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Ashley Bacchi

In Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline oracles, Ashley L. Bacchi reclaims the importance of the Sibyl as a female voice of prophecy and reveals new layers of intertextual references that address political, cultural, and religious dialogue in second-century Ptolemaic Egypt. This investigation stands apart from prior examinations by reorienting the discussion around the desirability of the pseudonym to an issue of gender. It questions the impact of identifying the author’s message with a female prophetic figure and challenges the previous identification of paraphrased Greek oracles and their function within the text. Verses previously seen as anomalous are transferred from the role of Greek subterfuge of Jewish identity to offering nuanced support of monotheistic themes.

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Julio Trebolle Barrera

Edited by Andrés Piquer Otero and Pablo A. Torijano Morales

This volume contains a collection of the author’s life-long study (along with some new research written specifically for this book) of the text of 1-2 Kings, some of them translated into English for the first time. Julio Trebolle’s career has focused on the history of these biblical books from the triple angle of a combined textual, literary and source-compositional criticism. His usage of the Septuagint and its secondary versions like the Old Latin as a basis for the reconstruction of the history of the text is an invaluable contribution to the panorama of textual pluralism in the Bible during the Second Temple period which has emerged after the discoveries of the Dead Sea.

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Edited by Douglas Estes

The tree of life is an iconic visual symbol at the edge of religious thought over the last several millennia. As a show of its significance, the tree bookends the Christian canon; yet scholarship has paid it minimal attention in the modern era. In The Tree of Life a team of scholars explore the origin, development, meaning, reception, and theology of this consequential yet obscure symbol. The fourteen essays trek from the origins of the tree in the texts and material culture of the ancient Near East, to its notable roles in biblical literature, to its expansion by early church fathers and Gnostics, to its rebirth in medieval art and culture, and to its place in modern theological thought.

The Book of the Twelve

Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

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Edited by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer and Jakob Wöhrle

In the last two decades, research on the Book of the Twelve has shown that this corpus is not just a collection of twelve prophetic books. It is rather a coherent work with a common history of formation and, based upon this, with an overall message and intention. The individual books of the Book of the Twelve are thus part of a larger whole in which they can be interpreted in a fruitful manner. The volume The Book of the Twelve: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation features 30 articles, written by renowned scholars, that explore different aspects regarding the formation, interpretation, and reception of the Book of the Twelve as a literary unity.

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Henk De Waard

In Jeremiah 52 in the Context of the Book of Jeremiah, Henk de Waard offers a thorough examination of the final chapter of the book of Jeremiah. Particular attention is paid to the chapter’s relationship with the parallel text in 2 Kings 24:18–25:30, to the differences between the Masoretic text and the Old Greek translation, to the literary function of Jeremiah 52 within the book of Jeremiah, and to the chapter’s historical context.
De Waard shows that, especially in the early text form represented by the Old Greek, Jeremiah 52 is not a mere appendix to the book, but a golah-oriented epilogue, indicating the contrasting destinies of pre-exilic Judah and the exilic community in Babylon.

Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham

Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

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Ellen Birnbaum and John M. Dillon

On the Life of Abraham displays Philo’s philosophical, exegetical, and literary genius at its best. Philo begins by introducing the biblical figures Enos, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as unwritten laws. Then, interweaving literal, ethical, and allegorical interpretations, Philo presents the life and achievements of Abraham, founder of the Jewish nation, in the form of a Greco-Roman bios, or biography. Ellen Birnbaum and John Dillon explain why and how this work is important within the context of Philo’s own oeuvre, early Jewish and Christian exegesis, and ancient philosophy. They also offer a new English translation and detailed analyses, in which they elucidate the meaning of Philo’s thought, including his perplexing notion that Israel’s ancestors were laws in themselves.

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Hayeon Kim

For hundreds of years, disputes on the origin of the Septuagint, a biblical text that was translated from Hebrew into Greek in the third century BCE, and the number of its translators have been ongoing. In Multiple Authorship of the Septuagint Pentateuch, Hayeon Kim provides a clear solution to the unsolved questions, using an objective and consistent set of translation-technique criteria, and traditional and computerized tools of analysis. According to the author, the translation of the Septuagint Pentateuch has two facets: homogeneity and heterogeneity. The common socio-religious milieu of the translators is apparent in the similar translation techniques, however, the individual characters of the five translators are also evident in their distinct translation styles.

