The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.
Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, 14-15 August, 2017
Edited by Mette Bundvad and Kasper Siegismund
Donald W. Parry
In Exploring the Isaiah Scrolls and Their Textual Variants, Donald W. Parry systematically presents, on a verse-by-verse basis, the variants of the Hebrew witnesses of Isaiah (the Masoretic Text and the twenty-one Isaiah Dead Sea Scrolls) and briefly discusses why each variant exists. The Isaiah scrolls have greatly impacted our understanding of the textual history of the Bible, and in recent decades, Bible translation committees have incorporated a number of the variants into their translations; as such, the Isaiah scrolls are important for both academic and popular audiences. Variant characterizations include four categories: (a) accidental errors, e.g., dittography, haplography, metathesis, graphic similarity; (b) intentional changes by scribes and copyists; (c) synonymous readings; (d) scribes’ stylistic approaches and conventions.
A Commentary on Leueitikon in Codex Vaticanus
In Leviticus Awabdy offers the first commentary on the Greek version of Leviticus according to Codex Vaticanus (4th century CE), which binds the Old and New Testaments into a single volume as Christian scripture. Distinct from other LeviticusLXX commentaries that employ a critical edition and focus on translation technique, Greco-Roman context and reception, this study interprets a single Greek manuscript on its own terms in solidarity with its early Byzantine users unversed in Hebrew. With a formal-equivalence English translation of a new, uncorrected edition, Awabdy illuminates LeueitikonB as an aesthetic composition that not only exhibits inherited Hebraic syntax and Koine lexical forms, but its own structure and theology, paragraph (outdented) divisions, syntax and pragmatics, intertextuality, solecisms and textual variants.
Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments
Edited by Francesca Alesse
In Philo of Alexandria and Greek Myth: Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments, a fresh and more complete image of Philo of Alexandria as a careful reader, interpreter, and critic of Greek literature is offered. Greek mythology plays a significant role in Philo of Alexandria’s exegetical oeuvre. Philo explicitly adopts or subtly evokes narratives, episodes and figures from Greek mythology as symbols whose didactic function we need to unravel, exactly as the hidden teaching of Moses’ narration has to be revealed by interpreters of Bible. By analyzing specific mythologems and narrative cycles, the contributions to this volume pave the way to a better understanding of Philo’s different attitudes towards literary and philosophical mythology.
Essays in Memory of Peter W. Flint
Edited by John J. Collins and Ananda Geyser-Fouché
This volume contains 17 essays on the subjects of text, canon, and scribal practice. The volume is introduced by an overview of the Qumran evidence for text and canon of the Bible. Most of the text critical studies deal with texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, including sectarian as well as canonical texts. Two essays shed light on the formation of authoritative literature. Scribal practice is illustrated in various ways, again mostly from the Dead Sea Scrolls. One essay deals with diachronic change in Qumran Hebrew. Rounding out the volume are two thematic studies, a wide-ranging study of the “ambiguous oracle” of Josephus, which he identifies as Balaam’s oracle, and a review of the use of female metaphors for Wisdom.
Orality, textuality and memory in the Scrolls from the Judean Desert
In Dead Sea Media Shem Miller offers a groundbreaking media criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although past studies have underappreciated the crucial roles of orality and memory in the social setting of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Miller convincingly demonstrates that oral performance, oral tradition, and oral transmission were vital components of everyday life in the communities associated with the Scrolls. In addition to being literary documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also records of both scribal and cultural memories, as well as oral traditions and oral performance. An examination of the Scrolls’ textuality reveals the oral and mnemonic background of several scribal practices and literary characteristics reflected in the Scrolls.
In The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora, Jonathan Trotter shows how different diaspora Jews’ perspectives on the distant city of Jerusalem and the temple took shape while living in the diaspora, an experience which often is characterized by complicated senses of alienation from and belonging to an ancestral homeland and one’s current home. This book investigates not only the perspectives of the individual diaspora Jews whose writings mention the Jerusalem temple (Letter of Aristeas, Philo of Alexandria, 2 Maccabees, and 3 Maccabees) but also the customs of diaspora Jewish communities linking them to the temple, such as their financial contributions and pilgrimages there.
Edited by Dr. Benedikt Eckhardt
In Private Associations and Jewish Communities in the Hellenistic and Roman Cities, Benedikt Eckhardt brings together a group of experts to investigate a problem of historical categorization. Traditionally, scholars have either presupposed that Jewish groups were “Greco-Roman Associations” like others or have treated them in isolation from other groups. Attempts to begin a cross-disciplinary dialogue about the presuppositions and ultimate aims of the respective approaches have shown that much preliminary work on categories is necessary. This book explores the methodological dividing lines, based on the common-sense assumption that different questions require different solutions. Re-introducing historical differentiation into a field that has been dominated by abstractions, it provides the debate with a new foundation. Case studies highlight the problems and advantages of different approaches.
Collected Essays, Volume 4
Twenty-eight revised and updated essays on the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, the Torah, the (proto-) Masoretic Text, the Septuagint, and the Dead Sea Scrolls originally published between 2010 and 2018 are presented in this fourth volume of the author’s collected essays. These areas have all developed much in modern research, and the author, the past editor-in-chief of the international Dead Sea Scrolls publication project, has been a major speaker in all of them. The topics presented in this volume display some of his emerging interests (the text of the Torah and the proto-MT), including central studies on the development of the text of the Torah, the enigma of the MT, and the Scripture text of the tefillin.
Edited by Antti Laato
Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions analyzes the historical, social and theological factors which have resulted in Jerusalem being considered a holy place in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also surveys the transmission of the religious traditions related to Jerusalem. This volume centralizes both the biblical background of Jerusalem’s pivotal role as holy place and its later development in religious writings; the biblical imagery has been adapted, rewritten and modified in Second Temple Jewish writings, the New Testament, patristic and Jewish literature, and Islamic traditions. Thus, all three monotheistic religions have influenced the multifaceted, interpretive traditions which help to understand the current religious and political position of Jerusalem in the three main Abrahamic faiths.