front cover of Apocalyptic Sheep and Goats in Matthew and 1 Enoch
Apocalyptic Sheep and Goats in Matthew and 1 Enoch
Elekosi F. Lafitaga
SBL Press, 2022

An alternative understanding of apocalyptic eschatology in the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew’s eschatological imageries of judgment are often identified as apocalyptic and referred to as Matthew’s apocalyptic discourses. In this volume Elekosi F. Lafitaga reexamines Matthew’s vision of the sheep and goats in the judgment of the nations, which are often interpreted as metaphors for the saved and the condemned. Lafitaga views these images in the wider context of the rhetoric of apocalyptic communication stretching back to Matthew 3. This broader context reveals that the vision of Matthew 25 serves to exhort Israel in the here and now according to the torah, with salvation for Israel involving an indispensable responsibility to love and serve humanity. Central to Lafitaga’s analysis is the highly probable scenario that the material in Matthew is dependent on the Book of Dreams (1 Enoch 83–90).


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Beyond Mary or Martha
Reclaiming Ancient Models of Discipleship
Jennifer S. Wyant
SBL Press, 2019

Explore a tale of two sisters

Beyond Mary or Martha: Reclaiming Ancient Models of Discipleship dives into the complicated reception history of Mary and Martha of Bethany, who have been at the center of many debates for almost two thousand years. Jennifer S. Wyant begins her study with a close reading of the sisters’ first encounter with Jesus in Luke 10:38-42, then moves on to patristic, medieval, and modern interpretations of that narrative. Wyant tracks how Mary and Martha both became paradigms of discipleship, revealing the inherent tension within Christianity between contemplative practices and acts of service. By placing ancient debates alongside more modern ones, she argues that, contrary to discussions today within academic and religious circles, gender is not the most important aspect of their story.


  • A thorough examination of the textual variants in the passage to show how variants affected interpretation throughout history
  • Interpretations from medieval women and their contributions to interpretation of Mary and Martha
  • A visual exegesis of the art representing the passage throughout history

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The Bible and Early Trinitarian Theology
Christopher A. Beeley
Catholic University of America Press, 2018
The past thirty years have seen an unprecedented level of interest in early Christian biblical interpretation, from major scholarly initiatives to more popular resources aimed at pastors and general readers. The fields of Biblical Studies and Patristics/Early Christian Studies each arrived at the study of early Christian biblical interpretation largely from their own standpoints, and they tend to operate in relative isolation from one another. This books aims to bring the two fields into closer conversation, in order to suggest new avenues into the study of the deeply biblical dimension of patristic theology as well as the contribution that patristic exegesis can make to contemporary views of how best to interpret the Bible.

Based on a multi-year consultation in the Society of Biblical Literature, The Bible and Early Trinitarian Theology features leading scholars from both fields, who bring new insights to the relationship between patristic exegesis and current strategies of biblical interpretation, specifically with reference to the doctrine of the Trinity. Following an account of how each field came to study patristic exegesis, the book offers new studies of Trinitarian theology in Old Testament, Johannine, and Pauline biblical texts and the patristic interpretation of them, combining the insights of modern historical criticism with classical historical theology. It promises to make a valuable contribution to both fields, suggesting several new avenue into the study of early biblical literature and the development of Trinitarian theology.

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The Bible in the Public Square
Its Enduring Influence in American Life
Mark A. Chancey
SBL Press, 2014

Explore perceptions and interpretations of scripture in American politics, identity, popular culture, and public education

Essays from the perspectives of American history, the history of ideas, film studies, visual studies, cultural studies, education, and church-state studies provide essential research for those interested in the intersection of the Bible and American culture. The contributors are Yaakov Ariel, Jacques Berlinerblau, Mark A. Chancey, Rubén Dupertuis, John Fea, Shalom Goldman, Charles C. Haynes, Carol Meyers, Eric M. Meyers, David Morgan, Adele Reinhartz, and David W. Stowe.


  • Ten essays and an introduction present research from professors of biblical studies, Judaism, English, and history
  • Articles relevant to scholars, students, and the general public
  • Analysis of the tensions in American society regarding the Bible and its role in public life.

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The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality
Innocent Himbaza
Catholic University of America Press, 2012
The Bible on the Question of Homosexuality addresses the hotly debated topic of whether the Bible condemns homosexuality by a close reading of the biblical texts without taboo or prejudice, without personal or church interpretation

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Bible through the Lens of Trauma
Elizabeth Boase
SBL Press, 2016

Explore emerging trends in trauma studies and biblical interpretation

In recent years there has been a surge of interest in trauma, trauma theory, and its application to the biblical text. This collection of essays explores the usefulness of using trauma theory as a lens through which to read the biblical texts. Each of the essays explores the concept of how trauma might be defined and applied in biblical studies. Using a range of different but intersection theories of trauma, the essays reflect on the value of trauma studies for offering new insights into the biblical text. Including contributions from biblical scholars, as well as systematic and pastoral theologians, this book provides a timely critical reflection on this emerging discussion.


  • Implications for how reading the biblical text through the lens of trauma can be fruitful for contemporary appropriation of the biblical text in pastoral and theological pursuits
  • Articles that integrate hermeneutics of trauma with classical historical-critical methods
  • Essays that address the relationship between individual and collective trauma
  • [more]

    front cover of Biblical Animality after Jacques Derrida
    Biblical Animality after Jacques Derrida
    Hannah M. Strømmen
    SBL Press, 2018

    A new theoretical and exegetical angle on the Bible and animal studies

    According to Genesis, humans are made in God's image but animals are not. Hannah M. Strømmen challenges this view by critiquing the boundary between humans and animals in the Bible through the work of philosopher Jacques Derrida. Building on Derrida's The Animal That Therefore I Am, Strømmen brings to light significant moments where the lines between the divine, human, and animal are ambiguous in a rich range of biblical texts, from Noah as the first carnivorous man in Genesis 9 to Revelation's beasts.


    • A contribution to research on Jacques Derrida and deconstruction
    • An examination of Derrida's work on the human/animal boundary
    • Critical engagement with the way the Bible is frequently held up as a point of blame for anthropocentrism

    front cover of Biblical Judgments
    Biblical Judgments
    New Legal Readings in the Hebrew Bible
    Daphne Barak-Erez
    University of Michigan Press, 2024
    Biblical Judgments invites readers to consider today's timeless dilemmas of law and government, social justice, and human rights, through the perspective of a text that has helped shape western society: the Hebrew Bible. By focusing on biblical narratives and literature rather than on traditional interpretations of biblical law, Daphne Barak-Erez is able to look beyond historic norms to concentrate on what Old Testament stories can reveal about the "big" issues. She discusses questions such as: What can modern-day governmental regulation learn from the exercise of food rationing in Egypt as a response to Pharaoh's dream of a future famine? How does social distancing in the time of Covid-19 compare with people sent outside the camp as a precautionary measure against bible-era plagues? What can promoters of social justice glean from the demands made to Moses that daughters should also inherit from their father when biblical law did not recognize inheritance rights of women? 

