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In this book Barbara Green demonstrates how David is shown and can be read as emerging from a young naive, whose early successes grow into a tendency for actions of contempt and arrogance, of blindness and even cruelty, particularly in matters of cult. However, Green also shows that over time David moves closer to the demeanor and actions of wise compassion, more closely aligned with God. Leaving aside questions of historicity as basically undecidable Green's focus in her approach to the material is on contemporary literature. Green reads the David story in order, applying seven specific tools which she names, describes and exemplifies as she interprets the text. She also uses relevant hermeneutical theory, specifically a bridge between general hermeneutics and the specific challenges of the individual (and socially located) reader. As a result, Green argues that characters in the David narrative can proffer occasions for insight, wisdom, and compassion. Acknowledging the unlikelihood that characters like David and his peers, steeped in patriarchy and power, can be shown to learn and extend wise compassion, Green is careful to make explicit her reading strategies and offer space for dialogue and disagreement.
This powerful collection of essays focuses on the representation of God in the Book of Ezekiel. With topics spanning across projections of God, through to the implications of these creations, the question of the divine presence in Ezekiel is explored. Madhavi Nevader analyses Divine Sovereignty and its relation to creation, while Dexter E. Callender Jnr and Ellen van Wolde route their studies in the image of God, as generated by the character of Ezekiel. The assumption of the title is then inverted, as Stephen L. Cook writes on `The God that the Temple Blueprint Creates', which is taken to its other extreme by Marvin A. Sweeney in his chapter on `The Ezekiel that God Creates', and finds a nice reconciliation in Daniel I. Block's chapter, `The God Ezekiel Wants Us to Meet.' Finally, two essays from Christian biblical scholar Nathan MacDonald and Jewish biblical scholar, Rimon Kasher, offer a reflection on the essays about Ezekiel and his God.
This study centers on the question: how do particular readers read a biblical passage? What factors govern each reading? DeLapp here attempts to set up a test case for observing how both socio-historical and textual factors play a part in how a person reads a biblical text. Using a reception-historical methodology, he surveys five Reformed authors and their readings of the David and Saul story (primarily 1 Sam 24 and 26). From this survey two interrelated phenomena emerge. First, all the authors find in David an ideal model for civic praxis-a "Davidic social imaginary" (Charles Taylor). Second, despite this primary agreement, the authors display two different reading trajectories when discussing David's relationship with Saul. Some read the story as showing a persecuted exile, who refuses to offer active resistance against a tyrannical monarch. Others read the story as exemplifying active defensive resistance against a tyrant. To account for this convergence and divergence in the readings, DeLapp argues for a two-fold conclusion. The authors are influenced both by their socio-historical contexts and by the shape of the biblical text itself. Given a Deuteronomic frame conducive to the social imaginary, the paradigmatic narratives of 1 Sam 24 and 26 offer a narrative gap never resolved. The story never makes explicit to the reader what David is doing in the wilderness in relation to King Saul. As a result, the authors fill in the "gap" in ways that accord with their own socio-historical experiences.
Who is in control? The sustained threat from rogue states, international terrorism, religious extremists, and moral confusion arising from liberal views of all kinds begs the question: what is happening to our world? Is no-one in control? This is a deep vulnerability that many people express. And not simply in global events. Our own personal world often seems out of control as we reel from suffering, family tragedies and unanswered prayers. The prophet Habakkuk knew that God was in control but, like us, his personal experience seemed to contradict this and he wrestled with the tension. This book is a dialogue between the prophet and God. Habakkuk confronts God with his confusion and, in doing so, he expresses the voice of the godly in Judah and he speaks for us. We join in the journey from 'why?' to worship.
This is the first of a two-volume bible commentary covering the Psalms and examining the role of these biblical poems throughout Jewish and Christian history. * Provides a fascinating introduction to the literary, historical, and theological background of psalmody * Examines the psalms through liturgy and prayer, study and preaching, translation and imitation, and musical composition and artistic illustration * Includes illustrations of significant psalms, helpful maps, and an extensive bibliography; an expanded bibliography to accompany the book is also available at www.wiley.com/go/gillingham * A forthcoming second volume is planned, which will take an alternative psalm-by-psalm approach * Now available in paperback, and published in the innovative reception-history series, Blackwell Bible Commentaries
The encouragement which Zechariah's prophecies brought to the Jews at the time of their return from exile helped them to rebuild not only their temple but also their national identity, as the prophet urged them to action and whole-hearted service for God. Yet Zechariah's message of hope pointed beyond the glory of the temple to one greater than the temple: the Anointed One (Messiah) who would become both priest and king forever over all nations. Thus his message is one which should inspire commitment and service in the lives of Christian believers today. About the Authors Mathew Bartlett is a Pastor and Christian educator from the United Kingdom. He holds a master's degree in Biblical studies from the University or Chester, England. Derek Williams, who served as a finance manager and as a church leader for over 40 years, is now retired.
