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Author: Anthony Meyer
This study brings together all ancient evidence to tell the story of the divine name, YHWH, as it travels in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek through the Second Temple period, the most formative era of Judaism.
During the Second Temple period (516 BCE–70 CE), Jews became reticent to speak and write the divine name, YHWH, also known by its four letters in Greek as the tetragrammaton. Priestly, pious, and scribal circles limitted the use of God’s name, and then it disappeared. The variables are poorly understood and the evidence is scattered. This study brings together all ancient Jewish literary and epigraphic evidence in Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek to describe how, when, and in what sources Jews either used or avoided the divine name. Instead of a diachronic contrast from use to avoidance, as is often the scholarly assumption, the evidence suggests diverse and overlapping naming practices that draw specific meaning from linguistic, geographic, and social contexts.
Studien zur Neuformulierung der "Gegnerfrage" jenseits des Historismus
Volume Editor: Stefan Alkier
Worüber wird in den Schriften des Neuen Testaments gestritten, und wer streitet mit wem? Zu lange wurde diese Frage als Frage nach den jeweiligen „Gegnern“ bzw. „Opponents“ in einem historistischen Zirkel beantwortet.
Man entwarf Hypothesen über die „hinter“ dem Text stehenden Kommunikationssituationen, konstruierte von da aus „Gegner“, und von diesem Konflikt her interpretierte man dann wiederum die jeweiligen Schriften. Unter Einbeziehung politik- und kulturwissenschaftlicher Theorieansätze stellen die Beiträge dieses Bandes einen theoretisch belastbaren und an Fallstudien (wie etwa Antagonismen in den Evangelien oder Paulus als kontroverser Mediator) überprüften Neuansatz einer neutestamentlichen Konfliktforschung vor. Das Konzept fragt nach im Text beschreibbaren Konflikten und nach der Weise, wie diese inszeniert, gelöst oder offen gelassen werden. Von da aus werden dann hypothetische Schlüsse auf historische Kontexte der Text- und Rezeptionsprozesse gezogen.
Die inter- und transdisziplinäre Studienreihe Beyond Historicism – New Testament Studies Today baut auf den philologischen Prinzipen auf, die der Übersetzung des Frankfurter Neuen Testaments von Stefan Alkier und Thomas Paulsen zu Grunde liegen. Der philologisch-kritische Respekt vor der jeweiligen Ausdruckskraft der Zeichenproduktion anderer ist nicht nur die wissenschaftliche, sondern auch die ethische Grundlage der Studienreihe Beyond Historicism. Sie publiziert kritische philologische, exegetische und historische Monographien und Sammelbände, die in unmittelbarer oder auch mittelbarer Weise neutestamentliche Texte in ihren jeweiligen enzyklopädischen Kontexten erhellen. Die Verpflichtung zur gründlichen kritischen Philologie als Grundlage der Datenanalyse und der historischen Hypothesenbildung will jeglichen Historizismus hinter sich lassen. Manuskripte können in deutscher, englischer, französischer und italienischer Sprache eingereicht werden. Sie durchlaufen ein peer-review-Verfahren innerhalb des Herausgeberkreises und seines wissenschaftlichen Beirats. The inter- and transdisciplinary study series Beyond Historicism - New Testament Studies Today builds on the philological principles underlying the translation of the Frankfurter Neues Testament by Stefan Alkier and Thomas Paulsen. The philological-critical respect for the respective expressive power of the sign production of others is not only the scientific but also the ethical basis of the Beyond Historicism study series. It publishes critical philological, exegetical and historical monographs and anthologies that directly or indirectly illuminate New Testament texts in their respective encyclopedic contexts. The commitment to thorough critical philology as the basis for data analysis and historical hypothesis formation aims to leave behind any form of historicism. Manuscripts can be submitted in German, English, French and Italian. They undergo a peer-review process within the editorial board and its scientific advisory board.
This collection of eighteen essays addresses critical theological and ethical issues in the book of Job: (1) Prologue: From Eden to Uz; (2) Job and His Friends: “What Provokes You that You Keep on Talking?”; (3) Job and the Priests: “Look At Me and Be Appalled;” (4) Traumatizing Job: “God Has Worn Me Out;” (5) Out of the Whirlwind: “Can You Thunder with A Voice Like God’s?”; (6) Preaching Job and Job’s God: “Listen Carefully to My Words;” (7) Epilogue: “All’s Well That Ends Well” … or Is it? The lead essay raises the question that lingers over the entire book: What are we to think of a God who is complicit in the death of seven sons and three daughters “for no reason”?
Volume Editor: Igor Dorfmann-Lazarev