    Rather than offering a historical study, Barak-Erez draws upon famous court decisions from around the world to root her analysis in modern law. Organized by subject matter, Biblical Judgments analyzes how the themes of law and government, judging and judges, human rights and social justice, criminal law, private law, and family and inheritance law are presented through a number of different stories. In recounting the compelling narratives of the Hebrew Bible, Biblical Judgments exposes their inherent legal tensions and what we can learn about legal dilemmas today. 

    front cover of The Book of Jonah
    The Book of Jonah
    A Social Justice Commentary
    Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
    Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2020
    The Book of Jonah is a unique text in the Jewish canon. Among the shortest books in the Bible, it is also one of the most mysterious and morally ambiguous. Who is this prophet running from God, hiding at the bottom of the ocean? Why does he struggle with God's mission to save and forgive Israel's enemies? In this volume, Rabbi Dr. Yanklowitz shows that the Book of Jonah delivers a message of human responsibility in a shared world. Illuminating such contemporary ethical issues as animal welfare, incarceration, climate change, weapons of mass destruction, and Jewish-Muslim relations, this social justice commentary urges us to join in repairing a broken world--a call that we, unlike Jonah, must hasten to answer.

    front cover of Called by Stories
    Called by Stories
    Biblical Sagas and Their Challenge for Law
    Milner S. Ball
    Duke University Press, 2000
    Distinguished legal scholar and Presbyterian minister Milner S. Ball examines great sagas and tales from the Bible for the light they shed on the practice of law and on the meaning of a life lived in the legal profession. Scholars and laypersons alike typically think of the law as a discipline dominated by reason and empirical methods. Ball shows that many of the dilemmas and decisions that legal professionals confront are more usefully approached through an experience of narrative in which we come to know ourselves and our actions through stories.
    He begins with the story of Moses, who is obliged both to speak for God to the Hebrews and to advocate for the Hebrews before God. What, asks Ball, does Moses’s predicament say to lawyers professionally bound to zealous representation of only one client? In the story of Rachel, Ball finds insights that comprehend the role of tears and emotion in the judicial process. He relates these insights to specific contemporary situations, such as a plant closing and the subsequent movement of jobs to Mexico and legal disputes over the sovereignty of native Hawaiians. In a discussion of “The Gospel According to John,” Ball points out that the writer of this gospel is free simultaneously to be critical of law and to rely extensively on it. Ball uses this narrative to explore the boundaries of free will and independence in lawyering. By venturing into the world of powerful events and biblical characters, Ball enables readers to contest their own expectations and fundamental assumptions.
    Employing legal theory, theology, and literary criticism, Called by Stories distills a wisdom in biblical texts that speaks specifically to the working life of legal professionals. As such, it will enrich lovers of narrative and poetry, ethicists, literary and biblical scholars, theologians, lawyers, law students, judges, and others who seek to discern deeper meanings in the texts that have shaped their lives.

    front cover of Christian America and the Kingdom of God
    Christian America and the Kingdom of God
    Richard T. Hughes
    University of Illinois Press, 2012
    The idea of the United States as a Christian nation is a powerful, seductive, and potentially destructive theme in American life, culture, and politics. And yet, as Richard T. Hughes reveals in this powerful book, the biblical vision of the "kingdom of God" stands at odds with the values and actions of an American empire that sanctions war instead of peace, promotes dominance and oppression instead of reconciliation, and exalts wealth and power instead of justice for the poor and needy. With extensive analysis of both Christian scripture and American history from the founding of the republic to the present day, Christian America and the Kingdom of God illuminates the devastating irony of a "Christian America" that so often behaves in unchristian ways.

    front cover of Constructing and Deconstructing Power in Psalms 107-150
    Constructing and Deconstructing Power in Psalms 107-150
    W. Dennis Tucker Jr.
    SBL Press, 2014

    Essential research on the relationship between the Persian empire and the the formation of the book of Psalms

    In this latest entry in the Ancient Israel and Its Literature series, W. Dennis Tucker, Jr. examines the role of Persian imperial ideology in the creation of psalms in Book 5 of the Psalter and in the shaping of the book of Psalms as a whole. Although much research has been conducted on the relationship between the Persian empire and the creation of biblical texts, the book of Psalms has been largely absent from this discussion. Tucker seeks to rectify this omission by illustrating that Book 5 constructed a subtle anti-imperial ideology in response to the threats imposed from all empires both past and present.


    • Close study of the psalms portrayal of human power to that of Yahweh
    • Comparison of Achaemenid propaganda to the ideology found in the psalms
    • Evidence drawn from Persian iconography and inscriptions

    front cover of Controlling Corporeality
    Controlling Corporeality
    The Body and the Household in Ancient Israel
    Berquist, Jon L.
    Rutgers University Press, 2002

    Human bodily existence is at the core of the Torah and the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures—from birth to death. From God’s creation of Adam out of clay, to the narratives of priests and kings whose regulations governed bodily practices, the Hebrew Bible focuses on the human body. Moreover, ancient Israel’s understanding of the human body has greatly influenced both Judaism and Christianity. Despite this pervasive influence, ancient Israel’s view of the human body has rarely been studied and, until now, has been poorly understood.

    In this beautifully written book, Jon L. Berquist guides the reader through the Hebrew Bible, examining ancient Israel’s ideas of the body, the unstable roles of gender, the deployment of sexuality, and the cultural practices of the time. Conducting his analysis with reference to contemporary theories of the body, power, and social control, Berquist offers not only a description and clarification of ancient Israelite views of the body, but also an analysis of how these views belong to the complex logic of ancient social meanings. When this logic is understood, the familiar Bible becomes strange and opens itself to a wide range of new interpretations.


    front cover of Crainte de Dieu, Sagesse et Loi
    Crainte de Dieu, Sagesse et Loi
    Aspects théologiques à partir de Si 10,19-11,6
    Katharina Lentz
    SBL Press, 2020

    Peu d'études spécifiques ont été consacrées à Ben Sira 10,19-11,6. Lentz examine le texte en hébreu, grec, syriaque et latin, en essayant d'identifier les différences majeures entre ces versions et leurs orientations fondamentales respectives. Dans cette péricope, elle révèle trois thèmes importants: la crainte de Dieu, la sagesse et la loi. En prenant comme point de départ le thème de la crainte de Dieu dans le Deutéronome, les Psaumes et les Proverbes, Job et Qoheleth en plus de Ben Sira, Lentz examine la relation de ce thème avec la sagesse et la loi. La relation étroite entre la crainte de Dieu, la sagesse et la loi devrait inciter les spécialistes à se demander si celles-ci ne représentent pas trois aspects de la même réalité.

    Few specific studies have been devoted to Ben Sira 10:19-11:6. Lentz examines the text in Hebrew, Greek, Syriac, and Latin, trying to identify the major differences between these versions and their respective fundamental orientations. In this pericope she reveals three important themes: the fear of God, wisdom, and the law. Taking as a point of departure the theme of the fear of God in Deuteronomy, Psalms, and Proverbs, Job, and Qoheleth, in addition to Ben Sira, Lentz examines the relationship of this theme with wisdom and the law. The close relationship between the fear of God, wisdom, and the law should lead scholars to ask if these do not represent three aspects of the same reality.


    front cover of The Curse of Cain
    The Curse of Cain
    The Violent Legacy of Monotheism
    Regina M. Schwartz
    University of Chicago Press, 1997
    The Curse of Cain confronts the inherent ambiguities of biblical stories on many levels and, in the end, offers an alternative, inspiring reading of the Bible that is attentive to visions of plenitude rather than scarcity, and to an ethics based on generosity rather than violence.

    "[A] provocative and timely examination of the interrelationship of monotheism and violence. . . . This is a refreshing alternative to criticism-biblical and otherwise-that so often confuses interpretation with closure; it is an invitation to an ethic of possibility, plenitude, and generosity, a welcome antidote to violence, as important for its insights into memory, identity, and place as for its criticism of monotheism's violent legacy."—Booklist

    "Brilliant and provocative, this is a work demanding close attention from critics, theologians, and all those interested in the imaginative roots of common life."—Rowan Williams, Bishop of Monmouth

    "A stunningly important book."—Walter Brueggemann, Theology Today

    "Artfully rendered, endlessly provocative."—Lawrence Weschler, New Yorker

    front cover of Dark Symbols, Obscure Signs
    Dark Symbols, Obscure Signs
    God, Self, And Community In The Slave Mind
    Riggins R. Earl
    University of Tennessee Press, 2003
    In Dark Symbols, Obscure Signs, Riggins R. Earl Jr. investigates how slave owners intentionally manipulated Christianity as they passed it on to slaves and demonstrates how slaves successfully challenged that distorted interpretation. Analyzing slaves’ response to Christianity as expressed in testimonies, songs, stories, and sermons, Earl reveals the conversion experience as the initial step toward an autonomy that defied white control. Contrary to what their white owners expected or desired, enslaved African Americans found in Christianity a life-affirming identity and strong sense of community.

    Slave owners believed Christianity would instill docility and obedience, but the slaves discovered in the Bible a different message, sharing among themselves the “dark symbols and obscure signs” that escaped the notice of their captors. Finding a sense of liberation rather than submission in their conversion experience, slaves discovered their own self-worth and their values as children of God.

