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Edited by Klaas Smelik and Karolien Vermeulen

In this volume twelve contributions discuss the relevance, accuracy, potential, and possible alternatives to a literary reading of ancient Jewish writings, especially the Hebrew Bible. Drawing on different academic fields (biblical studies, rabbinic studies, and literary studies) and on various methodologies (literary criticism, rhetorical criticism, cognitive linguistics, historical criticism, and reception history), the essays form a state-of-the-art overview of the current use of the literary approach toward ancient Jewish texts. The volume convincingly shows that the latest approaches to a literary reading can still enhance our understanding of these texts.

The Semantics of Glory

A Cognitive, Corpus-Based Approach to Hebrew Word Meaning

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Marilyn Burton

Despite its centrality in mainstream linguistics, cognitive semantics has only recently begun to establish a foothold in biblical studies, largely due to the challenges inherent in applying such a methodology to ancient languages. The Semantics of Glory addresses these challenges by offering a new, practical model for a cognitive semantic approach to Classical Hebrew, demonstrated through an exploration of the Hebrew semantic domain of glory. The concept of ‘glory’ is one of the most significant themes in the Hebrew Bible, lying at the heart of God’s self-disclosure in biblical revelation. This study provides the most comprehensive examination of the domain to date, mapping out its intricacies and providing a framework for its exegesis.

Ancient Hebrew Periodization and the Language of the Book of Jeremiah

The Case for a Sixth-Century Date of Composition

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Aaron Hornkohl

In Ancient Hebrew Periodization and the Language of the Book of Jeremiah, Aaron Hornkohl defends the diachronic approach to Biblical Hebrew and the linguistic dating of biblical texts. Applying the standard methodologies to the Masoretic version of the biblical book of Jeremiah, he seeks to date the work on the basis of its linguistic profile, determining that, though composite, Jeremiah is likely a product of the transitional time between the First and Second Temple Periods.

Hornkohl also contributes to unraveling Jeremiah’s complicated literary development, arguing on the basis of language that its 'short edition', as reflected in the book’s Old Greek translation, predates that 'supplementary material' preserved in the Masoretic edition but unparalleled in the Greek. Nevertheless, he concludes that neither is written in Late Biblical Hebrew proper.

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Samuel Hildebrandt

In Interpreting Quoted Speech, Samuel Hildebrandt analyzes the literary phenomenon of one speaker quoting the words of another speaker within prophetic discourse. Challenging approaches that categorize these speech quotations and use them as direct windows into Israel’s past, Hildebrandt makes a compelling case for reading quoted speech in its literary context. He presents a substantial method for such an interpretive approach, demonstrates its value in a detailed analysis of Jeremiah 2.1-3.5, and highlights the significance of quoted phrases in Jeremiah and other prophetic texts. Interpreting Quoted Speech marks an important contribution to the exploration of Jeremiah’s discourse and polyphony and, due to its accessible methodology and exegesis, offers a model for further research in prophetic literature.

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Edited by Florian Wilk

Scriptural Interpretation at the Interface between Education and Religion examines prominent texts from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities with a view to determining to what extent education ( Bildung) represents the precondition, the central feature and/or the aim of the interpretation of 'Holy Scripture' in antiquity. In particular, consideration is given to the exegetical techniques, the hermeneutical convictions and the contexts of intercultural exchange which determine the process of interpretation. The volume contains a methodological reflection as well as investigations of scriptural interpretation in Jewish texts from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.E., in New Testament writings, and in witnesses from late ancient Christianity and in the Qur’an. Finally, it contains a critical appraisal of the scholarly oeuvre of Hans Conzelmann. This work thus fosters scholarly understanding of the function of scriptural interpretation at the interface between education and religion.