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Joban Papers

Published: Mar 2023
£75.00
In this volume, David Clines, known for his magisterial three-volume commentary on Job in the Word Biblical Commentary series (1989–2011) brings together a sequence of 27 of his papers on his favourite biblical book from a variety of publications. In two sections, the wide-ranging Syntheses and the more focused Probes on particular chapters, this collection is a necessary adjunct to his commentary. Among the titles in the Syntheses are On the Poetic Achievement of the Book of Job, Why Is There a Book of Job, and What Does It Do to You If You Read It?, Job’s Fifth Friend: An Ethical Critique of the Book of Job, and Deconstructing the Book of Job. Among the Probes the reader will find False Naivety in the Prologue to Job, In Search of the Indian Job, Quarter Days Gone: Job 24 and the Absence of God, Those Golden Days: Job and the Perils of Nostalgia,Putting Elihu in his Place: A Proposal for the Relocation of Job 32–37, One or Two Things You May Not Know about the Universe, The Worth of Animals in the Book of Job, Job’s Crafty Conclusion, and Seven Interesting Things about the Epilogue to Job.
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Joban Papers

£75.00
In this volume, David Clines, known for his magisterial three-volume commentary on Job in the Word Biblical Commentary series (1989–2011) brings together a sequence of 27 of his papers on his favourite biblical book from a variety of publications. In two sections, the wide-ranging Syntheses and the more focused Probes on particular chapters, this collection is a necessary adjunct to his commentary. Among the titles in the Syntheses are On the Poetic Achievement of the Book of Job, Why Is There a Book of Job, and What Does It Do to You If You Read It?, Job’s Fifth Friend: An Ethical Critique of the Book of Job, and Deconstructing the Book of Job. Among the Probes the reader will find False Naivety in the Prologue to Job, In Search of the Indian Job, Quarter Days Gone: Job 24 and the Absence of God, Those Golden Days: Job and the Perils of Nostalgia,Putting Elihu in his Place: A Proposal for the Relocation of Job 32–37, One or Two Things You May Not Know about the Universe, The Worth of Animals in the Book of Job, Job’s Crafty Conclusion, and Seven Interesting Things about the Epilogue to Job.
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1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary

Published: Mar 2023
£70.00
In this uniquely conceived and brilliantly illustrated book, Martin OKane, one of the leading experts internationally on biblical art, turns his attention to the narratives of 1 and 2 Kings. Here we encounter a large and varied cast of characters, men and women whose lives are portrayed imaginatively, ranging from exotic kings and queens and flamboyant prophets to lowly servants and other insignificant functionaries. Readers meet individuals of all ages, from the old and wise to the young and foolish, saints and sinners alike. Many of these characters, and the stories in which they appear, play a prominent part in the religious traditions and cultural worlds of three major faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Interpreted according to each faith’s distinctive norms, they are popular subjects not only in the literature but also in the rich iconographies of the three religions. 1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary has the form of a commentary that focuses on the interpretation of characters and stories from the books of Kings in the visual cultures of the three monotheistic faiths. In each chapter, the first section sets out the most distinctive interpretations and appropriations of the biblical story. The second section interprets how the story has been received and interpreted in Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature. The final section presents how characters or episodes from Kings appear in the characteristic art of these three worlds. With its over one hundred full-colour images, from Christian mediaeval manuscripts and Persian and Ottoman miniature paintings to contemporary Jewish art, the volume shows why stories from 1–2 Kings feature so prominently in the artistic and cultural worlds the three religions have helped to shape. Scholars, students and Bible readers in general will find something new and something delightful on every page of this unusually engaging work.
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1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary

£70.00
In this uniquely conceived and brilliantly illustrated book, Martin OKane, one of the leading experts internationally on biblical art, turns his attention to the narratives of 1 and 2 Kings. Here we encounter a large and varied cast of characters, men and women whose lives are portrayed imaginatively, ranging from exotic kings and queens and flamboyant prophets to lowly servants and other insignificant functionaries. Readers meet individuals of all ages, from the old and wise to the young and foolish, saints and sinners alike. Many of these characters, and the stories in which they appear, play a prominent part in the religious traditions and cultural worlds of three major faiths—Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Interpreted according to each faith’s distinctive norms, they are popular subjects not only in the literature but also in the rich iconographies of the three religions. 1 and 2 Kings: A Visual Commentary has the form of a commentary that focuses on the interpretation of characters and stories from the books of Kings in the visual cultures of the three monotheistic faiths. In each chapter, the first section sets out the most distinctive interpretations and appropriations of the biblical story. The second section interprets how the story has been received and interpreted in Jewish, Christian and Islamic literature. The final section presents how characters or episodes from Kings appear in the characteristic art of these three worlds. With its over one hundred full-colour images, from Christian mediaeval manuscripts and Persian and Ottoman miniature paintings to contemporary Jewish art, the volume shows why stories from 1–2 Kings feature so prominently in the artistic and cultural worlds the three religions have helped to shape. Scholars, students and Bible readers in general will find something new and something delightful on every page of this unusually engaging work.
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Lamentations: From Despair to Prayer

