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"Qumranica Minora II: Thematic Studies on the Dead Sea Scrolls" brings together fourteen previously published studies of Florentino Garcia Martinez on a variety of thematic topics from the Dead Sea Scrolls, including English translations of essays that were hitherto only available in French or Spanish. The studies range from essays on the interpretation of the biblical texts in the Scrolls, to more general studies on topics such as priestly functions in a community without temple, Messianism, magic, wisdom, sonship between the Old and the New Testament, and the "other" in the Dead Sea Scrolls or at Qumran.
Understanding the religious perspectives of the Mishnah starts with
asking three questions. First, what is the relationship of the
Mishnah to Scripture, or "oral torah" to "written torah," for
understanding the religion of Judaism? Second, what is the
relationship between religious ideas and the world in which those
ideas emerged? Third, what is the formal religious significance of
the language of the Mishnah? These questions are posed with regard
to a Judaism that existed from just prior to the destruction of the
Temple in 70 C.E. until around 200 C.E. and assumes as well the
groundwork of Neusner's earlier volume "The Mishnah: Social
Perspectives. In the present volume, Neusner condenses years of
research on these questions and offers a clear and thorough
analysis through a single lens. He looks closely at how the
Halakhah of the Mishnah relates to the events prior to the
Mishnah's writing (e.g., the destruction of the Temple, ca. 70
C.E., and the Bar Kokhba War, ca. 135 C.E.), through the
reconstruction following Bar Kokhba until the close of the Mishnah
(ca. 200 C.E.). Readers also profit from a thorough sociolinguistic
explication of the rhetorical forms of the Mishnah in the light of
the social context of that time. The religious perspectives of the
Mishnah do not simply record the rules and regulations of bygone
times; rather, they mirror the way of life and the social and
religious history of Judaism.
Condensing research concerning questions of religion which encompass the social history of ideas and the religious uses of language, this book deals with three questions: the relationship of the Mishnah to Scripture, the relationship of the religious ideas people hold to the world in which they live, and the religious meaning of the formalization of language that characterizes the Mishnah in particular. In discussing how the Mishnah relates to Scripture - in the (later) mythic language of Rabbinic Judaism: "the oral Torah" to "the written Torah" - a complete analysis is presented, based on a systematic application of a single taxonomic program. Then an examination is made of how the stages in the unfolding of the Halakhah of the Mishnah relate to the principal events of the times, which delineate those stages. Here focus is given to those pre-70 C.E. components of the Halakhah that later come to the surface in the Mishnah, but discussion extends to the periods from the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. to the Bar Kokhba War, concluded in ca. 135 C.E., then from the reconstruction, 135 C.E., to the closure of the Mishnah, 200 C.E. Finally attention is given to methods of interpreting the rhetorical forms of the Mishnah in the context of the social culture laid bare by the socio-linguistics of the documents concerned. This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.
In Midrash and Theory, David Stern presents an approach to midrashic literature that is responsible and responsive to the principles of Contemporary theory.
As midrash -- the literature of classical Jewish Scriptural interpretation -- has undergone a revival in the larger Jewish community, the midrashic imagination has shown itself capable of exercising a powerful influence and hold on a new type of contemporary Jewish writing. Stern examines this phenomenon from the perspective of the cultural relevance of midrash and its connection to its original historical and literary contexts. Stern also explores the impact of modern literary theory on midrashic studies, and the resultant changes on the focus, the methods, and the intellectual assumptions of this field. By exploring this linkage, Stern provides not only an introduction to the midrashic tradition, but a fascinating insight into the impact of contemporary theory on an entire field of study.
The Promise of Immortality is the most complete commentary available on the parallel passagesin the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita, Indias ancient scripture. This groundbreaking book illuminatesthe similarities between these two great scriptures in a way that vibrantly brings them tolife. The Promise of Immortality makes a convincing argument for the potential unity of allreligious belief. An unprecedented era of cooperation and harmony among the worlds differentreligions seems possible as Walters clarifies apparent differences in religious teachings to reveal atimeless, underlying truth.
