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Fifty Years of Research; The Impact of the Scrolls on Biblical Studies; Archaeology and the DSS; Digital Miracles; The Computer and Understanding Q and Biblical Theology; The Origin and Identity of the Q Sect; The Origins of Q in Light of the Hasidim and Enoch Groujp; Torah: Challenges to the Canon from the Q Biblical Scrolls; The DSS and Hebrew Scriptural Texts; Writings: The Psalter and the Canon at Q; Apocalypsology among the Q Materials and Daniel; The Rewritten Bible at Q; Q and a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible; Q and Deuteronomy.
Between 1947 and 1956, nearly 900 ancient Jewish manuscripts were
found in remote caves near Khirbet Qumran on the edge of the Dead
Sea. This authoritative and accessible book explains the nature and
significance of these amazing manuscripts and the dramatic impact
they have had on our understanding of religion in ancient
Palestine. Cutting through scholarly controversies and conspiracy
theories, it demonstrates how the Dead Sea Scrolls have transformed
our comprehension of the Bible, Judaism in the time of Jesus, and
the rise of Christianity.
In the second edition the main text, footnotes and bibliographies have all been thoroughly updated, and a new chapter added that expands the material on the identity of the community behind the scrolls and provides a helpful survey of the manuscripts. The book is an ideal introduction for anyone interested in either the Scrolls themselves, Jewish history and religion in the Second Temple period or the early Christian movement.
Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo documents an important collection of master drawings donated by an individual to the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, including five drawings by the celebrated Venetian genius Giambattista Tiepolo and sixteen drawings by his most famous son, Domenico Tiepolo. Twelve of the sixteen form part of Domenico's most important drawing series-his exhaustive visual exploration of the New Testament. Also included are two drawings discovered after the 2006 publication of Domenico Tiepolo: A New Testament and seen here for the first time. Gealt and Knox are world-renowned experts on the Tiepolos and this book will serve as a useful reference to understanding their work as draftsmen. This beautiful illustrated volume will appeal to art lovers, biblical scholars, and those who value the unique work of the Tiepolos.
Yitzhak Berger advances a distinctive and markedly original interpretation of the biblical book of Jonah that resolves many of the ambiguities in the text. Berger contends that the Jonah text pulls from many inner-biblical connections, especially ones relating to the Garden of Eden. These connections provide a foundation for Berger's reading of the story, which attributes multiple layers of meaning to this carefully crafted biblical book. Focusing on Jonah's futile quest and his profoundly troubled response to God's view of the sins of humanity, Berger shows how the book paints Jonah as a pacifist no less than as a moralist.
Using a commentary on the influential text, the Manjusri-namasamgiti, `The Chanting of the Names of Manjusri', this book deals with Buddhist tantric meditation practice and its doctrinal context in early-medieval India. The commentary was written by the 8th-9th century Indian tantric scholar Vilasavajra, and the book contains a translation of the first five chapters. The translation is extensively annotated, and accompanied by introductions as well as a critical edition of the Sanskrit text based on eight Sanskrit manuscripts and two blockprint editions of the commentary's Tibetan translation. The commentary interprets its root text within an elaborate framework of tantric visualisation and meditation that is based on an expanded form of the Buddhist Yoga Tantra mandala, the Vajradhatu-mandala. At its heart is the figure of Manjusri, no longer the familiar bodhisattva of wisdom, but now the embodiment of the awakened non-dual gnosis that underlies all Buddhas as well their activity in the cosmos. The book contributes to our understanding of the history of Indian tantric Buddhism in a period of significant change and innovation. With its extensively annotated translation and lengthy introductions the book is designed to appeal not only to professional scholars and research students but also to contemporary Buddhists.
Scholars have described Psalm 119 as the "crux criticorum" of the Fifth Book of the Psalter (Pss 107-150). While the length of the psalm and its insistence on the question of YHWH's Torah are basic indices pointing to its importance in the Book, the question of its message, that is, the logical development of its theme has remained an exegetical problem. The author proposes a solution, namely, that Psalm 119 is structurally arranged to show the Psalmist's own experience of straying and returning to YHWH's Torah. The resolution of the problem has implications for understanding the organisation of the Fifth Book and for the place of psalms such as 111 and 147, which also reflect on the theme of Torah in the final Book of the Psalter.
