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Biblical Hebrew in Context

Essays in Semitics and Old Testament Texts in Honour of Professor Jan P. Lettinga

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Edited by Koert van Bekkum, Gert Kwakkel and Wolter H. Rose

For half a century Jan P. Lettinga (1921), Professor emeritus of Semitic Languages at the Theological University Kampen (Broederweg), greatly influenced the teaching of Biblical Hebrew in the Faculties of Theology, Religious Studies and Semitic Languages in the Netherlands and Belgium by his widely used grammar. This volume honours his legacy and reputation as a Semitist. Lettinga always asked how a historical approach of the Semitic languages and literature would contribute to their understanding, and how this elucidates our reading of the Hebrew Scriptures. Biblical Hebrew in Context applies this approach to issues reflecting the full breadth of Lettinga’s interests: Mesopotamian and Biblical Law, the history, grammar and teaching of Hebrew and Aramaic, and the translation and interpretation of Ugaritic and Old Testament texts.
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Translation Theory and the Old Testament in Matthew

The Possibilities of Skopos Theory

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Woojin Chung

In Translation Theory and the Old Testament in Matthew, Woojin Chung employs a rigorous method of Skopos theory to examine Matthew’s citation technique in his infancy narrative and locates the specific purpose of his use of Scripture. He argues that the complex nature of the formulaic quotations and allusion in Matthew 1‒2 can be understood in light of new methodological insights. The way Matthew cites the Old Testament for his communicative purpose is congruent to the approach of a Skopos translator who is motivated by a specific purpose of translation. The theory of interpretation of his use of Scripture, therefore, can be informed by the theory and method of translation.
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Nersēs of Lambron: Commentary on the Dormition of Saint John

Armenian Text and Annotated Translation

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Edited by Robert W. Thomson

This is the first translation of the twelfth century Armenian commentary on the death of John the Evangelist as found in the Acts of John. The last section of the apocryphal life of the Evangelist became detached from the whole, and circulated widely in the churches of east and west. The Armenian version was included in service books, Bibles, and collections of saints’ lives. Yet no medieval commentary on that brief text is known in any other language.
Nersēs of Lambron [1153-1198], Archbishop of Tarsus, was a prolific author and an influential player in the ecclesiastical politics of his era. He used this work as a medium for spiritual reflection, and for an exposition of the Armenian tradition as opposed to the theologies of the Greek and Syrian churches.
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Paul’s Language of Ζῆλος

Monosemy and the Rhetoric of Identity and Practice

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Benjamin J. Lappenga

In Paul’s Language of Ζῆλος, Benjamin Lappenga harnesses linguistic insights recently formulated within the framework of relevance theory to argue that within the letters of Paul (specifically Galatians, 1-2 Corinthians, and Romans), the ζῆλος word group is monosemic. Linking the responsible treatment of lexemes in the interpretive process with new insight into Paul’s rhetorical and theological task, Lappenga demonstrates that the mental encyclopedia activated by the term ζῆλος is 'shaped' within Paul’s discourse and thus transforms the meaning of ζῆλος for attentive ('model') readers. Such identity-forming strategies promote a series of practices that may be grouped under the rubric of 'rightly-directed ζῆλος'; specifically, emulation of 'weak' people and things, eager pursuit of community-building gifts, and the avoidance of jealous rivalry.
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The Ethiopian Homily on the Ark of the Covenant

Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of Dǝrsanä Ṣǝyon 

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Amsalu Tefera

In The Ethiopian Homily on the Ark of the Covenant, Amsalu Tefera offers an editio princeps of the Ethiopic text of Dǝrsanä Ṣǝyon together with an annotated English translation. This homily, most likely composed in the fifteenth century, links the term Zion with the Ark of the Covenant and recounts at length its wanderings from Sinai to Ethiopia. As a Christian document, many of the events are interpreted as symbolic of Mary and the heavenly New Jerusalem.

First edited by the author for his 2011 doctoral dissertation, the critical text and apparatus present a complete collation of the ten known witnesses to this homily. Detailed notes are supplied on significant and difficult terms in the translation.
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Jennifer Helm


In Poetry and Censorship Jennifer Helm offers insight into motives and strategies of Counter-Reformation censorship of poetry in Italy. Materials of Roman censorial authorities reveal why the control of poetry and of its reception was crucial to Counter-Reformation cultural politics.
Censorship of poetry should enable the church to influence human inner life that ---from thought and belief to fantasy and feeling--- was evolving considerably at that time. The control of poetic genres and modes of writing played an important part here. Yet, to what extent censorship could affect poetic creation emerges from a manuscript of the Venetian poet Domenico Venier. The materials suggest the impact of Counter-Reformation censorship on poetry began earlier and was more extensive than has yet been propagated.
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Johan Phil. Palthen

Edited by Peter Ganz

When Eduard Sievers edited the Old High German translation of Tatian's Diatesseron in 1872, he believed that the manuscript which Franciscus Junius had brought to England was a modern copy of the famous ninth-century codex in St. Gall. Recent work has shown that this was an error. A reprint of Johann Philipp Palthen's first edition of the Old High German text of MS Junius 13 in the Bodleian Library is, therefore, justified on account of its importance in the history of Germanic philology. Moreover, it makes available again the text of an independent witness of a work which must have been important in missionary and pastoral work during the Carolingian period.
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Spiegel der Armen Sündigen Seele

Ulm: Cůnrad Dinckmůt 1484

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The Gathas of Zarathustra

A Reconstruction of the Text

M.C. Monna

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Der Spiegel des Sünders

Ein katechetischer Traktat des 15. Jahrhunderts