The Qur'an is the primary religious text for one-sixth of the world's population. Understood by Muslims to contain God's own words, it has been an object of reverence and of intense study for centuries. The thousands of volumes that Muslim scholars have devoted to qur'anic interpretation and to the linguistic, rhetorical and narrative analysis of the text are sufficient to create entire libraries of qur'anic studies. Drawing upon a rich scholarly heritage, Brill's "Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an" combines alphabetically arranged articles about the contents of the Qur'an. It is an encyclopaedic dictionary of qur'anic terms, concepts, personalities, place names, cultural history and exegesis extended with essays on the most important themes and subjects within qur'anic studies. The five volumes contain nearly 1000 entries. The projected publication date for Volume Four is autumn 2004, and autumn 2005 for Volume Five.
The Reconciliation of the Fundamentals of Islamic Law, or al-Muwafaqat fi Usul Al-Sharai'a, written by Ibrahim ibn Musa Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi is an innovation in Islamic jurisprudence for it was for the first time that the objectives of shari'a were addressed, as they are in this book. The book is an authority in understanding the objectives of the shari'a. The difficulty that some may find in comprehending some of its parts may be attributed to the fact that it was the first time that the codification of the maqasid or objectives of the shari'a was undertaken. It was first published in 1884 in Tunis, and since then it has been a source of inspiration, moderation and renewal in fiqh. The book, however, deals with much more than the maqasid, and substantial research is needed to unravel its full contribution. The Author describes the contents of his book as follows: When the concealed secrets began to be revealed - I started collecting their unique meanings - I did this to the extent of my ability and strength, while elaborating the purposes of the Book (Qur'an) and the Sunna - organizing these precious gems and gathering these benefits into meanings that have recourse to the principles helping in their comprehension and attachment, and I merged them with the interpretation of principles of fiqh and organised them on a shining and radiant string. The resulting book is divided into in five parts: the fundamental concepts of the discipline; the ahkam (rules) and what is related to them; the legal purposes of the shari'a and the ahkam related to them; the comprehensive treatment of the adilla (evidences); and the rules of ijtihad and taqlid.A" The present volume deals with the first two parts. The translation of the third part, dealing with the purposes of the shari'a, will be presented in the second volume.
Using a combination of literary theory and the tools of biblical
criticism, this original and thought-provoking study investigates
the book of Judges as an example of the art of editing in the
Hebrew Bible. Judges is shown to have been composed in its parts,
and as a whole, according to particular integrative principles. The
study not only sheds new light on the redaction of Judges, but
opens a new window on biblical historiography as a whole.
Series: Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum Section 1 - The Jewish people in the first century Historial 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
In this book, Barbara Holdrege has set a high standard for comparative work and has made an important contribution to both Hindu and Jewish studies. She has looked at Veda and Torah not simply as 'scripture, ' but as systems of meaning, symbol systems, each with its own affiliated meanings, each with its symbolic context, and each with its history of interpretation.
The popularity of Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality led him to take another good look at the good book, a further examination of the Scriptures, designed to interest the average reader in reasonable analysis of the most influential document in Western civilization. Like his previous book, More Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality is arranged alphabetically with totally new entries. Although the Bible has been referred to, quoted from, and applied to broad social issues and private problems for centuries, Allen asserts that the degree of common ignorance as to its content is vast and deep. Noting that adults rarely read the Bible, Allen is convinced that the millions who do read it are not able to understand certain passages at all. Steve Allen's Bible study began during his travels: he would peruse the Bibles found in any hotel room, marking passages that would strike him as extraordinary, beautiful - or extremely confusing. Spellbound by the mystery of it, he became aware that from the very beginning the text leads not just to scholarly argument, but directly to controversy that has, over the centuries and even today, fostered unaccountable slaughter and atrocity. And, he notes, it is perhaps of greater urgency now than ever before that all Americans become conversant with the Bible, because of those who would use it as a weapon to force their views on the rest of the population. Throughout the book, Allen offers direct quotes from biblical scholars - Catholic, Protestant, Judaic - in addition to generous references to the views of various scholarly specialists. His goal - to make people think reasonably about the Bible - is achieved through clear andreadable prose.
