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Edited by Pieter de Villiers and Jan Willem van Henten

Violence is present in the very heart of religion and its sacred traditions – also of Christianity and the Bible. The problem, however, is not only that violence is ingrained in the mere existence of religions with their sacred traditions. It is equally problematic to realise that the icy grip of violence on the sacred has gone unnoticed and unchallenged for a very long time. The present publication aims to contribute to the recent scholarly debate about the interconnections between violence and monotheistic religions by analysing the role of violence in the New Testament as well as by offering some hermeneutical perspectives on violence as it is articulated in the earliest Christian writings.

Contributors include: Andries G. van Aarde, Paul Decock, Pieter G.R. de Villiers, Ernest van Eck, Jan Willem van Henten, Rob van Houwelingen, Kobus Kok, Tobias Nicklas, Jeremy Punt, Jan G. van der Watt, and Wim Weren.

Deliverance from Slavery

Attempting a Biblical Theology in the Service of Liberation

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Dick Boer

‘Delivery from slavery’: these words, taken from a Dutch labour movement song, perfectly map onto the Bible’s central concern. They are also similar to the Torah’s key phrase: ‘I am YHWH, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage' (Ex 20:2).

The words are invoked here to serve as an axiom to be introduced into the modern period. The watchword ‘delivery from slavery’ translates the biblical message of the exodus from slavery into the theory and practice of a modern liberation movement. The present work argues that biblical theology is the attempt to ‘update’ the ‘language of the message’. It searches for a language that attends to the concerns of today’s world while ‘preserving’ the concerns that originally motivated biblical language.

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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.

Gregory of Nyssa: In Canticum Canticorum

Analytical and Supporting Studies. Proceedings of the 13th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (Rome, 17-20 September 2014)

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Edited by Giulio Maspero, Miguel Brugarolas and Ilaria Vigorelli

Taken together, Gregory of Nyssa’s XV Homilies In Canticum Canticorum are at the same time – as if in unison – a work of spiritual, exegetical, and theological doctrine. The wide spectrum of the themes present in them have prompted a great interest in this work, not only among scholars of patristics or theology, but also among those interested in biblical interpretation, ancient rhetoric or Christian mystical doctrine. These Proceedings present the results of the 13th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (Rome, 17-20 September 2014): a systematic commentary of Gregory’s In Canticum from a broad perspective in the form of sixteen papers and a selection of fourteen short essays devoted to various issues that represent a valuable set of supporting studies.

The Scriptural Tale in the Fourth Gospel

With Particular Reference to the Prologue and a Syncretic (Oral and Written) Poetics

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Edward H. Gerber

A more nuanced view of the Fourth Gospel’s media nature suggests a new and promising paradigm for assessing expansive and embedded uses of scripture in this work. The majority of studies exploring the Fourth Evangelist’s use of scripture to date have approached the Fourth Gospel as the product of a highly gifted writer, who carefully interweaves various elements and figures from scripture into the canvas of his completed document. The present study attempts to calibrate a literary approach to the Fourth Gospel’s use of scripture with an appreciation for oral poetic influences, whereby an orally-situated composer’s use of traditional references and compositional strategy could be of one and the same piece. Most importantly, pre-formed story-patterns—thick with referential meaning—were used in the construction of new works. The present study makes the case that the Fourth Evangelist has patterned his story of Jesus after a retelling of the story of Adam & Israel in two interrelated ways: first in the prologue, and then in the body of the Gospel as a whole.

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Ellen Scully

In Physicalist Soteriology in Hilary of Poitiers, Ellen Scully presents Hilary as a representative of the “mystical” or “physical” trajectory of patristic soteriology most often associated with the Greek fathers. Scully shows that Hilary’s physicalism is unique, both in its Latin non-Platonic provenance and its conceptual foundation, namely that the incarnation has salvific effects for all humanity because Christ’s body contains every human individual.

Hilary’s soteriological conviction that all humans are present in Christ’s body has theological ramifications that expand beyond soteriology to include christology, eschatology, ecclesiology, and Trinitarian theology. In detailing these ramifications, Scully illumines the pervasive centrality of physicalism in Hilary’s theology while correcting standard soteriological presentations of physicalism as an exclusively Greek phenomenon.

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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.

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Arie Versluis

According to Deuteronomy 7, God commands Israel to exterminate the indigenous population of Canaan. In The Command to Exterminate the Canaanites: Deuteronomy 7, Arie Versluis offers an analysis and evaluation of this command. Following an exegesis of the chapter, the historical background, possible motives and the place of the nations of Canaan in the Hebrew Bible are investigated.
The theme of religiously inspired violence continues to be a topic of interest. The present volume discusses the consequences of the command to exterminate the Canaanites for the Old Testament view of God and for the question whether the Bible legitimizes violence in the present. Finally, the author shows how he reads this text as a Christian theologian.

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Edited by Christl M. Maier

This volume presents the main lectures of the 21st Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) held in Munich, Germany, in August 2013. Seventeen internationally distinguished scholars present their current research on the Hebrew Bible, including the literary history of the Hebrew text, its Greek translation and history of interpretation. Some focus on archeological sources and the reconstruction of ancient Israelite religion while others discuss the formation of the biblical text and its impact for cultural memory. The volume gives readers a representative view of the most recent developments in the study of the Old Testament.

Contributors are: Olivier Artus, Ehud Ben Zvi, Beate Ego, Irmtraud Fischer, Christian Frevel, Shimon Gesundheit, Timothy P. Harrison, Louis C. Jonker, James L. Kugel, Christoph Levin, Amihai Mazar, Steven L. McKenzie, Konrad Schmid, Yvonne Sherwood, Zipora Talshir, Akio Tsukimoto, and Jacques Vermeylen.

The Book of Jeremiah

Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

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Edited by Jack Lundbom, Craig A. Evans and Bradford Anderson

Written by leading experts in the field, The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Jeremiah. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, and helps situate Jeremiah in the scribal culture of the ancient world, as well as in relation to the Torah and the Hebrew Prophets. The second section contains commentary on and interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Jeremiah, as well as essays on its genres and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Jeremiah in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores various theological aspects of the book of Jeremiah.