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Former students, colleagues and friends of the eminent classicist and historian Prof. Louis H. Feldman are pleased to honor him with a Jubilee volume. While Prof. Feldman has long been considered an outstanding scholar of Josephus, his scholarly interests and research interests pertain to almost all aspects of the ancient world and Jews.
The articles in Judaism in the Ancient World: Louis H. Feldman Jubilee Volume relate to the fields studies by Prof. Feldman such as biblical interpretation, Judaism and Hellenism, Jews and Gentiles, Josephus, Jewish Literatures of the Second Temple, History of the Mishnah and Talmud periods, Jerusalem and much more.
The contributors to this volume are among the most prominent in their fields and hail from the international scholarly community.
Der Hebräer, eine Synagogenhomilie zu Tischa be-Aw
This volume offers the first in-depth analysis of the literary structure of Hebrews against the background of its most frequently mentioned Sitz im Leben, the ancient synagogue. In the context of the liturgical year and its reconstructed cycle of readings, the text is newly interpreted on the basis of Exod 31:18–32:35 and Jer 31:31–34, so as to demonstrate that Hebrews was an ancient homily for the most important fast-day, Tisha be-Av, on which the destruction of the two temples was commemorated.
The first part presents 20th- and 21st-century scholarship on Hebrews and a new structural analysis. The second part offers a detailed discussion of the ancient synagogue and its liturgy. This allows the reconstruction of the readings on which the text of Hebrews is based and a positioning within the liturgical year. The resulting thesis, that Hebrews is an exhortative homily for Tisha be-Av, is confirmed through a motivic analysis of all the biblical texts read on this fast-day. On the basis of the hermeneutical key thereby established, the third part offers seven cumulative readings of the entire text: structural, contextual, intertextual, rhetorical, theological, socio-historical, and hermeneutical-critical. These generate new interpretations and insights within the horizon of current Hebrews scholarship.
The present monograph is the first to connect research on the ancient synagogue and its liturgy with a comprehensive interpretation of Hebrews that also discusses alternative form-critical avenues and establishes intertextual connections, especially to relevant rabbinic texts. The examination is directed not only to those with a specific interest in Hebrews, but also to scholars and students of the New Testament, Theology, Jewish Studies, and Religious Studies.


