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Alfred Loisy and Modern Biblical Studies
Jeffrey L. Morrow
Catholic University of America Press, 2019
The French Catholic priest and biblical scholar Alfred Loisy (1857-1940) was at the heart of the Roman Catholic Modernist crisis in the early part of the twentieth century. He saw much of his work as an attempt to bring John Henry Newman’s notion of development of doctrine into the realm of Catholic biblical studies, and thereby transform Catholic theology. This volume situates Loisy’s better known works on the New Testament and theology in the context of his lesser known work in Assyriology and Old Testament studies. His early training in Assyriology taught Loisy a comparative historical approach to studying ancient texts, in addition to providing him the requisite training in ancient Near Eastern languages and literature. Loisy built upon this Assyriological foundation with his historical critical work in biblical studies, first in the Old Testament. In his biblical scholarship, Loisy combined the then current trends of historical biblical criticism with his more comparative approach. Prior to his excommunication in 1908, Loisy attempted in his more popular writings to defend the inclusion of historical biblical criticism in the repertoire of Catholic biblical interpretation. He saw this as an important step in reforming Catholic theology. The Modernist crisis set the stage for the major debates that would occur in the Catholic theological world for more than a century. The controversy over Modernism became one important conflict that helped pave the way for the Second Vatican Council. The issues raised during Loisy’s time, remain contested today. Examining how Loisy approached biblical studies helps readers better understand his overall work, and the place it played in the pivotal intellectual turmoil of his day.
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The Ancient Martyrdom Accounts of Peter and Paul
David L. Eastman
SBL Press, 2015

New English translations based upon the most up-to-date critical editions

This book for the first time collects the various ancient accounts of the martydoms of Peter and Paul, which number more than a dozen, along with more than forty references to the martyrdoms from early Christian literature. At last a more complete picture of the traditions about the deaths of Peter and Paul is able to emerge.

Features:

  • Greek, Latin, and Syriac accounts from antiquity translated into English
  • Introductions and notes for each text
  • Original texts are produced on facing pages for specialists
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Archaeology, History, and Formation of Identity in Ancient Israel
Filip Capek
Karolinum Press, 2023
A critical examination of the history of Israel.

When did Israel begin? The origins of ancient Israel are shrouded in mystery, and those hoping to explore the issue must utilize resources from three different fields—archaeology, epigraphy, and biblical texts—and then examine their interrelations while keeping in mind that the name Israel was not used to describe just one state but referred to numerous entities at different times.

Archaeology, History, and Formation of Identity in Ancient Israel provides a critical reading of Israel’s history. It is neither a harmonizing reading, which takes the picture painted by texts as a given fact, nor a reading supporting biblical texts with archaeological and epigraphic data; instead, it offers the reader multiple options to understand biblical narratives on a historical and theological level. In addition to presenting the main currents in the field, the book draws upon the latest discoveries from Czech-Israeli excavations to offer new hypotheses and reconstructions based on the interdisciplinary dialogue between biblical studies, archaeology, and history.
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Bearing False Witness
Debunking Centuries of Anti-Catholic History
Rodney Stark
Templeton Press, 2016

As we all know and as many of our well-established textbooks have argued for decades, the Inquisition was one of the most frightening and bloody chapters in Western history; Pope Pius XII was anti-Semitic and rightfully called “Hitler’s Pope,” the Dark Ages were stunting the progress of knowledge to be redeemed only by the secular spirit of the Enlightenment. The religious Crusades were an early example of the rapacious Western thirst for riches and power. But what if these long held beliefs were all wrong?

In this stunning, powerful, and ultimately persuasive book, Rodney Stark, one of the most highly regarded sociologists of religion and bestselling author of The Rise of Christianity (HarperSanFrancisco 1997), argues that some of our most firmly held ideas about history, ideas that paint the Catholic Church in the least favorable light are, in fact, fiction. Why have we held these wrongheaded ideas so firmly and for so long? And if our beliefs are wrong, what is the truth?

In each chapter, Stark takes on a well-established anti-Catholic myth, gives a fascinating history of how each myth became conventional wisdom and presents a startling picture of the real truth. For example, instead of the Spanish Inquisition being an anomaly of torture and murder of innocent people persecuted for “imaginary” crimes such as witchcraft and blasphemy, Stark argues that not only did the Spanish Inquisition spill very little blood, but it was a major force in support of moderation and justice.

Stark dispels the myth of Pope Pius XII being apathetic or even helpful to the Nazi movement, such as to merit the title “Hitler’s Pope,” and instead shows that the campaign to link Pope Pius XII to Hitler was initiated by the Soviet Union, presumably in hopes of neutralizing the Vatican in post-World War II affairs. Many praised Pope Pius XIIs vigorous and devoted efforts to saving Jewish lives during the war.

Instead of understanding the Dark Ages as a millennium of ignorance and backwardness inspired by the Catholic Church’s power, Stark argues that the whole notion of the “Dark Ages” was an act of pride perpetuated by anti-religious intellectuals who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of “Enlightenment.”

In the end, readers of Bearing False Witness will have a more accurate history of the Catholic Church and will also understand why it became unfairly maligned for so long. Bearing False Witness is a compelling and sobering account of how egotism and ideology often work together to give us a false truth.

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Bible and Transformation
The Promise of Intercultural Bible Reading
Hans de Wit
SBL Press, 2015

Engage the delightful and inspiring, sometimes rough and rocky road to inclusive and transformative Bible reading

This book offers the results of research within a new area of discipline—empirical hermeneutics in intercultural perspective. The book includes interpretations from the homeless in Amsterdam, to Indonesia, from African Xhosa readers to Norway, to Madagascar, American youths, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic.

Features:

  • Interpretations from ordinary readers in more than twenty-five countries
  • Background introduction with history of the text
  • Discussion of intertextual connections with Greco-Roman authors
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Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity
An Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanite
Ann E. Killebrew
SBL Press, 2005
Ancient Israel did not emerge within a vacuum but rather came to exist alongside various peoples, including Canaanites, Egyptians, and Philistines. Indeed, Israel’s very proximity to these groups has made it difficult—until now—to distinguish the archaeological traces of early Israel and other contemporary groups. Through an analysis of the results from recent excavations in light of relevant historical and later biblical texts, this book proposes that it is possible to identify these peoples and trace culturally or ethnically defined boundaries in the archaeological record. Features of late second-millennium B.C.E. culture are critically examined in their historical and biblical contexts in order to define the complex social boundaries of the early Iron Age and reconstruct the diverse material world of these four peoples. Of particular value to scholars, archaeologists, and historians, this volume will also be a standard reference and resource for students and other readers interested in the emergence of early Israel.
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Caring for the Dead in Ancient Israel
Kerry M. Sonia
SBL Press, 2020

A new reconstruction of cultic practices surrounding death in ancient Israel

In Caring for the Dead in Ancient Israel, Kerry M. Sonia examines the commemoration and care for the dead in ancient Israel against the broader cultural backdrop of West Asia. This cult of dead kin, often referred to as ancestor cult, comprised a range of ritual practices in which the living provided food and drink offerings, constructed commemorative monuments, invoked the names of the dead, and protected their remains. This ritual care negotiated the ongoing relationships between the living and the dead and, in so doing, helped construct social, political, and religious landscapes in relationship to the past. Sonia explores the nature of this cult of dead kin in ancient Israel, focusing on its role within the family and household as well as its relationship to Israel’s national deity and the Jerusalem temple.

Features:

  • A reevaluation of whether burial and necromantic rituals were part of the cult of dead kin
  • A portrait of the various roles Israelite women played in the cult of dead kin
  • A reassessment of biblical writers’ attitudes toward the cult of dead kin
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Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions
Methodological Encounters and Debates
Martti Nissinen
SBL Press, 2024
This volume presents the work of the international, interdisciplinary research project Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions (CSTT), whose members focused on cultural, ideological, and material changes in the period when the sacred traditions of the Hebrew Bible were created, transmitted, and transformed. Specialists in the textual study of the Hebrew and Greek Bibles, archaeology, Assyriology, and history, working across their fields of expertise, trace how changes occurred in biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts and traditions. Contributors Tero Alstola, Anneli Aejmelaeus , Rick Bonnie, Francis Borchardt, George J. Brooke, Cynthia Edenburg, Sebastian Fink, Izaak J. deHulster , Patrik Jansson, Jutta Jokiranta, Tuukka Kauhanen, Gina Konstantopoulos, Lauri Laine, Michael C. Legaspi, Christoph Levin, Ville Mäkipelto, Reinhard Müller, Martti Nissinen, Jessi Orpana, Juha Pakkala, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Christian Seppänen, Jason M. Silverman, Saana Svärd, Timo Tekoniemi, Hanna Tervanotko, Joanna Töyräänvuori, and Miika Tucker demonstrate that rigorous yet respectful debate results in a nuanced and complex understanding of how ancient texts developed.
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The Community Rule
A Critical Edition with Translation
Sarianna Metso
SBL Press, 2019

An authoritative critical edition

The discovery and translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls transformed our understanding of the life and history of ancient Jewish communities when both rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity were emerging. As part of this rich discovery, the Community Rule serves to illuminate the religious beliefs and practices as well as the organizational rules of the group behind the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, there is no single, unified text of the Community Rule; rather, multiple manuscripts of the Community Rule show considerable variation and highlight the work of ancient Jewish scribes and their intentional literary development of the text. In this volume, Sarianna Metso brings together the surviving evidence in a new edition that presents a critically established Hebrew text with an introduction and an English translation.

