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Allusive Soundplay in the Hebrew Bible
Jonathan G. Kline
SBL Press, 2016

The first study to focus exclusively on the use in the Hebrew Bible of soundplay to allude to and interpret earlier literary traditions

This book focuses on the way the biblical writers used allusive soundplay to construct theological discourse, that is, in service of their efforts to describe the nature of God and God's relationship to humanity. By showing that a variety of biblical books contain examples of allusive soundplay employed for this purpose, Kline demonstrates that this literary device played an important role in the growth of the biblical text as a whole and in the development of ancient Israelite and early Jewish theological traditions.


  • Demonstrates that allusive soundplay was a productive compositional technique in ancient Israel
  • Identifies examples of innerbiblical allusion that have not been identified before
  • A robust methodology for identifying soundplay in innerbiblical allusions

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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 specific legal norms to concentrate on what the 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 from them and with them about legal dilemmas today. 

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Editorial Techniques in the Hebrew Bible
Toward a Refined Literary Criticism
Reinhard Müller
SBL Press, 2022

Editorial Techniques in the Hebrew Bible: Toward a Refined Literary Criticism presents and applies a model for understanding and reconstructing the diachronic development of the Hebrew Bible through historical criticism (or the historical-critical method). Reinhard Müller and Juha Pakkala refine the methodologies of literary and redaction criticism through a systematic investigation of the evidence of additions, omissions, replacements, and transpositions that are documented by divergent ancient textual traditions. At stake is not only historical criticism but also the Hebrew Bible as a historical source, for historical criticism has been and continues to be the only method to unwind those scribal changes that left no traces in textual variants.


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Eternally Eve
Images of Eve in the Hebrew Bible, Midrash, and Modern Jewish Poetry
Anne Lapidus Lerner
University Press of New England, 2007
The biblical accounts of Eve's life are central to Western culture, occupying a privileged place in our literature and art, culture, and society. For both Judaism and Christianity, these stories involving Eve have for centuries been entangled with the religious and social construction of gender. The ambiguous biblical record of her life from the two versions of her creation, through her encounter with the forbidden fruit, to her expulsion from Eden, and followed by the tantalizing glimpses of her life in the real world has served through the ages as a mirror of commonly held views about women. For Jewish readers, Eve's role as metonym -- signifying womanhood, or Jewish womanhood, as a whole -- is of prime importance. By tracing the imagined character of Eve from ancient times to the present, Eternally Eve opens a window on the transmission and persistence of cultural and social values. Eternally Eve takes as its subject the many ways these stories can be read, interpreting the biblical narratives as well as their iteration by rabbinic midrashists and modern poets. Anne Lapidus Lerner argues that we must set aside, or at least rethink, a series of assumptions about Eve that have been dominant in Jewish thought for centuries and instead return to the original texts to rediscover meanings implicit in them. Using modern poetry about Eve as a touchstone for reinterpreting older texts, Lerner discovers that Genesis is often more open to contemporary values than are later rabbinic texts. Linking sacred texts to works of the classical and modern imagination, Lerner restores to her sources meanings suppressed or neglected over many years and demonstrates their power to speak today.

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Evidence of Editing
Growth and Change of Texts in the Hebrew Bible
Reinhard Müller
SBL Press, 2014

A new perspective on editorial activity in the Hebrew Bible for research and teaching

Evidence of Editing lays out the case for substantial and frequent editorial activity within the Hebrew Bible. The authors show how editors omitted, expanded, rewrote, and compiled both smaller and larger phrases and passages to address religious and political change. The book refines the exegetical method of literary and redaction criticism, and its results have important consequences for the future use of the Hebrew Bible in historical and theological studies.


  • Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic examples of editorial activity
  • Clear explanations of the distinctions between textual, literary, and redaction criticism
  • Fifteen chapters attesting to continual editorial activity in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings

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The Hebrew Bible and Philosophy of Religion
Jaco Gericke
SBL Press, 2012
This study pioneers the use of philosophy of religion in the study of the Hebrew Bible. After identifying the need for a legitimate philosophical approach to Israelite religion, the volume traces the history of interdisciplinary relations and shows how descriptive varieties of philosophy of religion can aid the clarification of the Hebrew Bible’s own metaphysical, epistemological, and moral assumptions. Two new interpretative methodologies are developed and subsequently applied through an introduction to what the biblical texts took for granted about the nature of religious language, the concept of deity, the properties of Yhwh, the existence of gods, religious epistemology, and the relation between religion and morality.