At the birth of the United States, African Americans were excluded from the newly-formed Republic and its churches, which saw them as savage rather than citizen and as heathen rather than Christian. Denied civil access to the basic rights granted to others, African Americans have developed their own sacred traditions and their own civil discourses. As part of this effort, African American intellectuals offered interpretations of the Bible which were radically different and often fundamentally oppositional to those of many of their white counterparts. By imagining a freedom unconstrained, their work charted a broader and, perhaps, a more genuinely American identity. In Pillars of Cloud and Fire, Herbert Robinson Marbury offers a comprehensive survey of African American biblical interpretation. Each chapter in this compelling volume moves chronologically, from the antebellum period and the Civil War through to the Harlem Renaissance, the civil rights movement, the black power movement, and the Obama era, to offer a historical context for the interpretative activity of that time and to analyze its effect in transforming black social reality. For African American thinkers such as Absalom Jones, David Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Frances E. W. Harper, Adam Clayton Powell, and Martin Luther King, Jr., the exodus story became the language-world through which freedom both in its sacred resonance and its civil formation found expression. This tradition, Marbury argues, has much to teach us in a world where fundamentalisms have become synonymous with "authentic" religious expression and American identity. For African American biblical interpreters, to be American and to be Christian was always to be open and oriented toward freedom.
This book investigates the Matthean use of bread and the breaking of bread in light of cognitive conceptual metaphor, which are not only intertwined within Matthew's narrative plots but also function to represent Matthew's communal identity and ideological vision. The metaphor of bread and its cognitive concept implicitly connect to Israel's indigenous sense of identity and religious imagination, while integrating the socio-religious context and the identity of Matthean community through the metaphoric action: breaking of bread. While using this metaphor as a narrative strategy, Matthew not only keeps the Jewish indigenous socio-religious heritage but also breaks down multiple boundaries of religion, ethnicity, gender, class, and the false prejudice in order to establish an alternative identity and ideological vision. From this perspective, this book presents how the Matthean bread functions to reveal the identity of Matthew's community in-between formative Judaism and the Roman Empire. In particular, the book investigates the metaphor of bread as a source of Matthew's rhetorical claim that represents its ideological vision for an alternative community beyond the socio-religious boundaries. The book also reviews Matthean contexts by postcolonial theories - hybridity and third space - subverting and deconstructing the hegemony of the dominant groups of formative Judaism and the imperial ideology of Rome.
The study discusses the Old Testament's parable of Nathan and the subsequent condemnation of King David. The intriguing episode of the Prophet Nathan pronouncing judgment on the erring King David has always attracted the interest of the exegete and various researchers have used different methods to separate the condemnation of King David from the ancient author. This study presents a synchronic reading of the canonical text that reveals the episode as the mirror image of the oracle of eternal dynasty pronounced to David by the same prophet in the Second Book of Samuel 7. It is indeed the work of the deuteronomistic writer who has adapted an oracle against the dynasty of David and trimmed it to the advantage of his hero in the unfolding of history.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims all have a common belief in the sanctity of a core holy scripture, and commentary on scripture (exegesis) was at the heart of all three traditions in the Middle Ages. At the same time, because it dealt with issues such as the nature of the canon, the limits of acceptable interpretation, and the meaning of salvation history from the perspective of faith, exegesis was elaborated in the Middle Ages along the faultlines of interconfessional disputation and polemical conflict. This collection of thirteen essays by world-renowned scholars of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explores the nature of exegesis during the High and especially the Late Middle Ages as a discourse of cross-cultural and interreligious conflict, paying particular attention to the commentaries of scholars in the western and southern Mediterranean from Iberia and Italy to Morocco and Egypt. Unlike other comparative studies of religion, this collection is not a chronological history or an encyclopedic guide. Instead, it presents essays in four conceptual clusters ("Writing on the Borders of Islam," "Jewish-Christian Conflict," "The Intellectual Activity of the Dominican Order," and "Gender") that explore medieval exegesis as a vehicle for the expression of communal or religious identity, one that reflects shared or competing notions of sacred history and sacred text. This timely book will appeal to scholars and lay readers alike and will be essential reading for students of comparative religion, historians charting the history of religious conflict in the medieval Mediterranean, and all those interested in the intersection of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim beliefs and practices.
