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The Story of the New Testament Text

Movers, Materials, Motives, Methods, and Models

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Robert F. Hull Jr.

This volume tells the story of the New Testament text from the earliest copies to the latest scholarly editions in Greek. Using a cross-sectional approach, the author introduces those who have developed the discipline of New Testament textual criticism (the movers); the ancient sources for recovering the text (the materials); the aims that drove them (the motives); the criteria and techniques (methods); and the books and other examples of best practices (the models) of New Testament textual criticism. Written primarily for seminary students, the book will also interest clergy and graduate students in biblical studies, theology, church history, and religion.

Hazon Gabriel

New Readings of the Gabriel Revelation

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Edited by Matthias Henze

Since its rediscovery a decade ago, the Hazon Gabriel or Gabriel Revelation, a Hebrew inscription of the first century B.C.E., has attracted considerable attention. The inscription, of which about 87 lines are preserved, written in black ink on a slab of gray limestone, has been compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls. This book makes accessible in one place all existing editions of the Hazon Gabriel together with annotated English translations and offers initial interpretations of the text as a whole, its language, and its most prominent motifs. The volume, originating from a 2009 conference at Rice University, compares the Gabriel Revelation to other literature of the time—the book of Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the New Testament in particular—to determine its place in early Judaism. The contributors are David Jeselsohn, Ada Yardeni and Binyamin Elizur, Elisha Qimron and Alexey (Eliyahu) Yuditsky, Israel Knohl, Gary A. Rendsburg, Adela Yarbro Collins, John J. Collins, Matthias Henze, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, Daewoong Kim, and David Capes.

Blood Expiation in Hittite and Biblical Ritual

Origins, Context, and Meaning

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Yitzhaq Feder

This pioneering study examines the use of blood to purge the effects of sin and impurity in Hittite and biblical ritual. The idea that blood atones for sins holds a prominent place in both Jewish and Christian traditions. The author traces this notion back to its earliest documentation in the fourteenth- and thirteenth-century B.C.E. texts from Hittite Anatolia, in which the smearing of blood is used as a means of expiation, purification, and consecration. This rite parallels, in both its procedure and goals, the biblical sin offering. The author argues that this practice stems from a common tradition manifested in both cultures. In addition, this book aims to decipher and elucidate the symbolism of the practice of blood smearing by seeking to identify the sociocultural context in which the expiatory significance of blood originated. Thus, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the meaning and efficacy of ritual, the origins of Jewish and Christian notions of sin and atonement, and the origin of the biblical blood rite.

Ritual and Metaphor

Sacrifice in the Bible

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Edited by Christian A. Eberhart

The sanctuary and rituals that formed the heart of ancient Judaism ceased to exist a long time ago, yet their images and concepts, especially that of “sacrifice,” have remained essential to the rhetoric of politics, religion, and secular culture. Pervasive sacrificial metaphors range from religious foundations for human ethics to attempts to glorify victims of military operations or natural disasters to much-debated ideas of vicarious atonement within Christianity. The essays in this volume deal with central aspects of sacrificial rituals and processes of metaphor development and spiritualization in Judaism and Christianity. The contributors include Christian A. Eberhart, Göran Eidevall, Stephen Finlan, George P. Heyman, Dominika Kurek-Chomycz, Jeffrey S. Siker, Jason Tatlock, Timothy Wardle, and James W. Watts.

Two Shipwrecked Gospels

The Logoi of Jesus and Papias’s Exposition of Logia about the Lord

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Dennis R. MacDonald

“Dennis MacDonald is one of the most creative and intellectually innovative New Testament scholars of his generation. In this bold new book, MacDonald dares to re-imagine the textual landscape of early Gospel traditions. Attention is focused on reconstructing two lost Gospel texts, the Logoi of Jesus (the so-called Q source) and Papias’ The Exposition of Logia about the Lord. MacDonald develops a new paradigm for reconstructing Q, and in the process generates a text nearly twice as long as traditional reconstructions. This he calls Q+. In relation to Papias’ Exposition, MacDonald argues that work was a commentary on three gospel texts – Matthew, Mark and the Logoi of Jesus. Here MacDonald seeks to re-assemble the surviving fragments of Papias’ work in their original order and he speculates concerning the material that would have filled the gaps between these fragments. MacDonald’s work is brave, challenging, and stimulating. If his ideas prove correct the implication for New Testament scholarship and current understandings of the transmission of the Jesus tradition would be truly revolutionary.”—Paul Foster, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

Social Theory and the Study of Israelite Religion

Essays in Retrospect and Prospect

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Edited by Saul M. Olyan

This volume assesses past, theoretically engaged work on Israelite religion and presents new approaches to particular problems and larger interpretive and methodological questions. It gathers previously unpublished research by senior and mid-career scholars well known for their contributions in the area of social theory and the study of Israelite religion and by junior scholars whose writing is just beginning to have a serious impact on the field. The volume begins with a critical introduction by the editor. Topics of interest to the contributors include gender, violence, social change, the festivals, the dynamics of shame and honor, and the relationship of text to ritual. The contributors engage theory from social and cultural anthropology, sociology, post-colonial studies, and ritual studies. Theoretical models are evaluated in light of the primary data, and some authors modify or adapt theory to increase its utility for biblical studies.

Israel in the Persian Period

The Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C.E.

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Erhard S. Gerstenberger

Although the Persians are seldom mentioned explicitly in the Hebrew Bible, the Persian period (539–331 B.C.E.) gave new shape to ancient Israel, as the biblical text evolved and the foundations of the Judeo-Christian tradition were laid. Therefore, contrary to earlier views, Persian politics, culture, and religion were the setting within which the nascent Jewish community lived and took shape. Against the backdrop of the history and intellectual world of Persia, Gerstenberger describes this exciting 200-year period in the history of Israel, which saw both the creation of biblical literature (historical, prophetic, and poetic writings, especially the Psalms) and important theological developments (e.g., the shape and characteristics of the Jewish community, monotheism, and new means of shaping one’s world).

History of Biblical Interpretation

Volume 4: From the Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century

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Henning Graf Reventlow

As in the first three volumes of History of Biblical Interpretation, From the Enlightenment to the Twentieth Century surveys the lives and works of significant theologians and lay people, politicians and philosophers, in order to portray the characteristic attitudes of the era. It discusses the philosophers and politicians Hobbes, Locke, and Spinoza and the writers Lessing and Herder. Biblical criticism per se begins with the controversy over the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament and extends into Enlightenment ethics, myth, and miracle stories. Early representatives include Richard Simon and Hermann Samuel Reimarus, followed by Johann Salomo Semler, Johann Jakob Griesbach, Johann Gottfried Eichhorn, and Philipp Jacob Spener. Biblical scholars such as Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette, Ferdinand Christian Baur, Heinrich Julius Holtzmann, Julius Wellhausen, Hermann Gunkel, Wilhelm Bousset, Karl Barth, and Rudolf Bultmann round out the volume and bring readers to the twentieth century.

Series:

G.J. Brooke, H. Najman and L.T. Stuckenbruck