Features:

  • A critical apparatus and textual notes
  • All the surviving evidence of the Community Rule
  • A new method for presenting complex developments and transmission history of ancient texts
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Constructing Antichrist
Paul, Biblical Commentary, and the Development of Doctrine in the Early Middle Ages
Kevin L. Hughes
Catholic University of America Press, 2005
Constructing Antichrist engages readers with the question: what does Paul have to do with the Antichrist? Integrating new scholarship in apocalypticism and the history of exegesis, this book is the first longitudinal study of the role of Paul in apocalyptic thought
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Contextualizing Israel's Sacred Writings
Ancient Literacy, Orality, and Literary Production
Brian B. Schmidt
SBL Press, 2015

An essential resource exploring orality and literacy in the pre-Hellenistic southern Levant and the Hebrew Bible

Situated historically between the invention of the alphabet, on the one hand, and the creation of ancient Israel's sacred writings, on the other, is the emergence of literary production in the ancient Levant. In this timely collection of essays by an international cadre of scholars, the dialectic between the oral and the written, the intersection of orality with literacy, and the advent of literary composition are each explored as a prelude to the emergence of biblical writing in ancient Israel. Contributors also examine a range of relevant topics including scripturalization, the compositional dimensions of orality and textuality as they engage biblical poetry, prophecy, and narrative along with their antecedents, and the ultimate autonomy of the written in early Israel. The contributors are James M. Bos, David M. Carr, André Lemaire, Robert D. Miller II, Nadav Na'aman, Raymond F. Person Jr., Frank H. Polak, Christopher A. Rollston, Seth L. Sanders, Joachim Schaper, Brian B. Schmidt, William M. Schniedewind, Elsie Stern, and Jessica Whisenant.

Features

  • Addresses questions of literacy and scribal activity in the Levant and Negev
  • Articles examine memory, oral tradition, and text criticism
  • Discussion of the processes of scripturalization
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The Craft of History and the Study of the New Testament
Beth M. Sheppard
SBL Press, 2012
Do professional historians and New Testament scholars use the same methods to explore the past? This interdisciplinary textbook introduces students of the New Testament to the vocabulary and methods employed by historians. It discusses various approaches to historiography and demonstrates their applicability for interpreting the New Testament text and exploring its background. Overviews of the philosophy of history, common historical fallacies, and the basics of historiography are followed by three exegetical studies that illustrate the applicability of various historical methods for New Testament interpretation.
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The Dead Sea Scrolls in Scholarly Perspective
A History of Research
Devorah Dimant
SBL Press, 2016

Now in paperback!

The volume covers Qumran scholarship in separate countries: the USA, Canada, Israel, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Italy, and Eastern Europe. Each essay carries a detailed bibliography for the respective country. Biographies of all the major scholars active in the field are briefly given as well. This book thereby exhaustively surveys past and present Qumran research, outlining its particular development in various circumstances and national contexts. For the first time, perspectives and information not recorded in any other publication are highlighted.

Features:

  • Paperback format of an essential Brill resource
  • Twenty-seven articles by twenty-six of the top scholars in the field
  • Contributions represent the work of more than sixty years of scholarly research
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    Deuteronomy-Kings as Emerging Authoritative Books
    A Conversation
    Diana V. Edelman
    SBL Press, 2014

    Explore how the past came to address the present and the future and why it became important for emerging Jewish identity.

    Experts explore the themes and topics that made Deuteronomy and the Former Prophets appealing to ancient readers leading ultimately to those texts becoming authoritative for Persian and Hellenistic readers. This unique collection of essays focuses on what larger impact these texts might have had on primary and secondary audiences as part of emerging Torah. Contributors include Klaus-Peter Adam, Yairah Amit, Thomas M. Bolin, Philip R. Davies, Serge Frolov, Susanne Gilmayr-Bucher, E. Axel Knauf, Christoph Levin, James R. Linville, and Thomas Römer, and Diana V. Edelman.

    Features:

    • Essays focused on why texts became authoritative instead of when they were written or their historicity
    • Two scholars examine each book providing a range of views
    • Coverage of the socio-religious function of emerging Torah in the Persian and early Hellenistic periods
    [more]

    front cover of Discourses of Empire
    Discourses of Empire
    The Gospel of Mark from a Postcolonial Perspective
    Hans Leander
    SBL Press, 2013
    This inventive work explores Mark’s Gospel within the contexts of the empires of Rome and Europe. In a unique dual analysis, the book highlights how empire is not only part of the past but also of a present colonial heritage. The book first outlines postcolonial criticism and discusses the challenges it poses for biblical scholarship, then scrutinizes the complex ways with which nineteenth-century commentaries on Mark’s Gospel interplayed with the formation of European colonial identities. It examines the stance of Mark’s Gospel vis-à-vis the Roman Empire and analyzes the manner in which the fibers of empire within Mark are interwoven, reproduced, negotiated, modified and subverted. Finally, it offers synthesizing suggestions for bringing Mark beyond a colonial heritage. The book’s candid use of postcolonial criticism illustrates how a contemporary perspective can illuminate and shed new light on an ancient text in its imperial setting.
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    Disembodied Souls
    The Nefesh in Israel and Kindred Spirits in the Ancient Near East, with an
    Richard C. Steiner
    SBL Press, 2015

    A reevaluation of the concept of the soul based on the latest evidence

    Biblical scholars have long claimed that the Israelites “could not conceive of a disembodied nefesh [soul].” Steiner rejects that claim based on a broad spectrum of textual, linguistic, archaeological, and anthropological evidence spanning the millennia from prehistoric times to the present. The biblical evidence includes a prophecy of Ezekiel condemning women who pretend to trap the wandering souls of sleeping people. The extrabiblical evidence suggests that a belief in the existence of disembodied souls was part of the common religious heritage of the peoples of the ancient Near East.

    Features

    • A re-examination of the evidence for and against disembodied souls in the Hebrew Bible
    • A new look at the nature and behavior of disembodied souls in the Hebrew Bible
    • A new study of the meaning and sociolinguistic background of the Katumuwa inscription
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    front cover of Dismembering the Whole
    Dismembering the Whole
    Composition and Purpose of Judges 19-21
    Cynthia Edenburg
    SBL Press, 2016

    A fresh literary analysis of political polemic in the Bible

    The Book of Judges ends with a bizarre narrative of sex and violence that starts with a domestic tiff and ends with the decimation of a tribe that is restored by means of abduction and rape. Cynthia Edenburg applies a fresh literary analysis, recent understandings of historical linguistics, and historical geography in her exploration of the origin of the anti-Benjamin polemic found in Judges 19–21, the growth and provenance of the book of Judges, and the shape of the Deuteronomistic History. Her study exposes how Judges 19–21 function as political polemic reflecting not the pre-monarchic period but instead the historical realities of the settlement of Benjamin during the Babylonian and Persian period.

    Features:

    • Methodological discussions that open each chapter
    • Charts and tables
    • Engagement with current research produced by scholars from around the world
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    front cover of Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires
    Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires
    Alan Lenzi
    SBL Press, 2014

    Advance your understanding of divination’s role in supporting or undermining imperial aspirations in the ancient Near East

    This collection examines the ways that divinatory texts in the Hebrew Bible and the ancient Near East undermined and upheld the empires in which the texts were composed, edited, and read. Nine essays and an introduction engage biblical scholarship on the Prophets, Assyriology, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the critical study of Ancient Empires.

    Features:

    • Interdisciplinary approaches include propaganda studies
    • Essays examine how biblical and other ancient Near Eastern texts were shaped by political and theological empires
    • Index of ancient sources
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    front cover of Edom at the Edge of Empire
    Edom at the Edge of Empire
    A Social and Political History
    Bradley L. Crowell
    SBL Press, 2021

    A comprehensive history of a state on Judah’s border

    Edom at the Edge of Empire combines biblical, epigraphic, archaeological, and comparative evidence to reconstruct the history of Judah's neighbor to the southeast. Crowell traces the material and linguistic evidence, from early Egyptian sources that recall conflicts with nomadic tribes to later Assyrian texts that reference compliant Edomite tribal kings, to offer alternative scenarios regarding Edom's transformation from a collection of nomadic tribes and workers in the Wadi Faynan as it relates to the later polity centered around the city of Busayra in the mountains of southern Jordan. This is the first book to incorporate the important evidence from the Wadi Faynan copper mines into a thorough account of Edom's history, providing a key resource for students and scholars of the ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible.

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    front cover of Empire and Gender in LXX Esther
    Empire and Gender in LXX Esther
    Meredith J. Stone
    SBL Press, 2018

    A new perspective on essential aspects of Esther’s plot and characters for students and scholars

    Empire and Gender in LXX Esther foregrounds and highlights empire as the central lens in this provocative new reading of Esther. This book provides a unique synchronic reading of LXX Esther with the Additions, allowing the presence and negotiation of imperial power to be further illuminated throughout the story’s plot. Stone explores and demonstrates how performances of gender are inextricably intertwined with the exertion and negotiation of imperial power portrayed in LXX Esther and offers examples of connections to the range of imperial power experienced by Jewish people during the late Second Temple period.

    Features:

    • An exploration of the tenets and methodology of imperial-critical approaches
    • Focused attention to the final form of LXX Esther
    • Construction of early audiences for LXX Esther in first-century BCE Ptolemaic Alexandria and Hasmonean Judea
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    front cover of Experientia, Volume 2
    Experientia, Volume 2
    Linking Text and Experience
    Colleen Shantz
    SBL Press, 2012
    This collection of essays continues the investigation of religious experience in early Judaism and early Christianity begun in Experientia, Volume 1, by addressing one of the traditional objections to the study of experience in antiquity. The authors address the relationship between the surviving evidence, which is textual, and the religious experiences that precede or ensue from those texts. Drawing on insights from anthropology, sociology, social memory theory, neuroscience, and cognitive science, they explore a range of religious phenomena including worship, the act of public reading, ritual, ecstasy, mystical ascent, and the transformation of gender and of emotions. Through careful and theoretically informed work, the authors demonstrate the possibility of moving from written documents to assess the lived experiences that are linked to them. The contributors are István Czachesz, Frances Flannery, Robin Griffith-Jones, Angela Kim Harkins, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, John R. Levison, Carol A. Newsom, Rollin A. Ramsaran, Colleen Shantz, Leif E. Vaage, and Rodney A. Werline.
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    Explaining Christian Origins and Early Judaism
    Contributions from Cognitive and Social Science
    Petri Luomanen
    SBL Press, 2016

    Now in paperback!

    Cognitive science of religion is a radically new paradigm in the study of religion. Historians of religion have shown increasing interest in this approach. The book is in four parts: an introduction to cognitive and social-scientific approaches, applications of cognitive science, applications of conceptual blending theory, and applications of socio-cognitive analyses.