    Originally published in 1993, Dark Symbols, Obscure Signs traces the legacy of slaves’ embrace of Christianity both during and after the slavery era. In a new introduction, the author places the book within the context of contemporary scholarship on the roots of the African American cultural experience. He argues that any interpretation of this experience must begin with a foundational study of the theological and ethical constructs that have shaped the way blacks understand themselves in relationship to God, their oppressors, and each other.

    The Author: Riggins R. Earl Jr. teaches at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

    front cover of Death and Dissymmetry
    Death and Dissymmetry
    The Politics of Coherence in the Book of Judges
    Mieke Bal
    University of Chicago Press, 1988
    Combining literary criticism and feminist analysis, Death and Dissymmetry radically reinterprets not only the Book of Judges but also the tradition of its reception and understanding in the West. In Mieke Bal's account, Judges documents the Israelite culture learning to articulate itself in a decisive period of transition.

    Counter to standard readings of Judges, Bal's interpretation demonstrates that the book has a political and ideological coherence in which the treatment of women plays a pivotal role. Bal concentrates here not on the assassinations and battles that rage through Judges but on the violence in the domestic lives of individual characters, particularly sexual violence directed at women. Her skillful reading reveals that murder, in this text, relates to gender and reflects a social structure that is inherently contradictory. By foregrounding the stories of women and subjecting them to subtle narrative analysis, she is able to expose a set of preoccupations that are essential to the sense of these stories but are not articulated in them. Bal thereby develops a "countercoherence" in conflict with the apparent emphases of Judges—the politics, wars, and historiography that have been the constant focus of commentators on the book.

    Death and Dissymmetry makes an important contribution to the development of a feminist method of interpreting ancient texts, with consequences for religious studies, ancient history, literary theory, and gender studies.

    front cover of Death, Resurrection, and Human Destiny
    Death, Resurrection, and Human Destiny
    Christian and Muslim Perspectives
    David Marshall and Lucinda Mosher, Editors
    Georgetown University Press, 2016

    Death, Resurrection, and Human Destiny: Christian and Muslim Perspectives is a record of the 2012 Building Bridges seminar for leading Christian and Muslim scholars, convened by Rowan Williams, then Archbishop of Canterbury. The essays in this volume explore what the Bible and Qurān—and the Christian and Islamic theological traditions—have to say about death, resurrection, and human destiny. Special attention is given to the writings of al-Ghazali and Dante. Other essays explore the notion of the good death. Funeral practices of each tradition are explained. Relevant texts are included with commentary, as are personal reflections on death by several of the seminar participants. An account of the informal conversations at the seminar conveys a vivid sense of the lively, penetrating, but respectful dialogue which took place. Three short pieces by Rowan Williams provide his opening comments at the seminar and his reflections on its proceedings. The volume also contains an analysis of the Building Bridges Seminar after a decade of his leadership.


    front cover of Embodiments of Evil
    Embodiments of Evil
    Gog and Magog: Interdisciplinary Studies of the "Other" in Literature & Internet Texts
    Edited by A. A. Seyed-Gohrab, F. Doufikar-Aerts, and S. McGlinn
    Leiden University Press, 2011
    One Word – Yak Kaleme was one of the first treatises in the Middle East to demonstrate that Islam is compatible with the introduction of modern western forms of government, and specifically that the principles of the sharia can be incorporated in a codified law comparable to that found in European countries. This was a daring argument in the late 19th century, when it was extremely difficult to convince the rulers and religious class that a civil code of law was needed: would it not diminish the status of the ruler, and would it not be an admission that the religious law, the sharia, was deficient? The author, Mirza Yu¯suf Kha¯n Mustashar al-Dawla (d. 1895), was a liberal-minded bureaucrat campaigning for reform of the absolutist system and the creation of one based on European principles of government. He held several posts abroad including St Petersburg (1854-62), and Paris (1867-71), as well as carrying out administrative duties in Iran itself. In One Word he argues that the principles underlying constitutional government can be found in Islamic sources, particularly in the Quran and traditions of the Prophet. Unlike some Oriental travellers to Europe at that time, he observed that European dominance was not derived from a few technological advances, but primarily from the organisation of society, on the basis of codified law. One Word was a significant text in the lead-up to the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, but its message is relevant today.

    front cover of Encounters in the Dark
    Encounters in the Dark
    Identity Formation in the Jacob Story
    Noel Forlini Burt
    SBL Press, 2020

    An interdisciplinary study of a familiar patriarchal narrative

    Encounters in the Dark: Identity Formation in the Jacob Story traces the many moments of darkness in the life of Jacob. From the darkness of his mother's womb, to the darkness Jacob uses to deceive his father and his brother, to the night he sleeps on the ground with just a stone for a pillow at Bethel, and to the triumphant scene of wrestling God by the Jabbok River, the biblical story frequently situates Jacob in the darkness. Through an exploration of key moments in Jacob's story, Noel Forlini Burt follows Jacob's journey from home to exile and back home again. His story symbolizes the larger story of Israel's own wrestling with God in the darkness of exile and return.


    • An exploration of the poetics and rhetoric of the Jacob story
    • An examination of characterization in its ancient and modern contexts
    • An analysis of individual and collective identity

    front cover of Epistle to Marguerite de Navarre and Preface to a Sermon by John Calvin
    Epistle to Marguerite de Navarre and Preface to a Sermon by John Calvin
    Marie Dentière
    University of Chicago Press, 2004
    Born to a noble family in Tournai, Marie Dentière (1495-1561) left her convent in the 1520s to work for religious reform. She married a former priest and with her husband went to Switzerland, where she was active in the Reformation's takeover of Geneva.

    Dentière's Very Useful Epistle (1539) is the first explicit statement of reformed theology by a woman to appear in French. Addressed to Queen Marguerite of Navarre, sister of the French king Francis I, the Epistle asks the queen to help those persecuted for their religious beliefs. Dentière offers a stirring defense of women and asserts their right to teach the word of God in public. She defends John Calvin against his enemies and attacks the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Her Preface (1561) to one of Calvin's sermons criticizes immodesty and extravagance in clothing and warns the faithful to be vigilant. Undaunted in the face of suppression and ridicule, this outspoken woman persisted as an active voice in the Reformation.

    front cover of Feminism, Queerness, Affect, and Romans
    Feminism, Queerness, Affect, and Romans
    Under God?
    Jimmy Hoke
    SBL Press, 2021

    "This is a book about submission and subversion, injustice and justice, heroes and villains."

    In Feminism, Queerness, Affect, and Romans: Under God? Jimmy Hoke reads Romans with an innovative, intersectional approach that produces distinctive meanings for passages that probe how queer wo/men who first encountered Paul's letter could have engaged with it. Though Paul's letter to the Romans arguably contains the Bible’s strongest condemnation of queer wo/men (1:26–27), that is not the letter's full story. Hoke turns a feminist and queer gaze toward Paul’s conception of faith and ethics, making explicit how Paul's theology throughout Romans has been affectively motivated by imperial notions of gender, race, and sexuality. Moving beyond Paul's singular voice, Hoke engages with a feminist and queer praxis of assemblage to generate plausible ways wo/men of Rome interacted with this epistle. By engaging affect theory, Hoke brings to life not only ideas and words but the feelings and sensations that moved in-between some of the earliest Christ-followers, revealing how queer wo/men were there among them and what that means for queer wo/men today. Hoke includes a reader's guide with key terms used throughout the book, making this an excellent option for both students and scholars beginning to engage not only Paul's letters but also the complex worlds of feminist, queer, and affect theories.


    front cover of Fragile Dignity
    Fragile Dignity
    Intercontextual Conversations on Scriptures, Family, and Violence
    L. Juliana Claassens
    SBL Press, 2013
    Human dignity insists that every human deserves respect and a safe place to live. For many, this is not a reality. The essays collected here analyze the background of this problem in contemporary family life and society at large, with special emphasis on the role of women and on the Bible as a source of inspiration and transformation. The collection is the product of a six-year conversation on family, violence, and human dignity between the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, The Netherlands, and the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, a North-South dialogue that included annual conferences, a series of responsive letters, and additional external responses. The contributors are Cheryl B. Anderson, Hendrik Bosman, Gerrit Brand, Athalya Brenner, L. Juliana Claassens, Dorothea Erbele-Küster, Leo J. Koffeman, Frits de Lange, Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon, Magda Misset-van de Weg, Beverly Eileen Mitchell, Anne-Claire Mulder, Ian Nell, Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel, Jeremy Punt, Petruschka Schaafsma, D. Xolile Simon, Lee-Ann J. Simon, Gé Speelman, Klaas Spronk, Ciska Stark, Elsa Tamez, Charlene van der Walt, Robert Vosloo, and Yusef Waghid.