An anthology of selections from the Qur'an in contemporary English on topics ranging from the story of Creation and the idea of God to politics and economics. Compiled by three scholars, including T. B. Irving, the first American to translate the Qur'an into English, with a helpful introduction, extensive glossary and an index of Qur'anic verses.
In 1945 thirteen volumes, or fragments of volumes, written on
papyrus were found by chance near Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt. It
appears that they had come from the library of a gnostic community
and together comprised 49 works, written in Coptic and most of them
This volume of Sayyid Qutb's tafsir, commentary on the Qur'an, covers Surah 3 Al-Imran (The House of Imran).
This stimulating book argues that great art can function as a "secular parable"--that is, like the parables of Jesus, art can lead viewers to reflect on the reality and presence of God in the world. T. J. Gorringe examines representative secular paintings of the most significant types (mythological themes, genre painting, portraiture, landscape, still life, abstract art), showing how each type can point toward God, whether by envisaging an alternative future, creating aesthetic delight, or teaching us to see things differently. His provocative study challenges the notion that art since the 15th century has become increasingly secularized.
Gorringe gives careful consideration to each work's historical background and artistic context, as well as to art historical and critical appraisals. With an ecumenical approach, he then provides an insightful argument for how each piece can be read theologically. Although readers may sometimes disagree with his theological stance or his interpretation of specific works, his engaging commentary provokes reflection and challenges deeper questioning and awareness.
Few books in history have been as important or as poorly understood
as the Qur'an. Sent down in a series of revelations to the Prophet
Muhammad, the Qur'an is the unmediated word of Allah: a ritual,
political, and legal authority, an ethical and spiritual guide, and
a literary masterpiece. It is revered by Muslims throughout the
world, in whom it inspires devotion, passion, fear, and sometimes
These two volumes collect some of the most influential and
important scholarly essays by the late Morton Smith (1915-1991),
for many years Professor of Ancient History at Columbia University
in New York City. Smith was admired and feared for his
extraordinary ability to look at familiar texts in unfamiliar ways,
to re-open old questions, to pose new questions, and to demolish
received truths. He practiced the "hermeneutics of suspicion" to
devastating effect. His answers are not always convincing but his
questions cannot be ignored.
The bilingual (Aramaic-Hebrew) concordance to the Targum of the
Prophets is the product of an international project based in the
Theological University of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands,
Kampen (ThUK) and supported by the Netherlands Organization for
Scientific Research (NWO). With this publication a major research
tool becomes available to those engaged in Biblical and Jewish
This groundbreaking book, which builds on the author's earlier work in "On Gendering Texts," studies how, by what means and to what extent human love, desire and sex, and possibly even 'sexuality', are gendered in the Hebrew Bible. Following a classification and gendering of the linguistic and semantic data, the investigation looks into the construction of male and female bodies in language and ideologies; the praxis and ideology of sex, procreation and contraception; deviation from socio-sexual boundaries (e.g. incest, rape, adultery, homosexuality, prostitution); eroticism and "pornoprophetics." Finally, the work discusses some of the wider sociological and theological implications of the findings.
Among the Dead Sea Scrolls, Psalms are found in no less than
thirty-nine manuscripts. This groundbreaking volume presents the
first comprehensive study of these scrolls, by making available a
wealth of primary data and investigating the main issues that
This Aramaic-Hebrew concordance to the Targum of the Prophets is the product of an international project based in the Theological University of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, Kampen and supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Quotations from the Targum and the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Bible are set out in parallel so that the user of the concordance can study the translation technique of the Targum in detail. For comparative purposes the concordance is published in separate volumes per book of the Prophets and a Hebrew-Aramaic index is included in each of these.
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