    Features:

    • Paperback format of an essential Brill resource
    • Essays that combine cognitive analysis with historical and social-scientific approaches to biblical materials, Christian origins, and early Judaism
    • Research for historians of religion, biblical scholars, and those working in the cognitive science of religion.
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    front cover of Fighting for the King and the Gods
    Fighting for the King and the Gods
    A Survey of Warfare in the Ancient Near East
    Charlie Trimm
    SBL Press, 2017

    The most up-to-date sourcebook on warfare in the ancient Near East

    Fighting for the King and the Gods provides an introduction to the topic of war and the variety of texts concerning many aspects of warfare in the ancient Near East. These texts illustrate various viewpoints of war and show how warfare was an integral part of life. Trimm examines not only the victors and the famous battles, but also the hardship that war brought to many. While several of these texts treated here are well known (i.e., Ramses II's battle against the Hittites at Qadesh), others are known only to specialists. This work will allow a broader audience to access and appreciate these important texts as they relate to the history and ideology of warfare.

    Features

    • References to recent secondary literature for further study
    • Early Greek and Chinese illustrative texts for comparisons with other cultures
    • Indices to help guide the reader
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    front cover of The First Urban Churches 5
    The First Urban Churches 5
    Colossae, Hierapolis, and Laodicea
    James R. Harrison
    SBL Press, 2019

    A fresh examination of early Christianity by an international team of New Testament and classical scholars

    Volume 5 of The First Urban Churches investigates the urban context of Christian churches in first-century Roman Colossae, Hierapolis, and Laodicea. Building on the methodologies introduced in the first volume and supplementing the in-depth studies of Corinth, Ephesus, and Philippi (vols. 2-4), essays in this volume challenge readers to reexamine preconceived understandings of the early church and to grapple with the meaning and context of Christianity in its first-century Roman colonial context.

    Features:

    • Analysis of urban evidence found in inscriptions, papyri, archaeological remains, coins, and iconography
    • Proposed reconstructions of the past and its social, religious, and political significance
    • A nuanced, informed portrait of ancient urban life in the cities of the Lycus Valley
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    Gregory of Nyssa
    Homilies on the Song of Songs
    Richard A. Norris Jr.
    SBL Press, 2012
    Gregory of Nyssa’s fifteen Homilies on the Song of Songs offer an important resource for the history of Christian biblical exegesis, as well as for the history of Christian ascetical and spiritual teaching, and stand alongside Origen’s commentary on the Song as a source for the later interpretative tradition. In addition to offering the original text and an English translation of all fifteen homilies, Norris provides an analysis of the characteristic themes of Gregory’s ascetical teaching, emphasizes its connection in his mind with the institution of baptism, and stresses the degree to which Gregory sees the teaching of the Song as addressed not to a special class of believers but to any and all Christians.
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    front cover of Growing Up in Ancient Israel
    Growing Up in Ancient Israel
    Children in Material Culture and Biblical Texts
    Kristine Henriksen Garroway
    SBL Press, 2018

    The first expansive reference examining the texts and material culture related to children in ancient Israel

    Growing Up in Ancient Israel uses a child-centered methodology to investigate the world of children in ancient Israel. Where sources from ancient Israel are lacking, the book turns to cross-cultural materials from the ancient Near East as well as archaeological, anthropological, and ethnographic sources. Acknowledging that childhood is both biologically determined and culturally constructed, the book explores conception, birth, infancy, dangers in childhood, the growing child, dress, play, and death. To bridge the gap between the ancient world and today’s world, Kristine Henriksen Garroway introduces examples from contemporary society to illustrate how the Hebrew Bible compares with a Western understanding of children and childhood.

    Features:

    • More than fifty-five illustrations illuminating the world of the ancient Israelite child
    • An extensive investigation of parental reactions to the high rate of infant mortality and the deaths of infants and children
    • An examination of what the gendering and enculturation process involved for an Israelite child
    [more]

    front cover of Hasmonean Realities behind Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles
    Hasmonean Realities behind Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles
    Archaeological and Historical Perspectives
    Israel Finkelstein
    SBL Press, 2018

    A thorough case for a later date for of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles

    In this collection of essays, Israel Finkelstein deals with key topics in Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, such as the list of returnees, the construction of the city wall of Jerusalem, the adversaries of Nehemiah, the tribal genealogies, and the territorial expansion of Judah in 2 Chronicles. Finkelstein argues that the geographical and historical realities cached behind at least parts of these books fit the Hasmonean period in the late second century BCE. Seven previously published essays are supplemented by maps, updates to the archaeological material, and references to recent publications on the topics.

    Features:

    • Analysis of geographical chapters of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles
    • Study of the Hasmonean period in the late second century BCE
    • Unique arguments regarding chronology and historical background
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    front cover of Historical Roots of the Old Testament (1200-63 BCE)
    Historical Roots of the Old Testament (1200-63 BCE)
    Richard D. Nelson
    SBL Press, 2014

    A thorough overview of the history of ancient Israel for research and classroom use

    Richard D. Nelson charts the beginning of the Iron Age and the emergence of Israel and its literature, including the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the downfall of Israel, Judah in the Assyrian and Babylonian periods, Yehud and Persia, and the Hellenistic period. Each chapter provides a summary of the period under consideration, a historical reconstruction of the period, based on biblical and extrabiblical evidence; a critical study of the biblical literature deriving from or associated with the period, and theological conclusions that readers may draw from the relevant biblical texts.

    Features:

    • Balanced coverage of controversial topics
    • Extensive bibliographies at the beginning of each chapter
    • Lists of rulers and key dates for reference and classroom use
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    front cover of The History and Archaeology of Phoenicia
    The History and Archaeology of Phoenicia
    Hélène Sader
    SBL Press, 2019

    An insightful historical account of Phoenicia that illustrates its cities, culture, and daily life

    Hélène Sader presents the history and archaeology of Phoenicia based on the available contemporary written sources and the results of archaeological excavations in Phoenicia proper. Sader explores the origin of the term Phoenicia; the political and geographical history of the city-states Arwad, Byblos, Sidon, and Tyre; and topography, climate, and natural resources of the Phoenician homeland. Her limited focus on Phoenicia proper, in contrast to previous studies that included information from Phoenician colonies, presents the bare realities of the opportunities and difficulties shaping Phoenician life. Sader’s evaluation and synthesis of the evidence offers a corrective to the common assumption of a unified Phoenician kingdom.

    Features

    • Historical as well as modern maps with the locations of all relevant archaeological sites
    • Faunal and floral analyses that shed light on the Phoenician diet
    • Petrographic analysis of pottery that sheds light on trading patterns and developments
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    front cover of History of Ancient Israel
    History of Ancient Israel
    Christian Frevel
    SBL Press, 2023

    This English translation of the second edition of Christian Frevel’s essential textbook Geschichte Israels (Kohlhammer, 2018) covers the history of Israel from its beginnings until the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–135 CE). Frevel draws on archaeological evidence, inscriptions and monuments, as well as the Bible to sketch a picture of the history of ancient Israel within the context of the southern Levant that is sometimes familiar but often fresh and unexpected. Frevel has updated the second German edition with the most recent research of archaeologists and biblical scholars, including those based in Europe. Tables of rulers, a glossary, a timeline of the ancient Near East, and resources arranged by subject make this book an accessible, essential textbook for students and scholars alike.

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    front cover of Imprints, Voiceprints, and Footprints of Memory
    Imprints, Voiceprints, and Footprints of Memory
    Werner H. Kelber
    SBL Press, 2013
    Jesus and his followers defined their allegiances and expressed their identities in a communications culture that manifested itself in voice and chirographic practices, in oral-scribal interfaces, and in performative activities rooted in memory. In the sixteen essays gathered in Imprints, Voiceprints, and Footprints of Memory, Werner Kelber explores the verbal arts of early Christian word processing operative in a media world that was separated by two millennia from our contemporary media history. The title articulates the fact that the ancient culture of voiced texts, hand-copying, and remembering is chiefly accessible to us in print format and predominantly assimilated from print perspectives. The oral-scribal-memorial-performative paradigm developed in these essays challenges the reigning historical-critical model in biblical scholarship. Notions of tradition, the fixation on the single original saying, the dominant methodology of form criticism, and the heroic labors of the Quest—stalwart features of the historical, documentary paradigm—are all subject to a critical review. A number of essays reach beyond New Testament texts, ranging from the pre-Socratic Gorgias through medieval manuscript culture on to print’s triumphant apotheosis in Gutenberg’s Vulgate, product of the high tech of the fifteenth century, all the way to conflicting commemorations of Auschwitz—taking tentative steps toward a history of media technologies, culture, and cognition of the Christian tradition in the West.
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    front cover of Impurity and Purification in Early Judaism and the Jesus Tradition
    Impurity and Purification in Early Judaism and the Jesus Tradition
    Thomas Kazen
    SBL Press, 2021
    This collection of essays by Thomas Kazen focuses on issues of purity and purification in early Judaism and the Jesus tradition. During the late Second Temple period, Jewish purity practices became more prominent than before and underwent substantial developments. These essays advance the ongoing conversation and debate about a number of key issues in the field, such as the relationship between ritual and morality, the role and function of metaphor, and the use of evolutionary and embodied perspectives. Kazen's research stands in constant dialogue with the major currents and main figures in purity research, including both historical (origin, development, practice) and cognitive (evolutionary, emotional, conceptual) approaches.
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    front cover of In the Shadow of Empire
    In the Shadow of Empire
    Israel and Judah in the Long Sixth Century BCE
    Pamela Barmash
    SBL Press, 2021

    Empires Come and Go, Homelands Never

    Readers of the Hebrew Bible know the basic story line: during the early sixth century BCE the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem, deported a portion of the population to Mesopotamia, and triggered a crisis of faith in the minds of prophets, priests, and liturgists that still echoes through the centuries. Though many Judahites chose to make their way home under Persian imperial control, the straightforward biblical story of exile and return masks many complex issues of evidence and fact. Unlike previous studies that focused narrowly on the Babylonian exile of the Judahite elites, this volume widens the geographical and temporal scope to include the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian Empires. Improved access to and understanding of relevant texts, iconography, and material culture provide an opportunity for scholars to reappraise methods of imperial control and the responses of those in exile and under occupation. Contributors Pamela Barmash, Ryan P. Bonfiglio, Caralie Cooke, Lisbeth S. Fried, Martien A. Halvorson-Taylor, Mark W. Hamilton, Matt Waters, and Ian D. Wilson lay a firm foundation for future work on the long sixth century.