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    God's Creativity and Human Action
    Christian and Muslim Perspectives
    Lucinda Mosher
    Georgetown University Press, 2019

    A record of the 2015 Building Bridges Seminar for leading Christian and Muslim scholars, this collection of essays explores the nature of divine and human agency through themes of creation’s goal, humankind’s dignity and task, and notions of sovereignty. Part I sets the context for the book with “Human Action within Divine Creation: A Muslim Perspective” by Mohsen Kadivar of Duke University and “On the Possibility of Holy Living: A Christian Perspective” by Lucy Gardner of Oxford University. The rest of the book includes paired essays—one from a Muslim perspective, one from a Christian perspective—that introduce scriptural material with commentary to aid readers in conducting dialogical study. In her conclusion, coeditor Lucinda Mosher digests the illuminating small-group conversations that lie at the heart of the Building Bridges initiative, conversations that convey a vivid sense of the lively, penetrating but respectful dialogue for which the project is known. This unique volume will be a valuable resource to scholars, students, and professors of Christianity and Islam.


    front cover of The Hermeneutics of Torah
    The Hermeneutics of Torah
    Proverbs 2, Deuteronomy, and the Composition of Proverbs 1–9
    Bernd U. Schipper
    SBL Press, 2021

    This revised and expanded English edition of Bernd U. Schipper’s 2012 Hermeneutik der Tora incorporates the results of his continued research and writings on Proverbs. For nearly a century, many biblical scholars have argued that the main theological traditions, such as the divine law, God’s torah, do not appear in the book of Proverbs. In this volume, however, Schipper demonstrates that Proverbs interacts in a sophisticated way with the concept of the torah. A detailed analysis of Proverbs 2 and other passages from the first part of the book of Proverbs shows that Proverbs engages in a postexilic discourse around “wisdom and torah” concerning the abilities of humans to fulfill the will of YHWH exemplified in the divine torah.


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    The House of the Lord
    Steven Smith
    Catholic University of America Press, 2017

    front cover of The Ideal Bishop
    The Ideal Bishop
    Michael G. Sirilla
    Catholic University of America Press, 2017
    St. Thomas Aquinas’s commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles are distinctive and overlooked theological resources, offering invaluable insights into the exercise of the episcopal office in bringing about the spiritual perfection of the faithful in Christ. The Ideal Bishop includes a review of the theology of the episcopacy found in St. Thomas’s principal contemporaries, including Peter Lombard, St. Albert the Great, and St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. The heart of this book is an examination of the theology and spirituality of the episcopacy found in the lectures on 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. Particular attention is devoted to Aquinas’s treatment of the nature, purpose, requisite virtues, disqualifying vice, special duties, and particular graces of the episcopal office.

    front cover of The Identity of Israel’s God in Christian Scripture
    The Identity of Israel’s God in Christian Scripture
    Don Collett
    SBL Press, 2021

    A broad, sweeping volume that breaches the walls separating biblical and theological disciplines

    Biblical scholars and theologians engage an important question: Who is Israel’s God for Christian readers of the Old Testament? For Christians, Scripture is the Old and New Testament bound together in a single legacy. Contributors approach the question from multiple disciplinary vantage points. Essays on both Testaments focus on figural exegesis, critical exegesis, and the value of diachronic understandings of the Old Testament’s compositional history for the sake of a richer synchronic reading. This collection is offered in celebration of the life and work of Christopher R. Seitz. His rich and wide-ranging scholarly efforts have provided scholars and students alike a treasure trove of resources related to this critical question.


    front cover of The Intercourse of Knowledge
    The Intercourse of Knowledge
    On Gendering Desire and 'Sexuality' in the Hebrew Bible
    Athalya Brenner
    SBL Press, 2016

    Now in paperback!

    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. 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."


    • Paperback format of an essential Brill monograph
    • A classification and gendering of the linguistic and semantic data
    • Discussion of wider sociological and theological implications

    front cover of Jesus and Mary Reimagined in Early Christian Literature
    Jesus and Mary Reimagined in Early Christian Literature
    Vernon K. Robbins
    SBL Press, 2015

    Explore the diverse character of emerging Christian narratives

    This book presents essays that show how prophetic and priestly emphases in Luke and Acts, and emphasis on Jesus’s existence prior to creation in the Gospel of John, are reworked in some second- and third-century Christian literature. Early Christians interpreted and expressed the storylines of Jesus, Mary, and other important figures in ways that created new images and stories. Contributors show the effect of including rhetography, the rhetoric of a text that prompts images and pictures in the mind of a hearer or reader, in interpretation of texts.


    • Readings that attempt to account for the development of richly creative and complicated early Christian traditions
    • Essays bridging New Testament studies and interpretation of Early Christian literature
    • Interpretations that integrate social and rhetorical interpretations

    front cover of Keeping the Feast
    Keeping the Feast
    Metaphors of Sacrifice in 1 Corinthians and Philippians
    Jane Lancaster Patterson
    SBL Press, 2015

    Develop a keener ear for Paul’s rhetorical strategy

    Patterson uses cognitive metaphor theory to trace the apostle Paul’s use of metaphors from the Jewish sacrificial system in his moral counsels to the Philippians and the Corinthians. In these letters, Paul moves from the known (the practice of sacrifice) to the unknown (how to live in accord with the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ). Patterson illustrates that the significant sacrificial metaphors in 1 Corinthians and Philippians are not derived from Jewish sacrifices of atonement, but rather from the Passover and sacrifices of thanksgiving. Attention to these metaphors demonstrates that imagery drawn from these sacrifices shapes the overall moral counsel of the letters, reveals more varied and nuanced interpretations of sacrificial references in Paul’s letters, and sheds light on Paul’s continuity with Jewish cultic practice.


    • Clarification of the strategic function of metaphors as a means of establishing an imaginative framework for ethical deliberation
    • Evidence of Paul’s active processes of theological reflection
    • Exploration of the intertwining of Jewish cultic practice with the rhetoric of moral commitment within early Christian churches

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    Law and Wisdom in the Bible
    David Daube's Gifford Lectures, Volume II
    David Daube
    Templeton Press, 2010

    "That over forty years after they were delivered these famous but unavailable Gifford Lectures should be published is occasion for celebration. Once again we hear Daube’s voice, patient and probing, as he turns over, tests, pushes fresh inquiries, and finds new insights. No man has had such a subtle sense of scriptural texts matched by such a supple sense of the practices and peculiarities of human beings engaged in the legal process. Law and Wisdom in the Bible is classic Daube." mdash;John T. Noonan Jr., United States Circuit Judge

    David Daube (1909–99) was known for his unique and sophisticated research on Roman law, biblical law, Jewish Law, and medical ethics. In Law and Wisdom in the Bible, the first published collection of his 1964 Gifford Lectures, Daube derives from his complex understanding of biblical texts both ancient and contemporary notions about wisdom, justice, and education.

    In addressing these and other profound issues, Daube crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries and bridges the
    gap between humanism and religion, especially with regard to Christianity and Judaism. With his sophisticated understanding of Talmudic law and literature, his thinking, which is on full display in these lectures, revolutionized prevailing perceptions about the New Testament.


    front cover of Legal Writing, Legal Practice
    Legal Writing, Legal Practice
    The Biblical Bailment Law and Divine Justice
    Yael Landman
    SBL Press, 2022
    Prescriptive law writings rarely mirror the ways a society practices law, a fact that raises special problems for the social and legal historian. Through close analysis of the laws of bailment (i.e., temporary safekeeping) in Exodus 22, Yael Landman probes the relationship of law in the biblical law collections and law-in-practice in ancient Israel and exposes a vision of divine justice at the heart of pentateuchal law. Landman further demonstrates that ancient Near Eastern bailment laws continue to influence postbiblical Jewish law. This book advances an approach to the study of biblical law that connects pentateuchal and ancient Near Eastern law collections, biblical narrative and prophecy, and Mesopotamian legal documents and joins philological and comparative analysis with humanistic legal approaches, in order to access how people thought about and practiced law in ancient Israel.

