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Series:

Harry A. Hoffner Jr.

This is the first book-length collection in English of letters from the ancient kingdom of the Hittites. All known well-preserved examples, including the important corpus of letters from the provincial capital of Tapikka, are reproduced here in romanized transcription and English translation, accompanied by introductory essays, explanatory notes on the text and its translation, and a complete description of the rules of Hittite correspondence compared with that of other ancient Middle Eastern states. Letters containing correspondence between kings and their foreign peers, between kings and their officials in the provinces, and between these officials themselves reveal rich details of provincial administration, the relationships and duties of the officials, and tantalizing glimpses of their private lives. Matters discussed include oversight of agriculture, tax liabilities, litigation, inheritance rights, defense against hostile groups on the kingdom’s periphery, and consulting the gods by means of oracular procedures.

Translation That Openeth the Window

Reflections on the History and Legacy of the King James Bible

Series:

Edited by David G. Burke

In their elegant but often overlooked preface to the King James Bible, the translators asserted, “Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water.”

In celebration of the work of these translators and the fruit of their labors, the authors of this volume, representing a wide range of disciplines and perspectives, examine the cultural and religious monument that is the King James Bible. After David G. Burke’s introduction to the volume, Alister McGrath, Benson Bobrick, Lynne Long, and John R. Kohlenberger III explore in part 1 “The World of Bible Translation before the King James Version.” In part 2, A. Kenneth Curtis, Barclay M. Newman and Charles Houser, and Jack Lewis investigate “The Making of the King James Bible,” while in part 3 Leonard J. Greenspoon, Cheryl J. Sanders, Lamin Sanneh, David Lyle Jeffrey, and James R. White review “The World of Bible Translation after the King James Bible.” By looking at the historical context in which the translation was born, exploring its beauty and complexity, and evaluating its lasting impact on church and society throughout the English-speaking world, this volume provides a comprehensive introduction to the King James Bible and its influence throughout the centuries.

Hierocles the Stoic

Elements of Ethics, Fragments, and Excerpts

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Ilaria Ramelli

Hierocles, the Stoic philosopher of the early imperial age, is a crucial witness to Middle and Neo-Stoicism, especially with regard to their ethical philosophy. In this volume, all of Hierocles’ surviving works are translated into English for the first time, with the original Greek and a facing English translation: the Elements of Ethics, preserved on papyrus, along with all fragments and excerpts from the treatise On Duties, collected by Stobaeus in the fifth century C.E. and dealing mainly with social relationships, marriage, household, and family. In addition, Ramelli’s introductory essay demonstrates how Hierocles was indebted to the Old Stoa and how he modified its doctrines in accord with Middle Stoicism and further developments in philosophy as well as his personal views. Finally, Ramelli’s extensive commentary on Hierocles’ works clarifies philosophical questions raised by the text and provides rich and updated references to existing scholarship.

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Mark K. George

The narratives about Israel’s tabernacle are neither a building blueprint nor simply a Priestly conceit securing priestly prominence in Israel. Using a spatial poetics to reexamine these narratives, George argues that the Priestly writers encode a particular understanding of Israel’s identity and self-understanding in tabernacle space. His examination of Israel’s tabernacle narratives makes space itself the focus of analysis and in so doing reveals the social values, concerns, and ideas that inform these narratives. Through a process of negotiation and exchange with the broader social and cultural world, the Priestly writers portray Israel as having an important role in the divine economy, one that is singularly expressed by this portable structure.

John, Jesus, and History, Volume 2

Aspects of Historicity in the Fourth Gospel

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Edited by Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just S.J. and Tom Thatcher

This groundbreaking volume draws together an international group of leading biblical scholars to consider one of the most controversial religious topics in the modern era: Is the Gospel of John—the most theological and distinctive among the four canonical Gospels—historical or not? If not, why does John alone among the Gospels claim eyewitness connections to Jesus? If so, why is so much of John’s material unique to John? Using various methodologies and addressing key historical issues in John, these essays advance the critical inquiry into Gospel historiography and John’s place within it, leading to an impressive consensus and convergences along the way.

The contributors are Paul N. Anderson; Mark Appold; Richard Bauckham; Helen K. Bond; Richard A. Burridge; James H. Charlesworth; Jaime Clark-Soles; Mary Coloe; R. Alan Culpepper; Craig A. Evans; Sean Freyne; Jeffrey Paul Garcia; Brian D. Johnson; Peter J. Judge; Felix Just, S.J.; Craig S. Keener; Edward W. Klink III; Craig R. Koester; Michael Labahn; Mark A. Matson; James F. McGrath; Susan Miller; Gail R. O’Day; Bas van Os; Tom Thatcher; Derek M. H. Tovey; Urban C. von Wahlde; and Ben Witherington III.

