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Series:

Robert K. McIver

Before they were written in the Gospels, the teachings and deeds of Jesus were preserved in human memory—with all its frailties and strengths—for perhaps as long as 30 to 60 years. Much can happen to traditions preserved in memories for so long, and this groundbreaking work addresses the impact that the qualities of human memory would have had on the traditions of the historical Jesus found in the Synoptic Gospels. It uses the insights gained from over a century of psychological experimentation to investigate the qualities and potential reliability of individual and collective memories underlying the various elements that make up the Gospel traditions.

Sculpting Idolatry in Flavian Rome

(An)Iconic Rhetoric in the Writings of Flavius Josephus

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Jason von Ehrenkrook

This book investigates the discourse on idolatry and images, especially statues, in the writings of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, with a particular focus on his numerous accounts of a contentious and at times iconoclastic relationship between Jews and images. Placing this narrative material within a wider comparative context, both Jewish and non-Jewish, demonstrates that the impression of strict aniconism—uniform and categorical opposition to all figurative art—emerging from Josephus is in part a rhetorical construct, an effort to reframe Jewish iconoclastic behavior not as a resistance to Roman domination but as an expression of certain cultural values shared by Jews and Romans alike. Josephus thus articulates in this discourse on images an idea of Jewish identity that functioned to mitigate an increasingly tense relationship between Romans and Jews in the wake of the Jewish revolt against Rome.

The Textual History of the Greek New Testament

Changing Views in Contemporary Research

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Edited by Klaus Wachtel and Michael W. Holmes

This collection of essays by respected scholars represents the state of the art of textual criticism as applied to the New Testament. Addressing core topics such as the causes and forms of variation, contamination and coherence, and the goals and the canons of textual criticism, it presents a first-class overview of traditional and innovative methodologies as they are applied to reconstructing the initial wording of the New Testament writings. In this context, the new Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (CBGM) is introduced and discussed extensively. Integrating established approaches and procedures, the CBGM features a new category of external evidence: genealogical coherence of witnesses.

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Edited by Irmtraud Fischer, Mercedes Navarro Puerto, Andrea Taschl-Erber and Jorunn Økland

This volume is the first in The Bible and Women series. It presents a history of the reception of the Bible as embedded in Western cultural history with a special focus on the history of women and issues of gender. It introduces the series, explaining the choice of the Hebrew canon in connection with the Christian tradition and preparing the way for a changed view of women throughout the series. The contributors explore the gendered significance of the canonical writings as well as the process of their canonization and the social-historical background of ancient Near Eastern women’s lives, both of which play key roles in the series. Turning to the Pentateuch, essays address a variety of texts and issues still relevant today, such as creation and male-female identity in the image of God, women’s roles in the genealogies of the Pentateuch and in salvation history, the rights and responsibilities of women according to the Hebrew Bible’s legal and ritual texts, and how archaeology and iconography can illustrate the texts of the Torah. Contributors include Sophie Démare-Lafont, Dorothea Erbele-Küster, Karin Finsterbusch, Irmtraud Fischer, Mercedes García Bachmann, Thomas Hieke, Carol Meyers, Mercedes Navarro Puerto, Jorunn Økland, Ursula Rapp, Donatella Scaiola, Silvia Schroer, Jopie Siebert-Hommes, and Adriana Valerio.

Method Matters

Essays on the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David L. Petersen

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Edited by Joel M. LeMon and Kent Harold Richards

As the field of biblical studies expands to accommodate new modes of inquiry, scholars are increasingly aware of the need for methodological clarity. David L. Petersen’s teaching, research, and service to the guild are marked by a commitment to such clarity. Thus, in honor of Petersen’s work, a cohort of distinguished colleagues presents this volume as an authoritative and up-to-date handbook of methods in Hebrew Bible scholarship. Readers will find focused discussions of traditional and newly emerging methods, including historical criticism, ideological criticism, and literary criticism, as well as numerous case studies that indicate how these approaches work and what insights they yield. Additionally, several essays provide a broad overview of the field by reflecting on the larger intellectual currents that have generated and guided contemporary biblical scholarship.
The contributors are Yairah Amit, Pablo R. Andiñach, Alan J. Avery-Peck, John Barton, Bruce C. Birch, Susan Brayford, William P. Brown, Walter Brueggemann, Mark K. George, William K. Gilders, John H. Hayes, Christopher B. Hays, Ralph W. Klein, Douglas A. Knight, Beatrice Lawrence, Joel M. LeMon, Christoph Levin, James Luther Mays, Dean McBride, Carol A. Newsom, Kirsten Nielsen, Martti Nissinen, Gail R. O’Day, Thomas Römer, C. L. Seow, Naomi Steinberg, Brent A. Strawn, Marvin A. Sweeney, Gene M. Tucker, and Robert R. Wilson.

