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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: 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.
Proceedings of the International Conference Held at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 24–26 October 2017
Editor: Henryk Drawnel
The essays in Sacred Texts and Disparate Interpretations cover an array of core themes from various areas of Qumran studies, including textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple history, philology, paleography, Wisdom and religious poetry.
Contributors to this volume generally consider these themes from a historical perspective, trying to find new solutions to old questions and entering in constructive dialogue with the opinions of other scholars. Paleographic investigations, textual criticism as well as literary and philological approaches make this volume a valuable contribution to the variegated and often highly specialized directions of inquiry into the contents and historical background of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Author: Robert Jones

Abstract

This paper evaluates the attitudes toward the contemporary Jerusalem priesthood and cult on evidence in the Visions of Amram. To the extent that this issue has been treated, scholars have generally argued that the Visions of Amram originated among groups that were hostile to the Aaronid priesthood. Such treatments, however, have left some of the most germane fragments unexamined, several of which deal directly with matters pertaining to the cult, Aaron, and his offspring (4Q547 5 1–3; 8 2–4; 9 5–7; 4Q545 4 16–19). My study incorporates these fragments into the larger discussion, and in so doing demonstrates that many of the views expressed in the secondary literature require revision. My analysis shows that, though the social location of the Visions of Amram is difficult to determine, we should not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that the writer was a supporter of the contemporary status quo in the temple, given the elevated status afforded to both Aaron and his eternal posterity throughout the text.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
In Psalm 91 and Demonic Menace Gerrit Vreugdenhil offers a thorough analysis of the text, structure and genre of Psalm 91. Already in its earliest interpretations, Psalm 91 has been associated with the demonic realm. The use of this psalm on ancient amulets and in magic texts calls for an explanation. Examining the psalms images of threat from a cognitive science perspective, Vreugdenhil shows that many of these terms carry associations with sorcery and magic, incantations and curses, diseases and demonic threat. The psalm takes demonic threat seriously, but also draws attention to the protection offered by JHWH. Finally, the author proposes an outline of the situational context in which Psalm 91 might have functioned.
Author: Nadav Sharon

Abstract

The “Four Empires” scheme appears in literature from around the ancient Near East, as well as in the biblical book of Daniel. Daniel’s scheme was adopted in subsequent Jewish literature as a basic division of world history. In addition, the book of Daniel appears to have had a prominent place in the Qumran library. Scholars have identified, or suggested, the existence of the “Four Empires” scheme in two texts found among the Qumran scrolls, the “New Jerusalem” text (4Q554), and, especially, in the so-called “Four Kingdoms”(!) text (4Q552–553). This paper will examine these texts, will argue that the “four empires” scheme is not attested in the Qumran scrolls (apart from Daniel), and will suggest alternative understandings of those two texts.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries