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Tremper Longman III and Peter E. Enns edit this collection of 148 articles by 90 contributors on Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Ruth and Esther.
This valuable resource introduces readers to the Old Testament books of wisdom and poetry--Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs--and helps them better understand each book's overall flow. Estes summarizes some of each book's key issues, offers an exposition of the book that interacts with major commentaries and recent studies, and concludes with an extensive bibliography. Now in paperback.
Using personal anecdote, a witty and lively style, and drawing on his considerable theological knowledge, John Goldingay takes us deep into the unfolding story of the Old Testament. Builds on a successful and respected series 'For everyone' approach: scholarly author with a highly readable style
The Texts @ Contexts series gathers scholarly voices from diverse contexts and social locations to bring new or unfamiliar facets of biblical texts to light. Leviticus and Numbers focuses attention on practices and ideals of behavior in community, from mourning and diet to marriages licit and transgressive, examining all of these from a variety of global perspectives and postcolonial and feminist methods. How do we deal with the apparent cultural distances between ourselves and these ancient writings; what can we learn from their visions of human dwelling on the earth?
The Bible, Homer, and the Search for Meaning in Ancient Myths explores and compares the most influential sets of divine myths in Western Culture: the Homeric pantheon and Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament. Heath argues that not only does the God of the Old Testament bear a striking resemblance to the Olympians, but also that the Homeric system rejected by the Judeo-Christian tradition offers a better model for the human condition. The universe depicted by Homer and populated by his gods is one that creates a unique and powerful responsibility-almost directly counter to that evoked by the Bible-for humans to discover ethical norms, accept death as a necessary human limit, develop compassion to mitigate a tragic existence, appreciate frankly both the glory and dangers of sex, and embrace and respond courageously to an indifferent universe that was clearly not designed for human dominion. Heath builds on recent work in biblical and classical studies to examine the contemporary value of mythical deities. Judeo-Christian theologians over the millennia have tried to explain away Yahweh's Olympian nature while dismissing the Homeric deities for the same reason Greek philosophers abandoned them: they don't live up to preconceptions of what a deity should be. In particular, the Homeric gods are disappointingly plural, anthropomorphic, and amoral (at best). But Heath argues that Homer's polytheistic apparatus challenges us to live meaningfully without any help from the divine. In other words, to live well in Homer's tragic world-an insight gleaned by Achilles, the hero of the Iliad-one must live as if there were no gods at all. The Bible, Homer, and the Search for Meaning in Ancient Myths should change the conversation academics in classics, biblical studies, theology and philosophy have-especially between disciplines-about the gods of early Greek epic, while reframing on a more popular level the discussion of the role of ancient myth in shaping a thoughtful life.
There are three medieval French adaptations of the Song of Songs, each reflecting a distinct exegetical tradition. The latest of these three, here edited for the first time (from BNF fr. 14966), adopts the tropological interpretation according to which the Song depicts the relationship of the individual soul with God. The mystical, contemplative approach owes much to Bernard of Clairvaux, William of St Thierry, and Thomas the Cistercian, and this Cistercian tradition also has close links with the Beguines, a connection which receives detailed exploration in the editor's extensive Introduction. Writing in the late-thirteenth century in north-eastern France, the author of the Cantiques is aware of such an association and not only engages in the familiar procedures of allegorization, but, more originally, inserts into his commentary eight lyrics which are modelled on known secular chansons which receive full attention from the editor. Within the text, which covers Song 1. 1 to Song 3. 11 in 2544 octosyllables arranged in eight-line stanzas, speeches are assigned to Sponsus, Sponsa, Magister, and Religio. The Cantiques Salemon is the work of a poet rather than of a theologian, reflecting many elements associated with 'la courtoisie mystique', which in turn is characteristic of writing for the Beguines. The editor provides a detailed summary of the text, full glossary and notes as well as an account of the language. To these is added a study of the poet's principal literary techniques, involving both the varied processes of translation and the elaboration of a network of links between stanzas together with the imprint of a personal, lyric quality on the whole.
In this volume, Max Rogland provides a foundational analysis of the Hebrew text of Haggai and Zechariah 1a8. Distinguished by the detailed yet comprehensive attention paid to the Hebrew text, Haggai and Zechariah 1a8 is a convenient pedagogical and reference tool that explains the form and syntax of the biblical text, offers guidance for deciding between competing semantic analyses, engages important text-critical debates, and addresses questions relating to the Hebrew text that are frequently overlooked or ignored by standard commentaries. Beyond serving as a succinct and accessible analytic key, Haggai and Zechariah 1a8 also reflects the most recent advances in scholarship on Hebrew grammar and linguistics. By filling the gap between popular and technical commentaries, the handbook becomes an indispensable tool for anyone committed to a deep reading of the biblical text.