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    Love and Joy
    Law, Language, and Religion in Ancient Israel
    Yochanan Muffs and Thorkild Jacobsen
    Harvard University Press, 1992
    Studying the interplay of figurative language, law, and religious thought, Yochanan Muffs brings us a new understanding of both the Bible and ancient Near Eastern cultures. This first single-volume collection of the pivotal writings of this great religious humanist includes his studies of love and joy as metaphors, the laws of war in ancient Israel, the figurative nature of legal language, the role of the prophet and prophetic speech, and the expressions of belonging which united a culture.

    front cover of Love Between Women
    Love Between Women
    Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism
    Bernadette J. Brooten
    University of Chicago Press, 1996
    Love Between Women examines female homoeroticism and the role of women in the ancient Roman world. Employing an unparalleled range of cultural sources, Brooten finds evidence of marriages between women and establishes that condemnations of female homoerotic practices were based on widespread awareness of love between women.

    "An extraordinary accomplishment. . . . A definitive source for all future discussion of homoeroticism and the Bible."—Mary Rose D'Angelo, Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review

    "[Brooten's] convincing analysis . . . not only profoundly reshapes our understanding of the past, but it should also shape the way in which that past, particularly the early Christian texts with their immense normative weight, will be used for the future."—Anne L. Clark, Journal of Lesbian Studies

    "Love Between Women gives contemporary debates on sexuality a carefully delineated past. It boldly insists upon a different future, one informed by history but not tyrannized by it."—Susan Ackerman, Lambda Book Report

    "Fascinating, provocative and lucid. . . . Brooten has made a fundamental contribution to women's and gender studies, gay and lesbian studies, and classics."—Elizabeth A. Castelli, Women's Review of Books

    Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Studies Book, 1997


    front cover of Mark, Mutuality, and Mental Health
    Mark, Mutuality, and Mental Health
    Encounters with Jesus
    Simon Mainwaring
    SBL Press, 2014

    An incitement to re-assess how society relates to persons with poor mental health

    Mainwaring explores the societal contexts of those who suffer poor mental health, and in particular the relational dynamics of how identity, agency, and dialogue are negotiated in personal encounters. This work seeks to serve as an experiment, such that interested readers might better understand the dynamics of relational power that pervade encounters with persons with poor mental health.


    • Foucauldian analysis of the relational dynamics of poor mental health used to re-imagine hegemonic relational dynamics
    • Close readings of encounters between individual characters to evaluate how mutuality operates in those encounters
    • Study of mutuality as it has emerged in mental health literature, feminist theologies, and theologies of disability

    front cover of Metaphor, Morality, and the Spirit in Romans 8
    Metaphor, Morality, and the Spirit in Romans 8
    William E. W. Robinson
    SBL Press, 2016

    Engage compelling arguments that challenge prominent positions in Pauline studies

    In this innovative book, William E. W. Robinson takes the reader on a journey through Romans 8:1–17 using Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Integration Theory. Robinson delineates the underlying cognitive metaphors, their structure, their function, what they mean, and how Paul’s audiences then and now are able to comprehend their meaning. He examines each metaphor in the light of relevant aspects of the Greco-Roman world and Paul’s Jewish background. Robinson contends that Paul portrays the Spirit as the principal agent in the religious-ethical life of believers. At the same time, his analysis demonstrates that the conceptual metaphors in Romans 8:1–17 convey the integral role of believers in ethical conduct. In the process, he addresses thorny theological issues such as whether Spirit and flesh signal an internal battle within believers or two conflicting ways of life. Finally, Robinson shows how this study is relevant to related Pauline passages and challenges scholars to incorporate these methods into their own investigation of biblical texts.


    • Sustained argument that sheds new light on how Paul communicates with his audiences
    • Substantial contribution to current debates about central theological concepts
    • Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Integration Theory applied to the metaphors in Romans 8:1-17

    front cover of Miracle Discourse in the New Testament
    Miracle Discourse in the New Testament
    Duane F. Watson
    SBL Press, 2012
    This volume explores the rhetorical role that miracle discourse plays in the argumentation of the New Testament and early Christianity. The investigation includes both the rhetoric within miracle discourse and the rhetorical role of miracle discourse as it was incorporated into the larger works in which it is now a part. The volume also examines the social, cultural, religious, political, and ideological associations that miracle discourse had in the first-century Mediterranean world, bringing these insights to bear on the broader questions of early Christian origins. The contributors are L. Gregory Bloomquist, Wendy Cotter, David A. deSilva, Davina C. Lopez, Gail O'Day, Todd Penner, Vernon K. Robbins, and Duane F. Watson.

    front cover of Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions
    Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions
    Exploring Emotions in Biblical Literature
    F. Scott Spencer
    SBL Press, 2017

    A ground-breaking collection exploring the rich array of emotions in biblical literature

    An international team of Hebrew Bible and New Testament scholars offers incisive case studies of passions displayed by divine and human figures in the biblical texts ranging from joy, happiness, and trust to grief, hate, and disgust. Essays address how biblical characters' feelings affect their relationship with God, one another, and the world and how these feelings mix together, for good or ill, for flourishing or vexation. Deeply engaged with both ancient and modern contexts, including the burgeoning interdisciplinary study of emotion in the humanities and sciences, these essays break down the artificial divide between reason and passion, cognition and emotion, thought and feeling in biblical study.


    • Case studies drawn from multiple genres across the Bible: narrative, prophets, poetry, wisdom, Gospels, and letters
    • Helpful select bibliographies of interdisciplinary resources at the end of each essay
    • Critical balance between theory and practice and between method and close textual analysis
    • Distinctive ancient Hebrew and Greek uses of emotional terms and concepts compared with each other and with evolving understandings in Western culture

    front cover of The Mussar Torah Commentary
    The Mussar Torah Commentary
    A Spiritual Path to Living a Meaningful and Ethical Life
    Rabbi Barry H. Block
    Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2020

    front cover of The Old Testament and Christian Spirituality
    The Old Testament and Christian Spirituality
    Theoretical and Practical Essays from a South African P
    Christo Lombaard
    SBL Press, 2012

    An engaging anthology that deals with both theory and practice

    The emerging discipline of biblical spirituality considers how faith finds expression within the biblical texts and how modern expressions of faith interact with those texts. This volume represents Christo Lombaard’s reflective, analytical, and exegetical contributions to the field in order to explore how biblical texts mediate faith, both ancient and contemporary. It reflects on aspects of the interaction of faith and Scripture, critically approaching both dimensions.


    • Seven previously published papers drawn predominately from South African journals
    • Explorations of how biblical texts mediate faith
    • Close examination of the discipline of biblical spirituality as part of spirituality studies

    front cover of On the Six Days of Creation
    On the Six Days of Creation
    Robin St. Gregory of Nyssa
    Catholic University of America Press, 2021
    The first volume of our new series, Fathers of the Church: Shorter Works, will be available in the summer of 2021. This series, to be printed only in paperback format, will offer English translations of treatises, homilies, poems, and letters of the Church Fathers in slim, easily affordable volumes. In this way a multitude of important writings will become accessible to scholars and students as well as the reading public. This is the first complete English translation of St. Gregory of Nyssa’s treatise On the Six Days of Creation (In Hexaemeron). It was probably written in 380-381, and is designed as both a defense and a critique of his recently deceased brother St. Basil’s better known homilies on the creation story as set out in the first chapter of Genesis. At the same time it incorporates Gregory’s own observations on the Genesis text, which reflect his desire to show the consistency between Scripture and the philosophy and natural science of his day A notable feature is Gregory’s presentation of God’s creation of the world as what has been called a “substantification” of God’s own will, creatio ex Deo rather than creatio ex nihilo. Other ideas of his seem interestingly to foreshadow those of modern science, notably his challenge to the idea that matter is a primary ontological category and his theory that the world as we know it developed through a process of “sequence” (akolouthia) from an originally simultaneous creation of everything. Gregory differs from Basil in maintaining that the “waters above the firmament” in Genesis 1 are spiritual rather than physical in nature. He uses a modified form of Aristotle’s theory of elements, together with some interesting observations on geography and meteorology, to construct a detailed and ingenious account of the “water cycle.” This description enables him to refute Basil’s notion that there needs to be an extra supply of physical water above the firmament so that the water lost from earthly seas and rivers through evaporation can be “topped up.”