Situated in the years leading up to the overthrow of Judah by the Babylonians, Jeremiah's prophesies are set against a tense atmosphere of threat and invasion. Strongly warning of God's judgment and the nation's imminent catastrophe, Jeremiah lost credibility amongst his contemporaries as the years progressed, but the length of his book and the duration of his ministry establishes him as a major figure in the Old Testament. The fulfilment of his prophecies in later events of the Bible reassert the truth of his words and his speeches and prayers depict a God whose anger is a passionate response to the depths of love he feels for his people. 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.
Ezekiel is one of the best-structured books in the Old Testament. It is commonly recognized that the strongly interrelated vision accounts (Ez 1:1-3:15; 8-11; 37:1-14; 40-48) contribute greatly to this impression of unity. However, there is a marked lacuna in publications focusing on the vision accounts in Ezekiel as an interconnected text corpus. The present study combines redaction-critical analysis with literary methods that are typically used in a synchronic approach. Drawing on the paradigm of Fortschreibung, it is the first to present a united redaction history that takes into account the growing interconnections and dependencies between the vision accounts. Building on these results, the second part follows the development of selected themes, such as the relationships between characters, the roles of intermediate figures and anthropological and theological implications, throughout the stages of redaction. The study thus represents an important step towards an understanding of the complex redaction history of the book of Ezekiel, and indeed of its theology. The combination of diachronic and synchronic methods makes it relevant for scholars of both directions and is itself a methodological statement.
Published originally in 1926, Rost's Die UEberlieferung von der Thronnachfolge Davids is fundamental to the study of Samuel and Kings. The story of the ark, the account of the Ammonite war, Nathan's prophecy concerning David's dynasty, and, above all, the succession narrative or 'court history' are singled out for thorough examination, with questions of style, theme and religious viewpoint dominating the discussion. His thesis is brilliantly argued and has sustained a remarkable measure of agreement over many decades, though criticism has grown in recent years. It remains mandatory reading for the study of Samuel and Kings, Hebrew narrative art, and history writing in ancient Israel. There is an extensive introduction by the late Edward Ball.
The Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation of Jewish sacred
writings) is of great importance in the history of both Judaism and
Christianity. The first translation of the books of the Hebrew
Bible (plus additions) into the common language of the ancient
Mediterranean world made the Jewish scriptures accessible to many
outside Judaism. Not
In his startling book, Gary Greenberg exposes the reality behind
the greatest story ever told. Learn about the Egyptian myths and
ancient folklore that survive in one of history's most sacred
texts, and discover how:
Eminently readable, exegetically thorough, and written in an emotionally warm style that flows from his keen sensitivity to the text, Barry Webb s commentary on Judges is just what is needed to properly engage a dynamic, narrative work like the book of Judges. It discusses not only unique features of the stories themselves but also such issues as the violent nature of Judges, how women are portrayed in it, and how it relates to the Christian gospel of the New Testament.Webb concentrates throughout on what the biblical text itself throws into prominence, giving space to background issues only when they cast significant light on the foreground. For those who want more, the footnotes and bibliography provide helpful guidance. The end result is a welcome resource for interpreting one of the most challenging books in the Old Testament.
Moffat aims to provide further insight into the mixed marriage narrative by exposing the social and cultural factors on which it is based. He also identifies historical traces in the narrative that can contribute to a historical reconstruction of the post-exilic era. The socio-cultural analysis highlights previously unobserved aspects of the narrative as it understands that the narrative reflects a context in which identity formation issues were prominent in Persian Yehud. Moffat argues that the rituals of mourning and penitential prayer are important acts that shaped the mixed marriage controversy. The label `foreign women' is identified as a symbol which carried considerable freight and connected the mixed marriages with wider social discourse on identity. Further, the Exodus traditions are shown to be significant for the conceptual foundations underlying the narrative and the society that produced it. The analysis also gives reason to understand Ezra as the pivotal character in narrative plot. This not only affects how the narrative is understood but has implications for historical reconstruction that utilises this narrative.
The message of Malachi is 'You are loved'. We all have skeletons in the cupboard, and God knows every one of them, yet he still says 'I Love you'. Through the prophet Malachi, however, God doesn't just leave it there - he goes on to say HOW he loves us - and what we should do in response. The book of Malachi is intensely practical, as befits the last book of the Bible before the New Testament. This was God's last word for almost 500 years and he wanted us to take notice! Malachi has lessons for us on taking God for granted, who we should marry, how we should talk to God, recovering from backsliding, God's character and our future with him. Kendall writes in his characteristic devotional style, one that enables us to meditate on God's word. Each section will therefore help you stand still in front of God and re- assess your relationship with him. Kendall reaches the acme of Biblical explanation.
