Bob Becking
Bob Becking

Bob Becking is Professor Emeritus of Bible, Identity and Religion in the Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University

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Nahum: A Trauma for a Trauma

Published: Jun 2024
£18.00£27.00
In this first volume of our Trauma Bible Commentary series, Bob Becking encourages attention to Nahum as a text that could—or probably should—be read as a reflection to trauma. The text sits within a history of humankind that is full of traumatising events, which may be experienced on an almost daily basis.The small Book of Nahum saw the light of day in times of trouble. Samaria was reduced to an Assyrian province; Judah to a vassal-state—both suffered from the presence of the Assyrian yoke, including loss of independence, deportations and paying of tribute. This commentary re-considers the author, noting he was a person who had inside knowledge of Assyrian culture and language. This anonymous author was veiled behind the name Nahum, meaning consolation.  What kind of consolation is promised in this pamphlet and at what price? In what way is the book of Nahum to be seen as a consoling reaction to this trauma?    ​​Becking provides a contemporary trauma informed critique of the book’s approach—and by reading against the grain explains Nahum’s way out of trauma is not the only route; rather another pathway of mourning, coping and healing could be taken. The God of Nahum has two faces: one compassionate and one full of wrath. Using close textual analysis, Becking argues that the Assyrians will be defeated by divine wrath leading to an end of Israel’s trauma. Reading Nahum conceptually, reveals that the book is based on the idea of retribution: ‘an eye for an eye’. Theologically this raises big questions when appropriating the ‘message’ of Nahum to our times:
  • Is it not against humanitarianism to believe in such a revengeful God?
  • Or is it perhaps worse: to adopt this idea to justify human acts in the many traumatising conflicts that determine our age?
 

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Nahum: A Trauma for a Trauma

£18.00£27.00
In this first volume of our Trauma Bible Commentary series, Bob Becking encourages attention to Nahum as a text that could—or probably should—be read as a reflection to trauma. The text sits within a history of humankind that is full of traumatising events, which may be experienced on an almost daily basis.The small Book of Nahum saw the light of day in times of trouble. Samaria was reduced to an Assyrian province; Judah to a vassal-state—both suffered from the presence of the Assyrian yoke, including loss of independence, deportations and paying of tribute. This commentary re-considers the author, noting he was a person who had inside knowledge of Assyrian culture and language. This anonymous author was veiled behind the name Nahum, meaning consolation.  What kind of consolation is promised in this pamphlet and at what price? In what way is the book of Nahum to be seen as a consoling reaction to this trauma?    ​​Becking provides a contemporary trauma informed critique of the book’s approach—and by reading against the grain explains Nahum’s way out of trauma is not the only route; rather another pathway of mourning, coping and healing could be taken. The God of Nahum has two faces: one compassionate and one full of wrath. Using close textual analysis, Becking argues that the Assyrians will be defeated by divine wrath leading to an end of Israel’s trauma. Reading Nahum conceptually, reveals that the book is based on the idea of retribution: ‘an eye for an eye’. Theologically this raises big questions when appropriating the ‘message’ of Nahum to our times:
  • Is it not against humanitarianism to believe in such a revengeful God?
  • Or is it perhaps worse: to adopt this idea to justify human acts in the many traumatising conflicts that determine our age?
 

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Obadiah

Published: July 2016
£14.00£16.00
Although Obadiah is the smallest book in the Hebrew Bible, its readers are confronted with a variety of challenges —linguistic, historical and hermeneutical. In the present volume the Book of Obadiah is approached from a variety of angles and reading strategies. These approaches sometimes concur, but often contradict one another. Bob Becking discusses various grammatical and linguistic problems of the Hebrew text in translating the book for a post-secular audience. Historical questions are the province of Nadav Na'aman. What were the 'events' with which the text seems to cope? Literary-historical issues concern Marvin Sweeney, who sees the book as the end-result of a complex redaction history in which the text was read in connection with and confrontation to the other Minor Prophets. Reading from particular positions is the theme of Gerrie Snyman, approaching the book in a South-African context, and asking, Who is vulnerable and who is not? Julia O'Brien takes a gender-specific approach asking, What does it mean that Edom is a brother who breaks the family code? Eric Ottenheijm traces the ways in which the Rabbis understood Obadiah. With insights from newly developing fields, Nicholas Werse discusses the violent character of judgment in the book in the light of semiotics, and Bradford Anderson brings to the fore the spatial rhetoric in the book. The authors of this volume offer their readings of the text in a non-exclusive way. No one claims to have found the one and only way to appreciate the message of the prophetic book. It is up to the readers of this volume —and of the Book of Obadiah —to decide how they will read the book in the changing circumstances of life.
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Obadiah