Apocryphal traditions, often shared by Jews and Christians, have played a significant role in the history of both religions. The 26 essays in this volume examine regional and linguistic developments in Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Armenia, the Balkans, and Italy. Dissenting groups, such as the Samaritans, followers of John the Baptist, and mediæval dualists are also discussed. Furthermore, the book looks at interactions of Judaism and Christianity with the religions of Iran.
Seldom verified or authorized, and frequently rejected by Churches, apocryphal texts had their own process of development, undergoing significant transformations. The book shows how apocryphal accounts could become a medium of literary and artistic elaboration and mythological creativity. Local adaptations of Biblical stories indicate that copyists, authors and artists conceived of themselves as living not in a post-Biblical era, but in direct continuity with Biblical personages.
In The “God of Israel” in History and Tradition, Michael Stahl provides a foundational study of the formulaic title “god of Israel” ( ’elohe yisra’el) in the Hebrew Bible. Employing critical theory on social power and identity, and through close literary and historical analysis, Dr. Stahl shows how the epithet “god of Israel” evolved to serve different social and political agendas throughout the course of ancient Israel and Judah’s histories. Reaching beyond the field of Biblical Studies, Dr. Stahl’s treatment of the historical and ideological significances of the title “god of Israel” in the Hebrew Bible offers a fruitful case study into the larger issue of the ways in which religion may shape—and be shaped by—social and political structures.
Die Publikationen dieser Reihe sollen sich einmischen in kirchliche, kulturelle und gesamtgesellschaftliche Debatten zu den Problemen, Krisen, Fragen und Chancen der Gegenwart. Sie vertrauen auf die unbestechliche und streitbare Fähigkeit biblischer Texte, kreuz und quer zu denken, sich nicht abzufinden mit anmaßenden Macht- und Unrechtsverhältnissen, sondern vielmehr im Vertrauen auf den Geber und die Gabe des Lebens über jeden Tod hinaus miteinander dankbar und denkbar gemeinschaftliches Leben und gemeinsame Zukunft zu gestalten.
Die Programmschrift Sola Scriptura Ökumenisch ist weltweit der erste Versuch, Ökumene konsequent aus dem gemeinsamen Bezug auf die Bibel als wegweisender Richtschnur für individuellen Glauben und institutionelle Gestaltung von Kirchen im Kontext offener gesellschaftlicher Konflikte der Gegenwart zu denken.
Erstmals werden 10 Thesen zum Verständnis und zur Funktion einer Schriftauffassung im Zeichen von Sola Scriptura publiziert, die gemeinsam von einem evangelischen, einem römisch-katholischen und einem orthodoxen Bibelwissenschaftler formuliert wurden. Sie sind sich darin einig, dass allein die Schrift richtig verstanden eine frohe Botschaft für alle bezeugt und nur die gemeinsame, erwartungsvolle wie kritische Hinwendung zur Schrift tragfähige Ökumene ermöglicht. Diese ist die Basis dafür, biblische Einsichten in die Ermöglichungsbedingungen gemeinschaftlichen Lebens in die globalen und lokalen kirchlichen und gesellschaftlichen Konflikte der Gegenwart einzubringen.
The purpose of Key Approaches to Biblical Ethics is to address fundamental as well as practical questions of methodology in examining the ethical material of the Bible. Sixteen scholars of international reputation, most of them leaders in the field of biblical ethics, discuss questions of biblical interpretation from the perspectives of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament ethics in close dialogue with one another. In the present volume both established and new approaches to biblical ethics are presented and discussed. The result is a volume of unprecedented scholarly interaction that provides key insights into issues of biblical ethics that play a significant role both for biblical interpretation as well as for methodological questions in Jewish and Christian ethics today.
Author: Bruce Henning
Scholars often explain Matthew’s practice of applying non-messianic texts to the messiah by postulating a Christological hermeneutic. In Matthew’s Non-Messianic Mapping of Messianic texts, Bruce Henning raises the question of how Matthew applies messianic texts to non-messianic figures. This neglected category challenges the popular view by stretching Matthew’s paradigm to a broadly eschatological one in which disciples share in the mission of Jesus so as to fulfill Scriptural hopes. Using Cognitive Linguistics, this volume explores four case studies to demonstrate Matthew’s non-messianic mapping scheme: the eschatological shepherd, the vineyard care-giver, temple construction imagery, and the Isaian herald. These reveal how Matthew’s theology of discipleship as participating in Jesus’ own vocation extends even to his hermeneutical paradigm of fulfillment.
Author: John W. Martens