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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

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Interested Readers
Essays on the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David J.A. Clines
James K. Aitken
SBL Press, 2013
Readers of the Hebrew Bible are interested readers, bringing their own perspectives to the text. The essays in this volume, written by friends and colleagues who have drawn inspiration from and shown interest in the scholarship of David Clines, engage with his work through examining interpretations of the Hebrew Bible in areas of common exploration: literary/exegetical readings, ideological-critical readings, language and lexicography, and reception history. The contributors are James K. Aitken, Jacques Berlinerblau, Daniel Bodi, Roland Boer, Athalya Brenner, Mark G. Brett, Marc Zvi Brettler, Craig C. Broyles, Philip P. Chia, Jeremy M. S. Clines, Adrian H. W. Curtis, Katharine J. Dell, Susan E. Gillingham, Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher, Edward L. Greenstein, Mayer I. Gruber, Norman C. Habel, Alan J. Hauser, Jan Joosten, Paul J. Kissling, Barbara M. Leung Lai, Diana Lipton, Christl M. Maier, Heather A. McKay, Frank H. Polak, Jeremy Punt, Hugh S. Pyper, Deborah W. Rooke, Eep Talstra, Laurence A. Turner, Stuart Weeks, Gerald O. West, and Ian Young.

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La Violencia and the Hebrew Bible
The Politics and Histories of Biblical Hermeneutics on the America
Susanne Scholz
SBL Press, 2016

Exegetically noteworthy and culturally-theologically relevant

Violence in its wide range of horrifying expressions is real in people’s lives, and biblical interpreters must take violence in the world seriously to arrive at relevant ideas about the place of the Bible in the world. Each essay addresses people’s experiences of violence in the study of the Bible through the context of la violencia, the Spanish noun referring to the brutal, repressive, and murderous policies of state-sponsored violence practiced in many South and Central American and Caribbean countries during the twentieth century that external powers such as the USA often endorsed and fostered. The volume represents an important contribution to biblical studies and to the field of Latina/o studies. The contributors are Cheryl B. Anderson, Pablo Andiñach, Nancy Bedford, Lee Cuéllar, Steed V. Davidson, Serge Frolov, Renata Furst, Julia M. O’Brien, Todd Penner, José Enrique Ramírez, Ivoni Richter Reimer, and Susanne Scholz.


  • Twelve essays by scholars living and working on the American continent
  • Articles reveal the complex historical, political, and cultural conditions on the American continent that have contributed to our understanding of violence in the Bible
  • Focus on themes of racial, social, and cultural violence

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Postcolonialism and the Hebrew Bible
The Next Step
Roland Boer
SBL Press, 2013
This volume returns to where initial interest in postcolonial biblical criticism began: the Hebrew Bible. It does so not to celebrate the significant achievements of postcolonial analysis over the last few decades but to ask what the next step might be. In these essays, established and newer scholars, many from the interstices of global scholarship, discuss specific texts, neo/post/colonial situations, and theoretical issues. Moving from the Caribbean to Greenland, from Ezra-Nehemiah to the Gibeonites, this collection seeks out new territory, new questions, and possibly some new answers. The contributors are Roland Boer, Steed Davidson, Richard Horsley, Uriah Y. Kim, Judith McKinlay, Johnny Miles, Althea Spencer-Miller, Leo Perdue, Christina Petterson, Joerg Rieger, and Gerald West.

