhundert), Susanna Fischer analyzes the function and structure of the genre of pilgrimage narratives from a literary point of view.
The first part of the book is devoted to theoretical reflections and a systematic analysis of characteristic elements of pilgrimage narratives. Interpreting the texts from a narrative perspective, she focuses not only on formal characteristics but also on narrative structures and thus takes a closer look at the poetics of pilgrimage narratives. Through the detailed analysis of fourteen Latin texts about pilgrimage to the Holy Land from the 4th to the 15th century, she illustrates the development of a literary tradition with specific structural, stylistic and narrative characteristics.

Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity

Festschrift in Honour of Cilliers Breytenbach on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday

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Edited by David du Toit, Christine Gerber and Christiane Zimmermann

In Sōtēria: Salvation in Early Christianity and Antiquity, an international team of scholars assembles to honour the distinguished academic career of New Testament scholar Cilliers Breytenbach. Colleagues and friends consider in which manner concepts of salvation were constructed in early Christianity and its Jewish and Graeco-Roman contexts. Studies on aspects of soteriology in the New Testament writings, such as in the narratives on Jesus’ life and work, and theological interpretations of his life and death in the epistolary literature, are supplemented by studies on salvation in the Apostolic Fathers, Marcion, early Christian inscriptions and Antiochian theology. The volume starts with some exemplary studies on salvation in the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Septuagint, and popular Graeco-Roman literature and philosophy. Furthermore, some contributions shed light on the ancient cultural background of early Christian soteriological concepts.

Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention?

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning

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Edited by Clarissa Breu

In Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning, Clarissa Breu offers interdisciplinary contributions to the question of the author in biblical interpretation with a focus on “death of the author” theory. The wide range of approaches represented in the volume comprises mostly postmodern theory (e. g. Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Paul de Man, Julia Kristeva and Gilles Deleuze), but also the implied author and intentio operis. Furthermore, psychology, choreography, reader-response theories and anthropological studies are reflected. Inasmuch as the contributions demonstrate that biblical studies could utilize significantly more differentiated views on the author than are predominantly presumed within the discipline, it is an invitation to question the importance and place attributed to the author.

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Hannah W. Matis

In The Song of Songs in the Early Middle Ages, Hannah W. Matis examines how the Song of Songs, the collection of Hebrew love poetry, was understood in the Latin West as an allegory of Christ and the church. This reading of the biblical text was passed down via the patristic tradition, established by the Venerable Bede, and promoted by the chief architects of the Carolingian reform. Throughout the ninth century, the Song of Songs became a text that Carolingian churchmen used to think about the nature of Christ and to conceptualize their own roles and duties within the church. This study examines the many different ways that the Song of Songs was read within its early medieval historical context.

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Edited by Cilliers Breytenbach and Christoph Markschies

The chapters in this volume cover all aspects of the work of Adolf Deissmann (1866–1937). Following his main works, the authors highlight crucial aspects and impulses from his philological work on the New Testament, including the interpretation of Paul, Light from the Ancient East, the social status of the first Christians, and the lexicography of the New Testament. His background in the Lutheran Church of Hessen-Nassau, his contribution to the ecumenical movement together with Nathan Söderblom and through the Evangelische Wochenbriefe during World War II, and his role as rector of the Berlin University in 1930/1931 are also discussed. The contributions illustrate that notwithstanding his ecumenical engagement, Deissmann never gave up his scholarly work. The essays trace the influence of his philological and historical work among his students and place contemporary debates on Deissmann as philologist and theologian in their historical context.

Dieser Band widmet sich in neun Einzelbeiträgen der gesamten Breite des Schaffens von Adolf Deissmann (1866–1937). Entlang der Hauptwerken werden wesentliche Aspekte und Impulse aus seiner philologisch orientierten Arbeit am Neuen Testament neu gewürdigt (Interpretation der Paulusbriefe, Licht vom Osten, „Unterschichtenthese“, neutestamentliche Lexikographie etc.). Daneben geht es um seine Herkunft aus der Evangelischen Kirche in Hessen-Nassau, um sein Wirken in der Ökumene am Beispiel der Beziehung zu Nathan Söderblom und der Arbeit an den Evangelischen Wochenbriefen im Ersten Weltkrieg sowie um seine Rolle als Rektor der Berliner Universität von 1930 bis 1931. Die Beiträge zeigen, dass Deissmann trotz seines ökumenischen Engagements seine wissenschaftliche Arbeit nicht aufgegeben hat. Die Aufsätze gehen den Wirkungen seiner philologisch-historischen Arbeit unter seinen Schülern nach und stellen die zeitgenössischen Debatten um den Philologen und Theologen Deissmann in ihren historischen Kontext.

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H.A.G. Houghton, C.M. Kreinecker, R.F MacLachlan and C.J Smith

The earliest Latin versions of the writings of the New Testament offer important insights into the oldest forms of the biblical text, the use of language in the ancient Church and the foundations from which Christian theology developed in the West.
This volume presents a collation of Old Latin evidence for the four principal Pauline Epistles (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians). The sources comprise twenty-six Vetus Latina manuscripts, ten commentaries written between the fourth and sixth centuries and four early testimonia collections. Their text differs in many ways from the standard Vulgate version.
Created using innovative digital editing tools, this collation makes this valuable data available for the first time and is complemented by full electronic transcriptions online.