Published: May 2022
£65.00
The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in the sixth century bce brought its inhabitants pain, a feeling of abandonment by God, and the loss of self-identity—and engendered the six poems of the book of Lamentations. Previous studies of the book have sought for its theological centre, or have read the book solely as an expression of grief, but in this innovative interpretation Elie Assis claims that its main aim is to impart hope to its exiled readers. The intention of Lamentations is to transport the mourners from despair to prayer, and to offer its assurance that the destruction must only be temporary because God has not severed his covenant with the people. The people's wish to feel themselves desired by God can be fulfilled, and the divine commitment is forever binding. Through his sensitive literary analysis Assis lays bare a progression of thought within each poem and as well from poem to poem; it is a movement, theological and emotional, from despair in the first poem to prayer and hope in the last.
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Lamentations: From Despair to Prayer

£65.00
The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in the sixth century bce brought its inhabitants pain, a feeling of abandonment by God, and the loss of self-identity—and engendered the six poems of the book of Lamentations. Previous studies of the book have sought for its theological centre, or have read the book solely as an expression of grief, but in this innovative interpretation Elie Assis claims that its main aim is to impart hope to its exiled readers. The intention of Lamentations is to transport the mourners from despair to prayer, and to offer its assurance that the destruction must only be temporary because God has not severed his covenant with the people. The people's wish to feel themselves desired by God can be fulfilled, and the divine commitment is forever binding. Through his sensitive literary analysis Assis lays bare a progression of thought within each poem and as well from poem to poem; it is a movement, theological and emotional, from despair in the first poem to prayer and hope in the last.
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From Words to Meaning: Studies on Old Testament Language and Theology for David J. Reimer

Published: Dec 2021
£60.00
David J. Reimer, to whom this volume is dedicated, has taught over twenty years at New College in Edinburgh. During this time, he has published and supervised many projects in the areas of Hebrew language study and Old Testament theology. These two disciplines often stay each in their own territory. As a token of recognition to David's scholarship, From Words to Meaning is designed to bridge this gap and to demonstrate afresh how speaking theologically about the Old Testament is enriched when it focuses on how these ancient texts communicate their message. With its analysis of selected literary aspects, words, and theological questions, the volume contributes to current methodological discussions in both disciplines. Each of its twelve essays provides a case study that models the crossover between theology and language study. Alongside up-to-date discussions about Bible translation and biblical theology, the volume sheds new light on old questions, such as resurrection and Christology in the Old Testament. Inasmuch as all of these items are established topics in Old Testament theology, From Words to Meaning highlights time and again how close attention to Hebrew language results in a more nuanced understanding. This holds true especially for the many exercises of lexical semantics and pragmatics that are included in the volume. Readers will benefit from the careful study of the words 'to save' and 'glory', but will also gain fresh insights into the rhetoric of David's tears, Hosea's culinary metaphors, and Jeremiah's speech quotation. The combination of well-established writers and emerging new voices results in a rounded sample of how we may move 'from words to meaning'. With its expertise and methodological orientation, the volume is an excellent resource for all scholars who are interested in the interplay of theology and language in the field of Old Testament studies.
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From Words to Meaning: Studies on Old Testament Language and Theology for David J. Reimer

£60.00
David J. Reimer, to whom this volume is dedicated, has taught over twenty years at New College in Edinburgh. During this time, he has published and supervised many projects in the areas of Hebrew language study and Old Testament theology. These two disciplines often stay each in their own territory. As a token of recognition to David's scholarship, From Words to Meaning is designed to bridge this gap and to demonstrate afresh how speaking theologically about the Old Testament is enriched when it focuses on how these ancient texts communicate their message. With its analysis of selected literary aspects, words, and theological questions, the volume contributes to current methodological discussions in both disciplines. Each of its twelve essays provides a case study that models the crossover between theology and language study. Alongside up-to-date discussions about Bible translation and biblical theology, the volume sheds new light on old questions, such as resurrection and Christology in the Old Testament. Inasmuch as all of these items are established topics in Old Testament theology, From Words to Meaning highlights time and again how close attention to Hebrew language results in a more nuanced understanding. This holds true especially for the many exercises of lexical semantics and pragmatics that are included in the volume. Readers will benefit from the careful study of the words 'to save' and 'glory', but will also gain fresh insights into the rhetoric of David's tears, Hosea's culinary metaphors, and Jeremiah's speech quotation. The combination of well-established writers and emerging new voices results in a rounded sample of how we may move 'from words to meaning'. With its expertise and methodological orientation, the volume is an excellent resource for all scholars who are interested in the interplay of theology and language in the field of Old Testament studies.
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Epigraphy, Iconography, and the Bible

