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In current usage polemics is broadly defined as the practice of rhetorical persuasion or as the rhetorical presentation of an argument in dispute. The phenomenon of polemics is found throughout the whole corpus of biblical literature. In most instances the polemics is direct, but sometimes indirect, and occasionally it appears to be deliberately covert. This book is primarily concerned with exploring the phenomenon of covert polemics. Dealing first with considerations of method, definition and characterization, the study moves on to the analysis of a number of narrative texts and the uncovering of their covert polemical content. Polemics of this type is a feature of biblical writing on a range of central issues, and can be instructively isolated in texts relating to cultic locations (Beth El, Jerusalem), questions of leadership (the houses of Saul and David), community boundaries (the Samaritans) and other problems of legitimation.
"Narrative Art and Poetry in the Books of Samuel" is the vast undertaking to interpret all the material in Samuel. Everything that the text has to offer can only be understood and appreciated to the full, and its interpretation can only lay claim to full validity by means of an integral view. Therefore the author has developed a textual model which regards and covers the composition of the Samuel books as a hierarchy of twelve levels. This is the fourth and final volume of the author's integrative reading of the Samuel material in its entirety. Vow and Desire turns to the beginning of First Samuel and describes chapters 1-12. They contain the thematic basis of the whole composition by relating the crucial transition between two periods. The Judges period, represented by Eli and Samuel, is drawing to a close and the new order shows us the prophet Samuel who finds himself forced to anoint Saul as king, and thus to inaugurate the monarchy.
"Women in the Damascus Document" offers a fresh look at the nature of the community reflected in the Damascus Document, one of the core documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls. By presenting a close and comprehensive study of the references to women and in-depth analyses of biblically based laws in the document, this work attempts to reconstruct the role of women and attitudes toward women within the community. Highlighting the complex nature of the evidence, the author draws attention to a number of rules that reflect a favorable attitude toward women, but also to instances of a patriarchal stance, especially regarding sexuality. Carefully considering all the evidence, the author argues, in contrast to the opinions of many scholars, that women were full members in the community. "Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)"
The book of Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) has been the subject of steadily increasing attention over the last two decades. This volume contains the text of the main papers, the seminar papers and almost all short papers read at the Colloquium Biblicum Lovaniense 1997, in total 30 contributions written in English (18), German (8), and French (4) by authors from 13 different countries, partly aknowledged authorities on Qohelet, partly promising young scholars who have demonstrated their competence in Qohelet studies. They deal with the literary structure of Qohelet, with its central theme, its theological and philosophical teachings, its connections with Greek philosophy and its Ancient Near Eastern background, its position in the biblical canon. Also an analysis of Qohelet in terms of current linguistic and philosophical tendencies, such as deconstruction, receives attention. A number of key pericopes are put to a more thorough analysis (Peeters 1998)
Vol 1: This first part of a 2-volume work, this study combines recent approaches that treat the formation and early interpretation of the final form of the book of Isaiah with the more conventional historical-critical methods that treat the use of traditions by Isaiah's authors and editors. Studies investigate Isaiah's use of early sacred tradition, the editing and contextualization of oracles within the Isaianic tradition itself, and the interpretation of the book of Isaiah in later traditions (as seen in the various versions of the text and various communities). Contributors of this volume include virtually all of the major scholars of Isaiah and the leading scholars of biblical interpretation in the intertestamental, New Testament, and early Jewish periods. Vol. 2: The second part of a 2-volume work, this study combines recent approaches that treat the formation and early interpretation of the final form of the book of Isaiah with the more conventional historical-critical methods that treat the use of traditions by Isaiah's authors and editors. Studies investigate Isaiah's use of early sacred tradition, the editing and contextualization of oracles within the Isaianic tradition itself, and the interpretation of the book of Isaiah in later traditions (as seen in the various versions of the text and various communities). Contributors of this volume include virtually all of the major scholars of Isaiah and the leading scholars of biblical interpretation in the intertestamental, New Testament, and early Jewish periods .
"Laubhutte Davids und Wolkensohn" deals with the history of interpretation of Amos 9: 11 - a passage which is regarded in both, Jewish and Christian tradition, as a messianic prediction. The book examines its interpretation and impact in Qumran and Rabbinic Judaism as well as in the New Testament, the Church Fathers, the Middle Ages, the Reformation and in the scientific discussion up to the present. Special emphasis is laid on (a) its usage at the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) and its influence on the formation of the Christian Church and (b) hitherto overlooked explicit and important interpretations of scholars such as Nicholas de Lyre, Luther, Mercerus, Miegius and Harenberg who have already made use of the rabbinic messianic interpretation of this passage. Besides, a new interpretation of Amos 9: 11-15 in its historical Old Testament context is offered.
