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Act and Consequence in Second Temple Instructions
Author: Samuel Adams
This volume considers a major shift among Jewish sages during the Second Temple period, as certain authors moved from an earthly focus to a belief in individual immortality. Egyptian instructions and the book of Proverbs are examined for necessary background. The colorful responses of Qoheleth and Ben Sira to an emergent belief in the afterlife are also discussed. 4QInstruction, the largest Wisdom text from the Dead Sea Scrolls corpus, demonstrates this shift to an eschatological understanding. This book considers the diverse reasons for the changes that one finds in 4QInstruction, especially the issue of social context. It will prove useful to those interested in Wisdom literature, the Dead Sea Scrolls, apocalypticism, and the development of beliefs in the afterlife.
Author: Samuel L. Adams

The Expanded Text of Ecclesiasticus: Its Teaching on the Future Life as a Clue to Its Origin. (Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies 11). Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011. Pp. x, 333. Hardback. €99.95 / US$ 140.00. ISBN 978-3-11-025258-3.

This volume offers an important resource to scholars of Ben Sira: K. submitted his doctoral thesis to the Pontifical Biblical Commission in 1951, but it was never published. Photocopies have circulated for decades, and now Beentjes has provided a real service in editing this volume. A helpful preface from Beentjes explains the scope of this project, and Norton gives a fascinating overview

In: Journal for the Study of Judaism
Author: Samuel L. Adams

Ben Sira on Family, Gender, and Sexuality. Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Series 8. Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011. Hardback. Pp. ix + 331. us $112.00. isbn 9783110247466.

This volume, a revision of the author’s doctoral thesis submitted to Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, analyzes Ben Sira’s views on gender and sexuality through a full review of all relevant passages. Balla rightly notes that this sapiential work has received a great deal of scholarly attention in recent decades, but no monograph-length study has attempted to explicate the sage’s memorable views on sexuality. Balla succeeds in providing such

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Samuel L. Adams

Dead Sea Discoveries 19 (2012) 221–246 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2012 DOI: 10.1163/156851712X644677 Book Reviews Wisdom Literature . By John Kampen. Eerdmans Commentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011. Paperback. Pp. xiii + 404. $36.00. ISBN 978-0-8028-4384-5. The full availability of the Dead Sea Scrolls corpus has led to an array of classifica- tory efforts, including the identification of sapiential texts. While not all of these fragments are strictly instructional, many commentators have pulled together a “wisdom” category of documents from Qumran. This volume from John Kampen, part of the Eerdmans Commentaries on the Dead

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Samuel L. Adams

Roland Boer’s work on the sacred economy of ancient Israel will become a standard reference volume for years to come. Boer reframes our understanding of Israel’s economy around Marx’s notion of régulation, the distinction between allocative and extractive economies, and patterns of subsistence survival at the village level. While this response celebrates Boer’s work, it suggests that more attention be given to the negative aspects of extraction economies, in particular to subsistence survival, and to the role of women and children in this economy. It also notes that Boer’s description of wisdom literature as reflecting the voices of the ruling elite in their attempt to control the servant class might be balanced by more attention to the wisdom literature where God becomes an advocate for the poor.

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
In: Tracing Sapiential Traditions in Ancient Judaism
In: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities
In: Sibyls, Scriptures, and Scrolls
In Sirach and Its Contexts an international cohort of experts on the book of Sirach locate this second-century BCE Jewish wisdom text in its various contexts: literary, historical, philosophical, textual, cultural, and political. First compiled by a Jewish sage around 185 BCE, this instruction enjoyed a vibrant ongoing reception history through the middle ages up to the present, resulting in a multiform textual tradition as it has been written, rewritten, transmitted, and studied. Sirach was not composed as a book in the modern sense but rather as an ongoing stream of tradition. Heretofore studied largely in confessional settings as part of the Deuterocanonical literature, this volume brings together essays that take a broadly humanistic approach, in order to understand what an ancient wisdom text can teach us about the pursuit of wisdom and human flourishing.