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Series:

Edited by Madalina Toca and Dan Batovici

Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.

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Sonja Noll

In The Semantics of Silence in Biblical Hebrew, Sonja Noll explores the many words in biblical Hebrew that refer to being silent, investigating how they are used in biblical texts, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Ben Sira. She also examines the tradition of interpretation for these words in the early versions (Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, Peshitta), modern translations, and standard dictionaries, revealing that meanings are not always straightforward and that additional work is needed in biblical semantics and lexicography. The traditional approach to comparative Semitics, with its over-simplistic assumption of semantic equivalence in cognates, is also challenged. The surprising conclusion of the work is that there is no single concept of silence in the biblical world; rather, it spans multiple semantic fields.

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David J. Fuller

Habakkuk is unique amongst the prophetic corpus for its interchange between YHWH and the prophet. Many open research questions exist regarding the identities of the antagonists throughout and the relationships amongst the different sections of the book. A Discourse Analysis of Habakkuk, David J. Fuller develops a model for discourse analysis of Biblical Hebrew within the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics. The analytical procedure is carried out on each pericope of the book separately, and then the respective results are compared in order to determine how the successive speeches function as responses to each other, and to better understand changes in the perspectives of the various speakers throughout.

Kritik des Wachstumsmodells

Die Grenzen alttestamentlicher Redaktionsgeschichte im Lichte empirischer Evidenz

Series:

Benjamin Ziemer

Mit seiner bahnbrechenden preisgekrönten Kritik des Wachstumsmodells plädiert Benjamin Ziemer für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der alttestamentlichen Literaturgeschichte. Er untersucht in detaillierten Einzelstudien einen repräsentativen Katalog empirischer Beispiele für Redaktion, vom Gilgamesch-Epos über das ägyptische Totenbuch bis hin zu biblischen Büchern (Chronik, Jeremia, Daniel, Esther) und Qumranschriften (Tempelrolle, Sektenregel). Er zeigt, dass die durch Textvergleich nachweisbaren Redaktoren ihre Vorlagen nie nur durch Neues erweitert, sondern immer auch zugleich Formulierungen angepasst oder vervielfältigt, heterogenes Material eingearbeitet oder eine kürzende Auswahl getroffen haben. Bislang dominieren im kontinentaleuropäischen Forschungskontext Fortschreibungs- und Ergänzungshypothesen, nach denen man ein beliebiges Textelement nur der richtigen Entstehungsschicht zuweisen müsse, um seinen ursprünglichen literarischen Kontext wiederherstellen zu können. Dieses Modell stufenweisen »literarischen Wachstums« ist, so Ziemer, wissenschaftlich nicht mehr haltbar.
With his groundbreaking award-winnig study Kritik des Wachstumsmodells, Benjamin Ziemer is arguing for a change of paradigm in Old Testament literary criticism. He examines a representative list of empirical examples of editorial processes, including the Gilgamesh Epic, the Book of the Dead, books of the Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls. He shows that redactors who can be identified by external evidence never confined themselves to adding new material. Rather, they simultaneously adjusted or duplicated parts of the text, incorporated material from elsewhere or shortened their source texts. Until now, the bulk of redaction critical studies in Europe adhere to the presupposition of textual or literary »growth« – assuming that multiple previous layers are to be found intact in the final texts. With Ziemer’s study, this model of growth is no longer tenable.

The Development of the Biblical Hebrew vowels

Including a Concise Historical Morphology

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Benjamin Suchard

The development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels investigates the sound changes affecting the Proto-Northwest-Semitic vocalic phonemes and their reflexes in Tiberian Biblical Hebrew. Contrary to many previous approaches, Benjamin Suchard shows that these developments can all be described as phonetically regular sound laws. This confirms that despite its unique transmission history, Hebrew behaves like other languages in this regard. Many Hebrew sound changes have traditionally been explained as reflecting non-phonetic conditioning. These include the Canaanite Shift of *ā to *ō, tonic and pre-tonic lengthening, diphthong contraction, Philippi’s Law, the Law of Attenuation, and the apocope of short, unstressed vowels. By reconsidering reconstructions and re-evaluating phonetic conditions, this work shows how the Biblical Hebrew forms regularly derive from their Proto-Northwest-Semitic precursors.

Hellenistic Astronomy

The Science in Its Contexts

Series:

Edited by Alan C. Bowen and Francesca Rochberg

In Hellenistic Astronomy: The Science in Its Contexts, new essays by renowned scholars address questions about what the ancient science of the heavens was in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean worlds, and the numerous contexts in which it was pursued. Together, these essays will enable readers not only to understand the technical accomplishments of this ancient science but also to appreciate their historical significance by locating the questions, challenges, and issues inspiring them in their political, medical, philosophical, literary, and religious contexts.

Series:

Jonathan E Soyars

In The Shepherd of Hermas and the Pauline Legacy, Jonathan E. Soyars traces the influence of Pauline literary traditions upon one of the most widely attested and influential apocalyptic texts from early Christianity. Scholarship largely considers Hermas to have known very little about Pauline letters, but by looking beyond verbatim quotations Soyars discovers extensive evidence of his adoption, adaptation, and synthesis of identifiable Pauline material in the Visions, Mandates, and Similitudes sections. Hermas emerges as a Pauline interpreter who creatively engages topics and themes developed within and across the Pauline letters through time. These results reconnect the Shepherd with early Paulinism and extend reconstructions of the sphere of Pauline influence in the second century C.E.

Ancient Texts and Modern Readers

Studies in Ancient Hebrew Linguistics and Bible Translation

Series:

Edited by Gideon Kotzé, Christian S. Locatell and John A. Messarra

The chapters of this volume address a variety of topics that pertain to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts, as well as tools or resources that can facilitate contemporary audiences’ interpretation of these ancient writings and their language. In this regard, they cover subjects related to the fields of ancient Hebrew linguistics and Bible translation. The chapters apply linguistic insights and theories to elucidate elements of ancient texts for modern readers, investigate how ancient texts help modern readers to interpret features in other ancient texts, and suggest ways in which translations can make the language and conceptual worlds of ancient texts more accessible to modern readers. In so doing, they present the results of original research, identify new lines and topics of inquiry, and make novel contributions to modern readers’ understanding of ancient texts.

Contributors are Alexander Andrason, Barry L. Bandstra, Reinier de Blois, Lénart J. de Regt, Gideon R. Kotzé, Geoffrey Khan, Christian S. Locatell, Kristopher Lyle, John A. Messarra, Cynthia L. Miller-Naudé, Jacobus A. Naudé, Daniel Rodriguez, Eep Talstra, Jeremy Thompson, Cornelius M. van den Heever, Herrie F. van Rooy, Gerrit J. van Steenbergen, Ernst Wendland, Tamar Zewi.