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The book of Genesis contains foundational material for Jewish and Christian theology, both historic and contemporary, and is almost certainly the most appealed-to book in the Old Testament in contemporary culture. R. W. L. Moberly's The Theology of the Book of Genesis examines the actual use made of Genesis in current debates, not only in academic but also in popular contexts. Traditional issues such as creation and fall stand alongside more recent issues such as religious violence and Christian Zionism. Moberly's concern - elucidated through a combination of close readings and discussions of hermeneutical principle - is to uncover what constitutes good understanding and use of Genesis, through a consideration of its intrinsic meaning as an ancient text (in both Hebrew and Greek versions) in dialogue with its reception and appropriation both past and present. Moberly seeks to enable responsible theological awareness and use of the ancient text today, highlighting Genesis' enduring significance.
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.
A modern reader studying biblical narratives encounters various literary approaches and ways of understanding interpretive concepts. Hence an attempt to put forward a comprehensive hermeneutical model of reading biblical narratives. Such a model should aim at a synthesis of various approaches, and show how they are interrelated. The book proposes a hermeneutical theory which uses modern approaches to literary texts for the exegesis of biblical narratives. The book discusses three spheres of the reader's knowledge about reality: immanent, narrative, and transcendental. The move from immanent to transcendental knowledge through the mediation of narrative knowledge results from the mediatory role played by the biblical text, which refers the reader to a transcendent reality. This theory is then applied to the exegesis of Genesis 21:1-21, and involves the evaluation of the New Criticism, rhetorical criticism, structuralism and narrative analysis, reader-response criticism, the historical-critical method, as well as deconstruction. In order to satisfy the postulate of pluralism in interpretation, the hermeneutical theory draws upon a variety of ancient and modern sources such as Aristotle, T. S. Eliot, Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Paul Ric ur.
ThisOxford dissertationoffers a fresh redactional analysis of the Book of Amos. It starts with a critical survey of existing approaches and an examination of the methodological issues involved and proceeds with a detailed exegetical analysis of the prophetic text which forms the basis for the redactional conclusions. It steers a middle course between extreme conservative treatments which trace all the material back to the prophet Amos and more radical sceptical approaches which attribute most of the prophetic oracles to the work of later redactors. The composition of the book began with two collections: the Polemical scroll written not long after the end of Amos' ministry and the Repentance scroll composed shortly before 722 BC. The Repentance scroll was reworked in Judah towards the end of the 8th century BC and the two scrolls were combined to form a single work sometime during the 7th century BC. The Book underwent only one redaction during the exilic period which sought to actualise its message in a new historical context. The study pays special attention to the literary structure, aim and probable historical circumstances of the various collections which gradually evolved into the present Book of Amos and seeks to show how the prophetic message lived on and spoke to the various communities which preserved and transmitted it.
This monograph is a study of the Hebrew word bama, which is used frequently in the Old Testament to describe cultic sites and has commonly been translated 'high place'. The word however occurs in a variety of contexts, which would indicate a wider range of meanings. By careful analysis of these occurrences in the Old Testament and by comparison with cognate words in Semitic languages and with the translations in the Septuagint, the author attempts to categorise these meanings and to challenge certain current views. Three groups of meanings of bama emerge from this study: topographical, as in 'hillside' and possibly 'grave-mound'; anatomical, as in 'backs' and possible 'beasts'; and cultic senses, as in 'cultic platform' (bamah) and by extension 'altar' and 'sanctuary'. This first book-length study of all aspects of the meaning of bama will be of interest equally to Old Testament scholars and archaeologists of the near East and is likely to be an invaluable monograph on its subject.
This volume presents recent international research results of Old Testament studies and related fields. The topics of the individual contributions vary widely and are concerned with exegetic and literary questions, historical and religious problems, as well as central questions of Theology of the Old Testament. In den Beitragen dieses Bandes werden neueste Forschungsergebnisse dargelegt, die weltweit mit der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit am Alten Testament sowie in den mit ihm in Verbindung stehenden Wissenschaftsgebieten erzielt wurden. Die Themen der einzelnen Aufsatze sind breit gefachert; sie betreffen sowohl exegetische und literarische Fragen als auch historische und religionsgeschichtliche Probleme sowie zentrale Fragen der Theologie des Alten Testaments.
The Narrative Effect of Book IV of the Hebrew Psalter takes seriously the canonical form to the text and suggests that there is a narrative effect that occurs as a reader of the Hebrew Bible encounters the canonical Psalter. Rather than reading the book of Psalms as an anthology, the reader can find lexical and thematic connections within the text that tell a story. The turning point of that story comes in Book IV (Psalms 90-106) when the text emphasizes the kingship of YHWH rather than David and a return to the covenant of Moses.
Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching is a distinctive resource for those who interpret the Bible in the church. Planned and written specifically for teaching and preaching needs, this critically acclaimed biblical commentary is a major contribution to scholarship and ministry.
