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The biblical Priestly Blessing found in Numbers 6:24-26 left a deep imprint upon Jewish and Christian religious practice and tradition. The various ways in which the blessing was incorporated into the liturgical traditions, for example, are well documented in a variety of written sources from the past two thousand years. Rabbinic literature demonstrates that the blessing held a central place in early Jewish traditions, especially as part of the development of the Amidah and other liturgical prayers. Christian tradition also attests to a rich diversity of applications of the blessing in Byzantine and Medieval Christian practice. While the Priestly Blessing's development and significance in Judaism and early Christianity are well documented, considerably less known about its earliest history in the ancient world. The Priestly Blessing in Inscription and Scripture breaks new ground in the study of the origins and early history of the blessing by examining its appearance on two Iron Age amulets discovered at the site of Ketef Hinnom in Jerusalem. Jeremy Smoak provides a comprehensive description of the two amulets and compares the inscriptions on their surfaces with several Phoenician and Punic inscribed amulets. He argues that the blessing's language originated within a wider tradition of protective words, which were often inscribed on metal amulets as protection against evil. He contends that the Priestly writers of the biblical texts incorporated the specific words into the blessing's formulations precisely due to their wide popularity and appeal as protective words in the eastern Mediterranean world. This argument represents an important departure from earlier studies on the background of the blessing's language in the ancient Near East, and it sheds significant new light on the history of their use within early Judaism and Christianity.
In his introduction to the Everyman's Library edition of the Old
Testament in the King James Version, George Steiner reminds us of
the literary grandeur, uniqueness, and centrality of the
The Hebrew-English Interlinear ESV Old Testament is an essential volume for all who study the Old Testament in the original Hebrew. On each page the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) Hebrew text is laid out word-by-word above an English gloss showing the basic meaning and morphology of each word. For reference, the ESV text is presented separately in a column alongside the Hebrew and English gloss. The Hebrew-English Interlinear ESV Old Testament also features important notes from the BHS critical apparatus related to the textual tradition of the ESV. This is an important resource for pastors, scholars, students, and others who regularly work with the Hebrew Old Testament. Size: 7.625" x 9.25" 8-point type 2,032 pages Critical apparatus
Allen Hilton examines how pagan critics ridiculed the early Christians for being uneducated, and how a few literate Christians took up pen to defend the illiterate members of their churches. Hilton sheds light on the peculiarity of this "defense", in which the authors openly admit that the critics have the facts on their side, noting that the Book of Acts even calls two of its heroes, Peter and John, illiterates. Why did the authors of these biblical texts, intent on presenting Christianity in a positive light, volunteer such a negative detail? The answer to this question reveals a fascinating social exchange that first surrounded education levels in antiquity, and proceeded to make its way into the New Testament. This volume provides context for pagan education as opposed to early Christian illiteracy - touching upon the methods of ancient learning and the relationship between Christian and pagan schools - and analyses the `uneducated virtue' of the Apostles. Hilton provides a useful window onto the social construction of ancient education and ushers readers into the everyday experience of ancient Christians, and those who disdained and defended them.
Hamilton Smith (1862-1943), born in Barnes, Surrey, the son of a sea captain, was employed in the office of his uncle's building firm, where he was later joined by his cousin F B Hole. By 1901, married and living in Sutton, Surrey, with his wife and young family, he had retired from the building trade and entered full-time upon the task of building up the church of God. Later in life, he moved to Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, his wife Rachel's home county. His personal ministry was delivered in the United Kingdom, but his written ministry continues to be read worldwide. Along with H P Barker, A J Pollock, J T Mawson and F B Hole he frequently contributed articles to "Scripture Truth" magazine, which often provided the basis for books later published by the Central Bible Truth Depot. Hamilton Smith's written expositions of the Scriptures are brief: in keeping with a desire "to be nothing and to give Christ all the glory". Yet they are clear and very much to the point: "If we present doctrines with all the arguments for and against, leaving our hearers to judge whether it be true or not, we shall hardly be speaking with authority, but rather as those who are groping for the truth. We are to speak as those who, by grace, know the certainty of the truth they proclaim." He is probably best known for his Old Testament character studies, but he also wrote topical studies and expositions of Bible books. The present volume consists of a verse-by-verse study of chapters 40 to 57 of the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah. Emphasis is placed on the dispensational approach to its interpretation, distinguishing prophecies as already fulfilled, or yet to be so. The focus of chapters 40 to 48 is seen as the issue of idolatry; and that of chapters 49 to 57 to be the coming of Jesus as the humble servant of God, to be followed by his future return to rule. Throughout the exposition valuable practical lessons are drawn for Christians today.
Der Hoheliedkommentar Brunos von Segni steht hermeneutisch weitgehend in der patristischen Tradition, die dem Mitstreiter Gregor VII. durch Beda und vor allem durch Haimo von Auxerre vermittelt wurde. Auch Brunos Hoheliedkommentar ist durchwegs heilsgeschichtlich-ekklesiologisch-pastoral ausgerichtet. Vorgeschaltet ist eine Auslegung der Schlusspartie der Spr che Salomos, das Lob der t chtigen Frau , die hier wie die Hoheliedbraut als (Vor-) Bild f r die Kirche gedeutet wird. Brunos Text ist pointiert-knapp gehalten und wirkt h chst lebendig; seine kirchenpolitischen und pastoraltheologischen Anliegen sind un bersehbar. Formal stellt der Kommentar ein Prosimetrum dar: Der Prosatext ist mit Gedichten teils lehrhaften, teils lyrischen Charakters durchsetzt. Die Einf hrung dieser Studie enth lt historische und hermeneutische Sachinformationen wie auch Ausf hrungen zu den exegetischen und stilistischen Eigenheiten des Textes. Dem lateinischen Text ist synoptisch eine deutsche bersetzung beigegeben. Die textbegleitenden Kommentare f hren Vergleichsstellen an und erl utern das exegetische Vorgehen. Synoptische bersetzung und Erl uterungen er ffnen einem erweiterten Leserkreis den Zugang.