Wise and practical prescriptions for how to live with an honest perception of realitycan become a companion for your own spiritual journey.More than commonplace truisms, the biblical Book of Proverbs is an anthology of teachings designed to help you live with a sense of self - responsibility. Its wisdom, compiled in the seventh century BCE and credited to King Solomon, transcends nationality and politics, addressing instead the individual seeking the true satisfaction and tranquility that comes from living with an honest perception of reality.In this fresh translation of an ancient "how - to," Rami Shapiro unpacks the proverbs, demonstrating how these complex poetic forms are actually straightforward instructions to live simply, without rationalizations and excuses. He shows how unlike almost anything else in the Hebrew Bible, the truths claimed in the Book of Proverbs are testable and verifiable. They force us to examine our lives and how we are living them without the benefit of psychological sophistry and New Age babble: We are either doing good or doing bad; we are either disciplined or lazy; we are either students of wisdom or puppets of desire.Now you can experience the Book of Proverbs and understand Solomon's teachings with no previous knowledge of the Hebrew Bible. This SkyLight Illuminations edition presents insightful commentary that shares these timeless principles and encourages us to put them into practice in ways that are uniquely our own.
Anne-Mareike Wetter investigates how the books of Ruth, Esther and Judith contribute to the discussion about Israel's ethnic and religious identity in the formative period following the Babylonian Exile. Although each of these narratives deals with variations of the theme of survival in a hostile world, the question underlying them is a different one: "Who are we, and who is our `other'?" The narratives are presented as sequels to Israel's history as put forward in other (now biblical) texts, and presuppose God's continuing involvement with his people. However, they subtly modify the way in which Israel can or should relate to her God by suggesting alternatives for official Temple worship or bypassing the latter altogether. While older prophetic texts make use of metaphoric language portraying Israel as YHWH's unfaithful wife, grieving widow, or ravaged virgin, Ruth, Esther and Judith can be construed as embodiments of Israel of a different kind. Wetter argues for a revisioning of Israel in and through the bodies of the three female characters, as a community which is simultaneously vulnerable and inviolable, marginalized and empowered. Their tricksterism, in all its comicality, underlines the precarious situation in which the women and the community they represent are caught. Yet it also has the power to both defeat threats from outside and amend Israel's self-perception on the inside. Israel no longer has to perceive of itself as a battered wife but as one who can deploy her qualities - seductive and otherwise - for the survival of the community.
Mikkets (Genesis 41:1-44:17) and Haftarah (1 Kings 3:15-28; 4:1): The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning-for young people and adults-will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin's book The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).
Powerful observations from the Book of Proverbs about life and money can inform your financial choices even today. These wise words are far more than one - dimensional pieces of folksy advice. Taken together, they form a coherent way of thinking about the world and the importance of committing to a life of wisdom. Directly encounter the key texts from Proverbs, their historical setting, their structure and purpose. See the impact their profound teachings can have on your financial life today as an individual, as a member of a community, and as a global citizen. Topics include: Kindness to the Poor and Vulnerable The Rights of the Poor and Other Socially Vulnerable Groups Justice in the Marketplace Borrowing, Lending and Surety Bribes and Gifts Wealth's Advantages Wealth and Fundamental Equality
The story of Abraham and Isaac is a story of near universal importance. Sitting near the core of three of the world's great religious traditions, this nineteen verse story opens a world of interpretive possibilities, raising questions of family, loyalty, faith, and choices that are common to all.This collection of essays takes up the question of how our interpretation of this pivotal text has changed over time, and how, even in unlikely intellectual places, the story influences our thought.It begins by exploring various readings of Abraham and the Akedah story throughout the traditional lenses of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. From there, it moves into modern and postmodern readings, including how such varied thinkers as Kant and Kierkegaard, Kafka and Derrida have enaged the text.The book demonstrates the diversity of interpretations, and the dramatic impact of the story on the western intellectual tradition.
This volume contains selected papers from a 2006 symposium that complemented an exhibition of early Bible manuscripts at the Freer Gallery and Sackler Gallery of Art. The book considers the manifestations of the holy books in Byzantine manuscript illustration, architecture, and government, as well as in Jewish Bible translations.
Somewhere out there is the "good life," and we're all scrambling to get it. Glenn Pemberton maintains in this book that we find the so-called good life not in good things but in living well-and the biblical book of Proverbs teaches us how to live that life. Though based on solid biblical scholarship, A Life That Is Good is not a textbook, commentary, or comprehensive study. It is instead a readable, practical guide to the wisdom found in the ancient book of Proverbs-wisdom on everyday living, speech, relationships, justice, money, and much more. Pastors and church groups in particular will love and benefit from this relevant guide regarding the message of Proverbs for today's world.
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