Browse results

The second century is a crucial period for the formation of both Judaism and Christianity, but remains in important ways terra incognita. This volume brings together specialists in Jewish studies and Christian studies, two closely related disciplines that nonetheless continue to operate in relative isolation. Taking into consideration the full panoply of Jewish and Christian identities, the volume proposes fresh ways to map the interrelated histories of Jews and Christians. Contributions by leading scholars offer new insights into this period informed by a rich variety of perspectives, including theoretical, literary, thematic and material approaches.
Studies in Ancient Jewish History, Literature, and Religion
This volume brings together over forty of Schiffman’s Studies on Ancient Judaism that have helped to shape this emerging field. Throughout, these studies display a wide-ranging perspective, bringing together all kinds of sources, written or archaeological, to illuminate ancient Judaism and its complex history. Topics explored include the history of the Jews and Judaism in Late Antiquity, the Bible in Jewish tradition, ancient Jewish thought, law, and liturgy, magic and mysticism, relation of the Dead Sea Scrolls to Rabbinic Literature, Judean Desert texts, and Judaism and Christianity. The volume concludes with studies of the work of several modern rabbis and academic scholars.
A Comparative Study of the Slavery Metaphor in Early Rabbinic and Early Christian Parables
Some of the slavery parables in the New Testament have been called “texts of terror,” as the slaves who are portrayed in them are beaten or even cut in two. Despite – or because – their violence, slavery parables are often used in early Christian and early rabbinic literature to illustrate the unique relationship between God and his people. This study investigates the reasons for and meaning of using the master-slave metaphor in the parables: what does it tell us about early Christian and early rabbinic theology, including possibilities for critique and resistance vis-à-vis the divine, and what does it say about slavery in the ancient world?
Critical Editions of the Translation by Moses Ibn Tibbon and the Translation Ascribed to Rabbi Jacob, with an Introduction and Glossary, Volume Two: Books III–VI
Euclid's Elements is one of the canonical texts that shaped our cultural heritage. It was translated from Greek to Arabic and from Arabic into Hebrew and Latin. There is little agreement about the textual history of the Arabic translations. The present book offers for the first time a critical edition of two Hebrew translations of Books III-VI, by Moses Ibn Tibbon and by "Rabbi Jacob". A serious attempt is made to learn from the Hebrew translations also on the history of the Arabic text. The edition of Ibn Tibbon's translation is accompanied by an Arabic text which was probably its source. Rabbi Jacob's translation is compared to an Arabic preserved in ms. BULAC Ara. 606, and very close to one of the translation's primary sources.
The Image of Jews and Judaism in Biblical Interpretation, from Anti-Jewish Exegesis to Eliminationist Antisemitism
“Unheil,” curse, disaster: according to German scholar Gerhard Kittel, this is the Jewish destiny attested to in scripture. Such interpretations of biblical texts provided Adolf Hitler with the theological legitimatization necessary to realizing his “final solution.”

But theological antisemitism did not begin with the Third Reich. Ferdinand Baur’s nineteenth-century Judaism-Hellenism dichotomy empowered National Socialist scholars to construct an Aryan Jesus cleansed of his Jewish identity, building on Baur’s Enlightenment prejudices. Anders Gerdmar takes a fresh look at the dangers of the politicization of biblical scholarship and the ways our unrecognized interpretive filters may generate someone else’s apocalypse.
What does it mean when Christians confess that Jesus was ‘born of the Virgin Mary’? This volume of essays, written by an international group of scholars, approaches this question from various perspectives. From examining the Old Testament backgrounds to exploring the Virgin Birth in various traditions and cultures, each chapter offers fresh perspectives. The contributors explore topics ranging from the Pre-Nicene tradition to modern cinematic interpretations, and from the perspectives of renowned theologians to interfaith dialogue with Islam and Hinduism. Engaging and thought-provoking, this volume promises to illuminate the significance of the Virgin Birth across diverse religious and cultural contexts.
Prayer in the Ancient World (PAW) is an innovative resource on prayer in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. The over 350 entries in PAW showcase a robust selection of the range of different types of prayers attested from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, early Judaism and Christianity, Greece, Rome, Arabia, and Iran, enhanced by critical commentary.
The project illustrates the variety of ways human beings have sought to communicate with or influence beings with extraordinary superhuman power for millennia. By including diverse examples such as vows and oaths, blessings, curses, incantations, graffiti, iconography, and more, PAW casts a wide net. In so doing, PAW privileges no particular tradition or conception of how to interact with the divine; for example, the project refuses to perpetuate a value distinction between “prayer,” “magic,” and “cursing.”

Detailed overviews introduce each area and address key issues such as language and terminology, geographical distribution, materiality, orality, phenomenology of prayer, prayer and magic, blessings and curses, and ritual settings and ritual actors. In order to be as comprehensive as practically possible, the volume includes a representative prayer of every attested type from each tradition.

Individual entries include a wealth of information. Each begins with a list of essential details, including the source, region, date, occasion, type and function, performers, and materiality of the prayer. Next, after a concise summary and a brief synopsis of the main textual witnesses, a formal description calls attention to the exemplar’s literary and stylistic features, rhetorical structure, important motifs, and terminology. The occasions when the prayer was used and its function are analyzed, followed by a discussion of how this exemplar fits within the range of variation of this type of prayer practice, both synchronically and diachronically. Important features of the prayer relevant for cross-cultural comparison are foregrounded in the subsequent section. Following an up-to-date translation, a concise yet detailed commentary provides explanations necessary for understanding the prayer and its function. Finally, each entry concludes with a bibliography of essential primary and secondary resources for further study.