Brill's Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity E-Books Online, Collection 2021 is the electronic version of the book publication program of Brill in the field of Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity in 2021.

Coverage:
Biblical Studies, Ancient Judaism, Ancient Near East, Egyptology, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnosticism & Manichaeism, Early Church & Patristics

This E-Book Collection is part of Brill's Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity E-Books Online Collection.

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Journal of Ancient Judaism – Supplements The Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplement Series (JAJS) addresses the history, texts, and religious formations that make up the rich cultural trace extending from the Babylonian Exile through the Babylonian Talmud. This new interdisciplinary series will serve as a forum of discussion for scholars from all scholarly and religious backgrounds. The editors are especially interested in contributions that cover wide-ranging topics through detailed, closelyworked arguments. Between two and four volumes will typically appear each year. Studies that situate particular inquiries in Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, or Rabbinics within the broader context of academic Jewish Studies are especially welcome, as are collected studies or edited volumes that reflect on the nature of disciplinary boundaries. As a peer-reviewed series, JAJS has an advisory board whose members will anonymously review manuscripts. Submissions will be accepted in English, German, and French.
This book is an analysis of early Jewish thought on human nature, specifically, the complex of characteristics that are understood to be universally innate, and/or God-given, to collective humanity and the manner which they depict human existence in relationship, or lack thereof, to God. Jewish discourse in the Greco-Roman period (4th c. BCE until 1st c. CE) on human nature was not exclusively particularistic, although the immediate concern was often communal-specific. Evidence shows that many of these discussions were also an attempt to grasp a general, or universal, human nature. The focus of this work has been narrowed to three categories that encapsulate the most prevalent themes in Second Temple Jewish texts, namely, creation, composition, and condition.
Volume Editors: Frank Feder and Matthias Henze
Volume 2 of the Textual History of the Bible is devoted to the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament, that is, to all books outside the Hebrew Bible that were considered canonical or 'useful for reading' by a church at some point. Earlier studies of the textual histories of these books focused largely on what were considered the most important textual witnesses, mostly in Greek, Latin and possibly in Armenian and Syriac, with the goal of recovering the 'original' text of the book in question. THB 2 breaks significant new ground in this regard. Rather than focusing on a small group of languages only, the goal has been to be exhaustive and to survey all known textual witnesses of all deuterocanonical books, paying particular attention to the manuscript traditions. Rather than viewing these language traditions merely as a way of reaching back to the alleged 'original' text, THB 2 takes language traditions seriously in its own right.

This new approach to the old texts requires the detailed knowledge of many experts, scholars with intimate knowledge of the language traditions and the manuscripts.

2A covers the canonical histories and the textual histories of the deuterocanonical texts in the diverse language traditions. 2B and 2C are devoted to the deuterocanonical books themselves. The chapters on each book begin with an overview article, titled 'Textual History of ...'. This introductory overview is followed by individual entries on each of the known language traditions in which the book is attested, roughly up to the tenth centry C.E.
In: On Human Nature in Early Judaism
In: On Human Nature in Early Judaism
In: On Human Nature in Early Judaism
In: On Human Nature in Early Judaism
In: On Human Nature in Early Judaism
In: On Human Nature in Early Judaism

Abstract

The current article discusses the origins and formation of the Jewish custom of hanging ostrich eggs in the synagogue. This habit has been more common in specific countries such as Yemen, and in cities in the land of Israel, such as Safed, Meron, and Jerusalem. The initial reason given for hanging the eggs was that they might arouse one to concentrate on prayers, as like eggs, prayers are fruitful when accompanied by concentration and true intent. This explanation is based on the “miraculous power” of the ostrich’s sense of sight, capable of warming the eggs and causing them to hatch.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies
In: On Human Nature in Early Judaism

Abstract

In this article an overview is given of the verbal valence patterns of the verb ‮נתן‬‎ in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Four patterns are distinguished for this verb: 1. ‮נתן‬‎ + OBJECT to produce; 2. + ‮נתן‬‎ OBJECT + RECIPIENT to give to; 3. ‮נתן‬‎ + OBJECT + LOCATION to place; 4. ‮נתן‬‎ + OBJECT + 2ND OBJECT to make into. All occurrences of the verb in the DSS corpus used, consisting of 1QHa, 1QS, 1QM, and 1QpHab, are discussed and divided into one of these patterns. This study shows that pattern 3 occurs most, followed by pattern 2, and that it can be argued that pattern 1 and 4 also occur in our DSS corpus, though the evidence is scarce. In some cases, translations, differing from the translations in the editions of the texts, are proposed that better reflect the verbal valence patterns used in the clause.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries

Abstract

The most authentic portrait of Second Temple Hebrew is afforded by the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially by those texts actually composed in Hellenistic and Roman times. On salient linguistic points Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew agrees with the vocalization of the Tiberian reading tradition against the testimony of the written, i.e., consonantal, tradition of Masoretic Classical Biblical Hebrew material. This article presents a case study. On the one hand, these Dead Sea-Tiberian vocalization affinities are evidence of the relatively late character of their respective linguistic traditions and of the secondary character of the developments in the Tiberian reading tradition vis-à-vis the classical biblical written tradition. On the other hand, these same affinities demonstrate that the Tiberian pronunciation tradition is plausibly regarded as one that crystallized in the Second Temple Period, rather than in Byzantine or medieval times. Lastly, since joint Dead Sea-Tiberian reading departures from the classical biblical consonantal tradition constitute a tiny minority of their relevant linguistic data, most of which are characterized by historical continuity and/or linguistic heterogeneity of comparable historical depth, it is clear that the Second Temple crystallization of Dead Sea Scrolls Hebrew and the Tiberian reading tradition in no way preclude their routine preservation of authentic Iron Age features.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Adina Moshavi

Abstract

A negative polarity item (NPI) is a word or expression that occurs grammatically in negative clauses and a variety of other types of clauses such as interrogatives and conditionals, but not in ordinary affirmative sentences. Examples from classical Biblical Hebrew include the pronoun ‮מאומה‬‎ “anything” and the semantically-bleached noun ‮דבר‬‎ “a thing,” which has been produced from the ordinary noun ‮דבר‬‎ “word, matter, action” by the process of grammaticalization. This paper examines the noun ‮דבר‬‎ in the non-biblical DSS with the purpose of determining whether it is used as there as an NPI, as in Biblical Hebrew, or as an ordinary semantically-bleached noun, as in Rabbinic Hebrew. The results show that the diachronic development of ‮דבר‬‎ in the DSS appears to be at an earlier stage than classical Biblical Hebrew, despite the later dating of the scrolls. This finding is explained as a special kind of pseudo-classicism.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries

Abstract

The Hebrew quantifier ‮כל‬‎ is used both as a universal quantifier (equivalent to English all) and as a distributive quantifier (equivalent to English each, every). In Qumran Hebrew, as in Biblical Hebrew, the quantifier ‮כל‬‎ occurs in four syntactic constructions depending upon the type of noun phrase that follows it in order to indicate nuances of individuation and specificity in addition to universal and distributive quantification. In contexts in which these constructions occur within the scope of negation, the quantifier assumes negative polarity (none, nothing, any in English). In this article, we identify the syntactic contexts and constructions in which negative polarity is licensed and we describe and analyze the constructions of ‮כל‬‎ with negative polarity. We also compare the negative polarity licensing exhibited in Qumran Hebrew with Biblical Hebrew and demonstrate that some of the features of negative polarity in Qumran Hebrew differ from those in Biblical Hebrew.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Alec Kienzle

Abstract

Despite 4QMMT having been informally called a “Halakhic Letter” since its first publication, more recently some scholars have expressed skepticism as to the original genre of this text. This article aims to provide empirical and theoretical support for what one might call the orthodox position: that this text was in fact a letter originally. By means of a detailed linguistic comparison between 4QMMT and the Damascus Document, it will be shown that despite many surface similarities between these texts in terms of structure and rhetoric, they present extremely divergent grammars. This in turn raises a fundamental question: how could two texts likely produced by the same community be so different linguistically? It will be argued that the most plausible explanation is that these two texts were written in distinct registers in order to accommodate to distinct literary genres. While the language of MMT can reasonably be called closer to the contemporary vernacular, the Damascus Document seems to be patterned after the language of the higher register of biblical narrative. From here, sociolinguistic research will be employed in an effort to show that the epistolary genre reliably reflects a lower register across languages and cultures, thereby justifying the orthodox position with respect to MMT.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Eric D. Reymond

Abstract

Certain words in the prayer of Sir 36:1–22 that appear to be secondary exhibit nationalistic and eschatological tones that are otherwise alien to the book of Ben Sira. These elements likely reflect the interpretation and reading of the text in the course of its transmission in the first millennium CE. In its present form, therefore, the nationalistic/eschatological themes are accented in a way that might not have been the case in earlier versions.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: John Screnock

Abstract

This essay presents the results of an extended study of verbal argument structure in the War Scroll (1QM). I first establish a method based in generative linguistic theory. I then illustrate this method with a discussion of the argument structure of Qal ‮יצא‬‎ in 1QM and other Dead Sea Scrolls. Following this case study, I present the data from 1QM on verb argument structure—specifically, instances where 1QM adds evidence that is not covered in previous studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls. 1QM presents few developments from earlier Hebrew; I argue that such continuity is significant. I conclude with reflections on the implications of argument structure in 1QM for the study of ancient Hebrew.