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Trajectories in Near Eastern Apocalyptic

A Postrabbinic Jewish Apocalypse Reader

Edited by John Reeves

Modern treatments of Jewish apocalyptic usually terminate their discussions of this literature with the triumph of Rome over nationalist rebels at the time of the Second Jewish Revolt (132-135 CE). They hence fail to appreciate the impact of the subsequent rise of scriptural authority for the Abrahamic religions and the renewed vitality of the apocalyptic genre as a favored literary vehicle for the expression of social and cultural concerns by the major Near Eastern religious communities during the second half of the first millennium CE. The present volume begins the process of righting this imbalance by providing an English-language anthology of a series of influential Jewish apocalypses emanating from the Near East from roughly the early seventh to the mid-twelfth centuries CE. Each text is newly translated into English and provided with an annotated commentary that elucidates its historical, literary, and religious contexts.

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

Syro-Mesopotamian Gnosis and Jewish Traditions

John Reeves

This volume examines the transmission of biblical pseudepigraphic literature and motifs from their largely Jewish cultural contexts in Palestine to developing gnostic milieux of Syria and Mesopotamia, particularly that one lying behind the birth and growth of Manichaeism. It surveys biblical pseudepigraphic literary activity in the late antique Near East, devoting special attention to revelatory works attributed to the five biblical forefathers who are cited in the Cologne Mani Codex: Adam, Seth, Enosh, Shem, and Enoch.
The author provides a philological, literary, and religio-historical analysis of each of the five pseudepigraphic citations contained in the Codex, and offers hypotheses regarding the original provenance of each citation and the means by which these traditions have been adapted to their present context.
This study is an important contribution to the scholarly reassessment of the roles played by Second Temple Judaism, Jewish Christian sectarianism, and classical gnosis in the formulation and development of Syro-Mesopotamian religious currents.
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Bible and Qur‘ān

Essays in Scriptural Intertextuality

John Reeves

The Bible and the Qur‘ān share a common layer of discourse based on stories and legends associated with certain paradigmatic characters like Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Yet most biblical scholars are unfamiliar with the rich contents of Islamicate scriptural lore. The nine essays in the present volume, all from scholars who center their research on the intersections of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic literary traditions, explore various aspects of the textual and behavioral connections discernible among these three major Near Eastern religious communities. The book will appeal to students and scholars of Bible and biblical lore, particularly in diverse exegetical contexts; Biblicists interested in the reception history of Bible within the Islamicate cultural sphere; specialists in ancient and medieval Jewish literary history and folklore; scholars of eastern Christian history and literature; Islamicists with an interest in the Jewish and/or Christian textual and exegetical elements visible in early and medieval Islam.
Contributors include Fred Astren, Reuven Firestone, Sidney H. Griffith, Brian M. Hauglid, Kathryn Kueny, Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Gordon D. Newby, John C. Reeves, Vernon K. Robbins, and Brannon M. Wheeler.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)
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Thomas A. Waite and John D. Reeve

Abstract

We developed a model that concerns, in part, how long a scatterhoarder should persist in caching food from an ephemeral, locally abundant source ('bonanza') before moving on in search of other sources. The model assumes that an animal scattering food caches for later use behaves in a manner that maximizes the rate at which it stores recoverable (surviving) food in its habitat. It is shown theoretically that under some conditions it is better not to cache all available food but instead to move on in search of other food sources. This 'source-departure decision' for scatterhoarders is analogous to the patch-departure decision for animals that forage among food patches. It is shown that whether, and at what point, a 'moving-on threshold' is reached should depend on the size of the source, the strength of density-dependent cache theft, and the abundance of sources in the habitat. A field experiment was performed to test the qualitative prediction that gray jays, Perisoreus canadensis, should not persist as long in caching food when a day-long opportunity for caching is restricted to a single source (single-source treatment) as when such an opportunity is divided among a series of disjunct sources (multiple-source treatment). In the single-source treatment, jays tended to cache at lower overall rates, transport food items to more distant cache sites, and spend less time caching. These tendencies became more pronounced later in the day. However, although the rate of caching approached zero in the single-source treatment, the jays did not completely cease caching. This apparent violation of the model is attributed to the behaviour of recaching, a facet of gray jay scatterhoarding behaviour that was not built into the model. This retrieval and redistribution of previous caches resulted in the stabilization of the density of caches near the source. In addition, this switch from single- to multiple-load caching trips arguably would make it economical for gray jays to continue to make caching trips from a source beyond the source-departure point predicted by the model. Our theoretical and empirical results begin to show how scatterhoarders may behave in a manner that maximizes the long-term average rate of storage of recoverable food energy throughout their habitat.