Der vorliegende Band bietet erstmals eine fundierte Analyse der literarischen Struktur des Hebräers vor dem Hintergrund seines meistgenannten Sitzes im Leben, der antiken Synagoge. Im Kontext des liturgischen Jahres sowie des rekonstruierten Lesezyklus’ wird die Schrift neu auf der Basis der Lesungen aus Ex 31,18–32,35 und Jer 31,31–34 als antike Homilie zum wichtigsten Fasttag von Tischa be-Aw, an dem der Zerstörung der beiden Tempel gedacht wurde, erschlossen.
Die Untersuchung stellt im ersten Teil die Hebräerforschung des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts sowie eine neue Strukturanalyse vor. Der zweite Teil fügt eine profunde Untersuchung der antiken Synagoge sowie der antiken Synagogenhomilie im liturgischen Kontext hinzu. Diese erlaubt die Rekonstruktion der dem Hebräertext zugrunde liegenden Lesungen und eine Positionierung innerhalb des liturgischen Jahres. Die resultierende These, dass der Hebräer eine mahnende Homilie zu Tischa be-Aw sei, wird im Rahmen einer Motivanalyse sämtlicher zu diesem Fasttag gelesenen biblischen Texte bekräftigt. Im dritten Teil wird der gesamte Text auf der Basis des etablierten hermeneutischen Schlüssels sieben kumulativen Lesungen unterzogen, einer strukturellen, kontextuellen, intertextuellen, rhetorischen, theologischen, sozio-historischen sowie einer hermeneutisch-kritischen. Diese generieren vor dem Horizont der aktuellen Hebräerforschung neue Interpretationsmöglichkeiten und Einsichten.
Die vorliegende Monographie verbindet zum ersten Mal Forschungen zur antiken Synagoge und ihrer Liturgie mit einer kohärenten Interpretation des Hebräertextes, die auch alternative formkritische Ansätze thematisiert sowie intertextuelle Bezüge insbesondere zu relevanten rabbinischen Texten benennt. Die Ausführungen richten sich somit nicht nur an solche mit einem spezifischen Interesse am Hebräer, sondern auch an ForscherInnen und StudentInnen des Neuen Testaments, der Theologie, der Judaistik sowie der Religionswissenschaften.
Author: Alinda Damsma
This book focuses on the additional liturgical and alternative readings of Targum Ezekiel, the so-called Targumic Toseftot. The critical text, translation, and commentary are presented with special reference to the long segments of unique mystical lore that are preserved in the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel 1, the chapter which describes the prophet’s vision of the celestial chariot. This unique manuscript material sheds light on a relatively dark chapter in the reception history of early Jewish mystical lore, being closely related to the Hekhalot literature, and to the Shi‛ur Qomah tradition in particular. The volume concludes with a systematic treatment of the Targumic Toseftot to Ezekiel in relation to their Aramaic dialect, date and provenance, as well as their historical and social setting.
The Use of Variant Readings for the Study in Origin and History of Targum Jonathan
The present study explores the possibility of using variant readings of the Targum of the Prophets to get a better insight into the origin and history of Targum Jonathan. The focus is on two sorts of variant readings: the Tosefta Targums and the targumic quotations in rabbinic and medieval Jewish literature. The chapter on the Tosefta Targums concentrates on variants from the book of Samuel. The chapter on the targumic quotations includes quotations of all the Prophets in early Jewish literature. In the Appendix a full list is given of all quotations of Targums of the Prophets presently known. The book is useful for the study of the genesis of Targum Jonathan as well as for its later developments.
Author: Rachel Adelman
This study analyzes mythic narratives, found in the 8th century midrashic text Pirqe de-Rabbi Eliezer (PRE), that were excluded, or ‘repressed’, from the rabbinic canon, while preserved in the Pseudepigrapha of the Second Temple period. Examples include the role of the Samael (i.e. Satan) in the Garden of Eden, the myth of the Fallen Angels, Elijah as zealot, and Jonah as a Messianic figure. The questions are why these exegetical traditions were excluded, in what context did they resurface, and how did the author have access to these apocryphal texts. The book addresses the assumptions that underlie classic rabbinic literature and later breaches of that exegetical tradition in PRE, while engaging in a study of the genre, dating, and status of PRE as apocalyptic eschatology.
Author: Barak S. Cohen
This book consists of a systematic analysis of the halakhic/legal methodology of fourth and fifth century Nehardean amoraim in Babylonia (as well as their identity and dating). The book uncovers various distinct characteristics present in the halakhic decision making and source interpretation, and demonstrates how certain amoraim can be characterized as portraying consistent interpretive and legal approaches throughout talmudic literature. Understanding the methodological characteristics that distinguish some amoraim from other amoraim can aid the talmudic interpreter/scholar in clarifying the legal foundations of their rulings, the proofs that they bring within talmudic discourse, as well as their disputes and interpretations. This allows a better understanding of the development of Jewish Law and the legal system in talmudic Babylonia.
The Interpretation of Ezekiel 28:11-19 in Late Antiquity
The oracle against the King of Tyre, found in Ezekiel 28.12-19, is a difficult text that inspired diverse interpretations in Late Antiquity. For example, according to one rabbinic tradition the text spoke of the first man, Adam, while the Church Fathers found in the same text a description of the fall of Satan. This book studies the rabbinic sources, patristic literature, the Targum, and the ancient translations, and seeks to understand the reasons for the diverse interpretation, the interaction between the exegetical traditions and the communities of interpreters, in particular between Jews and Christians, and the effect the specific form and wording of the text had on the formation and development of each interpretation.
Actes du colloque international tenu en Sorbonne, à Paris, les 8 et 9 juin 2010
Les termes « messie » et « messianisme » recouvrent aujourd’hui une désignation exagérément large au regard de leur sens initial dans le judaïsme et le christianisme. Ils sont utilisés dans des contextes qui empruntent souvent inconsciemment aux modèles rhétoriques à l’oeuvre dans le judaïsme ancien et dans le christianisme primitif. Le livre s’intéresse à ces modèles qui caractérisent l’histoire intellectuelle du premier messianisme juif. Tout d’abord, l’émergence du messianisme est examinée à travers les modèles de divinisation du roi dans le Proche-Orient ancien (Égypte, Mésopotamie, culture cananéenne), et à travers l’évolution de l’idéologie royale dans l’Israël ancien. D'autre part, les premiers textes chrétiens ont mis en avant la fusion des attentes messianiques en une seule figure de messie (Jésus-Christ), mais la pluralité des figures messianiques semble prévaloir dans la littérature juive ancienne.