£14.00£16.00
Although Obadiah is the smallest book in the Hebrew Bible, its readers are confronted with a variety of challenges —linguistic, historical and hermeneutical. In the present volume the Book of Obadiah is approached from a variety of angles and reading strategies. These approaches sometimes concur, but often contradict one another. Bob Becking discusses various grammatical and linguistic problems of the Hebrew text in translating the book for a post-secular audience. Historical questions are the province of Nadav Na'aman. What were the 'events' with which the text seems to cope? Literary-historical issues concern Marvin Sweeney, who sees the book as the end-result of a complex redaction history in which the text was read in connection with and confrontation to the other Minor Prophets. Reading from particular positions is the theme of Gerrie Snyman, approaching the book in a South-African context, and asking, Who is vulnerable and who is not? Julia O'Brien takes a gender-specific approach asking, What does it mean that Edom is a brother who breaks the family code? Eric Ottenheijm traces the ways in which the Rabbis understood Obadiah. With insights from newly developing fields, Nicholas Werse discusses the violent character of judgment in the book in the light of semiotics, and Bradford Anderson brings to the fore the spatial rhetoric in the book. The authors of this volume offer their readings of the text in a non-exclusive way. No one claims to have found the one and only way to appreciate the message of the prophetic book. It is up to the readers of this volume —and of the Book of Obadiah —to decide how they will read the book in the changing circumstances of life.
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Out of Paradise: Eve and Adam and Their Interpreters

Published: Dec 2010
Original price was: £55.00.Current price is: £20.00.
This volume explores the afterlives of Eve and Adam beyond the Genesis story. How did they become such a prominent part of mainstream Christian thought and theology —and Jewish and Muslim tradition as well —, and what forms did their story take as it was told and retold? To investigate the traces of Eve and Adam through the centuries is to discover a surprising variety of interpretations. The chapters of this book come from eleven European scholars. Bob Becking writes on how the identity of the primaeval couple is constructed in Genesis, Geert van Oyen on Eve as a character in the New Testament, Willemien Otten on Adam and Eve in Augustine, Harm Goris on them in Aquinas, Theo Bell on them in Luther. Willem van Asselt examines the Pre-Adamites in the theology of Isaac La Peyrère, Heleen Zorgdrager considers Adam and Eve in the theology of Schleiermacher, Susanne Hennecke focuses on Karl Barth and Luce Irigaray looking at Michelangelo's The Creation, Anne-Marie Korte on the Genesis story in a feminist theological perspective, Eric Ottenheijm on Eve and 'women's commandments' in orthodox Judaism, and Karel Steenbrink on Muslim interpretations of their story.
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Out of Paradise: Eve and Adam and Their Interpreters

Original price was: £55.00.Current price is: £20.00.
This volume explores the afterlives of Eve and Adam beyond the Genesis story. How did they become such a prominent part of mainstream Christian thought and theology —and Jewish and Muslim tradition as well —, and what forms did their story take as it was told and retold? To investigate the traces of Eve and Adam through the centuries is to discover a surprising variety of interpretations. The chapters of this book come from eleven European scholars. Bob Becking writes on how the identity of the primaeval couple is constructed in Genesis, Geert van Oyen on Eve as a character in the New Testament, Willemien Otten on Adam and Eve in Augustine, Harm Goris on them in Aquinas, Theo Bell on them in Luther. Willem van Asselt examines the Pre-Adamites in the theology of Isaac La Peyrère, Heleen Zorgdrager considers Adam and Eve in the theology of Schleiermacher, Susanne Hennecke focuses on Karl Barth and Luce Irigaray looking at Michelangelo's The Creation, Anne-Marie Korte on the Genesis story in a feminist theological perspective, Eric Ottenheijm on Eve and 'women's commandments' in orthodox Judaism, and Karel Steenbrink on Muslim interpretations of their story.
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