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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.
In Sirach and Its Contexts an international cohort of experts on the book of Sirach locate this second-century BCE Jewish wisdom text in its various contexts: literary, historical, philosophical, textual, cultural, and political. First compiled by a Jewish sage around 185 BCE, this instruction enjoyed a vibrant ongoing reception history through the middle ages up to the present, resulting in a multiform textual tradition as it has been written, rewritten, transmitted, and studied. Sirach was not composed as a book in the modern sense but rather as an ongoing stream of tradition. Heretofore studied largely in confessional settings as part of the Deuterocanonical literature, this volume brings together essays that take a broadly humanistic approach, in order to understand what an ancient wisdom text can teach us about the pursuit of wisdom and human flourishing.
In this collection of thematically arranged essays on the Gospel according to Mark, the first part highlights its reception in early Christianity, its text form as an episodic narrative and its relation to contemporary genres. It recognizes Mark’s dependence on traditions from and about Jesus of Nazareth and the presupposed knowledge about the narrated locations in Galilee. The second part focuses on the discourse itself, presenting studies on style, use of metaphor, intertextuality, and strategies of persuasion. The third part treats the Christology, ethics and eschatology and the way in which the narrator gives meaning to Jesus’s death. The fourth part returns to the burning issue of what lies behind Mark and how we can study it, ending with a proposal to discuss the composition of the narrative within the framework of performance theory.
Author: Eldon Jay Epp
Eldon Jay Epp’s second volume of collected essays consists of articles previously published during 2006-2017. All treat aspects of the New Testament textual criticism, but focus on historical and methodological issues relevant to constructing the earliest attainable text of New Testament writings.

More specific emphasis falls upon the nature of textual transmission and the text-critical process, and heavily on the criteria employed in establishing that earliest available text. Moreover, textual grouping is examined at length, and prominent is the current approach to textual variants not approved for the constructed text, for they have stories to tell regarding theological, ethical, and real-life issues as the early Christian churches sought to work out their own status, practices, and destiny.
Author: I. Tzvi Abusch
In this volume, I. Tzvi Abusch presents studies written over a span of forty years prior to his retirement from Brandeis University in 2019. They reflect several themes that he has pursued in addition to his work on witchcraft literature and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Part 1 includes general articles on Mesopotamian magic, religion, and mythology, followed by a set of articles on Akkadian prayers, especially šuillas, focusing on exegetical and linguistic (synchronic) studies and on diachronic analyses. Part 2 contains a series of literary studies of Mesopotamian and biblical classics. Part 3 is devoted to comparative studies of terms and phenomena. Part 4 examines legal texts.

The Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.
Author: Justin Allison
In Saving One Another: Philodemus and Paul on Moral Formation in Community Justin Reid Allison compares how the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus and the Christian apostle Paul envisioned the members of their communities helping one another to grow into moral maturity. Allison establishes that Philodemus and Paul are more similar than previously noticed in their conception and practice of moral formation in community, and that these similarities offer a critical opportunity to consider important differences between the two as well. By deepening the comparison to include differences alongside similarities, and to include theological and socio-economic facets of communal moral formation, Allison shows that Philodemus and Paul uniquely shed fresh light on one another’s texts when understood in comparative perspective.
Author: Patrick Hart
A Prolegomenon to the Study of Paul examines foundational assumptions that ground all interpretations of the apostle Paul. This examination touches on several topics, invoking issues pertaining to truth, hermeneutics, canonicity, historiography, pseudonymity, literary genres, and authority. Underlying all of this is a guiding thesis, namely, that every encounter with Paul involves “Pauline Archimedean points,” or fixed points of reference that establish the measure for constructing any interpretation of Paul whatsoever. Building on this, the author interrogates various issues that inform the formation of these Pauline Archimedean points, in pursuit of an important but modest goal: to urge Pauline readers to engage in a modicum of self-reflection over the various considerations that precondition all of our efforts to comprehend Paul.
What, in Matthew’s view, should a human being become and how does one attain that ideal? In The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises: The Making of the Matthean Self, George Branch-Trevathan presents a new account of Matthew’s ethics and argues that the evangelist presents the Sermon on the Mount as functioning like many other ancient sayings collections, that is, as facilitating transformative work on oneself, or “spiritual exercises,” that enable one to realize the evangelist’s ideals. The conclusion suggests some implications for our understanding of ethical formation in antiquity and the study of ethics more generally. This will be an essential volume for scholars studying the Gospel of Matthew, early Christian ethics, the relationships between early Christian and ancient philosophical writings, or ethical formation in antiquity.