The words ‘messiah’ and ‘messianism’ are presently used in a too wide significance in comparison with their original meaning in Judaism and
Christianity. Nevertheless, they often borrow unconsciously from rhetorical models at work in Ancient Judaism and Christianity. The book constitutes a series of studies on these models which characterize the intellectual history of the first Jewish messianism. Firstly, the birth of messianism is studied across the divinization of kings in Ancient Near East (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Canaanite culture) and secondly, the change of royal ideology in Ancient Israel to messianism. Thirdly, the first Christian texts have promoted the merging of messianic expectations in one messianic figure (Jesus-Christ), but the plurality of messiahs seem to prevail in early Jewish literature.
Komposition und Theologie von Josua 1–5

Kein Auszug ohne Einzug – erst mit dem Eisodus in das verheißene Land kommt der Exodus aus Ägypten an sein Ziel. Es verwundert daher nicht, dass der erste Teil des Josuabuches in den Kapiteln 1–5, in dem dieser Einzug dargestellt wird, vielfältige literarische Bezüge zur Exodusüberlieferung im Pentateuch aufweist. Wie aber sind diese Bezüge zu erklären, als intratextuelle Bindeglieder ein und desselben Werkes oder als intertextuelle Bezugnahmen? Mit dem Aufweis einer sukzessiven Ausgestaltung der Ereignisse beim Eisodus nach dem Vorbild des Exodus bietet die vorliegende Untersuchung der Komposition und Theologie von Josua 1–5 in den drei überlieferten Ausgaben des Josuabuches (MT, LXX, Qumran) Antworten auf alte, angesichts der gegenwärtigen Debatte um Hexateuch und Deuteronomistisches Geschichtswerk hochaktuelle Fragen der Forschung.


The Exodus from Egypt is perfect only with the Eisodus into the Promised Land. It does not come as a surprise, therefore, that the first part of the Book of Joshua, which is dedicated to the entry into the land, features a variety of literary affinities to the Exodus tradition as found in the Pentateuch. But how are these affinities to be explained? Do they testify to an original literary work which covered both Exodus and Conquest, or do they rather betray subsequent connections through intertextual references? Analyzing the composition and theology of Joshua 1–5 in the three extant versions of the book (MT, LXX, Qumran), the present study contributes to the current debate of the Pentateuch, Hexateuch, and Deuteronomistic History.
Postdisciplinary Biblical Interpretations from the Glasgow School
Editors: A.K.M. Adam and Samuel Tongue
Some biblical interpreters’ imaginations extend only as far as outlandish source theories or esoteric hypothetical audiences. The interpretive energies let loose in Glasgow over the past decade or so, however, have produced a cadre of interpreters who defy the disciplinary mandates of biblical criticisms in favour of reading the Bible with imaginations both careful and carefree. Infused with literary, political, art-critical, cinematic, liturgical and other interests, these essays display interpretive verve freed from the anxiety of disciplines — with closely observed insights, critical engagement with biblical texts, and vivid inspiration from the cultural world within which they are set.

Here there is no "gap" between world and text, but the intimate congeniality of close, dear, comfortable interpretive friends.

Contributors: Ben Morse, Hugh Pyper, Alastair Hunter, Hannah Strømmen, Jonathan C. P. Birch, Anna Fisk, Kuloba Wabyanga Robert, Samuel Tongue, A. K. M. Adam, Abigail Pelham, and the Religarts Collective (with Yvonne Sherwood).