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The Play of Signifiers

Poststructuralism and Study of the Bible


George Aichele

This volume presents a brief introduction to the scholarly methodology known as "poststructuralism." The first two chapters discuss basic concepts in poststructuralist study in general, as well as major concerns involved in poststructural study of any text. The focus is on the importance of the materiality of the signifier and how that materiality both plays a part in and disrupts the construction of meaning. The second two chapters show more specifically how these concepts and concerns come to bear on the study of biblical texts and related material. The focus is on a poststructural methodology that questions and challenges the meanings that readers assign to biblical texts. These four chapters are followed by a brief conclusion.

Early Egyptian Christianity

From its Origins to 451 C.E (Third Edition)


C. Wilfred Griggs

The present study focuses on the history of Christianity in Egypt from its earliest recorded origins to the Council of Chalcedon in 451 C.E., when the Egyptian Coptic Church became a national religion because of its separation from the Catholic University. Within this time period one can observe the development of features unique to Egyptian Christianity, the imposition of Catholic ecclesiasticism in Alexandria and southward, and the presence of forces which would lead to the establishment of a national religion.
This study will contribute to an increased understanding of early Egyptian Christian history and the manner in which that religion was dispersed in other countries, as well as to the general history of early Christianity.

Donald Vance

This grammar introduces undergraduate and graduate students to the essentials of classical Hebrew. It begins with the simple and regular elements of the language and proceeds to the complex and irregular, frequently referencing the historical development of Hebrew. Extensive explanations of elements in English prepare students for the discussion of the corresponding Hebrew element. Through the course of the text, the reader will translate the book of Ruth as well as other biblical and nonbiblical texts, learning particular skills in reading both the entire Hebrew Bible and the later sixth-century Hebrew material, such as the Lachish Letter. Accomplished students of this text will be prepared to progress to advanced study of Hebrew grammar and exegesis of the Hebrew Bible.

The Bible in Africa

Transactions, Trajectories, and Trends

Edited by Gerald West and Musa Dube

This first academic glimpse of the Bible as it is read in Africa and what African biblical scholars are up to explores the myriad ways Africans have made the Bible their own. Replete with diversity and complexity, the essays allow an intertextual conversation within the book to take place. Divided into five main sections, the book includes essays on, among other topics, the historical development of biblical interpretation in Africa, the relationship between African biblical scholarship and scholarship in the West, African resources for reading the Bible, the history and role of vernacular translation in particular African contexts, and the ambiguity of the Bible in Africa. Perhaps of greatest importance to scholars, this book contains the most comprehensive bibliography on the Bible in Africa available in print.

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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.