This is the fifth volume of a projected six-volume Vulgate Bible. Compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the turn of the fifth century ce, the Vulgate Bible permeated the Western Christian tradition through the twentieth century. It influenced literature, art, music, and education, and its contents lay at the heart of Western theological, intellectual, artistic, and political history through the Renaissance. At the end of the sixteenth century, professors at a Catholic college first at Douay, then at Rheims, translated the Vulgate Bible into English to combat the influence of Protestant vernacular Bibles. Volume V presents the twelve minor prophetical books of the Old Testament, as well as two deuterocanonical books, 1 and 2 Maccabees. While Jewish communities regarded the works of the twelve minor prophets as a single unit (the Dodecapropheton), the Vulgate Bible treats them individually in accordance with Christian tradition. The themes of judgment and redemption featured prominently in the major prophets (Volume IV) are further developed by the minor prophets. The books of 1 and 2 Maccabees conclude the volume. Their doctrinal controversies and highly influential martyrdom narratives anticipate the development of Christian hagiography both as a genre and as a theological vehicle.
What is at the heart of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs? A desire for life lived fully and well: life lived wisely; life lived purposefully; life lived in loving, joyful partnership with God and others. At the centre of this abundant life must be God, for it is he that desires all good things for us, his shalom - harmony, wholeness, health and peace. The wise sayings of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, and the rich and sensual love poetry of the Song of Songs remind us what it is to conduct ourselves with wisdom, without folly and futility, in the knowledge that we are deeply loved. Using personal anecdote, a witty and lively style, and drawing on his considerable theological knowledge, John Goldingay takes us deep into the unfolding story of the Old Testament.
The Pentateuch (or the Torah) consists of the first five books of the Bible and is a foundational scripture for millions of people, both Jews and Christians. In this book Paula Gooder and Brad Anderson provide a clear and accessible introduction for those beginning Bible study. Key themes such as creation and the flood, exodus and liberation, as well as covenant and law are presented and analyzed. These themes are explored in their ancient context and from the standpoint of contemporary concerns such as liberation theology, gender issues and ecology. For this new edition introductory sections on the five books of the Pentateuch have been expanded and supplemented, while recent developments in the quest for the origins of the Pentateuch have also been updated. A new chapter on academic approaches to the study of the Pentateuch has been added, along with a section on the 'afterlife' of the Pentateuch which focuses on its place in the history of interpretation, as well as in the arts and culture. Reading lists and references have been updated throughout to take account of the most recent scholarship.
The Book of Isaiah is considered one of the greatest prophetic works in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The complex history of the book's composition, over several time periods, can often perplex and enthrall. The editors to this volume encourage readers to engage deeply with the text in order to get a grasp of the traces and signs within it that can be seen to point to the book's process of composition and ongoing reinterpretation over time. The contributions discuss suggested segments of composition and levels of interpretation, both within the book of Isaiah and its history of reception. The book is divided into two sections: in the first part certain motifs that have come to Isaiah from a distant past are traced through to their origins. Arguments for a suggested 'Josianic edition' are carefully evaluated, and the relationship between the second part of Isaiah and the Book of Psalms is discussed, as are the motifs of election and the themes of Zion theology and the temple. The second part of the book focuses on the history of reception and looks at Paul's use of the book of Isaiah, and how the book is used, and perhaps misused in a contemporary setting in the growing churches in Africa. With a range of international specialists, including Hugh Williamson, Tommy Wasserman, and Knut Holter, this is an excellent resource for scholars seeking to understand Isaiah in a greater depth.
