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Edited by Melvin Peters

This book represents the current state of Septuagint studies as reflected in papers presented at the triennial meeting of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS). In method, content, and approach, the proceedings published in this volume demonstrate the vitality of interest in Septuagint studies and the dedication of the authors—established scholars and promising younger voices—to their diverse subjects. This edition of the proceedings continues an established tradition of publishing volumes of essays from the international conferences of the IOSCS.

Paul the Martyr

The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West

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David L. Eastman

Ancient iconography of Paul is dominated by one image: Paul as martyr. Whether he is carrying a sword—the traditional instrument of his execution—or receiving a martyr’s crown from Christ, the apostle was remembered and honored for his faithfulness to the point of death. As a result, Christians created a cult of Paul, centered on particular holy sites and characterized by practices such as the telling of stories, pilgrimage, and the veneration of relics. This study integrates literary, archaeological, artistic, and liturgical evidence to describe the development of the Pauline cult within the cultural context of the late antique West.

History of Biblical Interpretation

Volume 3: Renaissance, Reformation, Humanism

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Henning Graf Reventlow

Volume 3 of History of Biblical Interpretation deals with an era—Renaissance, Reformation, and humanism—characterized by major changes, such as the rediscovery of the writings of antiquity and the newly invented art of printing. These developments created the context for one of the most important periods in the history of biblical interpretation, one that combined both philological insights made possible by the now-accessible ancient texts with new theological impulses and movements. As representative of this period, this volume examines the lives and teaching of Johann Reuchlin, Erasmus, Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, John Calvin, Thomas Müntzer, Hugo Grotius, and a host of other influential exegetes.

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Edited by Ron A. Cameron and Merrill Miller

This second volume of studies by members of the SBL Seminar on Ancient Myths and Modern Theories of Christian Origins reassesses the agenda of modern scholarship on Paul and the Corinthians. The contributors challenge the theory of religion assumed in most New Testament scholarship and adopt a different set of theoretical and historical terms for redescribing the beginnings of the Christian religion. They propose explanations of the relationship between Paul and the recipients of 1 Corinthians; the place of Paul’s Christ-myth for his gospel; the reasons for a disinterest in and rejection of Paul’s gospel and/or for the reception and attraction of it; and the disjunction between Paul’s collective representation of the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians and the Corinthians’ own engagement with Paul in mythmaking and social formation, including mutual (mis)translation and (mis)appropriation of the other’s discourse and practices. The contributors are Ron Cameron and Merrill P. Miller, Jonathan Z. Smith, Burton L. Mack, William E. Arnal, Stanley K. Stowers, Richard S. Ascough, and John S. Kloppenborg.

Experientia, Volume 2

Linking Text and Experience

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Edited by Colleen Shantz and Rodney Werline

Sculpting Idolatry in Flavian Rome

(An)Iconic Rhetoric in the Writings of Flavius Josephus

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Jason von Ehrenkrook

This book investigates the discourse on idolatry and images, especially statues, in the writings of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, with a particular focus on his numerous accounts of a contentious and at times iconoclastic relationship between Jews and images. Placing this narrative material within a wider comparative context, both Jewish and non-Jewish, demonstrates that the impression of strict aniconism—uniform and categorical opposition to all figurative art—emerging from Josephus is in part a rhetorical construct, an effort to reframe Jewish iconoclastic behavior not as a resistance to Roman domination but as an expression of certain cultural values shared by Jews and Romans alike. Josephus thus articulates in this discourse on images an idea of Jewish identity that functioned to mitigate an increasingly tense relationship between Romans and Jews in the wake of the Jewish revolt against Rome.

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Robert K. McIver

Before they were written in the Gospels, the teachings and deeds of Jesus were preserved in human memory—with all its frailties and strengths—for perhaps as long as 30 to 60 years. Much can happen to traditions preserved in memories for so long, and this groundbreaking work addresses the impact that the qualities of human memory would have had on the traditions of the historical Jesus found in the Synoptic Gospels. It uses the insights gained from over a century of psychological experimentation to investigate the qualities and potential reliability of individual and collective memories underlying the various elements that make up the Gospel traditions.

Innovations in Hebrew Poetry

Parallelism and the Poems of Sirach

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M. Philippe Reymond

Although scholars point to similarities between Sirach and the book of Proverbs and sometimes characterize Ben Sira's relationship to biblical poetry as one of imitation (often unsuccessful imitation), this study considers the innovative and unique aspects of Sirach poetry, especially its use of parallelism, and demonstrates that Ben Sira does not rely exclusively on Proverbs or any other biblical book as a model. Innovations in Hebrew Poetry provides detailed readings and philological analysis for the nine poems in the Masada scroll, and general observations on many other Sirach and biblical poems complement the analysis.

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

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.