In a profound look at what it means for new generations to read and interpret ancient religious texts, rabbi and philosopher Marc-Alain Ouaknin offers a postmodern reading of the Talmud, one of the first of its kind. Combining traditional learning and contemporary thought, Ouaknin dovetails discussions of spirituality and religious practice with such concepts as deconstruction, intertextuality, undecidability, multiple voicing, and eroticism in the Talmud. On a broader level, he establishes a dialogue between Hebrew tradition and the social sciences, which draws, for example, on the works of Levinas, Blanchot, and Jabes as well as Derrida. "The Burnt Book" represents the innovative thinking that has come to be associated with a school of French Jewish studies, headed by Levinas and dedicated to new readings of traditional texts, which is fast gaining influence in the United States.
The Talmud, transcribed in 500 C.E., is shown to be a text that refrains from dogma and instead encourages the exploration of its meanings. A vast compilation of Jewish oral law, the Talmud also contains rabbinical commentaries that touch on everything from astronomy to household life. Examining its literary methods and internal logic, Ouaknin explains how this text allows readers to transcend its authority in that it invites them to interpret, discuss, and re-create their religious tradition. An in-depth treatment of selected texts from the oral law and commentary goes on to provide a model for secular study of the Talmud in light of contemporary philosophical issues.
Throughout the author emphasizes the self-effacing quality of a text whose worth can be measured by the insights that live on in the minds of its interpreters long after they have closed the book. He points out that the burning of the Talmud in anti-Judaic campaigns throughout history has, in fact, been an unwitting act of complicity with Talmudic philosophy and the practice of self-effacement. Ouaknin concludes his discussion with the story of the Hasidic master Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav, who himself burned his life achievement--a work known by his students as "the Burnt Book." This story leaves us with the question, should all books be destroyed in order to give birth to thought and renew meaning?"
A comprehensive treatment of visionary experience in some of the main texts of Jewish mysticism, this book reveals the overwhelmingly visual nature of religious experience in Jewish spirituality from antiquity through the late Middle Ages. Using phenomenological and critical historical tools, Wolfson examines Jewish mystical texts from late antiquity, pre-kabbalistic sources from the tenth to the twelfth centuries, and twelfth- and thirteenth-century kabbalistic literature. His work demonstrates that the sense of sight assumes an epistemic priority in these writings, reflecting and building upon those scriptural passages that affirm the visual nature of revelatory experience. Moreover, the author reveals an androcentric eroticism in the scopic mentality of Jewish mystics, which placed the externalized and representable form, the phallus, at the center of the visual encounter.
In the visionary experience, as Wolfson describes it, imagination serves a primary function, transmuting sensory data and rational concepts into symbols of those things beyond sense and reason. In this view, the experience of a vision is inseparable from the process of interpretation. Fundamentally challenging the conventional distinction between experience and exegesis, revelation and interpretation, Wolfson argues that for the mystics themselves, the study of texts occasioned a visual experience of the divine located in the imagination of the mystical interpreter. Thus he shows how Jewish mystics preserved the invisible transcendence of God without doing away with the visual dimension of belief.
Recently, voices were raised in the worldwide Christian ecumenical movement that it was high time the Protestant-Catholic fundamental topic "Holy Scripture and Tradition" was approached and ecumenically reviewed. In Germany, this has already been achieved by the "OEkumenischer Arbeitskreis evangelischer und katholischer Theologen" (Ecumenical Study Group of Protestant and Catholic Theologians; founded in 1946). The results of this study group were published in the 1990s under the title "Verbindliches Zeugnis" by Theodor Schneider and Wolfhart Pannenberg. This edition provides the essence of the three volume work for the first time in English. The treatment of this age-long dispute in Protestant and Catholic theology, but first of all its fundamental settlement can thus be recognised and discussed in the international ecumenical dialogue.
With contributions by: Barns, J. W. B.; Unknown function: Carswell, J.