The Libyan Anarchy

Inscriptions from Egypt’s Third Intermediate Period

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Robert K. Ritner

Contemporary with the Israelite kingdom of Solomon and David, the Nubian conqueror Piye (Piankhy), and the Assyrian Assurbanipal, Egypt’s Third Intermediate Period is of critical interest not only to Egyptologists but also to biblical historians, Africanists, and Assyriologists. Spanning six centuries and as many dynasties, the turbulent era extended from approximately 1100 to 650 B.C.E. This volume, the first extensive collection of Third Intermediate Period inscriptions in any language, includes the primary sources for the history, society, and religion of Egypt during this complicated period, when Egypt was ruled by Libyan and Nubian dynasties and had occasional relations with Judah and the encroaching, and finally invading, Assyrian Empire. It includes the most significant texts of all genres, newly translated and revised. This volume will serve as a source book and companion for the most thorough study of the history of the period, Kitchen’s The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt.

The “Mysteries” of Qumran

Mystery, secrecy, and esotericism in the Dead Sea scrolls

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Samuel I. Thomas

This volume provides a new interpretation of the functions of “mystery” language and secrecy in the Qumran scrolls. The texts preserved and composed at Qumran by the apocalyptic group known as the Yaḥad display an interest in revelation, interpretation, and ritual practice, and attest to the active cultivation of esoteric arts such as astrology and astronomy, physiognomy, and therapeutic “magic.” Much like its Babylonian priestly-scribal counterparts, the Yaḥad fostered and guarded its “mysteries”—its store of special knowledge available only to the elect—and used “mystery” terminology (especially raz) to claim authority and to erect social boundaries around themselves as the “men of the vision” and the “house of holiness.” The “Mysteries” of Qumran offers an in-depth semantic analysis of relevant terminology and integrates social-scientific and intellectual-history approaches in focusing on an important motif in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Solomon’s Vineyard

Literary and Linguistic Studies in the Song of Songs

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Scott Noegel and Gary A. Rendsburg

This monograph includes four lengthy studies on the Song of Songs, which together identify the northern dialect of the poetry, focus on the literary devices of alliteration and variation, and propose that the composition is akin to medieval Arabic hija’ and tašbīb (or invective) poetic genres, aimed at critiquing the king and his court. The authors conclude that the poem was written during the period of the two monarchies, probably circa 900 B.C.E., somewhere in northern Israel, with the goal of censuring King Solomon and his descendants on the throne in Jerusalem.

Strangely familiar

protofeminist interpretations of patriarchal biblical texts

Edited by Nancy Calvert-Koyzis and Heather E. Weir

Until recently, the voices of women who interpreted the Bible prior to the feminism of the late twentieth century had been largely forgotten. However, the current recovery of these women’s interpretive works reveals writings that seem “strangely familiar” in their anticipation of later feminist approaches to the biblical text and their thematic interest in liberation. In this volume, the contributions of seventeenth- to nineteenth-century women—including Arcangela Tarabotti, Aemelia Lanyer, and Josephine Butler—are addressed in their historical and cultural contexts. Each of these recovered authors worked to liberate women from interpretations of the Bible that proved oppressive to them. Leading feminist biblical scholars assess the works of these forerunners, or protofeminists, in light of contemporary feminist approaches, and the collection as a whole illustrates the significance of these neglected works for reception history, biblical studies, and women’s studies.

The contributors include Nancy Calvert-Koyzis and Heather E. Weir, Amanda W. Benckhuysen, Robert Knetsch, J. Cheryl Exum, Marion Ann Taylor, Joy A. Schroeder, Esther Fuchs, Christiana de Groot, Caroline Blyth, Philippa Carter, Beth Bidlack, Pamela J. Walker, Sandra Hack Polaski, J. Ramsey Michaels, Ben Witherington III, Hilary Elder, Agnes Choi, Barry Huff, and Pauline Nigh Hogan.

The Second Church

Popular Christianity a.d. 200–400

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Ramsay MacMullen

Christianity in the century both before and after Constantine’s conversion is familiar thanks
to the written sources; now Ramsay MacMullen, in his fifth book on ancient Christianity,
considers especially the unwritten evidence. He uses excavation reports about hundreds of
churches of the fourth century to show what worshipers did in them and in the cemeteries
where most of them were built. What emerges, in this richly illustrated work, is a religion
that ordinary Christians, by far the majority, practiced in a different and largely forgotten
second church. The picture fits with textual evidence that has been often misunderstood or
little noticed.
The “first” church—the familiar one governed by bishops—in part condemned, in part
tolerated, and in part re-shaped the church of the many.
Even together, however, the two constituted by the end of the period studied (AD 400)
a total of the population far smaller than has ever been suggested. Better estimates are now
made for the first time from quantifiable data, that is, from the physical space available for
attendance in places of worship. Reassessment raises very large questions about the place of
religion in the life of the times and in the social composition of both churches.