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    front cover of The Inspiration and Truth of Scripture
    The Inspiration and Truth of Scripture
    Testing the Ratzinger Paradigm
    Aaron Pidel, SJ
    Catholic University of America Press, 2023
    What does it mean to say that Scripture is God’s Word? And just how true is the Bible? Though sometimes dismissed as “fundamentalist” concerns, these questions also sent twentieth-century Catholic theology searching for a new paradigm of biblical inspiration. Theologians repeatedly attempted to reconcile the traditional conviction that the Bible shares in the omniscience of its divine author with scholarly findings that suggested otherwise. Joseph Ratzinger contributed both negatively and positively to this project, deconstructing the regnant manualist models of inspiration and constructing an alternative inspired by St. Bonaventure. The result is an ecclesial model of surprising comprehensiveness and balance. Indeed, The Inspiration and Truth of Scripture concludes that Ratzinger’s alternative provides the least inadequate paradigm currently on offer today. The Inspiration and Truth of Scripture breaks new ground in several ways. First, it situates Ratzinger within a broader Catholic quest for a theology of inspiration, showing his model offers advantages even relative to those proposed by modern theology’s most eminent minds: John Henry Newman, Pierre Benoit, Karl Rahner, and David Tracy. Secondly, this book shows how Ratzinger’s paradigm generates “tests” for identifying the perennially valid affirmations of Scripture, and thus an approach to resolving disputed biblical questions. Must one who accepts the authority of Scripture believe in the Devil? Are the Marian dogmas really “in” Scripture? To what extent does Jesus’s prohibition of divorce still apply in today’s changed social circumstances? Just how historical are Gospel narratives, like the Last Supper, intended to be? The result is a book that bridges the gap between normative theology and historical exegesis. Overall, The Inspiration and Truth of Scripture presents Ratzinger not as an unimaginative enforcer of doctrinal conclusions but as a creatively faithful theologian, whose reconfiguration of inspiration should serve as the point of departure for all future reflection on the subject.
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    front cover of Israel and the Assyrians
    Israel and the Assyrians
    Deuteronomy, the Succession Treaty of Esarhaddon, and the Nature of Subvers
    C. L. Crouch
    SBL Press, 2014

    Was Deuteronomy created to be a subversive text based on Assyian treaties?

    In this new book Crouch focuses on Deuteronomy’s subversive intent, asking what would be required in order for Deuteronomy to successfully subvert either a specific Assyrian source or Assyrian ideology more generally. The book reconsiders the nature of the relationship between Deuteronomy and Assyria, Deuteronomy’s relationship to ancient Near Eastern and biblical treaty and loyalty oath traditions, and the relevance of Deuteronomy’s treaty affinities to discussions of its date.

    Features:

    • A thorough investigation of the nature and requirements of subversion
    • A focused examination of the context in which Deuteronomy would have functioned
    • An appendix focused on redactional questions related to Deuteronoy 13 and 28
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    Jerome’s Abbreviated Psalter
    The Middle English and Latin Versions
    James H. Morey
    Arc Humanities Press, 2019
    Jerome’s Abbreviated Psalter was one of the most important collections of psalm verses in the Middle Ages. Commonly found in primers and books of hours, it was the primary medium for lay people to imitate the monastic divine office, even as it offered concessions to harsh personal circumstances. This edition presents the Middle English versions in parallel, followed by the Latin version in the Lincoln Thornton manuscript. An introductory review considers the psalter in general and the origins of abbreviated psalters in particular. Jerome’s Abbreviated Psalter is the most widespread text in the abbreviated psalter tradition and it illustrates an important aspect of lay devotional life from the eighth to the sixteenth century. The English versions contribute both to the history of English prose and to the history of biblical translation in English.
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    Jerusalem the Center of the Universe
    Its Archaeology and History (1800–100 BCE)
    Israel Finkelstein
    SBL Press, 2024
    Jerusalem is the center of the universe, the hub of the three great monotheistic religions, yet how did a city located on the desert fringe, in the semi-arid southern highlands of Israel with little tillable land achieve such dominance? To provide answers to this enduring riddle, Israel Finkelstein has collected twenty-four of his best articles and essays covering the Middle Bronze Age to the late Hellenistic period. With critical and well-informed care, he analyzes archaeological evidence that often stands in tension with the biblical text. Topics of particular interest include the archaeology of the tenth century BCE; Saul, David, and Solomon in the Bible and archaeology; the first expansion of the city in the ninth century; its full growth in the late eighth to seventh centuries; Jerusalem and Judah under the Assyrian Empire; the days of King Josiah; and transformations in the Persian-Hellenistic era. Short addenda update the reader on recent developments.
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    front cover of Jewish Fictional Letters from Hellenistic Egypt
    Jewish Fictional Letters from Hellenistic Egypt
    The Epistle of Aristeas and Related Literature
    L. Michael White
    SBL Press, 2017

    The first Greek text of the Epistle of Aristeas published in more than a century

    The Greek text Epistle of Aristeas is a Jewish work of the late Hellenistic period that recounts the origins of the Septuagint. Long recognized as a literary fiction, the Epistle of Aristeas has been variously dated from the third century BCE to the first century CE. As a result, its epistolary features, and especially those in which the putative author, Aristeas, addresses his brother and correspondent, Philocrates, have largely been ignored. In light of more recent scholarship on epistolary literature in the Greco-Roman world, however, this volume presents for the first time a complete Greek text and English Translation with introduction, notes, and commentary of the Epistle of Aristeas with key testimonia from Philo, Josephus, and Eusebius, as well as other related examples of Jewish fictional letters from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.

    Features

    • Relevant excerpts from Eupolemus, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees, and the Greek Additions to Esther with translations and introductions
    • A critical introduction to ancient Greek letter-writing
    • An outline of epistolary features in the text
    [more]

    front cover of Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period
    Judah in the Neo-Babylonian Period
    The Archaeology of Desolation
    Avraham Faust
    SBL Press, 2012
    The Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E. was a watershed event in the history of Judah, the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the exilic period, during which many of the biblical texts were probably written. The conquest left clear archaeological marks on many sites in Judah, including Jerusalem, and the Bible records it as a traumatic event for the population. Less clear is the situation in Judah following the conquest, that is, in the sixth century, a period with archaeological remains the nature and significance of which are disputed. The traditional view is that the land was decimated and the population devastated. In the last two decades, archaeologists arguing that the land was not empty and that the exile had little impact on Judah’s rural sector have challenged this view. This volume examines the archaeological reality of Judah in the sixth century in order to shed new light on the debate. By expanding research into new avenues and examining new data, as well as by applying new methods to older data, the author arrives at fresh insights that support the traditional view of sixth-century Judah as a land whose population, both urban and rural, was devastated and whose recovery took centuries.
    [more]

    front cover of Judea under Roman Domination
    Judea under Roman Domination
    The First Generation of Statelessness and Its Legacy
    Nadav Sharon
    SBL Press, 2017

    Investigate a relatively neglected but momentous period in Judean history

    Nadav Sharon closely examines a critical period in Judean history, which saw the end of the Hasmonean dynasty and the beginning of Roman domination of Judea leading up to the kingship of Herod (67-37 BCE). In this period renowned Roman figures such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Gaius Cassius (a conspirator against Caesar), and Mark Anthony, led the Roman Republic on the eve of its transformation into an Empire, each having his own dealings with—and holding sway over—Judea at different times. This volume explores the impact of the Roman conquest on the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, enhances the understanding of later Judean-Roman relations and the roots of the Great Revolt, and examines how this early period of Roman domination had on impact on later developments in Judean society and religion.

    Features:

    • Part one dedicating to reconstructing Judean history from the death of Alexander to the reign of King Herod
    • Part two examining the effects of Roman domination on Judean society
    • Maps, illustrations, and appendices
    [more]

    front cover of The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the Eighth and Seventh Centuries B.C.E.
    The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah in the Eighth and Seventh Centuries B.C.E.
    Antoon Schoors
    SBL Press, 2013
    The period of Assyrian domination over Israel and Judah (ca. 750–650 B.C.E.) can be reconstructed with reasonable accuracy. For example, both biblical and extrabiblical records indicate that the northern kingdom (Israel) came to an end in 722 with the fall of Samaria, while several decades later Jerusalem, capital of the southern kingdom (Judah), narrowly escaped being taken by Sennacherib. The first half of the seventh century was dominated by Manasseh in Judah, who not only served his overlords the Assyrians but also practiced a bloody form of despotism. With regard to biblical literature, the eighth century was the period of Israel’s first great literary prophets: Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Micah. Other important texts, such as the Book of the Covenant, the early stories about the kings, the early forms of the patriarchal narratives in Genesis, and collections of proverbs, were either created or underwent profound editorial shaping during this time. This volume surveys the history of this formative period and presents a critical study of the biblical literature that originated within this historical context, as well as theological conclusions that readers may draw from these texts.
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    front cover of The Last Century in the History of Judah
    The Last Century in the History of Judah
    The Seventh Century BCE in Archaeological, Historical, and Biblical Perspectives
    Filip Čapek
    SBL Press, 2019

    An incomparable interdisciplinary study of the history of Judah

    Experts from a variety of disciplines examine the history of Judah during the seventh century BCE, the last century of the kingdom’s existence. This important era is well defined historically and archaeologically beginning with the destruction layers left behind by Sennacherib’s Assyrian campaign (701 BCE) and ending with levels of destruction resulting from Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian campaign (588-586 BCE). Eleven essays develop the current ongoing discussion about Judah during this period and extend the debate to include further important insights in the fields of archaeology, history, cult, and the interpretation of Old Testament texts.

    Features

    • A new chronological frame for the Iron Age IIB-IIC
    • Close examinations of archaeology, texts, and traditions related to the reigns of Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah
    • An evaluation of the religious, cultic, and political landscape
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    front cover of The Making of the Bible
    The Making of the Bible
    From the First Fragments to Sacred Scripture
    Konrad Schmid and Jens Schröter
    Harvard University Press, 2021

    The Making of the Bible is invaluable for anyone interested in Scripture and in the intertwined histories of Judaism and Christianity.”
    —John Barton, author of A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths


    The authoritative new account of the Bible’s origins, illuminating the 1,600-year tradition that shaped the Christian and Jewish holy books as millions know them today.

