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Its Interpretations in Early Jewish and Christian Traditions 
Established at the center of the Torah, the instructions for the celebration of the “Day of Atonement” hold a prominent position (Leviticus 16). The language of atonement, purification and reconciliation represents the variety of concepts that both explore the complex relationships between God and man, between Yahweh and his chosen people Israel, and that set apart the place of encounter—the sanctuary. Leviticus 16 has served as the point of departure for numerous religious and cultural practices and thoughts that have had a formative influence on Judaism and Christianity up to the present day. The essays in this volume form a representative cross section of the history of the reception of Leviticus 16 and the tradition of the Yom ha-Kippurim.
New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World comprises twelve essays dealing with manuscripts of the New Testament and/or what we can learn from them today. Starting from different angles the contributors — distinguished scholars of international reputation — focus on the fascinating and thrilling stories manuscripts tell, for instance about the times they were produced in or the people who handled them.
The multitude of manuscripts used for establishing the critical text of the New Testament is often only perceived as abbreviations in form of single letters or numerals, and today’s biblical scholars may hardly ever take notice of the specific features of an original manuscript, above all those not mentioned in a critical edition. Therefore, three sets of contributions deals with the conditions under which manuscripts from the early days of Christianity were produced and transmitted, specific individual manuscripts, and then special features observed in and with the help of various manuscripts. In a final essay the usual method of how to organize and categorize New Testament manuscripts is challenged and an alternative method proposed.
The essays are linked with each other so that readers may get a feeling of how astounding an occupation with the original manuscripts of the New Testament and the days of the early Christians can be.
For the reconstruction of early Christianity, the lives of early Christians, their world of ideas, their ways of living, and their literature. Early Christian manuscripts - documents and literary texts - are pivotal archaeological artefacts. However, the manuscripts often came to us in fragmentary conditions, incomplete or with gaps and missing lines. Others appear to form a corpus, belong to an archive, or are connected with each other as far as theme or purpose are concerned. The present collection comprises of nine essays about individual or a set of certain manuscripts. With their essays the authors aim to present special approaches to early Christian manuscripts and, consequently, demonstrate methodically how to deal with them. The scope of topics ranges from the reconstruction of fragmentary manuscripts to the significance of amulets and from the discussion of individual fragments to the handling of the known manuscripts of a specific Christian text or a whole archive of papyri.
Samson is a peculiar character. He is the most powerful of the Israelite judges and three whole chapters in the book of Judges are allocated to him. Yet he demonstrates many weaknesses, not least for the charms of women. In the international conference “Samson: Hero or Fool?” organised at the University of Nijmegen in April, 2008, the texts of Judges 16-18 were studied from different perspectives, investigating how the complex character of this (anti)hero lived on in various ways in the later traditions about him. The contributions discuss also the reception history of the Samson traditions in later Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature, as well as his representation in figurative and performing arts