Biblical scholarship today is divided between two mutually exclusive concepts of the emergence of monotheism: an early-monotheistic Yahwism paradigm and a native-pantheon paradigm. This study identifies five main stages on Israel's journey towards monotheism. Rather than deciding whether Yahweh was originally a god of the Baal-type or of the El-type, this work shuns origins and focuses instead on the first period for which there are abundant sources, the Omride era. Non-biblical sources depict a significantly different situation from the Baalism the Elijah cycle ascribes to King Achab. The novelty of the present study is to take this paradox seriously and identify the Omride dynasty as the first stage in the rise of Yahweh as the main god of Israel. Why Jerusalem later painted the Omrides as anti-Yahweh idolaters is then explained as the need to distance itself from the near-by sanctuary of Bethel by assuming the Omride heritage without admitting its northern Israelite origins. The contribution of the Priestly document and of Deutero-Isaiah during the Persian era comprise the next phase, before the strict Yahwism achieved in Daniel 7 completes the emergence of biblical Yahwism as a truly monotheistic religion.
A neglected area of study of the letter to the Hebrews is the function of the Old Testament in the letter's logic. Compton addresses this neglect by looking at two other ideas that have themselves received too little attention, namely (1) the unique and fundamental semantic contribution of Hebrews' exposition (vis-a-vis its exhortation) and (2) the prominence of Ps 110 in the author's exposition. The conclusion becomes clear that Hebrews' exposition-its theological argument-turns, in large part, on successive inferences drawn from Ps 110:1 and 4. Compton observes that the author uses the text in the first part of his exposition to (1) interpret Jesus' resurrection as his messianic enthronement, (2) connect Jesus' enthronement with his fulfillment of Ps 8's vision for humanity and, thus, (3) begin to explain why Jesus was enthroned through suffering. In the second and third parts of his exposition, the author uses the text to corroborate the narrative initially sketched. Thus, he uses the text to (1) show that messiah was expected to be a superior priest and, moreover, (2) show that this messianic priest was expected to solve the human problem through death.
The Wisdom Literature of the Bible (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs) is filled with practical principles for everyday life. While some Christians are deterred by the secular character of these matter-of-fact guidelines, they are as integral to God's purposes for His people as the explicitly theological material that dominates other parts of Scripture. The Wisdom books tie these two streams of God's revelation together in a way that enriches and strengthens the church. Examining the background and perspective that characterizes Wisdom material, this book provides guidance for interpreting and proclaiming this part of Scripture. It is a thorough resource for pastors and teachers to help them navigate the sometimes bewildering waters of the Wisdom Literature.
Terumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19) and Haftarah (1 Kings 5:26-6:13): 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).
The Honey of Souls is the first full-length study of the Explanation of the Psalms by Cassiodorus. While the Explanation became a seminal document for the monastic movement in the West and was eagerly read and widely quoted for centuries, it has languished in relative obscurity in the modern period. Derek Olsen explores Cassiodorus and his strategies for reading as a window into a spirituality of the psalms that defined early Western biblical interpretation.
What is it that has appealed to readers through centuries of reading The Old Testament? Is it epic events, conflict between characters, life-changing drama? We can conjure up pictures of the serpent and God's anger in the garden of Eden, Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed in a ball of fire or trumpets signalling the collapse of the walls of Jericho! Yet although the pictures in our imagination are spectacular, like those in Children's Bible stories, for adult readers they must be brought to life in words and the Bible text provides only a plain narrative. `'In the Beginning ...'' employs a new range of story-telling to give the tales vivid reality. The characters, expressing themselves in language, come to life and find new identities, new selves, when they speak their feelings openly. So, Eve, in The Beginning of History, finds a personal liberation when she voices her feelings. In Sodom and Gomorrah there is a sense of individual assertion, for good or bad. Capital and Labour deals with a political environment while the Joseph story explores different cultures and the seer priest makes a choice to follow his human conscience. That theme of self-discovery, self-realisation is echoed in Rahab the Harlot and Jephthah's daughter. Through all the stories articulateness in language leads to self-understanding, unlocking the characters' freedom as they find themselves in test situations.
In this remarkable rereading of the biblical book of Job -- often discussed as an attempt to -justify the ways of God to man- -- J. Gerald Janzen brings new light to Job's story, showing how God invites Job to give up the traditional logic of reward-punish-ment for a life-affirming strategy of risk-reward. From this perspective, affirmation of life in the face of all its vulnerabilities is the path to true participation in the mystery of existence. / At the Scent of Water traces Job's journey from prosperity, through calamity and bitter anguish, to an encounter with God's presence in a rainstorm that renews the earth and his own appetite for life. / Janzen includes a candid epilogue on his own struggle with aggressive prostate cancer, which enabled him to connect personally with Job and to find a fresh and illuminating grace. At the Scent of Water will especially resonate with any readers who have experi-enced grief or suffering.
The prophet Hosea discusses topics that stand at the core of Jewish thought such as moral conduct, the correct mode of worship, the Jewish people's relationship with God, and repentance. The Talmud even credits Hosea with developing the idea of repentance, a concept that has become the central theme of the High Holidays. Yet the book is filled with obscure words and rich imagery, which make it particularly difficult to understand. Through a detailed analysis of the words of the prophet and his story, Dr. Drazin unpacks the book's messages for the modern reader.
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