The notion implied in the word «servant necessarily points to someone (the lord) of whom he is the servant. Isaianic notion of the servant is not an exception to this idea: the prophet is not presenting an isolated and abstract concept of a «servant but he is speaking about the servant of Yahweh. The servant passages in Second Isaiah should therefore be read in relation to other texts that present Yahweh as the Lord. These texts together explain the concept of the servant. The work therefore reads twelve suggested Isaianic servant passages as original and integral parts of Isaiah 40-53. Thirteen texts that present Yahweh as the Lord are also analyzed. The Isaianic idea of the servant appears to be the result of the exilic reinterpretation of the traditional servant of Yahweh concept.
Can anyone say anything that has not already been said about the most scrutinized text in human history? In one of the most radical rereadings of the opening chapters of Genesis since The Zohar, David Kishik manages to do just that. The Book of Shem, a philosophical meditation on the beginning of the Bible and the end of the world, offers an inspiring interpretation of this navel of world literature. The six parts of the primeval story-God's creation, the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark, the first covenant, and the Tower of Babel-come together to address a single concern: How does one become the human being that one is? By closely analyzing the founding text of the Abrahamic religions, this short treatise rethinks some of their deepest convictions. With a mixture of reverence and violence, Kishik's creative commentary demonstrates the post-secular implications of a pre-Abrahamic position. A translation of the Hebrew source, included as an appendix, helps to peel away the endless layers of presuppositions about its meaning.
The eighth century BCE Isaiah of Jerusalem, the so-called First Isaiah, is one of the most important theological voices in the Bible. J. J. M. Roberts takes a classical historical-critical approach to his interpretation of this material, making good use of his broad comparative knowledge of ancient Near Eastern historical and religious sources. In light of Isaiah's very long prophetic ministry of at least thirty-eight years, and perhaps as long as fifty-three years, Roberts also suggests Isaiah often reedited older oracles from early in his ministry to address new, though somewhat analogous situations, albeit with different players, later in his ministry, without erasing telltale signs of the material's earlier origin. In many cases, this suggestion provides a better explanation for glaring inconsistencies in an apparently connected text than the common fragmentation of the text that attributes such inconsistencies to later editors who either misunderstood or intentionally altered Isaiah's message for their own purposes.
This book offers a careful study of biblical texts on menstruation and childbirth in the light of their ancient Near Eastern background. Close reading of the biblical texts, based on classical and feminist biblical interpretation, and supported by comparative study of ancient Near Eastern sources and anthropology, reveals a rich and varied picture of these female events. Fertility and impurity are closely connected to menstruation and childbirth, but their place and importance are different in priestly and nonpriestly writings of the Bible, which are therefore separately dealt with. This book contributes to a better understanding of physiological, social, cultural, and religious aspects of menstruation and childbirth in the larger context of body and society and women and men.
Did the Hebrew mind work differently from those of people in the Western tradition of civilization? This long-discredited question still lingers in biblical studies. Theologies of the Mind in Biblical Israel approaches the topic of the Israelite mind from a new direction, exploring how the biblical texts themselves, especially Proverbs and Deuteronomy, describe the working of the mind. It demonstrates that the much-discussed role of memory in the Bible is just one part of a general understanding that in the realm of 'knowledge' God and humanity are rivals.
Although the Hebrew Bible as a whole is centered on God and God's relations with Israel, the character of God appears in most biblical stories only indirectly. How are modern readers to make sense of this paradox? God as an Absent Character in Biblical Hebrew Narrative establishes a set of literary methods that both academic and non-academic readers can use to understand the character of God, who is the single most important character in Hebrew Bible narrative and, strangely, absent from the majority of it.
The Bible tells the stories of many empires, and many are still considered some of the largest of the ancient and classical world: the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and finally the Romans. In this provocative book, nine experts bring a critical analysis of these world empires in the background of the Old and New Testaments. As they explain, the Bible developed "against"the context of these empires, providing concrete meaning to the countercultural claims of Jews and Christians that their God was the true King, the real Emperor. Each chapter describes how to read the Bible as a reaction to empire and points to how to respond to the biblical message to resist imperial powers in every age.
Estimated to date back to the very early Jesus movement, the lost Gospel known as Q offers a distinct and remarkable picture of Jesus and his significanceand one that differs markedly from that offered by its contemporary, the apostle Paul. Rather than privileging Jesus' death and resurrection as the salvific events, highlighting his battles with demons, or concentrating on his messianic program of healing, this Sayings Gospel presents Jesus as a prophetic critic of unbelief and a sage with the wisdom that can transform. In Q, the true meaning of the kingdom of God is the fulfillment of a just society through the transformation of the human relationships within it: debt relief, mutuality and reciprocity, nonretaliation, and the total rejection of the long-standing Mediterranean honor and shame codes. Though this document has never been found, Kloppenborg offers a succinct account of why scholars maintain it existed in the first place and demonstrates how they have been able to reconstruct its contents and wording from the two later Gospels that used it as a source: Matthew and Luke. Presented here in its entirety, as developed by the International Q Project, this Gospel reveals a very different portrait of Jesus than in much of the later canonical writings, challenging the way we think of Christian origins and the very nature and mission of Jesus Christ.
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