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As allegiance to Jesus Christ spread across the Roman Empire in the second century, writings, practices, ideas erupted in a creative maelstrom. Many of the patterns of practice and belief that later become normative emerged, in the midst of debate and argument with neighbours who shared or who rejected that allegiance. Authoritative texts, principles of argument, attitudes to received authority, the demands of allegiance in the face of opposition, identifying who belonged and who did not, all demanded attention. These essays explore those divergent voices, and the no-less diverse and lively debates thay have inspired in recent scholarship.
In the treatise On the Change of Names (part of his magnum opus, the Allegorical Commentary), Philo of Alexandria brings his figurative exegesis of the Abraham cycle to its fruition. Taking a cue from Platonist interpreters of Homer’s Odyssey, Philo reads Moses’s story of Abraham as an account of the soul’s progress and perfection. Responding to contemporary critics, who mocked Genesis 17 as uninspired, Philo finds instead a hidden philosophical reflection on the ineffability of the transcendent God, the transformation of souls which recognize their mortal nothingness, the possibility of human faith enabled by peerless faithfulness of God, and the fruit of moral perfection: joy divine, prefigured in the birth of Isaac.
These last three books of Josephus’s Antiquities detail Jewish history between the establishment of direct Roman rule in Judea in 6 CE and the outbreak of the Judean rebellion against Rome in 66—a rebellion that culminated in 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple. Along the way, these books also constitute the main source for the context in which Christianity was born. This volume offers a translation of Josephus’s Greek text, along with a commentary that aims to clarify the history to which Josephus testifies and also its meaning for him as an exiled Jerusalemite and rebel-turned-historian.
Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, Cosponsored by the University of Vienna, New York University, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and the Israel Museum
The Sixteenth Orion Symposium celebrated seventy years of Dead Sea Scrolls research under the theme, “Clear a path in the wilderness!” (Isaiah 40:3). Papers use the wilderness rubric to address the self-identification of the Qumran group; dimensions of religious experience reflected in the Dead Sea writings; biblical interpretation as shaper and conveyor of that experience; the significance of the Qumran texts for critical biblical scholarship; points of contact with the early Jesus movement; and new developments in understanding the archaeology of the Qumran caves. The volume both honors past insights and charts new paths for the future of Qumran studies.


This essay explores the rationale behind the different interpretations of the servant of the Lord in Targum Jonathan Isaiah. In order to facilitate understanding of this material, I survey the use of the designation “servant(s) of the Lord” in the Hebrew Bible and then discuss the rationale behind the use of singulars and plurals in the Targum’s translation of Isaiah 40–55. After this, I analyze the relevant passages within the Targum, suggesting that the scribes interpret the figure of the servant to have four different referents: the nation of Israel, the righteous, the prophets, and the messiah. Throughout this analysis, I attend to the features of the text that appear to have influenced the scribes to identify the servant in these ways. I conclude by reviewing the most important factors contributing to these decisions and then highlighting the coherence between my observations and some recent works on the scribes’ hermeneutical orientation.

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
In this volume, Rey and Reymond offer a new critical edition of all the Hebrew manuscripts of Ben Sira from the Cairo Genizah and Dead Sea Scrolls (including the so-called "Rhyming" Paraphrase). Manuscripts are presented independently to preserve their unique qualities and to emphasize the text’s pluriformity. Readers will discover numerous new readings and restorations, explained in detailed notes, that illustrate Ben Sira’s complex textual composition. French and English translations together with a philological commentary help elucidate the sometimes obscure sense of the Hebrew. This edition will form the foundation for future work on the book of Ben Sira.
In: A Critical Edition of the Hebrew Manuscripts of Ben Sira
In: A Critical Edition of the Hebrew Manuscripts of Ben Sira
In: A Critical Edition of the Hebrew Manuscripts of Ben Sira
In: A Critical Edition of the Hebrew Manuscripts of Ben Sira