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The Assumption of Moses

A Critical Edition with Commentary

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Johannes Tromp

The present volume provides for the long-felt need for a new critical edition of, and a full commentary on the Assumption of Moses, a Palestinian Jewish pseudepigraphon from the first century A.D.
The book consists of four parts: I. Critical edition; II. Description of the Latin used in the text; III. The history of research on As. Mos., including the author's conclusions with regard to the literary-historical questions; IV. Detailed commentary. A bibliography and indices complete the book.
This edition and commentary greatly enhance the accessibility of one of the most important witnesses of first-century Judaism, the matrix of earliest Christianity.

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Edited by Carleen Mandolfo and Nancy Lee

Personal tragedy and communal catastrophe up to the present day are universal human experiences that call forth lament. Lament singers—from the most ancient civilizations to traditional oral poets to the biblical psalmists and poets of Lamentations to popular singers across the globe—have always raised the cry of human suffering, giving voice to the voiceless, illuminating injustice, or pleading for divine help. This volume gathers an international collection of essays on biblical lament and Lamentations, illuminating their genres, artistry, purposes, and significant place in the history and theologies of ancient Israel. It also explores lament across cultures, both those influenced by biblical traditions and those not, as the practices of composition, performance, and interpretation of life’s suffering continue to shed light on our knowledge of biblical lament.

Animosity, the Bible, and Us

Some European, North American, and South African Perspectives

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Edited by John T. Fitzgerald, Fika J. van Rensburg and Herrie F. van Rooy

Animosity in its various forms, including enmity, war, homicide, domestic violence, religious hostility, and retaliation, is a perennial problem that has plagued every form of interpersonal and international relationship since the dawn of human existence. The essays in this volume, offering perspectives from three continents, examine how animosity is understood and presented in the biblical text and its historical and literary contexts. The authors recognize at the same time that the Bible itself and how it has been used have sometimes contributed to the problem of animosity and thus seek to glean any insights that might address this problem in the contemporary world, which today is a pressing global concern. The contributors are Henk Bakker, Paul B. Decock, John T. Fitzgerald, J. J. Fritz Krüger, Outi Leppä, Dirk G. van der Merwe, Marius Nel, Eric Peels, Jeremy Punt, Fika J. van Rensburg, Rainer G. H. Reuter, Herrie F. van Rooy, Eben Scheffler, and Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman.

Multiple Originals

New Approaches to Hebrew Bible Textual Criticism

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Gary D. Martin

Textual criticism is in a period of change, as it seeks to account for an ever-growing body of textual data as well as the development of new methodologies. Since the older methodologies cannot simply be modified to meet our present needs, Multiple Originals seeks to build bridges between methods of traditional textual criticism and those of orality and formulaic analysis. Examining practices of textual criticism across a wide range of texts and disciplines, this book challenges the assumption that there can be only one correct reading and argues for the presence of multivalences of both meaning and text. It demonstrates that in some cases multivalences were intended by the composer, while in other cases, during the periods from which our earliest extant manuscripts derive, they fell within the limits of variability acceptable to those who valued and transmitted those texts.

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Maynard Paul Maidman

Ancient Nuzi, buried beneath modern Yorghan Tepe in northern Iraq, is a Late Bronze Age town belonging to the kingdom of Arrapḫa that has yielded between 6,500 and 7,000 legal, economic and administrative tablets, all belonging to a period of some five generations (ca. 1475–1350 B.C.E.) and almost all from known archaeological contexts. The tablets were excavated from the government administrative complexes, from houses in all the urban neighborhoods, from each of the suburban villas, and even a few dozen from the temple complex. These Akkadian-language documents include contracts for labor, deeds of sale, testamentary wills, slave sales, ration lists, inter-office memoranda, trial records, scholastic texts, and much more. The ninety-six texts presented here in transliteration and translation are divided into five groups dealing with topics of historical interest: Nuzi and the political force responsible for its demise; the crimes and trials of a mayor of Nuzi; a multigenerational legal struggle over title to a substantial amount of land; the progressive enrichment of one family at the expense of another through a series of real estate transactions; and the nature of the ilku, a real estate tax whose dynamic is crucial in defining the economic and social structure of Nuzi as a whole.

The Quest for the Historical Israel

Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel

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Israel Finkelstein, Amihai Mazar and Brian Schmidt

Three decades of dialogue, discussion, and debate within the interrelated disciplines of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, Israelite history, and Hebrew Bible on the question of the reliability of the biblical account of Israel’s history have made a balanced articulation of the issues and their resolution a desideratum. This book brings together for the first time under one cover the currently emerging “centrist” paradigms articulated by Finkelstein and Mazar, two leading figures in the field of early Israelite history and archaeology. Articulating distinct views of Israelite history, the two perspectives presented here nevertheless share the position that the material cultural data, the biblical traditions, and ancient Near Eastern written sources are all significantly relevant to the historical quest for ancient Israel of the Iron Age. The results of their research are featured in an accessible dual-authored synthesis of the historical reconstruction of ancient Israel. The parallel histories readily facilitate comparison and contrast of the interpretations proposed by the authors.

These lectures were delivered at The Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism’s Annual Colloquium. Detroit, October 2005.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

The Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides

With Introduction and Commentary

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Edited by Pieter W. van der Horst

Editing the Bible

Assessing the Task Past and Present

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Edited by John S. Kloppenborg and Judith H. Newman

The Bible is likely the most-edited book in history, yet the task of editing the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts of the Bible is fraught with difficulties. The dearth of Hebrew manuscripts of the Jewish Scriptures and the substantial differences among those witnesses create difficulties in determining which text ought to be printed as the text of the Jewish Scriptures. For the New Testament, it is not the dearth of manuscripts but the overwhelming number of manuscripts—almost six thousand Greek manuscripts and many more in other languages—that presents challenges for sorting and analyzing such a large, multivariant data set. This volume, representing experts in the editing of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, discusses both current achievements and future challenges in creating modern editions of the biblical texts in their original languages.

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Richard Bautch

This book examines how penitential prayers reflect literary conventions operative in the psalms of communal lament and how these conventions are at times modified in the prayers. The point of departure is the recognition that penitential prayers become well attested in Judaism after the exile. A review of prayers from Third Isaiah and the Writings indicates that in these expressions of penitence, one element is dominant: the confession of sin. This work analyzes the confession of sin and other elements common to both the penitential prayers and the psalms of communal lament. By analyzing elements that are constitutive of shared form, it becomes possible to state the literary relationship between the psalms of communal lament and the post-exilic prayers of penitence.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).

Toward a Science of Translating

With Special Reference to Principles and Procedures Involved in Bible Translating (Second edition)

Eugene Nida

Toward a Science of Translating, first published in 1964, is still very much in demand today. Written by a linguist and anthropologist with forty years of experience in the field of language and religion, this work describes the major components of translating; setting the translating into the context of historical changes in principles and procedures over the last two centuries. With an emphasis on texts being understood within their cultural contexts, one of the reasons for its continuing relevance is the broad number of illustrative examples taken from field experience of translators in America, Africa, Europe and Asia.