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Leeor Gottlieb

Targum Chronicles and Its Place Among the Late Targums heralds a paradigm shift in the understanding of many of the Jewish-Aramaic translations of individual biblical books and their origins. Leeor Gottlieb provides the most extensive study of Targum Chronicles to date, leading to conclusions that challenge long-accepted truisms with regard to the origin of Targums. This book’s trail of evidence convincingly points to the composition of Targums in a time and place that was heretofore not expected to be the provenance of these Aramaic gems of biblical interpretation. This study also offers detailed comparisons to other Targums and fascinating new explanations for dozens of aggadic expansions in Targum Chronicles, tying them to their rabbinic sources.

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Judith V. Stack

Metaphor and the Portrayal of the Cause(s) of Sin and Evil in the Gospel of Matthew traces the range and significance of metaphors used in Matthew for the origin and sin and evil and their congruence with key texts of the Second Temple milieu.

While traditional theology has often sought to pinpoint a single cause of sin and evil, Matthew’s use of a spectrum of metaphors undermines theologically reductionist approaches and opens up a rich range of ways for conceiving of and talking about the cause of sin and evil. Ultimately, the use of metaphor (necessary to discussions of sin) destabilizes foundationalist theologies of sin, and any theology of sin must grapple with the inherently tensive nature of metaphorical language.

Philo of Alexandria On Planting

Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

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David Runia and Albert Geljon

The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to On cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo gives a virtuoso performance as allegorist, interpreting Noah’s planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20 first in theological and cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.

Separating Abram and Lot

The Narrative Role and Early Reception of Genesis 13

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Dan Rickett

In Separating Abram and Lot: The Narrative Role and Early Reception of Genesis 13, Dan Rickett presents a fresh analysis of two of Genesis’ most important characters. Many have understood Lot as Abram’s potential heir and as an ethical contrast to him. Here, Rickett explores whether these readings best reflect the focus of the story. In particular, he considers the origin of these readings and how a study of the early Jewish and Christian reception of Genesis 13 might help identify that origin. In turn, due attention is given to the overall purpose of Genesis 13, as well as how Lot and his function in the text should be understood.

Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran

Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, 14-15 August, 2017

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Edited by Mette Bundvad and Kasper Siegismund

The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.

Anders Klostergaard Petersen

Abstract

The first section describes the major progress in the study of Second Temple Judaism during the past fifty years, since A.S. van der Woude founded the Journal for the Study of Judaism. This part—the whence—comprises the main bulk of the argument. It also paves the way for the conclusion—the wither. There, I present some ideas potentially leading to new advances in the field. I call for an engagement with the social and natural sciences based on a gene-culture coevolutionary paradigm. In particular, adopting a biocultural evolutionary perspective makes it possible to situate the field and its empirical focus in a much larger context. Thereby, we shall be able to tackle some of the pivotal questions with which our scholarly predecessors wrestled. Finally, I discuss emotional studies that may help us to get a better grasp on a traditionally moot question in the texts we study.

John J. Collins

Abstract

There has been an explosion of interest in Second Temple Judaism over the last fifty years. In the first half of the period under review, the Pseudepigrapha were at the cutting edge. This period culminated in the publication of the new enlarged edition of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. Beginning in the 1980s, interest shifted to the Dead Sea Scrolls, culminating in the rapid publication of the corpus under the editorship of Emanuel Tov. At the same time, new discoveries shed light on the encounter of Judaism with Hellenism, both in Judea in the Maccabean period and in the Egyptian diaspora. Few scholars would now defend an idea of “normative Judaism” in this period, but that idea still casts a shadow on the ongoing debates.

Hindy Najman and Tobias Reinhardt

Abstract

This article sets up a dialogue between two bodies of ancient texts, i.e. Jewish wisdom literature and Greco-Roman didactic of the Hellenistic period, with an awareness of the scholarly and interpretive communities that have studied, taught and transformed these bodies of texts from antiquity until the present. The article does not claim direct influence or cross-pollination across intellectual, religious or social communities in the Hellenistic period. Instead, the article suggests four discrete frameworks for thinking about comparative antiquity: creation, the law, the sage and literary form. The comparative model proposed here intends to create the conditions for noticing parallels and kindred concepts. However, the article resists the temptation to repeat earlier scholarly arguments for dependency or priority of influence. Instead, the essay demonstrates remarkable alignments, suggestively similar developments, and synergies. Perhaps, the ideal first reader for this article is none other than Philo of Alexandria.

