The tree of life is an iconic visual symbol at the edge of religious thought over the last several millennia. As a show of its significance, the tree bookends the Christian canon; yet scholarship has paid it minimal attention in the modern era. In
The Tree of Life a team of scholars explore the origin, development, meaning, reception, and theology of this consequential yet obscure symbol. The fourteen essays trek from the origins of the tree in the texts and material culture of the ancient Near East, to its notable roles in biblical literature, to its expansion by early church fathers and Gnostics, to its rebirth in medieval art and culture, and to its place in modern theological thought.
Douglas Estes (Ph.D., University of Nottingham) is Associate Professor of New Testament and Practical Theology at South University. His latest book is
Questions and Rhetoric in the Greek New Testament (Zondervan, 2017). He is the editor of
Didaktikos (Lexham Press).
Contributors are: Amy L. Balogh, James H. Charlesworth, Charles L. Echols, Mark Edwards, Douglas Estes, Christopher Heard, Dustyn Elizabeth Keepers, Ty David Kieser, Peter T. Lanfer, Jutta Leonhardt Balzer, G. Ronald Murphy, S.J., William R. Osborne, Ken M. Penner, Pippa Salonius, Carl B. Smith II, Beth M. Stovell, Daniel J. Treier.
Foreword List of Figures Abbreviations Notes on Contributors
Introduction Douglas Estes
The Tree of Life in Ancient Near Eastern Literature Charles L. Echols
The Tree of Life in Ancient Near Eastern Iconography Amy L. Balogh
The Tree of Life in Genesis Christopher Heard
The Tree of Life in Proverbs and Psalms William R. Osborne
The Tree of Life in Jewish-Christian Legendary Texts Peter T. Lanfer
The Tree of Life in Ancient Apocalypse Beth M. Stovell
The Tree of Life in Enochic Literature Ken M. Penner
The Tree of Life in the Apocalypse of John Douglas Estes
The Tree of Life in Early Christian Literature Mark Edwards
The Tree of Life in Philo Jutta Leonhardt Balzer
The Tree of Life in Gnostic Literature Carl B. Smith II
The Tree of Life in Medieval Iconography Pippa Salonius
The Tree of Life in the North G. Ronald Murphy, S.J.
The Tree of Life in Modern Theological Thought Daniel J. Treier, Dustyn Elizabeth Keepers and Ty David Kieser