Abstract

John Chrysostom, circa 349–407 ce, wrote “On Vainglory, or The Right Way to Raise Children,” which purports to be about raising all Christian children. In fact, out of ninety chapters, only one deals with girls. Even more significant are the numerous overlooked children in the text, who are present but whose Christian education is never discussed because they are enslaved. This paper utilizes childist criticism to draw these enslaved children from hiddenness into plain sight. The paper is situated in the context of Jesus’ teaching about children because Chrysostom believes that the best way to raise children is by teaching them stories from the Bible, Hebrew Bible first, then New Testament, but instead of an openness to all children he discusses only freeborn, elite boys. Chrysostom’s treatise exposes the context of how few children in late antiquity could be shaped by biblical interpretation intended for all children. (147 words)

In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

A great deal of biblical interpretation over the past 30 years has focused upon imagery related to women in the book of Revelation. Very little scholarship has discussed children in Revelation, likely because there are very few in the Apocalypse. However, the limited passages in which children are present deserve to be examined with a focus upon the child. This article will discuss two passages in Revelation which refer to children, Rev. 2:18–29 and Rev. 12:1–5, with the latter receiving greater attention. I will analyze these passages using childist interpretation, building upon Kathleen Gallagher Elkins’s study of feminist and childist interpretation, which uses Rev. 12 as a case study to apply both methods to the same text. Imperial-critical reading will enhance the interpretation of these passages. As I discuss Rev. 12, I will also compare the myth of three Greek child gods, Apollo, Dionysius, and Persephone, to the child snatched away in Rev. 12:5, to understand more fully how this child fits within the overall message of Revelation.

In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

This paper reviews the biblical mandate to have children in tension with the claim that God holds the exclusive power to open and close wombs. What are the social and cultural implications of this theological assertion for procreative disadvantaged women in the Hebrew Bible (Sarah [Gen.16], Rebecca [Gen. 25], Rachel [Gen. 29–30], Samson’s mother [Judges 13], and Hannah [1 Sam 1])? Focusing on children’s value, I will examine the implications of procreative sexual ethics for Cameroonian women with permanent infertility. The conclusion further proposes a reconceptualized and subversive motherhood model using the Naomi-Ruth narrative, constructing family beyond biology or genetics.

In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

This article examines elements in the stories of Hagar (Gen. 16:1–3), Abishag (1 Kgs. 1:1–4), Esther (Esth. 2:1–4), and the unnamed Israelite slave girl (2 Kgs. 5:1–4) through the lens of human trafficking, specifically trafficking girls. First, I will argue that our tendency to understand Hagar, Abishag, and Esther as women, not girls, is undermined by the vocabulary used to describe them, as well as other contextual clues. I will then outline the United Nations’ criteria for defining the transport of a person as human trafficking. Most of the article provides narrative analyses of the four texts cited above. By identifying elements of dislocation, trauma, and exploitation in the stories of Hagar, Abishag, Esther, and the Israelite slave girl, I suggest that parts of their stories meet the criteria to fulfill the pattern of human trafficking. This childist interpretation further maintains that these portrayals of girls being trafficked have multiple troubling commonalities, with each other and with human trafficking today.

In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

This Introduction provides a framework for this special volume on Children in the Bible and Childist Interpretation. First, we acquaint unfamiliar readers with the term “childist” and the history of childist interpretation within biblical studies. We briefly outline the hallmarks of the field and explain the specific ways in which this volume moves childist interpretation forward. A paragraph on each article summarizes the overall content of the separate contributions. We conclude by offering the reasons why childist biblical interpretation matters not only for the study of children in the biblical world but for children in the modern world as well.

In: Biblical Interpretation

Abstract

In changing our focus to examine the children and the childhoods of the characters in the Bible we can gain new insights into the biblical text. This essay applies childist interpretation to a question that has long puzzled scholars: What did Moses mean when he said: “I am heavy (כבד) of speech and heavy (כבד) of tongue” (Exod 4:10). Scholars have suggested it meant Moses had a speech impediment or that he lost his ability to speak Egyptian eloquently during his years in Midian. I suggest, however, that these previous answers have overlooked a crucial stage in Moses’ development: his childhood. Moses’ unique childhood and transition from Hebrew slave child to adopted Egyptian prince creates within him a hybrid identity. His hybrid identity, in turn, manifested itself in Hebrew language attrition, which causes him to protest that he is “heavy of speech and tongue.”

In: Biblical Interpretation