Kitāb al-mustalḥaq is an addendum to the treatises on Hebrew morphology by Ḥayyūǧ, the most classic of the Andalusi works written during the caliphate of Cordoba and the benchmark for studies of the Hebrew language throughout the Arabic-speaking world during the medieval period.
Kitāb al-mustalḥaq was composed in Zaragoza by Ibn Ǧanāḥ after the civil war was unleashed in Cordoba in 1013. This new edition includes an historical introduction, taking account of the major contributions from the twentieth century to the present day, a description of the methodology and contents of this treatise, a description of the manuscripts, and a glossary of terminology. This new edition shows how Ibn Ǧanāḥ updated his book until the end of his life.
Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline oracles, Ashley L. Bacchi reclaims the importance of the Sibyl as a female voice of prophecy and reveals new layers of intertextual references that address political, cultural, and religious dialogue in second-century Ptolemaic Egypt. This investigation stands apart from prior examinations by reorienting the discussion around the desirability of the pseudonym to an issue of gender. It questions the impact of identifying the author’s message with a female prophetic figure and challenges the previous identification of paraphrased Greek oracles and their function within the text. Verses previously seen as anomalous are transferred from the role of Greek subterfuge of Jewish identity to offering nuanced support of monotheistic themes.
Proverbs volume in the Septuagint Commentary Series Al Wolters gives a meticulous philological commentary on the text of Proverbs as found in the important fourth-century Codex Vaticanus, together with a careful transcription of the Vaticanus Greek text and a fresh English translation thereof. The focus of the commentary is on the semantic and grammatical aspects of the Greek, relying primarily on general Greek usage rather than on the underlying Hebrew, and drawing on a broad array of lexicographical and grammatical resources, as well as a detailed examination of twelve previous translations of LXX Proverbs. In the process, many new interpretations of the often difficult Greek are proposed.
Targum Chronicles and Its Place Among the Late Targums heralds a paradigm shift in the understanding of many of the Jewish-Aramaic translations of individual biblical books and their origins. Leeor Gottlieb provides the most extensive study of Targum Chronicles to date, leading to conclusions that challenge long-accepted truisms with regard to the origin of Targums. This book’s trail of evidence convincingly points to the composition of Targums in a time and place that was heretofore not expected to be the provenance of these Aramaic gems of biblical interpretation. This study also offers detailed comparisons to other Targums and fascinating new explanations for dozens of aggadic expansions in Targum Chronicles, tying them to their rabbinic sources.
On the Life of Abraham displays Philo’s philosophical, exegetical, and literary genius at its best. Philo begins by introducing the biblical figures Enos, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as unwritten laws. Then, interweaving literal, ethical, and allegorical interpretations, Philo presents the life and achievements of Abraham, founder of the Jewish nation, in the form of a Greco-Roman bios, or biography. Ellen Birnbaum and John Dillon explain why and how this work is important within the context of Philo’s own oeuvre, early Jewish and Christian exegesis, and ancient philosophy. They also offer a new English translation and detailed analyses, in which they elucidate the meaning of Philo’s thought, including his perplexing notion that Israel’s ancestors were laws in themselves.
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.
Comparative and historical methods of reading ancient texts are an ongoing key contribution to illuminating children in the Bible. The nineteenth-century archaeological discoveries in the ancient Near East propelled biblical studies into a new, critical reality. But there has always been a tension between arguing that the Hebrew Bible is the same as its cultural context, or arguing for its difference. Understanding ancient children must also contend with this tension. Current approaches to the study of the ancient Near East offer more of a balance, fully describing the ancient Near East and offering a broad cultural matrix as a reading lens to understand biblical texts. Here we explore a few examples of difference and sameness in the Hebrew Bible’s representation of children, to ask whether the Hebrew Bible is simply echoing its cultural matrix, or making some key point in contrast to a commonly held idea about children. Through the process we learn the importance of a comparative analysis when scholars make claims about children in biblical texts.
While recognized as important contributors to the household, children remain a small part of ancient Near Eastern archaeology. If one goal of archaeology is to study at a micro/macro level theories of cultural dynamics, then that record remains incomplete, even flawed, without the inclusion of children. Children should not be simply an alternative focus of research, but need to be an integral part of all archaeologies. This study identifies a new theoretical lens, childist archaeology, and then applies this lens to the investigation of children in ancient Israel. Through a case study focused on double-holed discs, or “buttons,” the study concludes that play should be understood as an integral part of skill transmission and the enculturation of children into society. To test the viability of the conclusions, the case study employs experimental archaeology wherein a group of children undertake the task of creating a spinning toy made of ceramics.
This chapter explores the theme of biblical children and method by examining the narrative relationship between children and Jesus’ disciples in the Gospel of Mark using Derridean poststructural deconstruction. Playing on the relationship between pais (child, slave) and paizō (to play, jest, mock), the essay shows how Mark playfully weaves two groups, adult male insiders (disciples) and children, typically expressed in Derridean hierarchical form as adult disciples over children, through his parable of the sower matrix. Doing so, Mark inverts them. With one contrasting exception, from Jairus’ daughter forward, children increasingly reveal the kingdom of God like seed cast in good soil, while the disciples’ ability to do so withers like seed in rocky soil. Mark’s presentation of children seems to toy with, even mock, the disciples, privileging children over them, perhaps fitting of Markan irony elsewhere.
However, this essay argues two points that undermine Mark’s characterizations. First, the slave girl of the high priest is a child in Mark. Second, her characterization challenges the typical binary hierarchy of adults over children as well as Mark’s inversion where children are privileged over the adult disciples. She exhibits traces of Mark’s positive and negative child exemplars. She is a threshold child.