Using personal anecdote, a witty and lively style, and drawing on his considerable theological knowledge, John Goldingay takes us deep into the unfolding story of the Old Testament. Companion to Psalms for Everyone, volume 1
Beginning with the protosanctuary in Genesis, this book shows how the events that took place on Mount Moriah established this site as a holy place of huge significance for mankind. We then follow the dramatic story of the portable sanctuary of the Tabernacle in its long journey to Jerusalem, looking at its features and associated ritual. A depiction of the Temple of Solomon, proverbial for its splendour, is at the heart of the book. A tremendous amount of material, based on the evidence of ancient texts and recently discovered archaeological remains, is brought together to offer clues as to the precise location of this sacred building. The resource continues to relate the story of the Temple and the platform that surrounded it, through the Post-Exilic, Hellenistic and Hasmonean periods. Leen Ritmeyer's authoritative reconstruction drawings imbue the stones of the Temple with meaning and offer insights to the scholar and interested layperson alike. A companion volume, Understanding the Holy Temple Jesus Knew, is forthcoming in 2017.
This study guide to Amos is divided into three parts. The first sets out to describe the genre, style, shape and aim of the text, along with its leading ideas, with the help of recent scholarship on the Hebrew Bible in general and the prophets in particular. Special note is taken of the many images of violence in Amos, along with its denunciations of injustice, and its overwhelming emphasis on the ineluctable destruction awaiting Israel. The second part sets the book in its historical and social context, with particular focus on the social context of the injustices denounced by Amos. Houston also provides an overview of the various proposals made in the last 50 years for how the book has assumed its present shape. The final part outlines the ways in which the book has been read over the centuries, with an emphasis on the modern period, in which it has become a rallying call for those concerned with injustice in their own world.
In "Out of Eden," Paul W. Kahn offers a philosophical meditation on the problem of evil. He uses the Genesis story of the Fall as the starting point for a profound articulation of the human condition. Kahn shows us that evil expresses the rage of a subject who knows both that he is an image of an infinite God and that he must die. Kahn's interpretation of Genesis leads him to inquiries into a variety of modern forms of evil, including slavery, torture, and genocide.
Kahn takes issue with Hannah Arendt's theory of the banality of evil, arguing that her view is an instance of the modern world's lost capacity to speak of evil. Psychological, social, and political accounts do not explain evil as much as explain it away. Focusing on the existential roots of evil rather than on the occasions for its appearance, Kahn argues that evil originates in man's flight from death. He urges us to see that the opposite of evil is not good, but love: while evil would master death, love would transcend it.
Offering a unique perspective that combines political and cultural theory, law, and philosophy, Kahn here continues his project of advancing a political theology of modernity.
'Incest' refers to illegal sexual relations between family members. Its precise contours, however, are culturally specific. Hence, an illegal incestuous union in one social context may be a legal close-kin union in another. First-degree sexual unions, between a parent and child, or between siblings, are most widely prohibited and abhorred. This book discusses all overt and covert first-degree incest relations in the Hebrew Bible and also probes the significance of gaps and what these imply about projected sexual and social values. As the dominant opinion on the origin of first-degree incest continues to be shaped, new voices such as those of queer and post-feminist criticism have joined the conversation. It navigates not only the incest laws of Leviticus and the narratives of Lot and his daughters and of Amnon and Tamar but pursues subtler intimations of first-degree sexual unions, such as between Adam and his (absent but arguably implied) mother, Haran and Terah's wife, Ham and Noah. In pursuing the psycho-social values that may be drawn from the Hebrew Bible regarding first-degree incest, this book will provide a thorough review of incest studies from the early 20th century onward and explain and assess the contribution of very recent critical approaches from queer and post-feminist perspectives.
This is the third of three volumes dedicated to Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi. Volume 3 of Festschrift in Honor of Professor Paul Nadim Tarazi is a collection of articles discussing the latest findings in a variety of theological subjects related to the Bible as received and interpreted in the Orthodox Church tradition. Scholars from around the world have contributed their recent findings in the field of their research and teaching in this volume.
In the latter part of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Ketuvim, one may find the world's first "how-to" or "self-help" book, one that focuses on creating and sustaining human relationships. So says author Rabbi Michael Barclay, who unlocks these writings in a way that reveals new meaning and new relevance for our life with others. Working with ancient sources, Rabbi Barclay demonstrates how each book contains hidden pathways to having a personal, direct, and intimate encounter with God in every relationship and moment of life. He then takes this information, and guides us into using it to deepen our personal relationships with the people around us.
For example, in the book of Ruth we learn the value of attaching ourselves to a spiritual teacher. Through the Psalms, we learn how to transcend the primary emotions of grief, fear, and desperation, transforming them into joy and gratitude by recognizing God's presence in al of our feelings.
Study groups, individuals looking for spiritual enrichment, and people who want to develop fuller and deeper personal relationships in every aspect of their lives will welcome this positive, practical and intriguing book.