    The Bible as we know it today is best understood as a process, one that begins in the tenth century BCE. In this revelatory account, a world-renowned scholar of Hebrew scripture joins a foremost authority on the New Testament to write a new biography of the Book of Books, reconstructing Jewish and Christian scriptural histories, as well as the underappreciated contest between them, from which the Bible arose.

    Recent scholarship has overturned popular assumptions about Israel’s past, suggesting, for instance, that the five books of the Torah were written not by Moses but during the reign of Josiah centuries later. The sources of the Gospels are also under scrutiny. Konrad Schmid and Jens Schröter reveal the long, transformative journeys of these and other texts en route to inclusion in the holy books. The New Testament, the authors show, did not develop in the wake of an Old Testament set in stone. Rather the two evolved in parallel, in conversation with each other, ensuring a continuing mutual influence of Jewish and Christian traditions. Indeed, Schmid and Schröter argue that Judaism might not have survived had it not been reshaped in competition with early Christianity.

    A remarkable synthesis of the latest Old and New Testament scholarship, The Making of the Bible is the most comprehensive history yet told of the world’s best-known literature, revealing its buried lessons and secrets.

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    The Making of the Bible
    From the First Fragments to Sacred Scripture
    Konrad Schmid and Jens Schröter
    Harvard University Press

    “A landmark…If you have time to read only one book on the Bible this year, make sure that it is this one.”—Katherine J. Dell, Church Times

    “Excellent…With a sure touch, the authors lead the reader through the geopolitical context of the Hebrew Bible and the setting and background of the New Testament, finding something to say about practically every book’s origins and development.”—John Barton, The Tablet

    “A remarkable deep dive into foundational books whose origins are often taken for granted.”—Publishers Weekly


    In this revelatory account of the making of the foundational text of western civilization, a world-renowned scholar of the Hebrew scriptures joins a noted authority on the New Testament to reconstruct Jewish and Christian scriptural histories and reveal the underappreciated contest between them.

    The New Testament, they show, did not develop in the wake of an Old Testament set in stone. The two evolved in parallel, often in conversation with each other, ensuring a continuing mutual influence of Jewish and Christian traditions. A remarkable synthesis of the latest Old and New Testament scholarship, The Making of the Bible is the most comprehensive history yet of the long, transformative journeys of these texts on route to inclusion in the holy books, revealing their buried lessons and secrets.

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    front cover of Meaning and Context in the Thanksgiving Hymns
    Meaning and Context in the Thanksgiving Hymns
    Linguistic and Rhetorical Perspectives on a Collection
    Trine Bjørnung Hasselbalch
    SBL Press, 2015

    A new reading strategy for the Thanksgiving Hymns

    Hasselbalch asserts that current theories about the social background of Thanksgiving Hymns are unable to explain its heterogeneous character. Instead the author suggests a reading strategy that leaves presumptions about the underlying social contexts aside to instead consider the collection’s hybridity as a clue to understanding the collection as a whole.

    Features:

    • Systemic Functional Linguistics applied to four Hodayot
    • Analysis that highlights the role of a mediator in the agency of God
    • An approach that highlights the unity of the collection
    [more]

    front cover of The Middle Maccabees
    The Middle Maccabees
    Archaeology, History, and the Rise of the Hasmonean Kingdom
    Andrea M. Berlin
    SBL Press, 2021

    A focused, interdisciplinary examination of a tumultuous, history-making era

    The Middle Maccabees lays out the charged, complicated beginnings of the independent Jewish state founded in the second century BCE. Contributors offer focused analyses of the archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, and textual evidence, framed within a wider world of conflicts between the Ptolemies of Egypt, the Seleucids of Syria, and the Romans. The result is a holistic view of the Hasmonean rise to power that acknowledges broader political developments, evolving social responses, and the particularities of local history. Contributors include Uzi ‘Ad, Donald T. Ariel, Andrea M. Berlin, Efrat Bocher, Altay Coşkun, Benedikt Eckhardt, Gerald Finkielsztejn, Christelle Fischer-Bovet, Yuval Gadot, Erich Gruen, Sylvie Honigman, Jutta Jokiranta, Paul J. Kosmin, Uzi Leibner, Catharine Lorber, Duncan E. MacRae, Dvir Raviv, Helena Roth, Débora Sandhaus, Yiftah Shalev, Nitsan Shalom, Danny Syon, Yehiel Zelinger, and Ayala Zilberstein.

    Features

    • Up-to-date, generously illustrated essays analyzing the relevant archaeological remains
    • A revised understanding of how local and imperial histories overlapped and intersected
    • New analysis of the book of 1 Maccabees as a tool of Hasmonean strategic interest
    [more]

    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.

    Features

    • 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
    [more]

    front cover of A Most Reliable Witness
    A Most Reliable Witness
    Essays in Honor of Ross Shepard Kraemer
    Susan Ashbrook Harvey
    SBL Press, 2015

    Celebrate a trailblazer in the areas of women and re

    Celebrate a trailblazer in the areas of women and religion, Jews and Judaism, and earliest Christianity in the ancient Mediterranean

    Ross Kraemer is Professor Emerita in the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University. This volume of essays, conceived and produced by students, colleagues, and friends bears witness to the breadth of her own scholarly interests. Contributors include Theodore A. Bergren, Debra Bucher, Lynn Cohick, Mary Rose D’Angelo, Nathaniel P. DesRosiers, Robert Doran, Jennifer Eyl, Paula Fredriksen, John G. Gager, Maxine Grossman, Kim Haines-Eitzen, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Jordan Kraemer, Robert A. Kraft, Shira L. Lander, Amy-Jill Levine, Susan Marks, E. Ann Matter, Renee Levine Melammed, Susan Niditch, Elaine Pagels, Adele Reinhartz, Jordan Rosenblum, Sarah Schwarz, Karen B. Stern, Stanley K. Stowers, Daniel Ullucci, Arthur Urbano, Heidi Wendt, and Benjamin G. Wright.

    Features:

    • Articles that examine both ancient and modern texts in cross-cultural and trans-historical perspective
    • Twenty-eight original essays on ancient Judaism, Christianity, and women in the Greco-Roman world
    [more]

    front cover of My Nine Lives
    My Nine Lives
    Sixty Years in Israeli and Biblical Archaeology
    William G. Dever
    SBL Press, 2020

    Experience a lifetime of adventure

    This autobiography of prominent American archaeologist William G. Dever is unabashedly his story, in which he offers candid, often brutally honest, reflections on his life and sixty-five-year career. Dever places himself in the midst of a remarkable generation of giants in archaeology in Israel during a period when the fields of biblical and Israeli archaeology were evolving. With technical expertise developed over a lifetime of working alongside four generations of Israeli and foreign excavators, he recalls their exploits and shares numerous personal stories that few others would know. His memoir concludes with a postscript on the likely future of biblical archaeology and an annotated bibliography for serious readers who wish to explore some of the scholarly literature to flesh out Dever’s narrative.

    [more]

    front cover of Negotiating Power in Ezra-Nehemiah
    Negotiating Power in Ezra-Nehemiah
    Donna Laird
    SBL Press, 2016

    Donna Laird examines Ezra and Nehemiah in the light of modern sociological theorist Pierre Bourdieu. How did this context of hardship, exile, and return change what Ezra and Nehemiah viewed as important? How did they define who was a part of their community, and who was an outsider? It goes on to explore how the books engaged readers at the time: how it addressed their changing circumstances, and how different groups gained and used social power, or the ability to influence society.

    Features

    • Chapters dedicated to penitential prayer and to the role of ritual
    • Illustrations of how the writers used past traditions to justify dividing those who belong, the repatriates, from the local population
    • Demonstration of how shifting strategies of discourse in the various sections of Ezra-Nehemiah reflect the changing political and social contexts for the community and the authors
    [more]

    front cover of Neo-Babylonian Trial Records
    Neo-Babylonian Trial Records
    Shalom E. Holtz
    SBL Press, 2014

    New translations of fifty transliterated texts for research and classroom use

    This collection of sixth-century B.C.E. Mesopotamian texts provides a close-up, often dramatic, view of ancient courtroom encounters shedding light on Neo-Babylonian legal culture and daily life. In addition to the legal texts, Holtz provides an introduction to Neo-Babylonian social history, archival records, and legal materials. This is an essential resource for scholars interested in the history of law.

    Features

    • Fifty new English translations
    • Transliterations for use in advanced Akkadian courses
    • Background essays perfect for courses dealing with ancient Near Eastern history and law
    • Explanatory essays preceding each text and its translation
    [more]

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    The New Testament in Byzantium
    Derek Krueger
    Harvard University Press

    The New Testament lay at the center of Byzantine Christian thought and practice. But codices and rolls were neither the sole way—nor most important way—the Byzantines understood the New Testament. Lectionaries apportioned much of its contents over the course of the liturgical calendar; its narratives structured the experience of liturgical time and shaped the nature of Christian preaching, throughout Byzantine history. A successor to The Old Testament in Byzantium (2010), this book asks: What was the New Testament for Byzantine Christians? What of it was known, how, when, where, and by whom? How was this knowledge mediated through text, image, and rite? What was the place of these sacred texts in Byzantine arts, letters, and thought?

    Authors draw upon the current state of textual scholarship and explore aspects of the New Testament, particularly as it was read, heard, imaged, and imagined in lectionaries, hymns, homilies, saints’ lives, and as it was illustrated in miniatures and monuments. Framing theological inquiry, ecclesiastical controversy, and political thought, the contributions here help develop our understanding of the New Testament and its varied reception over the long history of Byzantium.

