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The influence of the Bible in human history is staggering. Biblical texts have inspired grand social advancements, intellectual inquiries, and aesthetic achievements. Yet, the Bible has also given rise to hatred, violence, and oppression – often with deadly consequences. How does the Bible exert such extraordinary influence? The short answer is rhetoric. In Influence: On Rhetoric and Biblical Interpretation, Michal Beth Dinkler demonstrates that, contrary to popular opinion, rhetoric is not inherently “empty” or disingenuous. Rhetoric refers to the art of persuasion. Dinkler argues that the Bible is by nature rhetorical, and that understanding the art of persuasion is therefore vital for navigating biblical literature and its interpretation. Influence invites readers to think critically about biblical rhetoric and the rhetoric of biblical interpretation, and offers a clear and compelling guide for how to do so.
Volume Editors: Gregory R. Lanier and J. Nicholas Reid
Studies on the Intersection of Text, Paratext, and Reception brings together thirteen contributions from leading scholars in the fields of textual criticism, manuscript/paratextual research, and reception history. These fields have tended to operate in isolation, but recent years have seen a rise in valuable research being done at their multiple points of intersection. The contributors to this volume show the potential of such crossover work through, for example, exploring how paratextual features of papyri and minuscules give insight into their text; probing how scribal behaviors illumine textual transmission/restoration, and examining how colometry, inner-biblical references, and early church reading cultures may contribute to understanding canon formation. These essays reflect the contours of the scholarship of Dr. Charles E. Hill, to whom the volume is dedicated.
The purpose of Key Approaches to Biblical Ethics is to address fundamental as well as practical questions of methodology in examining the ethical material of the Bible. Sixteen scholars of international reputation, most of them leaders in the field of biblical ethics, discuss questions of biblical interpretation from the perspectives of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament ethics in close dialogue with one another. In the present volume both established and new approaches to biblical ethics are presented and discussed. The result is a volume of unprecedented scholarly interaction that provides key insights into issues of biblical ethics that play a significant role both for biblical interpretation as well as for methodological questions in Jewish and Christian ethics today.
Author: Daniel Schumann
In Gelübde im antiken Judentum und frühesten Christentum stellt Daniel Schumann auf breiter Quellenbasis die Diskurse zum „Gelübdewesen“ dar, wie sie sich in antik-jüdischen und frühchristlichen Quellen aus der Zeit des Zweiten Tempels schriftlich niedergeschlagen haben. Er zeigt dabei auf, wie Judentum und Christentum seit der Spätantike durch die Rezeption dieser Diskurse in ihrer Religionspraxis an antiken Formen des Gelübdewesen partizipierten und dieses auch weiterentwickelten. Ferner legt er offen, wie sich in jüdischer wie auch christlicher Wahrnehmung Stimmen der Wertschätzung aber auch der Reserviertheit durch die Jahrhunderte hindurch aneinanderreihen; handelt es sich doch beim Gelübdewesen um eine kultpraktische Übung, bei der Heil und Unheil so nah beieinander zu liegen scheinen wie wohl sonst bei kaum einer anderen frömmigkeitlichen Handlung.

In Gelübde im antiken Judentum und frühesten Christentum Daniel Schumann aims to trace the earliest discourses on vows, as they are recorded in ancient Jewish and early Christian sources from the time of the Second Temple. He also shows how Judaism and Christianity have participated in ancient forms of vow-making since late antiquity and how they also have developed these discourses further. By presenting these discourses on the basis of a broad range of sources, he reveals how in Jewish as well as in Christian perception, voices of esteem but also of reservation have been raised throughout the centuries. After all, vows are a cult-practical exercise in which well-being and disaster are in closer proximity than in most other acts of devotion.
Volume Editors: Andrew Perrin and Loren T. Stuckenbruck
The four kingdoms motif enabled writers of various cultures, times, and places, to periodize history as the staged succession of empires barrelling towards an utopian age. The motif provided order to lived experiences under empire (the present), in view of ancestral traditions and cultural heritage (the past), and inspired outlooks assuring hope, deliverance, and restoration (the future). Four Kingdom Motifs before and beyond the Book of Daniel includes thirteen essays that explore the reach and redeployment of the motif in classical and ancient Near Eastern writings, Jewish and Christian scriptures, texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls, Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, depictions in European architecture and cartography, as well as patristic, rabbinic, Islamic, and African writings from antiquity through the Mediaeval eras.
The Pilgrimage of Meaning through Biblical Texts and Contexts
Volume Editors: Jan Roskovec and Vít Hušek
The concept of intertextuality was originally coined as an instrument in answering the question of how meaning is communicated through texts. The Interactions in Interpretation discusses various aspects of how the world of the Bible (seen as a world of a certain language: a complex of ideas, notions, images, idioms, stories, that are shared and referred to) communicates with other worlds in both directions. The collection of studies follows three types of interactions with marked bearing on understanding: (1) interactions with a particular motif of dream, (2) interactions with a particular text of Isa 6:9–10, (3) intertextuality in changing contexts.
Volume Editor: Antti Laato
The aim of The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is to address the theological issues arising when different ancient religious groups inside three Abrahamic religions attempted to understand or define their opinion on the Mosaic Torah. Twelve articles explore various instances of accepting, modifying, ignoring, criticizing, and vilifying the Mosaic Torah. They demonstrate a range of perspectives of ways in which the Mosaic Torah has formed a challenge. These challenges include Persian religious policy (when the Mosaic Torah was formed), intra-Jewish discussions (e.g. Samaritans), religious practices (the New Testament debates of ritual laws) and interreligious debates on validity of the Torah stipulations (with Christians and Muslims). All the papers were discussed at the international conference, “The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity and Islam”, organized by Åbo Akademi University and held in Karkku, Finland, 17-18 August, 2017 .
Author: Ken Penner
This work consists of an introduction, transcription, translation, and commentary to the Greek translation of Isaiah in the Codex Sinaiticus. It comments on the Greek language in its context, especially on how the Greek language is stretched beyond its normal range of function. It addresses the peculiarities of Codex Sinaiticus, including its history, scribes, divisions, and orthography. In line with the aims of the Brill Septuagint Commentary Series, it mainly discusses not how the text was produced, but how it was read.
Author: Sheila Delany
In this first translation of Sylvain Maréchal’s Bible commentary, Sheila Delany offers an important document in the history of modern European secularization and rationalist Bible criticism. Editor of one of France’s best-known radical journals, Révolutions de Paris, and author in many genres—drama, poetry, journalism, treatise—Maréchal (1750-1803) embraced the revolutionary egalitarian ideas of François-Noël “Gracchus” Babeuf. As an atheist, he witnessed with dismay the advent of Napoleon and the post-revolutionary return of Catholic fervor. For and Against the Bible was his protest, his reminder of what the nation had endured and of what, at the opening of the nineteenth century, it might still accomplish. Delany’s introduction and annotated English translation will be of importance to all interested in Jewish or Christian Bible studies, history of Bible criticism, eighteenth century European rationalism, French atheism, modern European secularism.
Editor: Douglas Estes
The tree of life is an iconic visual symbol at the edge of religious thought over the last several millennia. As a show of its significance, the tree bookends the Christian canon; yet scholarship has paid it minimal attention in the modern era. In The Tree of Life a team of scholars explore the origin, development, meaning, reception, and theology of this consequential yet obscure symbol. The fourteen essays trek from the origins of the tree in the texts and material culture of the ancient Near East, to its notable roles in biblical literature, to its expansion by early church fathers and Gnostics, to its rebirth in medieval art and culture, and to its place in modern theological thought.