Are there Old Testament roots of the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Margaret Barker traces the roots of the devotion to Mary as Mother of the Lord back to the Old Testament and the first temple in Jerusalem. The evidence is consistent over more than a millennium: there had been a female deity in Israel, the Mother figure in the Royal cult, who had been abandoned about 600BCE. She was almost written out of the Hebrew text, almost excluded from the canon. This first of two volumes traces the history of the Lady in the Temple, and looks forward to the second volume in which Barker will show how the Lady of the Temple is reclaimed in the advent of Christianity, and becomes the Lady in the Church. The result is breathtaking, and like all Barker's work, is impossible to put down.
The books of Ezra and Nehemiah relate the return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon during the rule of the early Persian kings. For a long time, interpretations of these two books by Christian exegetes characterized the Judaism of the post-exilic age as narrow and nationalistic. This interpretation led to a separation of post-exilic Judaism from its pre-exilic Israelite roots that allowed for a supersessionist reading of the Old Testament based on perceived deficiencies in the religious views of the post-exilic era.
Informed by recent advances in our knowledge of the Persian Empire, this commentary, demonstrates that Ezra and Nehemiah offer a compelling story of a people's attempt to reassemble the fragments of their heritage as they face the future in a greatly changed world.
"Thomas M. Bolin is associate professor of religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. His research focuses on ancient Israelite history and religion, wisdom literature, postexilic texts, and theological hermeneutics."
Comprehensive and understandable, the New Collegeville Bible Commentary series brings the timeless messages and relevance of the Old Testament to todays readers. With recent scholarship, this series provides vital background and addresses important questions such as authorship and cultural context. The New Collegeville Bible Commentary books use the New American Bible translation and will appeal to preachers, teachers, Bible study groups, and all readers of the Bible. First and Second Samuel tell the story of the beginnings of monarchy in ancient Israel. These two powerful narratives present many great figures of biblical historySamuel, Saul, and Davidand explore the complex interaction of historical developments and human fidelity under God. In the books of Samuel, characters interact to influence and persuade, to express motivation and desire, and to shape the readers understanding of the issues that faced the Israelites as they responded to Gods invitation to covenant. Through the medium of story, the reader shares in the perennial struggle to discover, in the midst of personal and political conflict, God's ways for humanity.
In the era in which the Chronicler writes, the pressing question is: How will Judeans reestablish themselves after the Babylonian exile? The Chronicler's answer is to encourage the people of Israel to live out of their memory of God's mercy and compassion. Knowing and cherishing the books of Samuel and Kings, the writer interprets their message differently because the people of his era face new challenges to their life and faith. This commentary highlights the special character of First and Second Chronicles by pointing out subtle ways in which the Chronicler changes the story of Israel. Many of these slight changes in wording reflect theological shifts in the postexilic era. The Chronicler sees a need for a strong spiritual center that is clearly located in the Jerusalem temple and its life of worship and prayer. Alienated northern tribes may enter this religious world by participating in temple worship. New and original materials describe the services and the roles of Levites and priests at the temple. Kings foster worship and demonstrate a spirituality of repentance. Israel can again become a people united if all join together in worship. To the discouraged, this history offers hope
"John C. Endres, SJ, has been teaching Old Testament / Hebrew Bible at the Jesuit School of Theology (in Berkeley) of Santa Clara University since 1982. He was chief editor of "Chronicles and Its Synoptic Parallels in the Books of Samuel, Kings, and Related Biblical Texts "(Liturgical Press). He also writes and teaches on the Psalms, the deuterocanonical books, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Book of Jubilees. "
This volume continues the study of intertextuality in the `Wisdom Literature' initiated in Reading Job Intertextually (Dell and Kynes, T&T Clark, 2012). Like that book, Reading Ecclesiastes Intertextually provides the first comprehensive treatment of intertextuality in this wisdom text. Articles address intertextual resonances between Ecclesiastes and texts across the Hebrew canon, along with texts throughout history, from Greek classical literature to the New Testament, Jewish and Christian interpretation, and existential and Modern philosophy. As a multi-authored volume that gathers together scholars with expertise on this diverse array of texts, this collection provides exegetical insight that exceeds any similar attempt by a single author. The contributors have been encouraged to pursue the intertextual approach that best suits their topic, thereby offering readers a valuable collection of intertextual case studies addressing a single text.
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