Steve Mason

Abstract

In Ag. Ap. 1.41, after stressing that the Jewish holy books are rightly trusted because only prophets wrote them, Josephus remarks that Judaeans do not trust later writings in the same way. The reason he gives is usually translated as “the failure of the exact succession of the prophets.” Whereas older scholarship played down this reason to insist on the absence of prophecy in post-biblical Judaism, the prevailing view today holds that Josephus meant only to qualify later prophecy, not to exclude it. This essay broaches the more basic question of what an ἀκριβὴς διαδοχή means. Arguing that an exact diachronic succession of prophets makes little sense, it offers two proposals that better suit Josephus’ argument. It further contends that Josephus is talking about the ancient Judaean past, the subject of this work, not about the work of later historians including himself. He distinguishes sharply between prophecy and historical inquiry.

Benjamin G. Wright

Abstract

As a response to the tradition of scholarship that focused on questions of LXX origins, translation techniques and textual criticism, this article looks at how the LXX translations in antiquity were already in certain respects marked as Greek texts at their production, constructed as Greek literary texts in their origins, and subsequently employed in the same ways as compositional Greek texts by those who engaged them. It shows how the author of Aristeas constructs the LXX as a Greek text, how it functioned as such for Aristobulos and Philo. Already the translators demonstrate in their use of poetic language that they could produce literary Greek. Subsequently, Jewish Hellenistic authors employed the LXX alongside other Greek texts, and treated it with the methods of Hellenistic scholarship.

Françoise Mirguet

Abstract

This article reviews recent research on emotions in the field of early Judaism, mostly in literature. The article starts with an example from the biblical story of Joseph, to illustrate the need for a culturally sensitive understanding of emotions. Various approaches to emotions are then examined: philology and the history of the self, the construction of identity, structures of power (including gender), experiences with the divine, and emotions as adaptive practices. Each section starts with a brief outline of the scholarship conducted in other fields and serving as a background for research on early Judaism. The conclusion considers several facets of emotions, as they are highlighted by various disciplines; cultural manipulations of emotions often harness the tensions that may result from these multiple facets. The article closes with a brief assessment of the contribution of emotion research to the broader study of early Judaism and with perspectives for further research.

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Donald W. Parry

In Exploring the Isaiah Scrolls and Their Textual Variants, Donald W. Parry systematically presents, on a verse-by-verse basis, the variants of the Hebrew witnesses of Isaiah (the Masoretic Text and the twenty-one Isaiah Dead Sea Scrolls) and briefly discusses why each variant exists. The Isaiah scrolls have greatly impacted our understanding of the textual history of the Bible, and in recent decades, Bible translation committees have incorporated a number of the variants into their translations; as such, the Isaiah scrolls are important for both academic and popular audiences. Variant characterizations include four categories: (a) accidental errors, e.g., dittography, haplography, metathesis, graphic similarity; (b) intentional changes by scribes and copyists; (c) synonymous readings; (d) scribes’ stylistic approaches and conventions.

Philo of Alexandria and Greek Myth

Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments

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Edited by Francesca Alesse and Ludovica De Luca

In Philo of Alexandria and Greek Myth: Narratives, Allegories, and Arguments, a fresh and more complete image of Philo of Alexandria as a careful reader, interpreter, and critic of Greek literature is offered. Greek mythology plays a significant role in Philo of Alexandria’s exegetical oeuvre. Philo explicitly adopts or subtly evokes narratives, episodes and figures from Greek mythology as symbols whose didactic function we need to unravel, exactly as the hidden teaching of Moses’ narration has to be revealed by interpreters of Bible. By analyzing specific mythologems and narrative cycles, the contributions to this volume pave the way to a better understanding of Philo’s different attitudes towards literary and philosophical mythology.

Leviticus

A Commentary on Leueitikon in Codex Vaticanus

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Mark Awabdy

In Leviticus Awabdy offers the first commentary on the Greek version of Leviticus according to Codex Vaticanus (4th century CE), which binds the Old and New Testaments into a single volume as Christian scripture. Distinct from other LXX Leviticus commentaries that employ a critical edition and focus on translation technique, Greco-Roman context and reception, this study interprets a single Greek manuscript on its own terms in solidarity with its early Byzantine users unversed in Hebrew. With a formal-equivalence English translation of a new, uncorrected edition, Awabdy illuminates Leueitikon in B as an aesthetic composition that not only exhibits inherited Hebraic syntax and Koine lexical forms, but its own structure and theology, paragraph (outdented) divisions, syntax and pragmatics, intertextuality, solecisms and textual variants.

