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Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Studies in Honour of Philip S. Alexander

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Edited by George J. Brooke and Renate Smithuis

In Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages fifteen scholars offer specialist studies on Jewish education from the areas of their expertise. This tightly themed volume in honour of Philip S. Alexander has some essays that look at individual manuscripts, some that consider larger literary corpora, and some that are more thematically organised.

Jewish education has been addressed largely as a matter of the study house, the bet midrash. Here a richer range of texts and themes discloses a wide variety of activity in several spheres of Jewish life. In addition, some notable non-Jewish sources provide a wider context for the discourse than is often the case.

Experientia, Volume 2

Linking Text and Experience

Edited by Colleen Shantz and Rodney Werline

Edited by Caroline Vander Stichele and Hugh Pyper

Children’s Bibles are often the first encounter people have with the Bible, shaping their perceptions of its stories and characters at an early age. The material under discussion in this book not only includes traditional children’s Bibles but also more recent phenomena such as manga Bibles and animated films for children. The book highlights the complex and even tense relationship between text and image in these Bibles, which is discussed from different angles in the essays. Their shared focus is on the representation of “others”—foreigners, enemies, women, even children themselves—in predominantly Hebrew Bible stories. The contributors are Tim Beal, Ruth B. Bottigheimer, Melody Briggs, Rubén R. Dupertuis, Emma England, J. Cheryl Exum, Danna Nolan Fewell, David M. Gunn, Laurel Koepf, Archie Chi Chung Lee, Jeremy Punt, Hugh S. Pyper, Cynthia M. Rogers, Mark Roncace, Susanne Scholz, Jaqueline S. du Toit, and Caroline Vander Stichele.

Unity and Diversity in the Gospels and Paul

Essays in Honor of Frank J. Matera

Edited by Christopher W. Skinner and Kelly R. Iverson

This volume addresses the perennial issue of unity and diversity in the New Testament canon. Celebrating the academic legacy of Fr. Frank J. Matera, colleagues and friends interact with elements of his many important works. Scholars and students alike will find fresh and stimulating discussions that navigate the turbulent waters between the Gospels and Paul, ranging from questions of Matthew's so-called anti-Pauline polemic to cruciform teaching in the New Testament. The volume includes contributions from leading scholars in the field, offering a rich array of insights on issues such as Christology, social ethics, soteriology, and more.

Editing the Bible

Assessing the Task Past and Present

Edited by John S. Kloppenborg and Judith H. Newman

The Bible is likely the most-edited book in history, yet the task of editing the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible is fraught with difficulties. The dearth of Hebrew manuscripts of the Jewish Scriptures and the substantial differences among those witnesses create difficulties in determining which text ought to be printed as the text of the Jewish Scriptures. For the New Testament, it is not the dearth of manuscripts but the overwhelming number of manuscripts—almost six thousand Greek manuscripts and many more in other languages—that presents challenges for sorting and analyzing such a large, multivariant data set. This volume, representing experts in the editing of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, discusses both current achievements and future challenges in creating modern editions of the biblical texts in their original languages.

Social Theory and the Study of Israelite Religion

Essays in Retrospect and Prospect

Edited by Saul M. Olyan

This volume assesses past, theoretically engaged work on Israelite religion and presents new approaches to particular problems and larger interpretive and methodological questions. It gathers previously unpublished research by senior and mid-career scholars well known for their contributions in the area of social theory and the study of Israelite religion and by junior scholars whose writing is just beginning to have a serious impact on the field. The volume begins with a critical introduction by the editor. Topics of interest to the contributors include gender, violence, social change, the festivals, the dynamics of shame and honor, and the relationship of text to ritual. The contributors engage theory from social and cultural anthropology, sociology, post-colonial studies, and ritual studies. Theoretical models are evaluated in light of the primary data, and some authors modify or adapt theory to increase its utility for biblical studies.

Todd Hanneken

In spite of some scholars’ inclination to include the book of Jubilees as another witness to “Enochic Judaism,” the relationship of Jubilees to the apocalyptic writings and events surrounding the Maccabean revolt has never been adequately clarified. This book builds on scholarship on genre to establish a clear pattern among the ways Jubilees resembles and differs from other apocalypses. Jubilees matches the apocalypses of its day in overall structure and literary morphology. Jubilees also uses the literary genre to raise the issues typical of the apocalypses—including revelation, angels and demons, judgment, and eschatology—but rejects what the apocalypses typically say about those issues, subverting reader expectations with a corrected view. In addition to the main argument concerning Jubilees, this volume’s survey of what is fundamentally apocalyptic about apocalyptic literature advances the understanding of early Jewish apocalyptic literature and, in turn, of later apocalypses and comparable perspectives, including those of Paul and the Qumran sectarians.

Edited by Diana Lipton

This book reexamines the Sodom and Gomorrah narrative in Genesis 18–19, an ethically charged text that has significantly influenced views about homosexuality, stereotyping the other, the rewards and risks of hospitality, and the justice owed to outsiders. Its twelve essays, reflecting their authors’ considerable geographical, religious, methodological, and academic diversity, explore this troubling text through the lens of universalism and particularism. Biblical Sodom is read as the site of multiple borders—fluid, porous, and bi-directional—between similar and different, men and angels, men and women, fathers and daughters, insiders and outsiders, hosts and guests, residents and aliens, chosen and nonchosen, and people and God. Readers of these exegetically and theologically attentive essays published in memory of Ron Pirson will experience a rare sense of an ancient text being read in and for the modern world.

The Calm before the Storm

Selected writings of Itamar Singer on the late Bronze Age in Anatolia and the Levant

Itamar Singer

In a career that so far has spanned nearly four decades, more than thirty of them as Professor of Hittitology in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University, Itamar Singer has had a profound impact on the field of ancient Near Eastern studies, and Hittite studies in particular. His wide-ranging contributions have nowhere been more deeply felt than in the historical reconstruction of the international affairs of the thirteenth century b.c.e.—the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean. The essays collected in this volume are a testament to the impact of his research on understanding Hatti’s diplomatic relations with the other great powers in this critical period of human history and on elucidating the complex dynamics that led to the disintegration of the Hittite Empire.

The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes

A Social-Science Perspective

Mark R. Sneed

Scholars attempt to resolve the problem of the book of Ecclesiastes’ heterodox character in one of two ways, either explaining away the book’s disturbing qualities or radicalizing and championing it as a precursor of modern existentialism. This volume offers an interpretation of Ecclesiastes that both acknowledges the unorthodox nature of Qoheleth’s words and accounts for its acceptance among the canonical books of the Hebrew Bible. It argues that, instead of being the most secular and modern of biblical books, Ecclesiastes is perhaps one of the most religious and primitive. Bringing a Weberian approach to Ecclesiastes, it represents a paradigm of the application of a social-science methodology.