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    The Old Testament in Byzantium
    Paul Magdalino
    Harvard University Press, 2010
    This volume contains selected papers from a December 2006 Dumbarton Oaks symposium that complemented an exhibition of early Bible manuscripts at the Freer Gallery and Sackler Gallery of Art titled "In the Beginning: Bibles before the Year 1000." Speakers were invited to examine the use of the Greek Old Testament as a text, social practice, and cultural experience in the Byzantine Empire. Not only are reminiscences of the Old Testament ubiquitous in Byzantine literature and art, but the Byzantine people also revered and identified with Old Testament role models. The Old Testament connected Byzantium not only with its Christian neighbors but with Jewish and Muslim peoples as well. This widespread phenomenon has never received systematic investigation. The Old Testament in Byzantium considers the manifestations of the holy books in Byzantine manuscript illustration, architecture, and government, as well as in Jewish Bible translations and the construction of Muhammad's character.
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    Paul the Martyr
    The Cult of the Apostle in the Latin West
    David L. Eastman
    SBL Press, 2011

    Ancient iconography of Paul is dominated by one image: Paul as martyr. Whether he is carrying a sword—the traditional instrument of his execution—or receiving a martyr's crown from Christ, the apostle was remembered and honored for his faithfulness to the point of death. As a result, Christians created a cult of Paul, centered on particular holy sites and characterized by practices such as the telling of stories, pilgrimage, and the veneration of relics. This study integrates literary, archaeological, artistic, and liturgical evidence to describe the development of the Pauline cult within the cultural context of the late antique West.

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    front cover of The Philistines and Other Sea Peoples in Text and Archaeology
    The Philistines and Other Sea Peoples in Text and Archaeology
    Ann E. Killebrew
    SBL Press, 2013
    The search for the biblical Philistines, one of ancient Israel’s most storied enemies, has long intrigued both scholars and the public. Archaeological and textual evidence examined in its broader eastern Mediterranean context reveals that the Philistines, well-known from biblical and extrabiblical texts, together with other related groups of “Sea Peoples,” played a transformative role in the development of new ethnic groups and polities that emerged from the ruins of the Late Bronze Age empires. The essays in this book, representing recent research in the fields of archaeology, Bible, and history, reassess the origins, identity, material culture, and impact of the Philistines and other Sea Peoples on the Iron Age cultures and peoples of the eastern Mediterranean. The contributors are Matthew J. Adams, Michal Artzy, Tristan J. Barako, David Ben-Shlomo, Mario Benzi, Margaret E. Cohen, Anat Cohen-Weinberger, Trude Dothan, Elizabeth French, Marie-Henriette Gates, Hermann Genz, Ayelet Gilboa, Maria Iacovou, Ann E. Killebrew, Sabine Laemmel, Gunnar Lehmann, Aren M. Maeir, Amihai Mazar, Linda Meiberg, Penelope A. Mountjoy, Hermann Michael Niemann, Jeremy B. Rutter, Ilan Sharon, Susan Sherratt, Neil Asher Silberman, and Itamar Singer.
    [more]

    front cover of Plant Metaphors in the Old Greek of Isaiah
    Plant Metaphors in the Old Greek of Isaiah
    Benjamin M. Austin
    SBL Press, 2019

    A thorough analysis of metaphor translation techniques used in Isaiah

    In this study Benjamin M. Austin analyzes all the plant metaphors in Isaiah and classifies them according to the metaphor translation techniques used by the Septuagint translator. Austin illustrates how the translator took the context of each metaphor into account and demonstrates how the natural features of the plants under discussion at times influenced their translation. He argues that the translator tried to render metaphors vividly and with clarity, sometimes adjusting them to match the experience of his audience living in Egypt. Austin also examines metaphors in terms of their vehicles (the objects of comparison), so that the translation of similar metaphors can be compared.

    Features

    • A comparison of the Masoretic Text to the Septuagint and Targum
    • A classification of metaphor translation strategies
    • An introduction to the Hellenistic and the Jewish conception of metaphors
    [more]

    front cover of A Political History of the Arameans
    A Political History of the Arameans
    From Their Origins to the End of Their Polities
    K. Lawson Younger Jr.
    SBL Press, 2016
    An up-to-date analysis of the history of the ancient Near East and the Arameans

    K. Lawson Younger Jr. presents a political history of the Arameans from their earliest origins to the demise of their independent entities. The book investigates their tribal structures, the development of their polities, and their interactions with other groups in the ancient Near East. Younger utilizes all of the available sources to develop a comprehensive picture of this complex, yet highly important, people whose influence and presence spanned the Fertile Cresent.

    Features:

    • The best, recent understanding of tribal political structures, aspects of mobile pastoralism, and models of migration
    • A regional rather than a monolithic approach to the rise of Aramean polities
    • Thorough integration of the complex relationships and interactions of the Arameans with the Luwians, the Assyrians, the Israelites, and others
    [more]

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    Political Memory in and after the Persian Empire
    Jason M. Silverman
    SBL Press, 2015

    An interdisciplinary study of the Persian Period

    Various disciplines that deal with Achaemenid rule offer starkly different assessments of Persian kingship. While Assyriologists treat Cyrus's heirs as legitimate successors of the Babylonian kings, biblical scholars often speak of a "kingless era" in which the priesthood took over the function of the Davidic monarch. Egyptologists see their land as uniquely independently minded despite conquests, while Hellenistic scholarship tends to evaluate the interface between Hellenism and native traditions without reference to the previous two centuries of Persian rule. This volume brings together in dialogue a broad array of scholars with the goal of seeking a broader context for assessing Persian kingship through the anthropological concept of political memory.

    Features

    • Articles present the results of an international symposium held in Leiden, the Netherlands, 2014
    • More than twenty illustrations
    • Seventeen articles, an introduction, and a summary response
    [more]

    front cover of Postcolonialism and the Hebrew Bible
    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.
    [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.

    Features

    • 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
    [more]

    front cover of Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East
    Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East
    Martti Nissinen
    SBL Press, 2019

    A new, expanded edition of a classic reference tool

    This volume of more than 170 documents of prophecy from the ancient Near East brings together a representative sample of written documents from Mesopotamia, the Levant, and Egypt dating to the second and first millennia BCE. Nissinen's collection provides nonspecialist readers clear translations, transliterations, and discussions of oracles reports and collections, quotations of prophetic messages in letters and literature, and texts that reference persons with prophetic titles. This second edition includes thirty-four new texts.

    Features:

    • Modern, idiomatic, and readable English translations
    • Thirty-four new translations
    • Contributions of West Semitic, Egyptian, and Luwian sources from C. L. Seow, Robert K. Ritner, and H. Craig Melchert
    [more]

    front cover of The Qumran Paradigm
    The Qumran Paradigm
    Critical Evaluation of Some Foundational Hypotheses in the Construction of the Q
    Gwynned de Looijer
    SBL Press, 2015

    A fundamentally revisionist approach that leaves behind the constructed social reality of a “sectarian” paradigm

    Gwynned de Looijer reexamines the key hypotheses that have driven scholars’ understandings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the archaeological site of Khirbet Qumran, and the textual descriptions of the Essenes. She demonstrates that foundational hypotheses regarding a sect at Qumran have heavily influenced the way the texts found in the surrounding caves are interpreted. De Looijer’s approach abandon’s those assumptions to illustrate that the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect a wider range of backgrounds reflecting the many diverse forms of Judaism that existed in the Second Temple period.

    Features:

    • In depth analysis of 4QMMT
    • Reevaluation of the concept of dualism as it has been applied to Qumran texts
    • Charts and tables illustrate complex theories, concepts, and connections
    [more]

    front cover of Reading and Teaching Ancient Fiction
    Reading and Teaching Ancient Fiction
    Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman Narratives
    Sara R. Johnson
    SBL Press, 2018

    The third volume of research on ancient fiction

    This volume includes essays presented in the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narrative section of the Society of Biblical Literature. Contributors explore facets of ongoing research into the interplay of history, fiction, and narrative in ancient Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian texts. The essays examine the ways in which ancient authors in a variety of genre and cultural settings employed a range of narrative strategies to reflect on pressing contemporary issues, to shape community identity, or to provide moral and educational guidance for their readers. Not content merely to offer new insights, this volume also highlights strategies for integrating the fruits of this research into the university classroom and beyond.

    Features

    • Insight into the latest developments in ancient Mediterranean narrative
    • Exploration of how to use ancient texts to encourage students to examine assumptions about ancient gender and sexuality or to view familiar texts from a new perspective
    • Close readings of classical authors as well as canonical and noncanonical Jewish and Christian texts
    [more]

    front cover of Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions
    Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions
    Studies in Memory of Peter W. Flint
    Andrew B. Perrin
    SBL Press, 2017

    A collection of essays commemorating the career contributions of Peter W. Flint

    An international group of scholars specializing in various disciplines of biblical studies—Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and Christian origins—present twenty-seven new contributions that commemorate the career of Peter W. Flint (1951–2016). Each essay interacts with and gives fresh insight into a field shaped by Professor Flint’s life work. Part 1 explores the interplay between text-critical methods, the growth and formation of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the making of modern critical editions. Part 2 maps dynamics of scriptural interpretation and reception in ancient Jewish and Christian literatures of the Second Temple period.

    Features

    • Essays that assess the state of the field and reflect on the methods, aims, and best practices for textual criticism and the making of modern critical text editions
    • Demonstrations of how the processes of scriptural composition, transmission, and reception converge and may be studied together for mutual benefit
    • Clarification of the state/forms of scripture in antiquity and how scripture was extended, rewritten, and recontextualized by ancient Jewish and Christian scribes and communities
    [more]

    front cover of Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews
    Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews
    Eric F. Mason
    SBL Press, 2011
    This volume, designed for classroom use, reflects contemporary trends in the study of an important and complex biblical text. Essays address major interpretive issues and emphasize the importance of interpreting Hebrews in light of its ancient Jewish, Christian, and Greco-Roman contexts.
    [more]

    front cover of Rethinking Paul's Rhetorical Education
    Rethinking Paul's Rhetorical Education
    Comparative Rhetoric and 2 Corinthians
    Ryan S. Schellenberg
    SBL Press, 2013
    Winner of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies 2015 F. W. Beare Award

    Did Paul have formal training in Greco-Roman rhetoric, or did he learn what he knew of persuasion informally, as social practice? Pauline scholars recognize the importance of this question both for determining Paul’s social status and for conceptualizing the nature of his letters, but they have been unable to reach a consensus. Using 2 Corinthians 10–13 as a test case, Ryan Schellenberg undertakes a set of comparisons with non-Western speakers—most compellingly, the Seneca orator Red Jacket—to demonstrate that the rhetorical strategies Paul employs in this text are also attested in speakers known to have had no formal training in Greco-Roman rhetoric. Since there are no specific indicators of formal training in the way Paul uses these strategies, their appearance in his letters does not constitute evidence that Paul received formal rhetorical education.