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Prophecy and Gender in the Hebrew Bible
L. Juliana Claassens
SBL Press, 2021

Multifaceted insights into female life in prophetic contexts

Both prophets and prophetesses shared God’s divine will with the people of Israel, yet the voices of these women were often forgotten due to later prohibitions against women teaching in public. This latest volume of the Bible and Women series focuses on the intersection of gender and prophecy in the Former Prophets (Joshua to 2 Kings) as well as in the Latter Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. Essays examine how women appear in the iconography of the ancient world, the historical background of the phenomenon of prophecy, political and religious resistance by women in the biblical text, and gender symbolism and constructions in prophetic material as well as the metaphorical discourse of God. Contributors Michaela Bauks, Athalya Brenner-Idan, Ora Brison, L. Juliana Claassens, Marta García Fernández, Irmtraud Fischer, Maria Häusl, Rainer Kessler, Nancy C. Lee, Hanne Løland Levinson, Christl M. Maier, Ilse Müllner, Martti Nissinen, Ombretta Pettigiani, Ruth Poser, Benedetta Rossi, Silvia Schroer, and Omer Sergi draw insight into the texts from a range of innovative gender-oriented approaches.


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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.

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Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible
Karel van der Toorn
Harvard University Press, 2009

We think of the Hebrew Bible as the Book--and yet it was produced by a largely nonliterate culture in which writing, editing, copying, interpretation, and public reading were the work of a professional elite. The scribes of ancient Israel are indeed the main figures behind the Hebrew Bible, and in this book Karel van der Toorn tells their story for the first time. His book considers the Bible in very specific historical terms, as the output of the scribal workshop of the Second Temple active in the period 500-200 BCE. Drawing comparisons with the scribal practices of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, van der Toorn clearly details the methods, the assumptions, and the material means of production that gave rise to biblical texts; then he brings his observations to bear on two important texts, Deuteronomy and Jeremiah.

Traditionally seen as the copycats of antiquity, the scribes emerge here as the literate elite who held the key to the production as well as the transmission of texts. Van der Toorn's account of scribal culture opens a new perspective on the origins of the Hebrew Bible, revealing how the individual books of the Bible and the authors associated with them were products of the social and intellectual world of the scribes. By taking us inside that world, this book yields a new and arresting appreciation of the Hebrew Scriptures.


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Scribal Memory and Word Selection
Text Criticism of the Hebrew Bible
Raymond F. Person Jr.
SBL Press, 2023

What were ancient scribes doing when they copied a manuscript of a literary work? This question is especially problematic when we realize that ancient scribes preserved different versions of the same literary texts. In Scribal Memory and Word Selection: Text Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Raymond F. Person Jr. draws from studies of how words are selected in everyday conversation to illustrate that the same word-selection mechanisms were at work in scribal memory. Using examples from manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, Person provides new ways of understanding the cognitive-linguistic mechanisms at work during the composition/transmission of texts. Person reveals that, while our modern perspective may consider textual variants to be different literary texts, from the perspective of the ancient scribes and their audiences, these variants could still be understood as the same literary text.


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Second Wave Intertextuality and the Hebrew Bible
Marianne Grohmann
SBL Press, 2019

An innovative collection of inner-biblical, intertextual, and intercontextual dialogues

Essays from a diverse group of scholars offer new approaches to biblical intertextuality that examine the relationship between the Hebrew Bible, art, literature, sociology, and postcolonialism. Eight essays in part 1 cover inner-biblical intertextuality, including studies of Genesis, Judges, and Qoheleth, among others. The eight postbiblical intertextuality essays in part 2 explore Bakhtinian and dialogical approaches, intertextuality in the Dead Sea Scrolls, canonical critisicm, reception history, and #BlackLivesMatter. These essays on various genres and portions of the Hebrew Bible showcase how, why, and what intertextuality has been and presents possible potential directions for future research and application.


  • Diverse methods and cases of intertextuality
  • Rich examples of hermeneutical theory and interpretive applications
  • Readings of biblical texts as mutual dialogues, among the authors, traditions, themes, contexts, and lived worlds

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Steps to a New Edition of the Hebrew Bible
Ronald Hendel
SBL Press, 2016

Understand the purpose and background of the new The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition project

Our understanding of the textual history of the Hebrew Bible has been transformed in the wake of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hendel explores and refines this new knowledge and formulates a rationale for a new edition of the Hebrew Bible. The chapters situate The Hebrew Bible; A Critical Edition project in a broad historical context, from the beginnings of textual criticism in late antiquity and the Renaissance to the controversies in contemporary theory and practice. This book combines close analysis with broad synthesis, yielding new perspectives on the text of the Hebrew Bible.

