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Seeking the Favor of God

Volume 3: The Impact of Penitential Prayer beyond Second Temple Judaism

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Edited by Mark Boda, Richard Falk and Rodney Werline

They shall purify themselves

Essays on Purity in Early Judaism

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Susan Haber

Edited by Adele Reinhartz

Recent decades have witnessed numerous studies of the role of purity in early Judaism, from ancient Israel to the rabbinic period, covering a variety of topics and approaches. The essays in this volume address three less-studied areas of this broader field: the connection, if any, between purity and the synagogue; Jesus’ observance of purity laws; and women’s relationships with purity in the first century. By providing a new perspective on the role of purity in first-century Judaism, this stimulating and refreshing collection illuminates ancient practice and informs our understanding of the role of purity in the contemporary world.
Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

Seeking the Favor of God

Volume 2: The Development of Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism

Series:

Mark Boda, Richard Falk and Rodney Werline

The essays collected in this volume investigate the development of prayers of penitence within Jewish literature of the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The book provides a critical overview of the present state of research on these prayers, and leading experts in the field use a variety of methodologies to investigate afresh various texts from the Hebrew Bible, apocryphal (deuterocanonical) and pseudepigraphical works, and the Qumran corpus in order to provide new insights into this prayer tradition. Contributors include Russell C. D. Arnold, Esther G. Chazon, Daniel K. Falk, LeAnn Snow Flesher, Michael H. Floyd, Judith H. Newman, Bilhah Nitzan, Eileen Schuller, Pieter M. Venter, and Rodney A. Werline.

Seeking the Favor of God includes three volumes covering the origins, development, and impact of penitential prayer in Second Temple Judaism.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

Seeking the Favor of God

Volume 1: The Origins of Penitential Prayer in Second Temple Judaism

Series:

Mark Boda, Richard Falk and Rodney Werline

The emergence of penitential prayer represents a significant formal shift in the prayer tradition of Israel. The essays collected in this volume investigate the beginnings of penitential prayer literature in the Hebrew Bible in the Babylonian and Persian periods. The contributors offer a fresh look at various aspects of the shift from communal lament to penitential prayer as well as the relationship between them, in the process applying new approaches and methodologies to such questions as the meaning and importance of confession to penitential prayer and the necessity of penitential prayer as a prequel to repentance. The contributors are Samuel Balentine, Richard J. Bautch, Mark J. Boda, Michael Duggan, Judith Gärtner, Katherine M. Hayes, Jay C. Hogewood, William Morrow, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, and Rodney A. Werline.
Seeking the Favor of God includes three volumes covering the origins, development and impact of penitential prayer in Second Temple Judaism.

Paperback edition available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).

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Rivka Nir

The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a pseudepigraphic apocalyptic work ascribed to Baruch son of Neriah, the scribe of Jeremiah. Its overt content concerning the last days of the First Temple period disguises a description of the fall of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Contrary to the general scholarly view, this book attempts to show that the internal structure and central ideas of II Baruch must be understood in a Christian context. This theological identity is reflected mainly in traditions which describe the destruction of Jerusalem and the three apocalyptic visions which depict the coming of the Messiah and the eschatological redemption. The author’s conclusion may shed light on the Christian character of other Pseudepigraphic and apocalyptic books.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).

Holy Lives, Holy Deaths

A Close Hearing of Early Jewish Storytellers

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Antoinette Clark Wire

This volume guides the reader in listening to Early Jewish stories about holy figures which appear to have first been told between 150 B.C.E. and 150 C.E. Following new translations, the book provides a close hearing of the oral storytelling that generated these narratives now surviving only in literary form. Historical folklore must reconstruct storytelling performance from literary remains. Making use of contemporary folklore methods, the author examines the text, texture, and context of over one hundred stories, including birth prophecies, provision legends, prophetic stories of destruction or deliverance, and tales of martyrdom. A broad range of stories of these four types is presented in a way that reveals and illumines the oral patterns and characteristics of the storytellers. The stories are drawn from apocryphal and pseudepigraphical literature, Early Jewish historians, first-century Christian texts, and the Mishnah and early Talmudic writings. The Christian tradition is included here because it was generated within sectarian Judaism, and the first reports about Jesus appeared from Jewish storytellers. This work aims to shift the attention of biblical scholars and historians of religion away from an exclusive focus on the thought and art of writers or authors, and toward a wider recognition of the work of the storytellers, men and women alike, who generated the traditions that ultimately came to be preserved in written form.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

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Edited by Hata and Harold Attridge

Eusebius of Caesarea lived at a crucial turning point in the history of the Christian church. He was an important witness to the polemical and apologetic attitudes that characterized much early Christian literature. The most voluminous writer of the early fourth century, he was also the first comprehensive historian of his community seeking a philosophy to explain the whole course of history from the beginning to his own time.
This volume places Eusebius' work in proper perspective. The contributors, all recognized specialists in early Christianity, shed light on the person and circumstances of Eusebius himself. This collection of essays focuses on elements of the story that Eusebius tells — the story of the early church, its relationship to Judaism, or its confrontation with the Roman Empire — and explores gaps left by Eusebius. The writers offer a cross-section of current scholarly methods in the study of early Christianity and Judaism.