This volume explores the use and interpretation of the Bible in the
Dead Sea Scrolls and associated apocryphal, early Christian and
Volume II of "Major Poems of the Hebrew Bible" deals with 85 Psalms (83 poems) and the poems in Job 4-14, and aims at presenting an integrated prosodical theory which is able to bypass the highly controversial question of metrics. There are two approaches which initially are kept apart on grounds of method: structural analysis and the counting of the original, i.e. pre-Masoretic, syllables. Each poem receives a compact description of structure which gives a reasoned delimitation of cola, verses, and strophes. In a separate operation, the syllable counts for each word, colon, verse, strophe, stanza, section and poem are recorded in a comprehensive Appendix. All the poems under discussion show a precise integer as the average of syllables per colon. For half of them this is 8.00, the others have either 7.00 or 9.00. The 9.00 is a ceiling: there is no Psalm with a higher average. Combining the two approaches, the author shows that the poets themselves did count their syllables, and how they were able to mesh the syllable figures with the structural units of their compositions in a virtuoso combination. The greatest challenge of this enterprise is to delimit and objectify the correct colometry for all the songs, as the figure of syllables per colon depends on the right amount of cola. There are only about 30 Psalms which have a cola figure that can be considered beyond doubt. Fortunately, in the Book of Job the correct number of cola is certain
In modern literary studies intertextuality is at the centre of
interest. Although the relationship between texts has always been
an important aspect of Old Testament studies, especially in
literary criticism, the scale of comparison has broadened,
including for example the interrelationships between the First,
Second and Third Isaiah, or the whole Book of the Twelve. These
relatively new approaches raise a number of methodical questions
which were addressed at the Tenth Joint Meeting of the British
Society for Old Testament Study and the Dutch 'Oudtestamentisch
Werkgezelschap', held at Oxford, 22nd to 25th July 1997. Did the
ancient authors have a well-defined concept of a book? How did they
relate to the literary work of their predecessors and
contemporaries? Can we trace the theological motifs behind their
use of other literary compositions? What does an ancient version
reveal about the way it interpreted its source text?
This monograph represents a critical juncture in Thomas studies
since it dispels the belief that the Gospel of Thomas originates
from gnostic traditions. Rather, Jewish mystical and Hermetic
origins are proposed and examined.
Exegesis starts with the delimitation of the pericope to be
interpreted. Yet the principles for selecting passages which form
the part of departure for the exegete are seldom made explicit and
if one compares various commentaries and Bible translations, it
soon becomes apparent that this lack of methodical transparency
gives rise to a lot of confusion and dissent.
This monograph deals with an important but unexplored document of
Hellenistic Judaism. The question of "Hellenistic influence" is
addressed on the basis of an analysis of a representative number of
chapters of Septuagint Proverbs (1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 24, 29, 30 and 31).
Scholars have argued that this book was influenced extensively by
This book forms a contribution to the vexing question of the origin
and growth of the Targum to the Prophets. It provides an in-depth
analysis of the Targum of Judges on the basis of new materials
(unpublished manuscripts), a new tool (bilingual concordance) and a
new method (analysis of consistency).
"Josua und Salomo" puts forward the thesis that the literary figure of the successor was created by circles who strongly relied on the book of Deuteronomy. In order to construct the ideal of a successor they used the characters of Joshua and Solomon and implemented the results of their theological reflection which were unleashed by the complete destruction of the pre-exilic political, social and religious organization of the nation. The figure of Joshua combines all the treats of their theological conception of an ideal political leader, whereas the figure of Solomon demonstrates the dangers which are implied in monarchical succession. From the theological perspective of deuteronomism "Solomon" and "Joshua" are opposite characters. The deuteronomic concepts of God and authority play a central role for the reflection on both characters.
All the evidence for daily, sabbath, and festival prayers in the
Qumran scrolls is analysed in detail, document by document. On the
basis of formal features and social-liturgical setting, these
prayers are compared with each other to uncover divergent prayer
traditions. Comparative material beyond the scrolls is used to
reassess their place in the development of Jewish prayer.
That the Temple Scroll is re-written Torah is recognised, but
discussion of how the Torah is used has been hampered by absence of
detailed analysis of the Scroll. This volume addresses this lack by
careful examination of major portions of the Scroll.
Starting from David's response to Nathan's parable in 2 Sam 12,
this book employs an original synthesis of literary, linguistic and
psychoanalytic theory to explore the impact of the biblical text on
its readers. It draws parallels between the relationships of
speaker to utterance, texts to reader and father to son in arguing
for an underlying "anxiety of utterance" as the source of textual
This volume deals with the correspondence between Augustine and
Jerome, discussing the way the letters were handed down to
posterity, as well as their contents. In the first part it is shown
that Jerome and Augustine both published a collection of the
correspondence. In addition a list of manuscripts is given.
The second part of a 2-volume work, this study combines recent
approaches that treat the formation and early interpretation of the
final form of the book of Isaiah with the more conventional
historical-critical methods that treat the use of traditions by
Isaiah's authors and editors. Studies investigate Isaiah's use of
early sacred tradition, the editing and contextualization of
oracles within the Isaianic tradition itself, and the
interpretation of the book of Isaiah in later traditions (as seen
in the various versions of the text and various communities).
In the attempt to overcome the crisis of knowledge in wisdom thought, even the non-Essene texts from Qumran developed the wisdom notion of a pre-existent order of being and history which was to be realised in the Eschaton. This notion was taken up in non-wisdom texts and elaborated into a dualistic ordering of the world and of history, structured in epochs. In this form the notion was used by the Essene community to deal theologically with their negative experience of reality (schism, persecution by Hasmonoaeans, delay of the Eschaton). The results of this investigation are thus able to confirm critical points of the thesis of G. von Rad that apocalyptic developed out of wisdom.
Series: Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum Section 1 - The Jewish people in the first century Historical geography, political history, social, cultural and religious life and institutions Edited by S. Safrai and M. Stern in cooperation with D. Flusser and W.C. van Unnik Section 2 - The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud Section 3 - Jewish Traditions in Early Christian Literature
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