Dead Sea Media

Orality, Textuality, and Memory in the Scrolls from the Judean Desert

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Shem Miller

In Dead Sea Media Shem Miller offers a groundbreaking media criticism of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although past studies have underappreciated the crucial roles of orality and memory in the social setting of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Miller convincingly demonstrates that oral performance, oral tradition, and oral transmission were vital components of everyday life in the communities associated with the Scrolls. In addition to being literary documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls were also records of both scribal and cultural memories, as well as oral traditions and oral performance. An examination of the Scrolls’ textuality reveals the oral and mnemonic background of several scribal practices and literary characteristics reflected in the Scrolls.

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Edited by John J. Collins and Ananda Geyser-Fouché

This volume contains 17 essays on the subjects of text, canon, and scribal practice. The volume is introduced by an overview of the Qumran evidence for text and canon of the Bible. Most of the text critical studies deal with texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, including sectarian as well as canonical texts. Two essays shed light on the formation of authoritative literature. Scribal practice is illustrated in various ways, again mostly from the Dead Sea Scrolls. One essay deals with diachronic change in Qumran Hebrew. Rounding out the volume are two thematic studies, a wide-ranging study of the “ambiguous oracle” of Josephus, which he identifies as Balaam’s oracle, and a review of the use of female metaphors for Wisdom.

Textual Developments

Collected Essays, Volume 4

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Emanuel Tov

Twenty-eight revised and updated essays on the textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, the Torah, the (proto-) Masoretic Text, the Septuagint, and the Dead Sea Scrolls originally published between 2010 and 2018 are presented in this fourth volume of the author’s collected essays. These areas have all developed much in modern research, and the author, the past editor-in-chief of the international Dead Sea Scrolls publication project, has been a major speaker in all of them. The topics presented in this volume display some of his emerging interests (the text of the Torah and the proto-MT), including central studies on the development of the text of the Torah, the enigma of the MT, and the Scripture text of the tefillin.

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Edited by Antti Laato

Understanding the Spiritual Meaning of Jerusalem in Three Abrahamic Religions analyzes the historical, social and theological factors which have resulted in Jerusalem being considered a holy place in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It also surveys the transmission of the religious traditions related to Jerusalem. This volume centralizes both the biblical background of Jerusalem’s pivotal role as holy place and its later development in religious writings; the biblical imagery has been adapted, rewritten and modified in Second Temple Jewish writings, the New Testament, patristic and Jewish literature, and Islamic traditions. Thus, all three monotheistic religions have influenced the multifaceted, interpretive traditions which help to understand the current religious and political position of Jerusalem in the three main Abrahamic faiths.

Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum

Diskurse zur sozialen Bedeutung von Tischgemeinschaft, Speiseverboten und Reinheitsvorschriften

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Christina Eschner

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum untersucht Christina Eschner die Auseinandersetzungen zum jüdischen Gesetz innerhalb des Urchristentums vor dem Hintergrund vergleichbarer Diskurse im antiken Judentum. Ziel ist es, die urchristliche Praxis des Gesetzes in ihrem größeren Kontext darzustellen und ihr gegebenenfalls einen bestimmten Platz im facettenreichen Bild der zeitgenössischen jüdischen Strömungen zuzuweisen. Dabei finden Schriften aus Qumran, dem griechischsprachigen und dem rabbinischen Judentum Berücksichtigung. Der Fokus liegt auf Vorschriften zu verbotenen Speisen, zur Tischgemeinschaft und zur erlaubten Art und Weise der Nahrungsaufnahme. Auch pagane Traditionen werden einbezogen. Damit ist diese Studie besonders interdisziplinär ausgerichtet. Sie bewegt sich an der Schnittstelle zwischen Themenfeldern der neutestamentlichen Wissenschaft, der Altphilologie, der Alten Geschichte und der Judaistik. Sie kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass die urchristlichen Diskurse zum Essen nicht auf eine vollständige Abschaffung der entsprechenden jüdischen Gesetzesanordungen zielen.

