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John, Qumran, and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Sixty Years of Discovery and Debate

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Edited by Mary Coloe and Tom Thatcher

The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal a Palestinian form of Second Temple Judaism in which the seeds of Johannine Christianity may have first sprouted. Although many texts from the Judean Desert are now widely available, the Scrolls have had little part in discussions of the Johannine literature over the past several decades. The essays in this book, ranging from focused studies of key passages in the Fourth Gospel to its broader social world, consider the past and potential impact of the Scrolls on Johannine studies in the context of a growing interest in the historical roots of the Johannine tradition and the origins and nature of the “Johannine community” and its relationship to mainstream Judaism. Future scholarship will be interested in connections between the Gospel of John and the Scrolls and also in Qumran Judaism and Johannine Christianity as parallel religious movements. The contributors are Mary L. Coloe and Tom Thatcher, Eileen Schuller, Paul N. Anderson, John Ashton, George J. Brooke, Brian J. Capper, Hannah K. Harrington, Loren T. Stuckenbruck, and James H. Charlesworth.

The Politics of Pessimism in Ecclesiastes

A Social-Science Perspective

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Mark R. Sneed

Scholars attempt to resolve the problem of the book of Ecclesiastes’ heterodox character in one of two ways, either explaining away the book’s disturbing qualities or radicalizing and championing it as a precursor of modern existentialism. This volume offers an interpretation of Ecclesiastes that both acknowledges the unorthodox nature of Qoheleth’s words and accounts for its acceptance among the canonical books of the Hebrew Bible. It argues that, instead of being the most secular and modern of biblical books, Ecclesiastes is perhaps one of the most religious and primitive. Bringing a Weberian approach to Ecclesiastes, it represents a paradigm of the application of a social-science methodology.

Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest

Biblical Mothers and their Children

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Edited by Cheryl Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin

Who are the mothers in the biblical text? What do they do? What kinds of power do they have? Issues of identity, authority, violence, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, sexual exploitation and rape-marriage, murder, and relation to God have haunted the characters and representations of motherhood from Eve to Mary and beyond. For better or for worse, these images speak potent messages even today. To explore biblical mothers and their relationships with their daughters and sons, the contributors to this volume participate in a comparative analysis between biblical mothers and mothers in popular media, history, literature, and the arts. The diversity of methods they employ prompts a rich discussion on the deconstruction of motherhood, offering new ways of envisioning both biblical and contemporary motherhood.

The contributors are Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin, Madeline McClenney-Sadler, Wil Gafney, Brian Britt, Frank M. Yamada, Mignon R. Jacobs, Linda S. Schering, Mark Roncace and Deborah Whitehead, Andrew M. Mbuvi, Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Brenda Wallace, Margaret Aymer, Tat-siong Benny Liew, and Alison Jasper.

Plato’s Parmenides and Its Heritage

Volume 2: Reception in Patristic, Gnostic, and Christian Neoplatonic Texts

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Edited by John D. Turner and Kevin Corrigan

"Plato’s Parmenides and Its Heritage" presents in two volumes ground-breaking results in the history of interpretation of Plato’s Parmenides, the culmination of six years of international collaboration by the SBL Annual Meeting seminar, “Rethinking Plato’s Parmenides and Its Platonic, Gnostic and Patristic Reception” (2001–2007).

Volume 2 examines and establishes for the first time evidence for a significant knowledge of the Parmenides in Philo, Clement, and patristic sources. It offers an extensive and balanced analysis of the case for and against the various possible attributions of date and authorship of the Anonymous Commentary in relation to Gnosticism, Middle Platonism, and Neoplatonism and argues that on balance the case for a pre-Plotinian authorship is warranted. It also undertakes for the first time in this form an examination of the Parmenides in relation to Jewish and Christian thought, moving from Philo and Clement through Origen and the Cappadocians to Pseudo-Dionysius. The contributors to Volume 2 are Matthias Vorwerk, Kevin Corrigan, Luc Brisson, Volker Henning Drecoll, Tuomas Rasimus, John F. Finamore, John M. Dillon, Sara Ahbel-Rappe, Gerald Bechtle, David T. Runia, Mark Edwards, Jean Reynard, and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz.

For the Comfort of Zion

The Geographical and Theological Location of Isaiah 40-55

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Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

This monograph seeks to determine the geographical provenance of Isaiah 40-55. It reassesses past research pertaining to Babylonian influence and reexamines the claims that all or parts of Isaiah 40-55 reflect the concerns of the exilic community in Babylon. It further challenges the prevalent view that the return of the exiles is of central concern in Isaiah 40-55, and instead proposes that Jerusalem and her imminent restoration is its focal point. It interprets Isaiah 40-55 as a polyvalent text that allows multiple and often contradictory views regarding Jerusalem’s current suffering. The monograph investigates these views, understood to represent the opinons of different segments of the target audience of Isaiah 40-55, with the aim of determining their geographical and theological locations.