This collection of essays examines how stories from the biblical narrative of
Israel in the Wilderness (Exodus 16-Deuteronomy 34) were interpreted by later Jewish and Christian writers (ca. 400 BCE-500 CE).
Stories such as those about manna and water from a rock, the Golden Calf incident, Korah’s rebellion, and the death of Moses provided later Jewish and Christian writers with a treasure trove of material for reflection and interpretation. Whereas individual essays investigate how particular literary works, such as Ben Sira, Qumran documents, New Testament writings, the Apostolic Fathers, and Targums, appropriated the biblical text, taken together the essays form an exercise in uncovering the hermeneutical imagination of interpreters during formative periods of Jewish and Christian thought.
This volume will be valuable to those interested in ancient Judaism and early Christianity, the history of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and the hermeneutical appropriation of sacred texts.
Kenneth E. Pomykala received his Ph.D. (1992) from The Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA, and is Professor of Religion, Calvin College. His work on the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in early Judaism and Christianity includes
The Davidic Dynasty Tradition in Early Judaism (SBLEJL; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995) and “Images of David in Early Judaism” in
Of Scribes and Sages: Early Jewish Interpretation and Transmission of Scripture Vol. 1 (Ed. C. A. Evans; London/New York: T & T Clark, 2004).
"These discussions provide a fascinating insight into early biblical interpretation, higihlighitng the fact that the struggles and trials of the Hebrews during their wilderness wanderings bore a lasting validity and a diversity of significance within later Jewish and Christian faith communities." – Caroline Blyth,
The Expository Times, March 2009
"...the essays as a whole are stimulating... The collection is especially valuable for its insights into the wilderness as a topos and the interrelationship of Jewish and Christian exegesis in antiquity. One is pressed to find fault in this book..." – Richard J. Bautch, in:
Biblical Interpretation 20 (2012)
"a fascinating exploration of the afterlife of a biblical theme.'' -- Ann Conway-Jones, University of Manchester,
Journal of Jewish Studies volume 61, (2010)
All those interested in ancient Judaism and early Christianity, the history of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and the hermeneutical appropriation of sacred texts.