In Essen im antiken Judentum und Urchristentum Christina Eschner examines the Early Christian disputes about the Jewish law against the background of Ancient Jewish discourses on commands of the law, in order to situate the Early Christian practice of the law within its broader context. Jewish sources include the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish writings in Greek and early rabbinic texts. This study focusses on rules concerning prohibited food, table fellowship and the permissible way of food intake. Pagan traditions are also considered. Thus, the work has an interdisciplinary orientation, discussing issues at the junction of New Testament studies, Classics, Ancient History and Jewish studies. It concludes that Early Christian food discourses do not aim for the complete abolition of the law.

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Edited by Dr. Benedikt Eckhardt

In Private Associations and Jewish Communities in the Hellenistic and Roman Cities, Benedikt Eckhardt brings together a group of experts to investigate a problem of historical categorization. Traditionally, scholars have either presupposed that Jewish groups were “Greco-Roman Associations” like others or have treated them in isolation from other groups. Attempts to begin a cross-disciplinary dialogue about the presuppositions and ultimate aims of the respective approaches have shown that much preliminary work on categories is necessary. This book explores the methodological dividing lines, based on the common-sense assumption that different questions require different solutions. Re-introducing historical differentiation into a field that has been dominated by abstractions, it provides the debate with a new foundation. Case studies highlight the problems and advantages of different approaches.

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Jonathan Trotter

In The Jerusalem Temple in Diaspora, Jonathan Trotter shows how different diaspora Jews’ perspectives on the distant city of Jerusalem and the temple took shape while living in the diaspora, an experience which often is characterized by complicated senses of alienation from and belonging to an ancestral homeland and one’s current home. This book investigates not only the perspectives of the individual diaspora Jews whose writings mention the Jerusalem temple (Letter of Aristeas, Philo of Alexandria, 2 Maccabees, and 3 Maccabees) but also the customs of diaspora Jewish communities linking them to the temple, such as their financial contributions and pilgrimages there.

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Tyler Smith

The Fourth Gospel and the Manufacture of Minds in Ancient Historiography, Biography, Romance, and Drama is the first book-length study of genre and character cognition in the Gospel of John. Informed by traditions of ancient literary criticism and the emerging discipline of cognitive narratology, Tyler Smith argues that narrative genres have generalizable patterns for representing cognitive material and that this has profound implications for how readers make sense of cognitive content woven into the narratives they encounter. After investigating conventions for representing cognition in ancient historiography, biography, romance, and drama, Smith offers an original account of how these conventions illuminate the Johannine narrative’s enigmatic cognitive dimension, a rich tapestry of love and hate, belief and disbelief, recognition and misrecognition, understanding and misunderstanding, knowledge, ignorance, desire, and motivation.

Jesus the Samaritan

Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John

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Stewart Penwell

In Jesus the Samaritan: Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John, Stewart Penwell examines how ethnic labels function in the Gospel of John. After a review of the discourse history between “the Jews” and “the Samaritans,” the dual ethnic labeling in John 4:9 and 8:48 are examined and, in each instance, members from “the Jews” and “the Samaritans” label Jesus as a member of each other’s group for deviating from what were deemed acceptable practices as a member of “the Jews.” The intra-textual links between John 4 and 8 reveal that the function of Jesus’s dual ethnic labeling is to establish a new pattern of practices and categories for the “children of God” (1:12; 11:52) who are a trans-ethnic group united in fictive kinship and embedded within the Judean ethnic group’s culture and traditions.

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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Christopher D. Land

In Paul and Scripture, an international group of scholars discuss a range of topics related to the Apostle Paul and his relationship(s) with Jewish Scripture. The essays represent a broad spectrum of viewpoints, with some devoted to methodological issues, others to general patterns in Paul’s uses of Scripture, and still others to specific letters or passages within the traditional Pauline canon (inclusive of the disputed letters). The end result is an overview of the various ways in which Paul the Apostle weaves into his writings the authority, content, and even wording of Jewish Scriptures.

Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus

A Study of Their Secular Education and Educational Ideals

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Erkki Koskenniemi

In Greek Writers and Philosophers in Philo and Josephus Erkki Koskenniemi investigates how two Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, quoted, mentioned and referred to Greek writers and philosophers. He asks what this tells us about their Greek education, their contacts with Classical culture in general, and about the societies in which Philo and Josephus lived. Although Philo in Alexandria and Josephus in Jerusalem both had the possibility to acquire a thorough knowledge of Greek language and culture, they show very different attitudes. Philo, who was probably admitted to the gymnasium, often and enthusiastically refers to Greek poets and philosophers. Josephus on the other hand rarely quotes from their works, giving evidence of a more traditionalistic tendencies among Jewish nobility in Jerusalem.

Law, Literature, and Society in Legal Texts from Qumran

Papers from the Ninth Meeting of the International Organisation for Qumran Studies, Leuven 2016

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Edited by Jutta Jokiranta and Molly Zahn

Reflecting the increasing recognition of the importance of legal texts and issues in early Judaism, the essays in this collection examine halakhic and rule texts found at Qumran in light of the latest scholarship on text production, social organization, and material culture in early Judaism. The contributors present new interpretations of long-lived topics, such as the sobriquet “seekers of the smooth things,” the Treatise of the Two Spirits, and 4QMMT, and take up new approaches to purity issues, the role of the maśkil, and the Temple Scroll. The volume exemplifies the range of ways in which the Qumran legal texts help illuminate early Jewish culture as a whole.

The Firstborn Son in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity

A Study of Primogeniture and Christology

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Kyu Seop Kim

Despite scholars’ ongoing historical and sociological investigations into the ancient family, the right and the status of the firstborn son have been rarely explored by NT scholars, and this topic has not attracted the careful attention that it deserves. This work offers a study of the meaning of the firstborn son in the New Testament paying specific attention to the concept of primogeniture in the Old Testament and Jewish literature. This study argues that primogeniture was a unique institution in Jewish society, and that the title of the firstborn son indicates his access to the promise of Israel, and is associated with the right of the inheritance (i.e., primogeniture) including the Land and the special status of Israel.

Ancient Readers and their Scriptures

Engaging the Hebrew Bible in Early Judaism and Christianity

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Edited by Garrick Allen and John Anthony Dunne

explores the various ways that ancient Jewish and Christian writers engaged with and interpreted the Hebrew Bible in antiquity, focusing on physical mechanics of rewriting and reuse, modes of allusion and quotation, texts and text forms, text collecting, and the development of interpretative traditions. Contributions examine the use of the Hebrew Bible and its early versions in a variety of ancient corpora, including the Septuagint, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and Rabbinic works, analysing the vast array of textual permutations that define ancient engagement with Jewish scripture. This volume argues that the processes of reading and cognition, influenced by the physical and intellectual contexts of interpretation, are central aspects of ancient biblical interpretation that are underappreciated in current scholarship.

The Religious Worldviews Reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 28–30 May, 2013

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Edited by Ruth A. Clements, Menahem Kister and Michael Segal

The Dead Sea Scrolls offer a window onto the rich theological landscape of Judaism in the Second Temple period. Through careful textual analysis, the authors of these twelve studies explore such topics as dualism and determinism, esoteric knowledge, eschatology and covenant, the nature of heaven and / or the divine, moral agency, and more; as well as connections between concepts expressed in the Qumran corpus and in later Jewish and Christian literature. The religious worldviews reflected in the Scrolls constitute part of the ideological environment of Second Temple Judaism; the analysis of these texts is essential for the reconstruction of that milieu. Taken together, these studies indicate the breadth and depth of theological reflection in the Second Temple period.

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Naomi S.S. Jacobs

In Delicious Prose: Reading the Tale of Tobit with Food and Drink, Naomi S.S. Jacobs explores how the numerous references to food, drink, and their consumption within The Book of Tobit help tell its story, promote righteous deeds and encourage resistance against a hostile dominant culture. Jacobs’ commentary includes up-to-date analyses of issues of translation, text-criticism, source criticism, redaction criticism, and issues of class and gender. Jacobs situates Tobit within a wide range of ancient writings sacred to Jews and Christians as well as writings and customs from the Ancient Near East, Ugarit, Greece, Rome, including a treasure trove of information about ancient foodways and medicine.

