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Abstract

The article investigates the role of foreigners in biblical and Greek prophecy and shows how words against foreigners or foreign people are used to reaffirm one's own (i.e Israelite or Greek) ethnicity or group identity. Oracles against foreigners have to be located in the context of (imagined or actual) war and tend to imply salvation for the group who hears these words. Here, a few short characterizations of the foreigners are used that tend to evoke stereotypical images. Whether the knowledge of the other is historically accurate or based on concrete encounters is, however, not important for the authors of such words since the salvation of the own group is the determining feature.

In: Vetus Testamentum
In: Let Us Go Up to Zion
In: The Book of the Twelve

Abstract

This essay surveys the attitudes towards gentiles/foreign nations in constructions of the “other” in the Minor Prophets of the Hebrew Bible, and examines how the biblical trajectories are continued and reshaped in the corresponding pesharim from Qumran. The development of the biblical texts is examined from historical, literary, and theological perspectives. Thus, for example, the concrete historical encounter with Assyria shaped the original prophecies of the last three pre-exilic prophets (Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah), while later redactional layers transform these texts by incorporating the experience of the Babylonian conquest. Literarily and theologically, the initial texts focus upon individual judgement against a concrete people, and the divine salvation of Israel from this threat. In the Persian period, there is an initial expansion of the focus to universal judgment, highlighting the special status of Israel vis-à-vis other nations. This is followed by a narrowing of the group selected for salvation, so that only the righteous of Judah will survive the final judgment. In the pesharim, there is further narrowing of the discourse of alterity for internal identity formation, as the biblical prophecies against foreign enemies are applied to the group’s contemporary antagonists, including rival Jewish groups. Pesher Habakkuk closely follows the book of Habakkuk in depicting Gentiles as idolators, and in portraying foreign nations as both instruments and objects of divine retribution. The references to the Babylonians (termed “Chaldeans”) in Habakkuk are applied in the pesher to the “Kittim,” understood by modern scholars to stand for Rome. This view of Rome as a significant existential and eschatological enemy reflects a profound theological and psychological development in sectarian thought. Pesher Nahum interprets the prophecies against Gentiles in Nahum primarily as condemnation of Jewish enemies.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Research into the cultural contexts of the Bible has opened new ways of reading and understanding biblical texts as cultural artefacts and witnesses to particular locations, times, and circumstances. The series aims to publish latest research from the areas of cultural - including the: social sciences, scientific, economic, legal, and literary studies as well as hermeneutical approaches dealing with the production and reception of the Bible as a cultural text.
The series focusses predominantly on monographs but is also open to inter- and transdisciplinary scholarly edited volumes about the texts and contexts of individual biblical books, including work drawing from aesthetic, art, and poetry. The series accepts contributions in English, French, and German. All manuscripts are evaluated by a peer reviewing process.


Die Erforschung der kulturellen Kontexte der Bibel hat neue Wege eröffnet, biblische Texte als kulturelle Artefakte und Zeugnisse für bestimmte Orte, Zeiten und Umstände zu lesen und zu verstehen. Ziel der Reihe ist es, neueste Forschungsergebnisse aus den Bereichen Kultur – einschließlich Sozialwissenschaften, Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft, Recht und Literatur – sowie hermeneutische Ansätze zur Produktion und Rezeption der Bibel als Kulturtext zu veröffentlichen.
Die Reihe konzentriert sich überwiegend auf Monographien, ist aber auch offen für inter- und transdisziplinäre wissenschaftliche Sammelbände über die Texte und Zusammenhänge einzelner biblischer Bücher, darunter Werke aus Ästhetik, Kunst und Poesie. Akzeptiert werden Beiträge in Englisch, Französisch und Deutsch. Alle Manuskripte werden in einem Peer-Review-Verfahren bewertet.
Eine Studie zur kulturellen Positionierung des Apostels der Völker
Paulus als interkultureller Vermittler: Wie der Jude Paulus als Christusgläubiger sein Evangelium unter den Menschen aus den Völkern verbreitete. Der als Jude geborene Apostel Paulus sah sich berufen, das Evangelium der Auferstehung Christi unter den Völkern zu vermitteln. Die vorliegende kulturwissenschaftlich geprägte Studie zeigt auf, dass und in welcher Weise Paulus seine bikulturelle Persönlichkeit einsetzte, um die Menschen aus den Völkern für seine Version des Evangeliums von Jesus Christus zu gewinnen. Im Fokus der Untersuchung zu Paulus als Vermittler in einem Kulturtransfergeschehen stehen die paulinischen Selbstbeschreibungen, insbesondere deren „Spitzensätze“ (1 Kor 9,19–23) sowie als beispielhafte Manifestation seiner Adaptabilität die Selbstdarstellung als Wettkämpfer (1 Kor 9,24–27).