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    Out of the Whirlwind
    Creation Theology in the Book of Job
    Kathryn Schifferdecker
    Harvard University Press, 2008

    The book of Job is a complex, sophisticated treatment of the problem of undeserved suffering. It is also a sustained meditation on creation, on humanity’s place in creation, and on God’s ordering of creation. In this study, Kathryn Schifferdecker offers a close literary and theological reading of the book of Job—particularly of the speeches of God at the end of the book—in order to articulate its creation theology, which is particularly pertinent in our environmentally-conscious age.

    After all of Job’s agonized questioning, God’s answer does not directly address Job’s questions about undeserved suffering or divine justice. Instead, the divine speeches take Job on a God’s-eye tour of creation in all its beauty and complexity. In extraordinarily detailed and beautiful poetry, the divine speeches show Job that the world is radically non-anthropocentric, that there exist wild places and animals whose value has nothing to do with their usefulness to humanity, and that God delights in the freedom of God’s creatures. This vision of the divine speeches enables Job to move out of despair into renewed participation in God’s often-dangerous but beautiful world.

    This creation theology of Job, virtually unique in the Bible, has much to say to us today, as we struggle theologically and politically with the issues of environmental degradation and humanity’s relationship to the natural world.


    front cover of Paul and the Resurrected Body
    Paul and the Resurrected Body
    Social Identity and Ethical Practice
    Matt O'Reilly
    SBL Press, 2020

    A new reading of Pauline theology, ethics, and eschatology grounded in social-identity theory and sociorhetorical criticism

    Readers often think of Paul’s attitude toward the resurrection of the body in individual terms: a single body raised as the climax of an individual’s salvation. In Paul and the Resurrected Body: Social Identity and Ethical Practice, Matt O’Reilly makes the case that, for Paul, the social dimension of future bodily resurrection is just as important, if not more so. Through a close reading of key texts in the letters to the Corinthians, Romans, and Philippians, O’Reilly argues that resurrection is integral to Paul’s understanding of Christian social identity. In Paul’s theological reasoning, a believer’s hope for the future depends on being identified as part of the people of God who will be resurrected.


    • A clarification of the eschatological basis for Paul’s ethical expectations
    • Exploration of the social significance of Paul’s theological reasoning
    • An integration of ancient rhetorical theory with contemporary social-identity theory

    front cover of Pedagogy in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity
    Pedagogy in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity
    Karina Martin Hogan
    SBL Press, 2017

    Engage fourteen essays from an international group of experts

    There is little direct evidence for formal education in the Bible and in the texts of Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity. At the same time, pedagogy and character formation are important themes in many of these texts. This book explores the pedagogical purpose of wisdom literature, in which the concept of discipline (Hebrew musar) is closely tied to the acquisition of wisdom. It examines how and why the concept of musar came to be translated as paideia (education, enculturation) in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Septuagint), and how the concept of paideia was deployed by ancient Jewish authors writing in Greek. The different understandings of paideia in wisdom and apocalyptic writings of Second Temple Judaism are this book's primary focus. It also examines how early Christians adapted the concept of paideia, influenced by both the Septuagint and Greco-Roman understandings of this concept.


  • A thorough lexical study of the term paideia in the Septuagint
  • Exploration of the relationship of wisdom and Torah in Second Temple Judaism
  • Examination of how Christians developed new forms of pedagogy in competition with Jewish and pagan systems of education
  • [more]

    front cover of Poverty, Law, and Divine Justice in Persian and Hellenistic Judah
    Poverty, Law, and Divine Justice in Persian and Hellenistic Judah
    Johannes Unsok Ro
    SBL Press, 2018

    A view of Persian and Hellenistic Judean communities through theological and socioeconomic lenses

    Johannes Unsok Ro employs philological, historical, and sociological approaches to investigate the close connections between socioeconomic structures, social inequality, and theological developments in the Judean communities in Persian- and Hellenistic-era Palestine. Ro contends that competing points of view from communities of lay returnees, priestly returnees, and communities of resident Judeans and Samaritans were juxtaposed within the Hebrew Bible, which took shape during the postexilic period. By exploring issues such as the relationship between the shaping of the canon and literacy in the Judean community, the term strangers in the biblical law codes, the socioeconomic structures of Judean communities reflected in the biblical law codes, the development of the theological concept of divine punitive justice, the piety of the poor in certain psalms, and the concept of poverty in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ro illustrates that the communities behind each text and its redactions can be ascertained through sociological and theological lenses.


    • Demonstration that a theology of the poor materialized orally among the poor but found written expression among Levites
    • Insight into the socioeconomic and theological concerns of the authorial groups behind various biblical law codes
    • A case that biblical “poverty” sometimes refers to humility and a theologically reflected consciousness of lowliness toward God

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    Priests and Cults in the Book of the Twelve
    Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
    SBL Press, 2016

    Key essays that explore a range of attitudes toward clergy and ritual

    This book discusses the depictions of the cult and its personnel in the twelve prophetic books commonly referred to as the Book of the Twelve or the Minor Prophets. The articles in the volume explore the following questions: How did these prophetic writers envision the priests and the Levites? What did they think about the ritual aspects of ancient Israelite faith, including not only the official temple cult in Jerusalem but also cultic expressions outside the capital? What, in their views, characterized a faithful priest and what should the relationship be between his cultic performance and the ways in which he lived his life? How does the message of each individual author fit in with the wider Israelite traditions? Finally, who were these prophetic authors, in which historical contexts did they live and work, and what stylistic tools did they use to communicate their message?


  • Essays investigate the ways in which key texts in the Book of the Twelve endorse, criticize, seek to reform, or seek to abolish the cult and clergy
  • Articles focus on the books of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi, but include other texts
  • Exploration of how the attitudes towards cult and clergy in these key texts tie in with the attitudes found elsewhere in the Book of the Twelve
  • [more]

    front cover of Prophets Male and Female
    Prophets Male and Female
    Gender and Prophecy in the Hebrew Bible, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the
    Jonathan Stökl
    SBL Press, 2013
    Because gender is an essential component of societies of all times and places, it is no surprise that every prophetic expression in the ancient social world was a gendered one. In this volume scholars of the biblical literature and of the ancient Mediterranean consider a wide array of prophetic phenomena. In addition to prophetic texts of the Hebrew Bible, the essays also look at prophecy in ancient Mesopotamia and early Christianity. Using the most current theoretical categories, the volume demonstrates how essential a broad definition of gender is for understanding its connection to both the delivery and the content of ancient prophecy. Attention to gender dynamics will continue to reveal the fluidity of prophetic gender performance and to open up the ancient contexts of prophetic texts. The contributors are Roland Boer, Corrine Carvalho, Lester L. Grabbe, Anselm C. Hagedorn, Esther J. Hamori, Dale Launderville, Antti Marjanen, Martti Nissinen, Jonathan Stökl, Hanna Tervanotko, and Ilona Zsolnay.

    front cover of Reading Biblical Texts Together
    Reading Biblical Texts Together
    Pursuing Minoritized Biblical Criticism
    Tat-Siong Benny Liew
    SBL Press, 2022

    A solid and suggestive foundation for the future of ethnic-racial minority biblical criticism

    This volume, edited by Tat-siong Benny Liew and Fernando F. Segovia, expands the work begun in They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism (2009) by focusing on specific texts for scholarly engagement and exchange. Essays by scholars of racial/ethnic minoritized criticism of the Bible highlight the various factors and dynamics at play in the formation of power relations within and through four biblical texts: two from the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 21 and 1 Kings 12) and two from the New Testament (John 4 and Revelation 18). Contributors include Ahida Calderón Pilarski, Ronald Charles, Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Lynne St. Clair Darden, Steed Vernyl Davidson, Mary F. Foskett, Jione Havea, Tat-siong Benny Liew, Roberto Mata, Henry W. Morisada Rietz, Raj Nadella, Miranda N. Pillay, David Arthur Sánchez, Timothy J. Sandoval, Fernando F. Segovia, Mitzi J. Smith, Angeline M. G. Song, Linzie M. Treadway, Nasili Vaka’uta, Demetrius K. Williams, and Gale A. Yee. Each essay expands our understandings of minoritization from a global perspective.