The very essence of the existential relationship between the human and the divine is communicated by the English word, `worship'. Although the word appears to carry a univocal meaning in English, no such word per se exists in the Greek New Testament. The English word at best explains but does not adequately and completely define the dynamics involved in the relationship between humanity and God. Worship and the Risen Jesus in the Pauline Letters approaches the subject of Christian worship in respect to its origins from the perspective of the earliest New Testament writer: Paul. This book seeks to address the relative absence in scholarship of a full treatment of worship in the Pauline Letters. Closely related to the theme of Christian worship in the Pauline Letters is the person of the risen Jesus and the place he occupies in the faith community. This work proposes a proper working definition of, including criteria for, `worship'. Paul employed an array of Greek words as descriptors to communicate the various nuances and dimensions related to one's relationship with God. `Worship' also functioned for Paul as a boundary marker between believers and unbelievers vis-a-vis baptism and the Eucharist. The eschatological and teleological aspects of worship are also examined through a study of the Carmen Christi (Phil 2: 6-11). This study maintains that worship in Paul is not defined by any one word but is rather a composite and comprehensive personal religious relationship between the worshipper and God.
The world of the Bible is a textual world. Its composition and intertextuality are what make it a representation of reality. To understand biblical world making, it is important to understand how biblical books are made and read. The Textual World of the Bible explores the patterns of figuration in biblical composition and the way in which these patterns are read within the Bible (inner-biblical exegesis). This book is an excellent choice for courses in biblical theology and hermeneutics.
Liberation from Empire investigates the phenomenon of demonic possession and exorcism in the Gospel of Mark. The Marcan narrator writes from an anti-imperialistic point of view with allusions to, yet never directly addressing, the Roman Empire. In his baptism, Jesus was authorized by God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to wage cosmic war with Satan. In Jesus' first engagement, his testing in the wilderness, Jesus bound the strong one, Satan. Jesus explains this encounter in the Beelzebul controversy. Jesus' ministry continues an on-going battle with Satan, binding the strong one's minions, demonic/unclean spirits, and spreading holiness to the possessed until he is crucified on a Roman cross. The battle is still not over at Jesus' death, for at Jesus' parousia God will make a final apocalyptic judgment. Jesus' exorcisms have cosmic, apocalyptic, and anti-imperial implications. For Mark, demonic possession was different from sickness or illness, and exorcism was different from healing. Demonic possession was totally under the control of a hostile non-human force; exorcism was full deliverance from a domineering existence that restored the demoniac to family, to community, and to God's created order. Jesus commissioned the twelve to be with him, to learn from him, and to proclaim the kingdom of God by participating with him in healing and exorcism. Jesus expands his invitation to participate in building the kingdom of God to all those who choose to become part of his new dyadic family even today.
The role and place of metaphor in biblical language keeps attracting scholarly interest. Of all the books of the Bible, the Psalms provide the richest cache of metaphors for God. The Psalter is a cornucopia of metaphor. The biblical authors bring us back to the concrete world of everyday things, and tell us that we can talk about God perfectly well without having to indulge in conceptual or abstract ways of thinking and speaking. The present study entitled God as Rock in the Psalter brings the study of metaphorical language back to the heart of Psalm scholarship. The author carries out his research by analyzing a few selected Psalms (Pss 18; 19; 28; 31; 42; 62; 71; 73; 78; 89; 92; 94; 95; 144). In fact, a full 70 percent of the occurrences of "Rock" in the Psalter are allusions to God. The occurrences of "God as Rock" at the beginning, middle and end of the psalms; and at the beginning and end of the books of Samuel; end of the book of Deuteronomy; beginning of the Psalter (Pss 18; 19); middle of the Psalter (Ps 78) and at the end of the Psalter (Ps 144), is a clear testimony that the address "God, my Rock" is a creative form of language and is a norm or standard when speaking of Yahweh.
The metaphors in Hosea are rich and varied, comprising both gendered and non-gendered image fields. This book examines the use of metaphor in Hosea through the lens of masculinity studies, which provides a means to elucidate connections between the images and to analyze their cumulative rhetorical effect. The rhetoric of both the gendered and non-gendered imagery is analyzed using a model from cognitive anthropology, which divides social space along three axes: activity, potency, and goodness. People use metaphors to position and to move one another within this space. These axes reveal how the metaphors in Hosea rhetorically relate the audience, represented by Ephraim/Israel, and YHWH to a particular construction of masculinity. Hosea uses the imagery of Assyrian treaty curses to reinforce YHWH's masculinity and dominance, while undermining the masculinity of the audience. The rhetoric of the text attempts to bring the audience into an appropriately subordinate position with respect to YHWH and to shape its members' actions and attitudes accordingly.
