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Volume Editors: Hector M. Patmore and Josef Lössl
For Jews and Christians in Antiquity beliefs about demons were integral to their reflections on fundamental theological questions, but what kind of ‘being’ did they consider demons to be? To what extent were they thought to be embodied? Were demons thought of as physical entities or merely as metaphors for social and psychological realities? What is the relation between demons and the hypostatization of abstract concepts (fear, impurity, etc) and baleful phenomenon such as disease? These are some of the questions that this volume addresses by focussing on the nature and characteristics of demons — what one might call ‘demonic ontology’.
Author: Yael Fisch
This volume re-introduces Paul into the study of midrash. Though Paul writes and interprets scripture in Greek and the Tannaim in Hebrew, and despite grave methodological difficulties in claiming direct and substantial cultural contact between these literary traditions, this book argues that Paul is a crucial source for the study of rabbinic midrash and vice versa. Fisch offers fresh perspectives on reading practices that Paul and the Tannaim uniquely share; on Paul’s concept of nomos, and its implications on the reconstructed history of the Tannaitic twofold-Torah, Oral and Written; on the relationship between allegory and midrash as hermeneutical systems; and on competing conceptualizations of ideal readers.
Author: Daniel Machiela
Essays on the Greek Translations and Other Ancient Versions by the Association for the Study of the Septuagint in South Africa (LXXSA)
Volume Editors: Johann Cook and Gideon R. Kotzé
This volume tackles topics relevant to the study of the Septuagint and related fields of research, such as the historical context of the Greek translations and texts, their anthropology, theology, language, and reception, as well as the comparison of the Septuagint with other ancient translations and texts of its intellectual environment. The authors make contributions to the study of the texts themselves, their themes, and theories in modern research on the ancient artefacts.
Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, Cosponsored by the University of Vienna Institute for Jewish Studies and the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies
Biblical manuscripts from the Dead Sea and the Cairo Genizah have added immeasurably to our knowledge of the textual history of the Hebrew Bible. The papers collected in this volume compare the evidence of the biblical DSS with manuscripts from the Vienna Papyrus Collection, connected with the Cairo Genizah, as well as late ancient evidence from diverse contexts.
The resulting picture is one of a dialectic between textual plurality and fixity: the eventual dominance of the consonantal Masoretic Text over the textual plurality of the Second Temple period, and the secondary diversification of that standardized text through scribal activity.
These essays reflect the lively debate about the sectarian movement of the Scrolls. They debate the degree to which the movement was separated from the rest of Judaism, and whether there was one or several watershed moments in the separation. Notable contributions include a cluster of essays on the Teacher of Righteousness and a thorough survey of the archaeology of Qumran. The texts are problematic in historical research because they rely on biblical stereotypes. Nonetheless, possible interpretations can be compared and degrees of probability debated. The debate is significant not only for the sect but for the nature of ancient Judaism.
Author: N. Clayton Croy
The only narratives of Jesus’ birth locate the event in Bethlehem, but the adult Jesus is consistently associated with Nazareth. How do we reconcile these two indisputable facts? Some dismiss Bethlehem as a theologoumenon, a theological fabrication. Others insist on Bethlehem based on the census of Quirinius. In the present volume, N. Clayton Croy argues that both are wrong. Instead Jesus’ birthplace was determined by the scandalous nature of Mary’s pregnancy, with it being necessary for Mary and Joseph to escape the inevitable shame of an ill-timed conception and decamp to a less hostile environment. In this light, a Bethlehem-born Jesus who grew up in Nazareth should never have been considered problematic.
Author: Jean Maurais
Much can be learned about a translation’s linguistic and cultural context by studying it as a text, a literary artifact of the culture that produced it. However, its nature as a translation warrants a careful approach, one that pays attention to the process by which its various features came about. In Characterizing Old Greek Deuteronomy as an Ancient Translation, Jean Maurais develops a framework derived from Descriptive Translation Studies to bring both these aspects in conversation. He then outlines how the Deuteronomy translator went about his task and provides a characterization of the work as a literary product.
Scholars working with ancient scrolls seek ways to extract maximum information from the multitude of fragments. Various methods were applied to that end on the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as on other ancient texts. The present book augments these methods to a full-scale protocol, while adapting them to a new computerized environment. Fundamental methodological issues are illuminated as part of the discussion, and the potential margin of error is provided on an empirical basis, as practiced in the sciences. The method is then exemplified with regard to the scroll 4Q418a, a copy of a wisdom composition from Qumran.
Author: Steve Mason
Josephus wrote his most impactful history, The Judean War, in seven volumes. The volume translated here and furnished with a full historical commentary, is pivotal. Filled with high drama and penetrating assessments of human behavior under extreme duress, it brings readers from Galilee and mass suicide at Gamala in the Golan to Vespasian’s rise to imperial power. In between, Josephus explains how first John of Gischala and then Simon bar Giora came to be the two dominant figures in Jerusalem, setting up the siege of Titus. This volume also introduces the war’s most famous antagonists: the Zealots (or Disciples).