  • Theory and practice of textual criticism
  • Textual history of the Hebrew Bible
  • History of text-critical scholarship

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Supplementation and the Study of the Hebrew Bible
Saul M. Olyan
SBL Press, 2018

Explore the role supplementation played in the development of the Hebrew Bible

This new volume includes ten original essays that demonstrate clearly how common, varied, and significant the phenomenon of supplementation in the Hebrew Bible is. Contributors examine instances of supplementation ranging from minor additions to aid pronunciation, to fill in abbreviations, or to clarify ambiguous syntax to far more elaborate changes, such as interpolations within a work of prose, in a prophetic text, or in a legal text. Scholars also examine supplementation by the addition of an introduction, a conclusion, or an introductory and concluding framework to a particular lyrical, legal, prophetic, or narrative text.


  • A contribution to the further development of a panbiblical compositional perspective
  • Examples from Psalms, the pentateuchal narratives, the Deuteronomistic History, the Latter Prophets, and legal texts
  • [more]

    front cover of Theology of the Hebrew Bible, Volume 1
    Theology of the Hebrew Bible, Volume 1
    Methodological Studies
    Marvin A. Sweeney
    SBL Press, 2019

    Diverse approaches to biblical theology

    This volume presents a collection of studies on the methodology for conceiving the theological interpretation of the Hebrew Bible among Jews and Christians as well as the treatment of key issues such as creation, the land of Israel, and divine absence. Contributors include Georg Fischer, SJ, David Frankel, Benjamin J. M. Johnson, Soo J. Kim, Wonil Kim, Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Julia M. O’Brien, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Marvin A. Sweeney, and Andrea L. Weiss.


    • Examination of metaphor, repentance, and shame in the presence of God
    • Ten essays addressing the nature of biblical theology from a Jewish, Christian, or critical perspective
    • Discussion of the changes that have taken place in the field of biblical theology since World War II

    front cover of The Torah/Law Is a Journey
    The Torah/Law Is a Journey
    Using Cognitive and Culturally Oriented Linguistics to Interpret and Translate Metaphors in the Hebrew Bible
    Ivana Procházková
    Karolinum Press, 2022
    An analysis of metaphor in the legal texts of the Old Testament using the tools of cognitive and cultural linguistics.
    The Old Testament is rich in metaphor. Metaphorical expressions appear not only in places where you might expect them, like the poetic verses, but also in the legal texts. They appear in the preambles to collections of laws, in their final summaries, in general considerations on compliance with and violation of the law, in texts concerning the meaning of the law, and those dealing with topics now reserved for legal theory and legal philosophy. These metaphorical expressions reveal how the authors of the relevant Torah/Law texts understood their function in society and what the society of the time preferred in the law.

    Anchored in cognitive and cultural linguistics, The Torah/Law Is a Journey investigates Hebrew metaphorical expressions concerning the key Old Testament concept of Torah/Law. Ivana Procházková identifies Hebrew conceptual metaphors and explicates the metaphorical expressions. She also uses cognitive linguistic analysis to look at modern translations of selected metaphorical expressions into Czech and English. Procházková closes with an analysis of the metaphors used in the Council of Europe publication Compass: Manual for Human Rights Education with Young People to conceptualize human rights.

    front cover of Valuable and Vulnerable
    Valuable and Vulnerable
    Children in the Hebrew Bible, especially the Elisha Cycle
    Julie Faith Parker
    SBL Press, 2013
    Just as women in the Bible have been overlooked for much of interpretative history, children in the Bible have fascinating and compelling stories that scholars have largely ignored. This groundbreaking book focuses on children in the Hebrew Bible. The author argues that the biblical writers recognized children as different from adults and used these ideas to shape their stories. She provides conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding children and childhood, and examines Hebrew terms related to children and youth. The book introduces a new methodology of childist interpretation and applies it to the Elisha cycle (2 Kings 2-8), which contains forty-nine child characters. Combining literary insights with social-scientific evidence, the author demonstrates that children play critical roles in the world of the text as well as the culture that produced it.

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