    [more]

    front cover of Royal Apologetic in the Ancient Near East
    Royal Apologetic in the Ancient Near East
    Andrew Knapp
    SBL Press, 2015

    A fresh exploration of apologetic material that pushes beyond form criticism

    Andrew Knapp applies modern genre theory to seven ancient Near Eastern royal apologies that served to defend the legitimacy of kings who came to power under irregular circumstances. Knapp examines texts and inscriptions related to Telipinu, Hattusili III, David, Solomon, Hazael, Esarhaddon, and Nabonidus to identify transhistorical common issues that unite each discourse.

    Features:

    • Compares Hittite, Israelite, Aramean, Assyrian, and Babylonian apologies
    • Examination of apologetic as a mode instead of a genre
    • Charts and illustrations
    [more]

    front cover of Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement in Early Judaism and Christianity
    Sacrifice, Cult, and Atonement in Early Judaism and Christianity
    Constituents and Critique
    Henrietta L. Wiley
    SBL Press, 2016

    Critical and creative studies that offer fresh perspectives on ancient ideas and practices

    The contributions to this volume deal in various ways with the cult at the Jerusalem Temple that epitomized the religious, cultural, and socio-political identity of Judaism for many centuries. Some essays examine ancient constitutive practices and concepts, such as purification rituals, sacrifices, atonement, or sacred authorities at the temple, with the goal of interpreting their meanings for modern readers. Other essays explore alternatives to ancient cultic meaning and practice. Essays critique established traditions, attempt to renegotiate them, or use metaphor and spiritualization to expand the potential of these phenomena to serve as terminological and ideological resources. Thus they examine and affirm the continuing relevance of ancient Jewish cultic notions long after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

    • An international group of scholars representing different fields and diverse religious backgrounds
    • A thorough examination of traditions as through the lens of contemporaneous interpretive traditions such as Jewish prophecy, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Early Christian literature
    • Examination of topics such as purification, sacrifice, and atonement, and the depiction and development of sacred authority throughout the Bible
    [more]

    front cover of Sargon II, King of Assyria
    Sargon II, King of Assyria
    Josette Elayi
    SBL Press, 2017

    A critical resource that traces the reign of Sargon in context

    Josette Elayi's book is the only existing biography of Sargon II, the famous Assyrian king, who was a megalomaniac and a warlord. Elayi addresses such important questions, including what was his precise role in the disappearance of the kingdom of Israel; how did Sargon II succeed in enlarging the borders of the Assyrian Empire by several successful campaigns; how did he organize his empire (administration, trade, agriculture, libraries), and what was the so-called sin of Sargon?

    Features:

    • Interpretations of decisive events during the life and reign of the Assyrian king
    • An evaluation of Sargon II s reign
    • Maps, tables, and illustrations
    [more]

    front cover of Saul, Benjamin, and the Emergence of Monarchy in Israel
    Saul, Benjamin, and the Emergence of Monarchy in Israel
    Biblical and Archaeological Perspectives
    Joachim J. Krause
    SBL Press, 2020

    Ponder questions of the united monarchy under Saul and David in light of current historical and archaeological evidence

    Reconstructing the emergence of the Israelite monarchy involves interpreting historical research, approaching questions of ancient state formation, synthesizing archaeological research from sites in the southern Levant, and reexamining the biblical traditions of the early monarchy embedded in the books of Samuel and Kings. Integrating these approaches allows for a nuanced and differentiated picture of one of the most crucial periods in the history of ancient Israel. Rather than attempting to harmonize archaeological data and biblical texts or to supplement the respective approach by integrating only a portion of data stemming from the other, both perspectives come into their own in this volume presenting the results of an interdisciplinary Tübingen–Tel Aviv Research Colloquium.

    Features:

    • Essays on Israel's monarchy by experts in biblical archaeology and biblical studies
    • Methods for integrating archaeology and biblical traditions in reconstructing ancient Israel's history
    • New research on the sociopolitical process of state formation in Israel and Judah
    [more]

    front cover of Sennacherib, King of Assyria
    Sennacherib, King of Assyria
    Josette Elayi
    SBL Press, 2018

    A critical resource for students and scholars of the ancient Near East and the Bible

    Josette Elayi’s Sennacherib, King of Assyria is the only biography of Sargon II’s famous son. Elayi traces the reign of Sennacherib in context in order to illuminate more fully the life and contributions of this warlord, builder, innovator, and social reformer—a unique figure among the Assyrian kings. Elayi offers both an evaluation of this royal figure and an assessment of the Assyrian Empire by interpreting the historical information surrounding the decisive events of his reign.

    Features:

    • Exploration of why Sennacherib did not seize Jerusalem or remove Hezekiah from the throne
    • An extensive investigation of annals, royal inscriptions, letters, palace reliefs, clay tablets, and excavation reports
    • Maps and tables
    [more]

    front cover of Stones, Bones, and the Sacred
    Stones, Bones, and the Sacred
    Essays on Material Culture and Ancient Religion in Honor of Dennis E.
    Alan H. Cadwallader
    SBL Press, 2016

    A crucial text for any university course on the interaction of archaeology and the Bible

    The world of early Christians was not a world lived in texts; it was a world saturated with material reality and concerns: what, where and when to eat or drink; how to present oneself in the space of bodily life and that of death; how to move from one place to another; what impacted status or the adjudication of legal charges. All these and more controlled so much of life in the ancient world. The Christians were not immune from the impact of these realities. Sometimes they absorbed their surrounds; sometimes they quite explicitly rejected the material practices bearing in on them; frequently they modified the practice and the rationale to create a significant Christian alternative. The collection of essays in this volume come from a range of international scholars who, for all their different interests and critical commitments, are yet united in treasuring research into the Greek and Roman worlds in which Christians sought to make their way. They offer these essays in honor of one who has made a lifetime's work in mining ancient material culture to extract nuggets of insight into early Christian dining practices: Dennis E. Smith.

    Features

    • Rich examples of method in the utilization of ancient material culture for biblical interpretation.
    • Thirteen essays with a response from Dennis E. Smith
    • Maps, diagrams, and plates
    [more]

    front cover of Tel Dan in Its Northern Cultic Context
    Tel Dan in Its Northern Cultic Context
    Andrew R. Davis
    SBL Press, 2013
    This work presents in detail a description of archaeological data from the Iron II temple complex at Tel Dan in northern Israel. Davis analyzes the archaeological remains from the ninth and eighth centuries, paying close attention to how the temple functioned as sacred space. Correlating the archaeological data with biblical depictions of worship, especially the “textual strata” of 1 Kings 18 and the book of Amos, Davis argues that the temple was the site of “official” and family religion and that worship at the temple became increasingly centralized. Tel Dan's role in helping reconstruct ancient Israelite religion, especially distinctive religious traditions of the northern kingdom, is also considered.
    [more]

    front cover of Texts from the Pyramid Age
    Texts from the Pyramid Age
    Nigel C. Strudwick
    SBL Press, 2005
    Ancient Egypt is well known for its towering monuments and magnificent statuary, but other aspects of its civilization are less well known, especially its written texts. Now Texts from the Pyramid Age provides ready access to new translations of a representative selection of texts ranging from the historically significant to the repetitive formulae of the tomb inscriptions from Old Kingdom Egypt (ca. 2700-2170 B.C.). These royal and private inscriptions, coming from both the secular and religious milieus and from all kinds of physical contexts, not only shed light on the administration, foreign expeditions, and funerary beliefs of the period but also bring to life the Egyptians themselves, revealing how they saw the world and how they wanted the world to see them. Strudwick's helpful introduction to the history and literature of this seminal period provides important background for reading and understanding these historical texts.
    [more]

    front cover of Textual History and the Reception of Scripture in Early Christianity
    Textual History and the Reception of Scripture in Early Christianity
    Johannes de Vries
    SBL Press, 2013
    The essays in this volume summarize an international research project on early Christian citations from Israel’s scriptures. These quotations are not only theologically significant but are also part of the textual history of the Septuagint and adjacent textual traditions of the Greek and Hebrew Old Testament. The essays discuss relevant manuscripts (Bible codices, papyri, etc.) up to the fifth century, signs and marginal notes (e.g., the diplé) that were used in the ancient scriptoria, and the specifics of the reception history in early Christianity from Matthew to 1 Peter and from the apostolic fathers to Theophilos of Antioch. The contributors are Felix Albrecht, Ronald H. van der Bergh, Heinz-Josef Fabry, Kerstin Heider, Martin Karrer, Christin Klein, Arie van der Kooij, Siegfried Kreuzer, Horacio E. Lona, Martin Meiser, Maarten J. J. Menken, Matthias Millard, Darius Müller, Ferdinand R. Prostmeier, Alexander Stokowski, Martin Vahrenhorst, Christiane Veldboer, and Johannes de Vries.
    [more]

    front cover of Tiglath-pileser III, Founder of the Assyrian Empire
    Tiglath-pileser III, Founder of the Assyrian Empire
    Josette Elayi
    SBL Press, 2022
    Most modern historians consider Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, to be the true founder of the Assyrian Empire. In Josette Elayi's latest work, she takes up this issue in her biography and history of his reign (745-727 BCE). Elayi explores questions surrounding how Tiglath-pileser managed to expand the Assyrian Empire after a period of weakness, what effects Assyrian domination had on Israel and Judah, and how the two kingdoms' fates differed. Using archaeological and textual remains from the period, she completes her trilogy of biographies, which includes Tiglath-pileser's successors, son Sargon II and grandson Sennacherib, who later led the Assyrian Empire to its greatest heights. Elayi provides yet another essential resource for scholars and students of Assyrian history and the Hebrew Bible.
    [more]

    front cover of The Two Houses of Israel
    The Two Houses of Israel
    State Formation and the Origins of Pan-Israelite Identity
    Omer Sergi
    SBL Press, 2023

    The Two Houses of Israel: State Formation and the Origins of Pan-Israelite Identity bridges the gap between the biblical narrative of the great united monarchy ruled by David and Solomon and archaeological and historical reconstructions of a gradual, independent formation of Israel and Judah. Based on a thorough examination of the material remains and settlement patterns in the southern Levant during the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age and on a review of the relevant historical sources, this book provides a detailed reconstruction of the ways in which Israel and Judah were formed as territorial polities and specifically how the house of David rose to power in Jerusalem and Judah. Omer Sergi further situates the stories of Saul and David in their accurate social and historical context in order to illuminate the historical conception of the united monarchy and the pan-Israelite ideology out of which it grew. Sergi provides a new history of the early Israelite monarchies, their formation, and the ways in which these social and political developments were commemorated in the cultural memory of generations to come.

