The Significance of Sinai

Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelation in Judaism and Christianity

Series:

This volume of essays is concerned with ancient and modern Jewish and Christian views of the revelation at Sinai. The theme is highlighted in studies on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Paul, Josephus, rabbinic literature, art and philosophy. The contributions demonstrate that Sinai, as the location of the revelation, soon became less significant than the narratives that developed about what happened there. Those narratives were themselves transformed, not least to explain problems regarding the text's plain sense. Miraculous theophany, anthropomorphisms, the role of Moses, and the response of Israel were all handled with exegetical skills mustered by
each new generation of readers. Furthermore, the content of the revelation, especially the covenant, was rethought in philosophical,
political, and theological ways. This collection of studies is especially useful in showing something of the complexity of how scriptural traditions remain authoritative and lively for those who appeal to them from very different contexts.

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Biographical Note

George J. Brooke (PhD 1978, Claremont Graduate School) is Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, Manchester, England. He has edited New Qumran Texts and Studies (Brill 1992), The Allegro Qumran Collection (Brill 1996) and written The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament (SPCK 2005). He is continuing editorial work on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Hindy Najman (PhD 1998, Harvard University) is Associate Professor in the Department and Center for the Study of Religion and the Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies Program at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. She has written Seconding Sinai (Brill 2003) and co-edited The Idea of Biblical Interpretation (Brill 2004). She is interested in exile, revelation, prophecy, pseudepigraphy and other related topics in ancient Judaism.

Loren T. Stuckenbruck (PhD 1994, Princeton Theological Seminary) is B.F. Wescott Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Durham, Durham, England. He has written Angel Veneration and Christology (Mohr Siebeck 1995) and 1 Enoch 91-108: A Commentary (de Gruyter 2007). He is active in research on Jewish aspects of the New Testament and on Enoch traditions in antiquity.

Review Quote

"This volume [...] includes sixteen essays generally of a very high quality addressing a wide variety of reactions attested in Jewish and Christian thought to the foundational Sinai paradigm- from subtly to overtly polemical. [...] This illuminating and very rich volume [...] highlights a variety of strategies aiming to re-interpret and/or relativize Sinai for the sake of more recent revelatory events." – Serge Ruzer, in: The Expository Times 124/3 (December 2012)

' the several essays concerning the extension of revelation should prove particularly significant to those interested in the dynamics of Scripture and interpretation in the Second Temple period, and all of the contributions raise important issues that deserve further discussion. As a whole, the volume constitutes a valuable testament to the great variety of ways in which Sinai was indeed significant for successive generations of Jews and Christians.' -- Molly M Zahn, University of Kansas, in: Journal of Jewish Studies 61 (2010)

Readership

All those interested in the history of Jewish and Christian traditions about Sinai and its associated revelation, especially those with research interests in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Paul, Josephus, early rabbinic literature, and Jewish philosophy.

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