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The Glossa Ordinaria

The Making of a Medieval Bible Commentary

Series:

Lesley Smith

The Glossa Ordinaria on the Bible was the ubiquitous text of the Middle Ages. Compiled in twelfth-century France, this multi-volume work, containing the entire text of Scripture surrounded by a commentary drawn from patristic and medieval authors, is still extant in thousands of manuscripts, testifying to the centrality of the work for generations of medieval scholars. Although the Glossa has been the subject of modern study, it is surrounded by myth. This book, based on manuscript evidence, is the first to draw together the history of this monumental work, its authorship, content, layout, production and use. Raising new questions, and pointing the way to further research, it opens up the Glossa to all students of medieval religion and intellectual history.

For the Comfort of Zion

The Geographical and Theological Location of Isaiah 40-55

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Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

This monograph seeks to determine the geographical provenance of Isaiah 40-55. It reassesses past research pertaining to Babylonian influence and reexamines the claims that all or parts of Isaiah 40-55 reflect the concerns of the exilic community in Babylon. It further challenges the prevalent view that the return of the exiles is of central concern in Isaiah 40-55, and instead proposes that Jerusalem and her imminent restoration is its focal point. It interprets Isaiah 40-55 as a polyvalent text that allows multiple and often contradictory views regarding Jerusalem’s current suffering. The monograph investigates these views, understood to represent the opinons of different segments of the target audience of Isaiah 40-55, with the aim of determining their geographical and theological locations.

Reading the Bible Ethically

Recovering the Voice in the Text

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Eric J. Douglass

All interpretive systems deal with the author. Modern systems consider the text to be autonomous, so that it is disconnected from the author’s interests. In Reading the Bible Ethically, Eric Douglass reconsiders this connection. His central argument is that the author is a subject who reproduces her culture and her subjectivity in the text. As the author reproduces her subjectivity, the text functions as the author’s voice. This allows Douglass to apply ethical principles to interpretation, where that voice is treated as a subject for conversation, and not an object for manipulation. He uses this to texture the reading process, so that an initial reading takes account of the author’s communication, while a second reading critiques that communication.

Series:

Wilfred Watson and Nicolas Wyatt

Over the past seven decades, the scores of publications on Ugarit in Northern Syria (15th to 11th centuries BCE) are so scattered that a good overall view of the subject is virtually impossible. Wilfred Watson and Nicolas Wyatt, the editors of the present Handbook in the series Handbook of Oriental Studies, have brought together and made accessible this accumulated knowledge on the archives from Ugarit, called 'the foremost literary discovery of the twentieth century' by Cyrus Gordon.
In 16 chapters a careful selection of specialists in the field deal with all important aspects of Ugarit, such as the discovery and decipherment of a previously unknown script (alphabetic cuneiform) used to write both the local language (Ugaritic) and Hurrian and its grammar, vocabulary and style; documents in other languages (including Akkadian and Hittite), as well as the literature and letters, culture, economy, social life, religion, history and iconography of the ancient kingdom of Ugarit. A chapter on computer analysis of these documents concludes the work. This first such wide-ranging survey, which includes recent scholarship, an extensive up-to-date bibliography, illustrations and maps, will be of particular use to those studying the history, religion, cultures and languages of the ancient Near East, and also of the Bible and to all those interested in the background to Greek and Phoenician cultures.

From a Virgin Womb

The Apocalypse of Adam and the Virgin Birth

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Andrew Welburn

Scholarly researches on the virgin birth have often focussed rather narrowly on the theological and historical difficulties it tends to raise. The Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Adam, however, provides for the first time a glimpse into the wider background of ideas and myths to which it belonged. Prophecies there concerning a universal 'Illuminator' mention his birth 'from a virgin womb'. Several of the stories, drawn from Iranian and other sources , also appear in apocalyptic and testamental literature contemporary with Christian origins. The book centrally analyses a body of extraordinarily detailed narrative parallels between a cluster of stories in the Apocalypse and the infancy narratives of Mt. 1-2, concluding that these stories serve to identify Jesus as the True Prophet who is the fulfilment of history - though not as Son of God. The question of Mt.'s special tradition and its relation to Lk. is also cast in a new light.

Shaping the Bible in the Reformation

Books, Scholars and Their Readers in the Sixteenth Century

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Edited by Bruce Gordon and Matthew McLean

This volume presents significant new research on several
aspects of the late mediaeval and early modern Bible. These
essays consider aspects of Bible scholarship and translation,
illustration and production, its uses for lay devotion and in
theological controversy. Inquiring into the ways in which
scholars gave new forms to their Bibles and their readers
received their work, this book considers the contribution of
key figures like Castellio, Bibliander and Tremellius, Piscator
and Calov, the exegetical controversies between centres
of Reformed learning and among the theologians of the
Louvain. It encompasses biblical illustration in the Low
Countries and the use of maps in the Geneva Bible, and
considers the practice of biblical translation, and the strategies by which new versions were justified.

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.

Franciscan Learning, Preaching and Mission c. 1220-1650

Cum scientia sit donum Dei, armatura ad defendendam sanctam Fidem catholicam…

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Bert Roest

Returning to themes first discussed in his book A History of Franciscan Education (Brill, 2000), Bert Roest discusses in this volume a wide range of issues pertaining to the organization of learning in the Franciscan order in the late medieval and early modern period, and the ways in which this order engaged in pastoral and missionary activities in confrontation with the rise of Protestantism. The essays in this volume break new ground in their treatment of school formation, the chronology of educational developments, and the transformation of Franciscan schools between the mid fifteenth and the mid seventeenth century. They also challenge ingrained scholarly verdicts on the efficacy of sixteenth-century mendicant homiletics, and on the role of the Franciscans in the Dutch mission from the early seventeenth century onwards.

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Jeremy Punt

In Postcolonial biblical interpretation Jeremy Punt reflects on the nature and value of the postcolonial hermeneutical approach, as it relates to the interpretation of biblical and in particular, Pauline texts. Showing when a socio-politically engaged reading becomes postcolonial, but also what in the term postcolonial both attracts and also creates distance, exegesis from a postcolonial perspective is profiled. The book indicates possible avenues in how postcolonial work can be helpful theoretically to the guild of biblical scholars and to show also how it can be practiced in exegetical work done on biblical texts.

The Kābôd of Yhwh in the Old Testament

with Particular Reference to the Book of Ezekiel

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P. de Vries

In this study on the kābôd of YHWH biblical texts are approached from a canonical perspective, and the synchronic approach prevails over the diachronic. Ben Sira characterized Ezekiel as the prophet who saw the appearance of the glory of God. This characterization is not based on the number of occurrences of kābôd in Ezekiel. The peculiarity of Ezekiel is that kābôd is used almost exclusively as a hypostasis of YHWH. Ezekiel’s description of the kābôd of YHWH is more elaborate than any other Old Testament writer’s, and it highlights the dual and paradoxical nature of the divine kābôd as both defying verbal description and being potentially visible. This research highlights especially the importance of the visible aspect.