The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism

Tracing the Origins of Legal Obligation from Ezra to Qumran

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Jonathan Vroom

In The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, Vroom identifies a development in the authority of written law that took place in early Judaism. Ever since Assyriologists began to recognize that the Mesopotamian law collections did not function as law codes do today—as a source of binding obligation—scholars have grappled with the question of when the Pentateuchal legal corpora came to be treated as legally binding. Vroom draws from legal theory to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of legal authority, and develops a methodology for identifying instances in which legal texts were treated as binding law by ancient interpreters. This method is applied to a selection of legal-interpretive texts: Ezra-Nehemiah, Temple Scroll, the Qumran rule texts, and the Samaritan Pentateuch.

The Influence of Ezekiel in the Fourth Gospel

Intertextuality and Interpretation

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William G. Fowler and Michael Strickland

This monograph presents important research regarding the Fourth Gospel’s use of Scripture, specifically the book of Ezekiel. It provides the first detailed comparison of the theological vocabularies of the two works, identifying intertextual links and themes. This is a major update and expansion of the doctoral dissertation of William Fowler from 1995 ("The Influence of Ezekiel in the Fourth Gospel", PhD diss. Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary).

The Origins of the Canon of the Hebrew Bible

An Analysis of Josephus and 4 Ezra

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

In The Origins of the Canon of the Hebrew Bible: An Analysis of Josephus and 4 Ezra, Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow examines the thorny question of when, how, and why the collection of twenty-four books that today is known as the Hebrew Bible was formed. He carefully studies the two earliest testimonies in this regard—Josephus’ Against Apion and 4 Ezra—and proposes that, along with the tendency to idealize the past, which leads to consider that divine revelation to Israel has ceased, an important reason to specify a collection of Scriptures at the end of the first century CE consisted in the need to defend the received tradition to counter those that accepted more books.

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Anthony Keddie

In Revelations of Ideology, G. Anthony Keddie proposes a new theory of the social function of Judaean apocalyptic texts produced in Early Roman Palestine (63 BCE–70 CE). In contrast to evaluations of Jewish and early Christian apocalyptic texts as “literature of the oppressed” or literature of resistance against empire, Keddie demonstrates that scribes produced apocalyptic texts to advance ideologies aimed at self-legitimation. By revealing that their opponents constituted an exploitative class, scribes generated apocalyptic ideologies that situated them in the same exploited class as their constituents. Through careful historical and ideological criticism of the Psalms of Solomon, Parables of Enoch, Testament of Moses, and Q source, Keddie identifies an internally diverse tradition of apocalyptic class rhetoric in late Second Temple Judaism.

Waters of the Exodus

Jewish Experiences with Water in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt

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Nathalie LaCoste

In Waters of the Exodus, Nathalie LaCoste examines the Diasporic Jewish community in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt and their relationship to the hydric environment. By focusing on four retellings of the exodus narrative composed by Egyptian Jews—Artapanus, Ezekiel the Tragedian, Wisdom of Solomon, and Philo of Alexandria—she lays out how the hydric environment of Egypt, and specifically the Nile river, shaped the transmission of the exodus story. Mapping these observations onto the physical landscape of Egypt provides a new perspective on the formation of Jewish communities in Egypt.

The Reconfiguration of Hebrew in the Hellenistic Period

Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira at Strasbourg University, June 2014

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Edited by Jan Joosten, Daniel Machiela and Jean-Sébastien Rey

The present volume of proceedings offers cutting-edge research on the Hebrew language in the late Persian, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Fourteen specialists of ancient Hebrew illuminate various aspects of the language, from phonology through grammar and syntax to semantics and interpretation. The research furthers the exegesis of biblical and non-biblical texts, it helps determine the chronological outline of Hebrew literature, and contributes to a better understanding of the sociolinguistic aspects of the language in the period of the Second Temple. Hebrew did not die out after the Babylonian exile, but continued to be used in speaking and writing in a variety of settings.

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Matthew S. Goldstone

In The Dangerous Duty of Rebuke Matthew Goldstone explores the ways in which religious leaders within early Jewish and Christian communities conceived of the obligation to rebuke their fellows based upon the biblical verse: “Rebuke your fellow but do not incur sin” (Leviticus 19:17). Analyzing texts from the Bible through the Talmud and late Midrashim as well as early Christian monastic writings, he exposes a shift from asking how to rebuke in the Second Temple and early Christian period, to whether one can rebuke in early rabbinic texts, to whether one should rebuke in later rabbinic and monastic sources. Mapping these observations onto shifting sociological concerns, this work offers a new perspective on the nature of interpersonal responsibility in antiquity.