This book presents a collection of case studies of biblical retellings in various contexts. Every section starts with an introduction presenting a brief overview of the field, the issues treated, as well as the nature and directions of contemporary scholarly discourse. After a detailed general introduction defining the Bible itself and the concept of retelling, the notion of Apocrypha is readdressed, particularly analyzing the way they are composed. Then follow the sections Translation and Interpretation from Jerome to the Post-Holocaust period, Preaching and Teaching the Bible in the Middle Ages through the Enlightenment, Biblical Characters as Models in medieval hagiography, Biblical Poetry from Late Antiquity to Bruce Springsteen, and finally the retelling strategies and challenges of Children's Bibles and a brief treatment of retelling Beyond the Text.
How can humans ever attain the knowledge required to administer and implement divine law and render perfect justice in this world? Contrary to the belief that religious law is infallible, Chaya T. Halberstam shows that early rabbinic jurisprudence is characterized by fundamental uncertainty. She argues that while the Hebrew Bible created a sense of confidence and transparency before the law, the rabbis complicated the paths to knowledge and undermined the stability of personal status and ownership, and notions of guilt or innocence. Examining the facts of legal judgments through midrashic discussions of the law and evidence, Halberstam discovers that rabbinic understandings of the law were riddled with doubt and challenged the possibility of true justice. This book thoroughly engages law, narrative, and theology to explicate rabbinic legal authority and its limits.
The Old Testament as Authoritative Scripture in the Early Churches of the East represents the latest scholarly research in the field of Old Testament as Scripture in Eastern Christianity. Its twelve articles focus on the use of the Old Testament in the earliest Christian communities in the East. The collection explores the authoritative role of the Old Testament in the churches of the East and its impact on the church's doctrine, liturgy, canon law, and spirituality.
For hundreds of years, scholars have debated the meaning of Jesus' central theological term, the 'kingdom of God'. Most of the argument has focused on its assumed eschatological connotations and Jesus' adherence or deviation from these ideas. Within the North American context, the debate is dominated by the work of Norman Perrin, whose classification of the kingdom of God as a myth-evoking symbol remains one of the fundamental assumptions of scholarship. According to Perrin, Jesus' understanding of the kingdom of God is founded upon the myth of God acting as king on behalf of Israel as described in the Hebrew Bible. Moving Beyond Symbol and Myth challenges Perrin's classification, and advocates the reclassification of the kingdom of God as metaphor. Drawing upon insights from the cognitive theory of metaphor, this study examines all the occurrences of the 'God is king' metaphor within the literary context of the Hebrew Bible. Based on this review, it is proposed that the 'God is king' metaphor functions as a true metaphor with a range of expressions and meanings. It is employed within a variety of texts and conveys images of God as the covenantal sovereign of Israel; God as the eternal suzerain of the world, and God as the king of the disadvantaged. The interaction of the semantic fields of divinity and human kingship evoke a range of metaphoric expressions that are utilized throughout the history of the Hebrew Bible in response to differing socio-historical contexts and within a range of rhetorical strategies. It is this diversity inherent in the 'God is king' metaphor that is the foundation for the diversified expressions of the kingdom of God associated with the historical Jesus and early Christianity.
The Trickster Revisited: Deception as a Motif in the Pentateuch explores the use of deception in the Pentateuch and uncovers a new understanding of the trickster's function in the Hebrew Bible. While traditional readings often «whitewash the biblical characters, exonerating them of any wrongdoing, modern scholars often explain these tales as significant at some earlier point in Israelite tradition. But this study asks the question: what role does the trickster have in the later pentateuchal setting? Considering the work of Victor Turner and the mythic function of the trickster, The Trickster Revisited explores the connections between tricksters, the rite de passage pattern, marginalization, and liminality. Marginalized individuals and communities often find trickster tales significant, therefore trickster stories often follow a similar literary pattern. After tracing this pattern throughout the Pentateuch, specifically the patriarchal narratives and Moses' interaction with Pharaoh in the Exodus, the book discusses the meaning these stories had for the canonizers of the Pentateuch. The author argues that in the Exile and post-exilic period, as the canon was forming, the trickster was the perfect manifestation of Israel's self-perception. The cognitive dissonance of prophetic words of hope and grandeur, in light of a meager socio-economic and political reality, caused the nation to identify itself as the trickster. In this way, Israel could explain its lowly state as a temporary (but still significant) «betwixt and between, on the threshold of a rise in status, i.e. the great imminent kingdom predicted by the prophets.
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