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Sodom's Sin

Genesis 18-19 and its Interpretations

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Edited by Ed Noort and Tigchelaar

This volume is devoted to the receptions of and reflections on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as told in Genesis 18 and 19. Two articles discuss intertextual reactions to the Sodom narrative within the Hebrew Bible. Five contributions examine readings and rewritings of the Sodom narrative in early Jewish, Christian and Islamic writings: Jubilees, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament (Revelation 11), Targumim and early Koran commentaries. Two articles focus on separate themes, the punishment of the Dead Sea and the prohibition on looking back. Finally, two articles that focus on Peter Damian and Proust's Sodome et Gomorrhe I describe the later reception of the sin of Sodom as homosexuality. A bibliography of recent works completes the volume.

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Susan Zeelander

There has been much discussion of narrative aspects of the Bible in recent years, but the ends of biblical narratives – how the ends contribute to closure for their stories and how the ending strategies affect the whole narrative – have not been studied comprehensively. This study shows how the writers and editors of short narratives in Genesis gave their stories a sense of closure (or in a few cases, the sense of non-closure). Multiple and sometimes unexpected, forms of closure are identified; together these form a set of closural conventions. This contribution to narrative poetics of the Hebrew Bible in the light of source criticism will also be valuable to those who are interested in narrative and in concepts of closure.

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Arie Versluis

According to Deuteronomy 7, God commands Israel to exterminate the indigenous population of Canaan. In The Command to Exterminate the Canaanites: Deuteronomy 7, Arie Versluis offers an analysis and evaluation of this command. Following an exegesis of the chapter, the historical background, possible motives and the place of the nations of Canaan in the Hebrew Bible are investigated.
The theme of religiously inspired violence continues to be a topic of interest. The present volume discusses the consequences of the command to exterminate the Canaanites for the Old Testament view of God and for the question whether the Bible legitimizes violence in the present. Finally, the author shows how he reads this text as a Christian theologian.

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André Villeneuve

In Nuptial Symbolism in Second Temple Writings, the New Testament and Rabbinic Literature, André Villeneuve examines the ancient Jewish concept of the covenant between God and Israel, portrayed as a marriage dynamically moving through salvation history. This nuptial covenant was established in Eden but damaged by sin; it was restored at the Sinai theophany, perpetuated in the Temple liturgy, and expected to reach its final consummation at the end of days.

The authors of the New Testament adopted the same key moments of salvation history to describe the spousal relationship between Christ and the Church. In their typological treatment of these motifs, they established an exegetical framework that would anticipate the four senses of Scripture later adopted by patristic and medieval commentators.

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Alexandria Frisch

In The Danielic Discourse on Empire in Second Temple Literature, Alexandria Frisch asks: how did Jews in the Second Temple period understand the phenomenon of foreign empire? In answering this question, a remarkable trend reveals itself—the book of Daniel, which situates its narrative in an imperial context and apocalyptically envisions empires, was overwhelmingly used by Jewish writers when they wanted to say something about empires. This study examines Daniel, as well as antecedents to and interpretations of Daniel, in order to identify the diachronic changes in perceptions of empire during this period. Oftentimes, this Danielic discourse directly reacted to imperial ideologies, either copying, subverting, or adapting those ideologies. Throughout this study, postcolonial criticism, therefore, provides a hermeneutical lens through which to ask a second question: in an imperial context, is the Jewish conception of empire actually Jewish?

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Andrei Orlov

The study explores the eschatological reinterpretation of the Yom Kippur ritual found in the Apocalypse of Abraham where the protagonist of the story, the patriarch Abraham, takes on the role of a celestial goat for YHWH, while the text’s antagonist, the fallen angel Azazel, is envisioned as the demonic scapegoat. The study treats the application of the two goats typology to human and otherworldly figures in its full historical and interpretive complexity through a broad variety of Jewish and Christian sources, from the patriarchical narratives of the Hebrew Bible to early Christian materials in which Yom Kippur traditions were applied to Jesus’ story.

Jeremiah’s Scriptures

Production, Reception, Interaction, and Transformation

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Edited by Hindy Najman and Konrad Schmid

Jeremiah’s Scriptures focuses on the composition of the biblical book of Jeremiah and its dynamic afterlife in ancient Jewish traditions. Jeremiah is an interpretive text that grew over centuries by means of extensive redactional activities on the part of its tradents. In addition to the books within the book of Jeremiah, other books associated with Jeremiah or Baruch were also generated. All the aforementioned texts constitute what we call “Jeremiah's Scriptures.” The papers and responses collected here approach Jeremiah’s scriptures from a variety of perspectives in biblical and ancient Jewish sub-fields. One of the authors' goals is to challenge the current fragmentation of the fields of theology, biblical studies, ancient Judaism. This volume focuses on Jeremiah and his legacy.