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    Remembering and Repeating
    On Milton's Theology and Poetics
    Regina M. Schwartz
    University of Chicago Press, 1993
    In this graceful and compelling book, Regina Schwartz presents a powerful reading of Paradise Lost by tracing the structure of the poem to the pattern of "repeated beginnings" found in the Bible. In both works, the world order is constantly threatened by chaos. By drawing on both the Bible and the more contemporary works of, among others, Freud, Lacan, Ricoeur, Said, and Derrida, Schwartz argues that chaos does not simply threaten order, but rather, chaos inheres in order.

    "A brilliant study that quietly but powerfully recharacterizes many of the contexts of discussion in Milton criticism. Particularly noteworthy is Schwartz's ability to introduce advanced theoretical perspectives without ever taking the focus of attention away from the dynamics and problematics of Milton's poem."—Stanley Fish


    front cover of Resurrection in Paul
    Resurrection in Paul
    Cognition, Metaphor, and Transformation
    Frederick S. Tappenden
    SBL Press, 2016

    Explore the embodied foundations of Paul's resurrection ideals

    It is commonly recognized that Paul's resurrection ideals are bodily ideals, though this dictum is usually configured along literal and metaphorical lines. The realism of future resurrected bodies is disconnected from the metaphoricity of bodily transformation in the present. Drawing on cognitive linguistics, this fresh and innovative study addresses this problem. By eschewing the opposition of metaphor and realism, Tappenden explores the concepts and metaphors Paul uses to fashion notions of resurrection, and the uses to which those notions are put. Rather than asserting resurrection as a disembodied, cognicentric proposition, this book illuminates the body's central role in shaping and grounding the apostle's thought and writings.


    • Close examination of Paul's letters within multiple, interlocking cultural contexts
    • Provides a novel and fresh approach to assessing (in)coherence across the undisputed letters
    • Addresses the materialist nature of early Christian and Judean resurrection ideals without compromising the metaphoricity of those ideals

    front cover of The Sacred Encounter
    The Sacred Encounter
    Jewish Perspectives on Sexuality
    Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, Dphil
    Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2014

    front cover of Seven Days, Many Voices
    Seven Days, Many Voices
    Insights into the Biblical Story of Creation
    Rabbi Benjamin David
    Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2017

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    Singing Moses’s Song
    A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy’s Song of Moses
    Keith A. Stone
    Harvard University Press

    How does performing affect those who perform? Starting from observation of the intergenerational tradition of performing the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32.1–43), Keith Stone explores ways in which the Song contributes to Deuteronomy’s educational program through the dynamics of reenactment that operate in traditions of performance.

    Performers of the Song are transformed as they reenact not only characters within the Song but also those who came before them in the history of the Song’s performance—particularly YHWH and Moses, whom Deuteronomy depicts as that tradition’s founders. In support of this thesis, Stone provides a close reading of the text of the Song as preserved in Deuteronomy and as informed by the account of its origins and subsequent history. He examines how the persona of the performer interacts with these reenacted personas in the moment of performance. He also argues that the various composers of Deuteronomy themselves participated in the tradition of performing the Song, citing examples throughout the book in which certain elements originally found in the Song have been adopted, elaborated, acted out, or simply mimicked.


    front cover of The Social Justice Torah Commentary
    The Social Justice Torah Commentary
    Rabbi Barry H. Block
    Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2021

    front cover of The Struggle over Class
    The Struggle over Class
    Socioeconomic Analysis of Ancient Christian Texts
    G. Anthony Keddie
    SBL Press, 2021

    An interdisciplinary discussion engaging classics, archaeology, religious studies, and the social sciences

    The Struggle over Class brings together scholars from the fields of New Testament and early Christianity to examine Christian texts in light of the category of class. Historically rigorous and theoretically sophisticated, this collection presents a range of approaches to, and applications of, class in the study of the epistles, the gospels, Acts, apocalyptic texts, and patristic literature. Contributors Alicia J. Batten, Alan H. Cadwallader, Cavan W. Concannon, Zeba Crook, James Crossley, Lorenzo DiTommaso, Philip F. Esler, Michael Flexsenhar III, Steven J. Friesen, Caroline Johnson Hodge, G. Anthony Keddie, Jaclyn Maxwell, Christina Petterson, Jennifer Quigley, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Daniëlle Slootjes, and Emma Wasserman challenge both scholars and students to articulate their own positions in the ongoing scholarly struggle over class as an analytical category.


    front cover of They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism
    They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism
    Randall C. Bailey
    SBL Press, 2009

    Critics from three major racial/ethnic minority communities in the United States—African American, Asian American, and Latino/a American—focus on the problematic of race and ethnicity in the Bible and in contemporary biblical interpretation. With keen eyes on both ancient text and contemporary context, contributors pay close attention to how racial/ethnic dynamics intersect with other differential relations of power such as gender, class, sexuality, and colonialism. In groundbreaking interaction, they also consider their readings alongside those of other racial/ethnic minority communities. The volume includes an introduction pointing out the crucial role of this work within minority criticism by looking at its historical trajectory, critical findings, and future directions. The contributors are Cheryl B. Anderson, Francisco O. García-Treto, Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Frank M. Yamada, Gale A. Yee, Jae-Won Lee, Gay L. Byron, Fernando F. Segovia, Randall C. Bailey, Tat-siong Benny Liew, Demetrius K. Williams, Mayra Rivera Rivera, Evelyn L. Parker, and James Kyung-Jin Lee.


    front cover of Transgender, Intersex, and Biblical Interpretation
    Transgender, Intersex, and Biblical Interpretation
    Teresa Hornsby
    SBL Press, 2016

    A call for “trans literacy” within biblical scholarship

    In this volume Hornsby and Guest introduce readers to terms for the various identities of trans people and how the Bible can be an affirmation of those deemed sexually other by communities. This book offers readings of well known (e.g., Gen 1; Revelation) and not so well known (2 Sam 6; Jer 38) narratives to illustrate that the Bible has been translated and interpreted with a bias that makes heterosexuality and a two sex, two gender system natural, and thus divinely ordained. The authors present examples that show gender was never a binary, and in the Bible gender and sex are always dynamic categories that do, and must, transition.


  • Definitions of key terms, including transsexual, transgender, cissexism, heterosexism, intersex, eunuch
  • Critique of how biblical texts are used in Christian positional statements on transsexuality
  • Statistics concerning rates of violence against trans persons
  • [more]

    front cover of Trauma and the Failure of History
    Trauma and the Failure of History
    Kings, Lamentations, and the Destruction of Jerusalem
    David Janzen
    SBL Press, 2019

    A theoretical and exegetical exploration of trauma in the Hebrew Bible

    David Janzen discusses the concepts of history and trauma and contrasts the ways historians and trauma survivors grapple with traumatic events, a contrast embodied in the very different ways the books of Kings and Lamentations react to the destruction of Jerusalem. Janzen’s study warns that explanations in histories will tend to silence the voices of trauma survivors, and it challenges traditional approaches that sometimes portray the explanations of traumatic events in biblical literature as therapeutic for victims.


    • Exploration of history as a narrative explanation that creates a past readers can recognize to be true
    • Examination of how trauma results in a failure of victims to fully experience or remember traumatic events.
    • A case for why the past is a construction of cultures and historians

    front cover of Untold Tales from the Book of Revelation
    Untold Tales from the Book of Revelation
    Sex and Gender, Empire, and Ecology
    Stephen D. Moore
    SBL Press, 2014

    An interlinked collection of essays representing the best of Stephen D. Moore’s groundbreaking scholarship

    This collection of previously published essays is a companion to The Bible in Theory: Critical and Postcritical Essays (2010). Chapters engage postcolonial studies, cultural studies, deconstruction, autobiographical criticism, masculinity studies, queer theory, affect theory, and animality studies—methods Moore believes present unprecedented challenges to the monochrome model of Revelation scholarship based on traditional historical-critical methods.


