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Author: Eldon Jay Epp
Eldon Jay Epp’s second volume of collected essays consists of articles previously published during 2006-2017. All treat aspects of the New Testament textual criticism, but focus on historical and methodological issues relevant to constructing the earliest attainable text of New Testament writings.

More specific emphasis falls upon the nature of textual transmission and the text-critical process, and heavily on the criteria employed in establishing that earliest available text. Moreover, textual grouping is examined at length, and prominent is the current approach to textual variants not approved for the constructed text, for they have stories to tell regarding theological, ethical, and real-life issues as the early Christian churches sought to work out their own status, practices, and destiny.
Author: Ze'ev Safrai
Seeking out the Land describes the study of the Holy Land in the Roman period and examines the complex connections between theology, social agenda and the intellectual pursuit. Holiness as a theological concept determines the intellectual agenda of the elite society of writers seeking to describe the land, as well as their preoccupation with its physical aspects and their actual knowledge about it.
Ze'ev Safrai succeeds in examining all the ancient monotheistic literature, both Jewish and Christian, up to the fourth century CE, and in demonstrating how all the above-mentioned factors coalesce into a single entity. We learn that in both religions, with all their various subgroups, the same social and religious factors were at work, but with differing intensity.

A Study and Die Classification of the Earliest Coins of Galilee
The Coinage of Herod Antipas provides a comprehensive, multifaceted and up-to-date re-examination of the coins of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea between 4/3 BCE and 39/40 CE. Kogon and Fontanille classify about 800 coins by obverse and reverse dies. From this die classification they generate, for the first time ever for this tetrarch, about 300 composite die images. In addition, the authors examine both technical aspects of the coins (e.g. metrology, mint output) and non-technical aspects (e.g. inscriptions, iconography). They also review the geographic distribution of provenanced coins. Through this analysis of the coins of Herod Antipas, Kogon and Fontanille provide a greater understanding of the Sitz im Leben of first century Galilee.
This volume discusses crucial aspects of the period between the two revolts against Rome in Judaea that saw the rise of rabbinic Judaism and of the separation between Judaism and Christianity. Most contributors no longer support the ‘maximalist’ claim that around 100 CE, a powerful rabbinic regime was already in place. Rather, the evidence points to the appearance of the rabbinic movement as a group with a regional power base and with limited influence. The period is best seen as one of transition from the multiform Judaism revolving around the Second Temple in Jerusalem to a Judaism that was organized around synagogue, Tora, and sages and that parted ways with Christianity.
The Unique Perspective of the Bavli on Conversion and the Construction of Jewish Identity
Author: Moshe Lavee
In this volume, Moshe Lavee offers an account of crucial internal developments in the rabbinic corpus, and shows how the Babylonian Talmud dramatically challenged and extended the rabbinic model of conversion to Judaism. The history of conversion to Judaism has long fascinated Jews along a broad ideological continuum. This book demonstrates the rabbis in Babylonia further reworked former traditions about conversion in ever more stringent direction, shifting the focus of identity demarcation towards genealogy and bodily perspectives. By applying a reading-strategy that emphasizes late Babylonian literary developments, Lavee sheds critical light on a broader discourse regarding the nature and boundaries of Jewish identity.
The essays in this volume originate from the Third Qumran Institute Symposium held at the University of Groningen, December 2013. Taking the flexible concept of “cultural encounter” as a starting point, the essays in this volume bring together a panoply of approaches to the study of various cultural interactions between the people of ancient Israel, Judea, and Palestine and people from other parts of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world.

In order to study how cultural encounters shaped historical development, literary traditions, religious practice and political systems, the contributors employ a broad spectrum of theoretical positions (e.g., hybridity, métissage, frontier studies, postcolonialism, entangled histories and multilingualism), to interpret a diverse set of literary, documentary, archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, and iconographic sources.
The volume presents a selection of research projects in Digital Humanities applied to the “Biblical Studies” in the widest sense and context, including Early Jewish and Christian studies, hence the title “Ancient Worlds”. Taken as a whole, the volume explores the emergent Digital Culture at the beginning of the 21st century. It also offers many examples which attest to a change of paradigm in the textual scholarship of “Ancient Worlds”: categories are reshaped; textuality is (re-) investigated according to its relationships with orality and visualization; methods, approaches and practices are no longer a fixed conglomeration but are mobilized according to their contexts and newly available digital tools.
The Christian Reception of the Hebrew name of God has not previously been described in such detail and over such an extended period. This work places that varied reception within the context of early Jewish and Christian texts; Patristic Studies; Jewish-Christian relationships; Mediaeval thought; the Renaissance and Reformation; the History of Printing; and the development of Christian Hebraism.
The contribution of notions of the Tetragrammaton to orthodox doctrines and debates is exposed, as is the contribution its study made to non-orthodox imaginative constructs and theologies. Gnostic, Kabbalistic, Hermetic and magical texts are given equally detailed consideration.
There emerge from this sustained and detailed examination several recurring themes concerning the difficulty of naming God, his being and his providence.
Contributors to The Divine Courtroom in Comparative Perspective treat one of the most pervasive religious metaphors, that of the divine courtroom, in both its historical and thematic senses. In order to shed light on the various manifestations of the divine courtroom, this volume consists of essays by scholars of the ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, early Christianity, Talmud, Islam, medieval Judaism, and classical Greek literature. Contributions to the volume primarily center upon three related facets of the divine courtroom: the role of the divine courtroom in the earthly legal system; the divine courtroom as the site of historical justice; and the divine courtroom as the venue in which God is called to answer for his own unjust acts.