History of Biblical Interpretation

Volume 2: From Late Antiquity to the End of the Middle Ages

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Henning Graf Reventlow

Volume 2 of History of Biblical Interpretation deals with the most extensive period under examination in this four-volume set. It begins in Asia Minor in the late fourth century with Bishop Theodore of Mopsuestia, the founder of a school of interpretation that sought to accentuate the literal meaning of the Bible and thereby stood out from the tradition of antiquity. It ends with another outsider, a thousand years later in England, who by the presuppositions of his thought stood at the end of an era: John Wyclif. In between these two interpreters, this volume presents the history of biblical interpretation from late antiquity until the end of the Middle Ages by examining the lives, works, and interpretive practices of Didymus the Blind, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Isidore of Seville, the Venerable Bede, Alcuin, John Scotus Eriugena, Abelard, Rupert of Deutz, Hugo of St. Victor, Joachim of Fiore, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Rashi, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Nicolas of Lyra.

Translation of: Reventlow, Henning Graf. Epochen der Bibelauslegung. Munchen, C. H. Beck.

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Edited by Michael E. Stone, Aryeh Amihay and Vered Hillel

In a collection of original essays, this book offers new insights on the question of the lost “book of Noah,” as well as studies of Noah’s figure in postbiblical literature. It focuses on ancient Jewish literature, including the Septuagint, the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo, Josephus, and rabbinic literature, but Christian sources, especially Christian iconography, Gnostic literature, and Syriac material, as well as later sources such as the Qur’an and Jewish medieval traditions, are also consulted. The contributors are Michael E. Stone, Vered Hillel, Aryeh Amihay, Michael Tuval, Daniel Machiela, Claire Pfann, Esther Eshel, Jeremy Penner, Rebecca Scharbach, Benjamin G. Wright III, Nadav Sharon and Moshe Tishel, Albert Geljon, Sergey Minov, Erica Martin, and Ruth Clements.

Colossians

Encouragement to Walk in All Wisdom as Holy Ones in Christ

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John Paul Heil

This book investigates Colossians as a “captivity” letter from the primary implied author, the imprisoned Paul, to an implied audience of mainly Gentile converts currently in danger of influence by local Jews or Jewish Christians. Utilizing a text-centered, literary-rhetorical, and audience-oriented method, it demonstrates new chiastic structures for the entire letter that progressively encourage the audience to resist deceit and conduct themselves according to all the wisdom at their disposal as holy ones in Christ.

Philippians

Let Us Rejoice in Being Conformed to Christ

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John Paul Heil

This volume employs a text-centered, literary-rhetorical, and audience-oriented method to demonstrate how the implied audience of Philippians are persuaded and exhorted by the dynamic progression of the letter’s chiastic structures to rejoice along with Paul and other believers in being conformed, with all of the broad implications of such conformity, to Christ. This reading assumes that Philippians is a single, unified letter written to be read and heard in a public setting as an oral performance substituting for the personal presence of the imprisoned Paul, and it proposes new chiastic structures for the entire letter as a key to understanding it.

Reading Law as Narrative

a study in the casuistic laws of the Pentateuch

Series:

Assnat Bartor

Casuistic or case law in the Pentateuch deals with real human affairs; each case law entails a compressed story that can encourage reader engagement with seemingly “dry” legal text.
This book is the first to present an interpretive method integrating biblical law, jurisprudence, and literary theory, reflecting the current “law and literature” school within legal studies. It identifies the narrative elements that exist in the laws of the Pentateuch, exposes the narrative techniques employed by the authors, and discovers the poetics of biblical law, thus revealing new or previously unconsidered aspects of the relationship between law and narrative in the Bible.