    • Nine essays on biblical literary criticism including two co-written with Jennifer A. Glancy and Catherine Keller
    • Contextual introductions for each essay
    • Annotated bibliographies

    front cover of Warfare, Ritual, and Symbol in Biblical and Modern Contexts
    Warfare, Ritual, and Symbol in Biblical and Modern Contexts
    Brad E. Kelle
    SBL Press, 2014

    New perspectives on Israelite warfare for biblical studies, military studies, and social theory

    Contributors investigate what constituted a symbol in war, what rituals were performed and their purpose, how symbols and rituals functioned in and between wars and battles, what effects symbols and rituals had on insiders and outsiders, what ways symbols and rituals functioned as instruments of war, and what roles rituals and symbols played in the production and use of texts.


    • Thirteen essays examine war in textual, historical, and social contexts
    • Texts from the Hebrew Bible are read in light of ancient Near Eastern texts and archaeology
    • Interdisciplinary studies make use of contemporary ritual and social theory

    front cover of The Wayfarer's End
    The Wayfarer's End
    Bonaventure and Aquinas on Divine Rewards in Scripture and Sacred Doctrine
    Shawn M. Colberg
    Catholic University of America Press, 2020
    The Wayfarer’s End follows the human person’s journey to union with God in the theologies of Saint Bonaventure and Saint Thomas Aquinas. It argues that these seminal thinkers of the 13th Century emphasize scriptural notions of divine rewards as ordering principles for the graced movement of human viators to eternal life. Divine rewards emerge as a fundamental category through the study’s emphasis on Thomas and Bonaventure as scriptural commentators and preachers whose work in sacra pagina structures the content of their sacra doctrina. Shawn Colberg places Bonaventure’s and Aquinas’s scriptural, dogmatic, and polemical works into conversation and illumines their mutually edifying depictions of the way to eternal life. Looking to the journey itself, The Wayfarer’s End demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the roles played by God and human beings in the movement to full beatitude. To that end, it explores the relationships between grace and human nature, the effects of sin on the human person, the vital themes of predestination, conversion, perseverance, and the place of “reward-worthy” human action within the overall movement toward union with God. While St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas both stress the priority of grace and divine action for the journey, the study also illustrates their distinct frameworks for human action, unpacking Bonaventure’s preference for the language of acceptatio versus Thomas’s emphasis on ordinatio. This difference inflects their language of rewards, their exposition of scripture, and the scope of free human action in the movement to union with God. This study places the two most seminal theologians of the 13th Century into conversation on central and enduring topics of Christian life. Such a comparative study has been sorely lacking in the field of studies on Aquinas and Bonaventure. It offers insight to those interested in high scholastic thought, Franciscan and Dominican understandings of human salvation, and Thomist and Franciscan theology as it pertains to questions of the Reformation, including biblical exegesis on justification and sanctification. Above all, the study appreciates and foregrounds the richness of Bonaventure’s and Aquinas’s vocations: mendicant theologians concerned to share the fruits of contemplation with fellow friars and others seeking the goal of the wayfarer’s end.

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    What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?
    Timaeus and Genesis in Counterpoint
    Jaroslav Pelikan
    University of Michigan Press, 1997
    The debate about evolution and creationism is striking evidence of the tensions between biblical and philosophical-scientific explanations of the origins of the universe. For most of the past twenty centuries, important historical context for the debate has been supplied by the relation (or "counterpoint") between two monumental texts: Plato's Timaeus and the Book of Genesis.
    In What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem?, Jaroslav Pelikan examines the origins of this counterpoint. He reviews the central philosophical issues of origins as posed in classical Rome by Lucretius, and he then proceeds to an examination of Timaeus and Genesis, with Timaeus' Plato representing Athens and Genesis' Moses representing Jerusalem. He then follows the three most important case studies of the counterpoint--in the Jewish philosophical theology of Alexandria, in the Christian thought of Constantinople, and in the intellectual foundations of the Western Middles Ages represented by Catholic Rome, where Timaeus would be the only Platonic dialogue in general circulation.
    Whatever Plato may have intended originally in writing Timaeus, it has for most of the intervening period been read in the light of Genesis. Conversely, Genesis has been known, not in the original Hebrew, but in Greek and Latin translations that were seen to bear a distinct resemblance to one another and to the Latin version of Timaeus. Pelikan's study leads to original findings that deal with Christian doctrine in the period of the church fathers, including the Three Cappadocians (Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa) in the East, and in the West, Ambrose, Augustine, and Boethius. All of these vitally important authors addressed the problem of the "counterpoint," and neither they nor these primary texts can become fully intelligible without attention to the central issues being explored here.
    What Has Athens to Do with Jerusalem? will be of interest to historians, theologians, and philosophers and to anyone with interest in any of the religious traditions addressed herein.

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    Wisdom, Christology, and Law in Matthew's Gospel
    M. Jack Suggs
    Harvard University Press, 1970

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    With All Thine Heart
    Love and the Bible
    Stavans, Ilan
    Rutgers University Press, 2010
    Is the Bible actually a love story between a deity and a people? And what does this love story have to do with the modern world? In With All Thine Heart distinguished cultural critic Ilan Stavans speaks to freelance writer Mordecai Drache about love in the Bible.

    Presented in an engaging, conversational format and touched with striking artwork, the textured dialogue between Stavans and Drache is meant to show how the Bible is a multidimensional text and one that, when considered over the course of history, still has the power to shape our world. The theme of love provides the connective tissue that binds this work.

    Addressing a wide range of topics, from biblical archaeology and fundamentalism to Hollywood movies, lexicography, and the act of praying, With All Thine Heart suggests that the Hebrew Bible is a novel worth decoding patiently, such as one does with classics like Don Quixote de la Mancha, In Search of Lost Time, and Anna Karenina.  Similar to the protagonists in these tales, biblical characters, although not shaped with the artistic nuance of modern literature, allow for astonishing insight. This exploration of love through the pages of the Bible—organized chronologically from Genesis to Exodus and followed by insightful meditations on the Song of Songs and the Book of Job—is a  delightful intellectual and spiritual treat . . . Shema Ysrael!

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    Women at Work in the Deuteronomistic History
    Mercedes L. García Bachmann
    SBL Press, 2013

    A thorough study of the socio-economic and literary contexts of women in the Deuteronomistic History

    Mercedes L. García Bachmann examines the key texts in the Deuteronomistic History that mention women in service occupations: slaves and dependents, cooks, wet nurses, childcare givers, prostitutes, and scribes. The mostly anonymous women who performed this work for others are sometimes mentioned only in a single verse. Consequently, they often are as unrecognized in modern scholarship as they seem in the biblical text. García Bachmann shows that these women were honored not in relation to matters such as sexual purity or marital faithfulness but on account of the valuable service that they provided.

    • A close examination of unnamed women
    • A review of previous work in feminist, ancient Near Eastern, biblical, and social-scientific studies
    • Extensive coverage of Hebrew terms used for women workers

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    Worship, Women and War
    Essays in Honor of Susan Niditch
    John J. Collins
    SBL Press, 2015

    Celebrate the career of an inspirational scholar and teacher concerned with revealing voices from the margins

    This volume of essays honors Susan Niditch, author of War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence (1993), “My Brother Esau Is a Hairy Man”: Hair and Identity in Ancient Israel (2008), and most recently, The Responsive Self: Personal Religion in Biblical Literature of the Neo-Babylonian and Persian Periods (forthcoming), among other influential publications. Essays touch on topics such as folklore, mythology, and oral history, Israelite religion, ancient Judaism, warfare, violence, and gender.


    • Essays from nineteen scholars, all experts in their fields
    • Exploration of texts from Mesopotamia, the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament
    • Bibliography of Niditch's scholarly contributions

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