    [more]

    front cover of The Vulgate Bible
    The Vulgate Bible
    Swift Edgar
    Harvard University Press, 2010

    This is the third volume of a projected six-volume set of the complete Vulgate Bible. Compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the turn of the fifth century CE, the Vulgate Bible permeated the Western Christian (and later specifically Catholic) tradition from the early medieval period through the twentieth century. It influenced literature, visual arts, music, and education during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and its contents lay at the heart of Western theological, intellectual, artistic, and even political history during that period. At the end of the sixteenth century, as Protestant vernacular Bibles became available, professors at a Catholic college first at Douay, then at Rheims, translated the Vulgate Bible into English, primarily to combat the influence of rival theologies.

    Volume III presents the Poetical Books of the Bible. It begins with Job’s argument with God, and unlike other Bibles the Vulgate insists on the title character’s faith throughout that crisis. The volume proceeds with the soaring and intimate lyrics of the Psalms and the Canticle of Canticles. Three books of wisdom literature, all once attributed to King Solomon, also are included: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Wisdom. Ecclesiasticus, an important deuterocanonical book of wisdom literature, concludes the volume. The seven Poetical Books mark the third step in a thematic progression from God’s creation of the universe, through his oversight of grand historical events, and finally into the personal lives of his people.

    [more]

    front cover of The Vulgate Bible
    The Vulgate Bible
    Angela M. Kinney
    Harvard University Press, 2010

    This is the fourth volume of a projected six-volume Vulgate Bible. Compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the turn of the fifth century ce, the Vulgate Bible permeated the Western Christian tradition through the twentieth century. It influenced literature, art, music, and education, and its contents lay at the heart of Western theological, intellectual, artistic, and political history through the Renaissance. At the end of the sixteenth century, professors at a Catholic college first at Douay, then at Rheims, translated the Vulgate Bible into English to combat the influence of Protestant vernacular Bibles.

    Volume IV presents the writings attributed to the “major” prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel), which feature dire prophecies of God’s impending judgment, punctuated by portentous visions. Yet profound grief is accompanied by the promise of mercy and redemption, a promise perhaps illustrated best by Isaiah’s visions of a new heaven and a new earth. In contrast with the Historical Books, the planned salvation includes the gentiles.

    [more]

    front cover of The Vulgate Bible
    The Vulgate Bible
    Angela M. Kinney
    Harvard University Press, 2010

    This is the fifth volume of a projected six-volume Vulgate Bible. Compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the turn of the fifth century ce, the Vulgate Bible permeated the Western Christian tradition through the twentieth century. It influenced literature, art, music, and education, and its contents lay at the heart of Western theological, intellectual, artistic, and political history through the Renaissance. At the end of the sixteenth century, professors at a Catholic college first at Douay, then at Rheims, translated the Vulgate Bible into English to combat the influence of Protestant vernacular Bibles.

    Volume V presents the twelve minor prophetical books of the Old Testament, as well as two deuterocanonical books, 1 and 2 Maccabees. While Jewish communities regarded the works of the twelve minor prophets as a single unit (the Dodecapropheton), the Vulgate Bible treats them individually in accordance with Christian tradition. The themes of judgment and redemption featured prominently in the major prophets (Volume IV) are further developed by the minor prophets. The books of 1 and 2 Maccabees conclude the volume. Their doctrinal controversies and highly influential martyrdom narratives anticipate the development of Christian hagiography both as a genre and as a theological vehicle.

    [more]

    front cover of The Vulgate Bible, Volume II
    The Vulgate Bible, Volume II
    Swift Edgar
    Harvard University Press, 2010

    This is the second volume, in two parts, of a projected six-volume set of the complete Vulgate Bible.

    Compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the turn of the fifth century CE, the Vulgate Bible was used from the early medieval period through the twentieth century in the Western Christian (and later specifically Catholic) tradition. It influenced literature, visual arts, music, and education during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and its contents lay at the heart of Western theological, intellectual, artistic, and even political history during that period. At the end of the sixteenth century, as Protestant vernacular Bibles became available, professors at a Catholic college first at Douay, then at Rheims, translated the Vulgate Bible into English, primarily to combat the influence of rival theologies.

    Volume II presents the Historical Books of the Bible, which tell of Joshua’s leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, the judges and kings, Israel’s steady departure from God’s precepts, the Babylonian Captivity, and the return from exile. The focus then shifts to shorter, intimate narratives: the pious Tobit, whose son’s quest leads him to a cure for his father’s blindness; Judith, whose courage and righteousness deliver the Israelites from the Assyrians; and Esther and Mordecai, who saved all the Jews living under Ahasuerus from execution. These three tales come from books that were canonical in the Middle Ages but now are often called “apocryphal,” with the partial exception of the Book of Esther.

    [more]

    front cover of The Vulgate Bible, Volume II
    The Vulgate Bible, Volume II
    Swift Edgar
    Harvard University Press, 2010

    This is the second volume, in two parts, of a projected six-volume set of the complete Vulgate Bible.

    Compiled and translated in large part by Saint Jerome at the turn of the fifth century CE, the Vulgate Bible was used from the early medieval period through the twentieth century in the Western Christian (and later specifically Catholic) tradition. It influenced literature, visual arts, music, and education during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and its contents lay at the heart of Western theological, intellectual, artistic, and even political history during that period. At the end of the sixteenth century, as Protestant vernacular Bibles became available, professors at a Catholic college first at Douay, then at Rheims, translated the Vulgate Bible into English, primarily to combat the influence of rival theologies.

    Volume II presents the Historical Books of the Bible, which tell of Joshua’s leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, the judges and kings, Israel’s steady departure from God’s precepts, the Babylonian Captivity, and the return from exile. The focus then shifts to shorter, intimate narratives: the pious Tobit, whose son’s quest leads him to a cure for his father’s blindness; Judith, whose courage and righteousness deliver the Israelites from the Assyrians; and Esther and Mordecai, who saved all the Jews living under Ahasuerus from execution. These three tales come from books that were canonical in the Middle Ages but now are often called “apocryphal,” with the partial exception of the Book of Esther.

    [more]

    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.

    Features:

    • 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
    [more]

    front cover of The Ways That Often Parted
    The Ways That Often Parted
    Essays in Honor of Joel Marcus
    Lori Baron
    SBL Press, 2018

    Focused studies on the historical interactions and formations of Judaism and Christianity

    This volume of essays, from an internationally renowned group of scholars, challenges popular ways of understanding how Judaism and Christianity came to be separate religions in antiquity. Essays in the volume reject the belief that there was one parting at an early point in time and contest the argument that there was no parting until a very late date. The resulting volume presents a complex account of the numerous ways partings occurred across the ancient Mediterranean spanning the first four centuries CE.

    Features:

    • Case studies that explore how Jews and Christians engaged in interaction, conflict, and collaboration
    • Examinations of the gospels, Paul’s letters, the book of James, as well as rabbinic and noncanonical Christian texts
    • New evidence for historical reconstructions of how Christianity came on the world scene
    [more]

    front cover of When Texts Are Canonized
    When Texts Are Canonized
    Timothy H. Lim
    SBL Press, 2017

    How did canonization take place, and what difference does it make?

    Essays in this collection probe the canonical process: Why were certain books, but not others, included in the canon? What criteria were used to select the books of the canon? Was canonization a divine fiat or human act? What was the nature of the authority of the laws and narratives of the Torah? How did prophecy come to be included in the canon? Others reflect on the consequences of canonization: What are the effects in elevating certain writings to the status of “Holy Scriptures”? What happens when a text is included in an official list? What theological and hermeneutical questions are at stake in the fact of the canon? Should the canon be unsealed or reopened to include other writings?

    Features:

    • Essays that contribute to our understanding of the complex processes of canonization
    • Exploration of early concepts of canonicity
    • Discussion of reopening the New Testament canon
    [more]

    front cover of Who Were the Babylonians?
    Who Were the Babylonians?
    Bill T. Arnold
    SBL Press, 2004
    This engaging and informative introduction to the the Babylonians were important not only because of their many historical contacts with ancient Israel but because they and their predecessors, the Sumerians, established the philosophical and social infrastructure for most of Western Asia for nearly two millennia. Beginning and advanced students as well as biblical scholars and interested nonspecialists will read this introduction to the history and culture of the Babylonians with interest and profit.
    [more]

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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
    [more]

    front cover of XVII Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies
    XVII Congress of the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies
    Aberdeen, 2019
    Gideon R. Kotzé
    SBL Press, 2022

    This volume from the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS) includes the papers given at the XVII Congress of the IOSCS, which was held in Aberdeen in 2019. Essays in the collection fall into five areas of focus: textual history, historical context, syntax and semantics, exegesis and theology, and commentary. Scholars examine a range of Old Testament and New Testament texts. Contributors include Kenneth Atkinson, Bryan Beeckman, Elena Belenkaja, Beatrice Bonanno, Eberhard Bons, Cameron Boyd-Taylor, Ryan Comins, S. Peter Cowe, Claude Cox, Dries De Crom, Paul L. Danove, Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Frank Feder, W. Edward Glenny, Roger Good, Robert J. V. Hiebert, Gideon R. Kotzé, Robert Kugler, Nathan LaMontagne, Giulia Leonardi, Ekaterina Matusova, Jean Maurais, Michaël N. van der Meer, Martin Meiser, Douglas C. Mohrmann, Daniel Olariou, Vladimir Olivero, Luke Neubert, Daniel Prokop, Alison Salvesen, Daniela Scialabba, Leonardo Pessoa da Silva Pinto, Martin Tscheu, and Jelle Verburg.

    [more]


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