Published: Dec 2021
£85.00
The study of the Bible has long been illuminated by 'light from the East' (in the famous phrase of Adolf Deissmann in 1908). Almost daily, new artifacts and inscriptions are announced that will have an impact on how the Bible is read and understood. Following Meir Lubetski's SPP collection New Seals and Inscriptions, Hebrew, Idumean and Cuneiform in 2007 and his Festschrift, Visions of Life in Biblical Times in 2015, the present volume garners papers from a wide and distinguished panel of specialists in the Ancient Near East that revisit former assumptions and present new insights on the relevance of its material culture to the Bible. Among the papers, Alan Millard reviews the issue of the use of the early alphabets, André Lemaire revisits the Mesha stele (the Moabite Stone), and Pieter Gert van der Veen takes a fresh look at the seal of Shema with its famous lion (still adorning the cover of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament). Bezalel Porten contributes a fascinating study, illustrated by twenty colour diagrams, of documents on papyrus or ostraca requesting provisions from storerooms—an insight into the practicalities of daily administrative life in Egypt, Idumea and Israel. There are papers also on the arks of the Hebrew Bible (Yigal Levin), on alleged identifications of Hebrew kings in inscriptions (Lawrence Mykytiuk), on literary images in the Tell Fekheriye inscription and the book of Lamentations (Gideon Kotzé) and on Judaean pillar figurines of women that are ubiquitous in archaeological excavations from Iron Age Judah. Epigraphy, Iconography, and the Bible, in sum, is something of a cornucopia of new and revised data about the Hebrew Bible in its ancient context, intelligible to scholars, students and a more general public alike.
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Epigraphy, Iconography, and the Bible

£85.00
The study of the Bible has long been illuminated by 'light from the East' (in the famous phrase of Adolf Deissmann in 1908). Almost daily, new artifacts and inscriptions are announced that will have an impact on how the Bible is read and understood. Following Meir Lubetski's SPP collection New Seals and Inscriptions, Hebrew, Idumean and Cuneiform in 2007 and his Festschrift, Visions of Life in Biblical Times in 2015, the present volume garners papers from a wide and distinguished panel of specialists in the Ancient Near East that revisit former assumptions and present new insights on the relevance of its material culture to the Bible. Among the papers, Alan Millard reviews the issue of the use of the early alphabets, André Lemaire revisits the Mesha stele (the Moabite Stone), and Pieter Gert van der Veen takes a fresh look at the seal of Shema with its famous lion (still adorning the cover of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament). Bezalel Porten contributes a fascinating study, illustrated by twenty colour diagrams, of documents on papyrus or ostraca requesting provisions from storerooms—an insight into the practicalities of daily administrative life in Egypt, Idumea and Israel. There are papers also on the arks of the Hebrew Bible (Yigal Levin), on alleged identifications of Hebrew kings in inscriptions (Lawrence Mykytiuk), on literary images in the Tell Fekheriye inscription and the book of Lamentations (Gideon Kotzé) and on Judaean pillar figurines of women that are ubiquitous in archaeological excavations from Iron Age Judah. Epigraphy, Iconography, and the Bible, in sum, is something of a cornucopia of new and revised data about the Hebrew Bible in its ancient context, intelligible to scholars, students and a more general public alike.
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A Theology of Genocide? : Reading Deuteronomy 20

Published: Oct 2021
£70.00
The twentieth century has been described, not without justification, as the 'Century of Genocide'. Whole groups of people have been targeted for slaughter because of their ethnicity or religion, from Armenia to Rwanda. Against this background, how are we to understand the command in Deuteronomy to 'not leave alive anything that breathes' of the Canaanite nations present in the Promised Land (Deut 20.17-18)? In this penetrating study, Milner begins by asking if this passage has been used to justify genocidal violence (it has, but not nearly as much as some have thought). He then considers how such texts have been understood, demonstrating that most readers have taken the passage allegorically, as a metaphor for the interior struggle against sin. That may seem to be too easy a solution. Yet, looking at modern historical and literary analyses of the text, Milner shows that the original audiences of this passage would also have taken it symbolically, since they lived many generations after the 'narrated time' of the Conquest when no Canaanites populations remained to be exterminated. Further, the narrative itself demonstrates that the 'military option' was a complete failure, and does not commend it to the audience of the text. Milner argues that God no more commanded genocide than he wandered about in the evening breeze in Eden (Gen 3:8) or encouraged Satan to persecute and tempt Job (Job 1-2). This is by no means a new insight, he says, tracing it back to early Christian theologians, particularly Origen and Gregory of Nyssa, who argued that passages not 'worthy of God' should not be interpreted literally.
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A Theology of Genocide? : Reading Deuteronomy 20

£70.00
The twentieth century has been described, not without justification, as the 'Century of Genocide'. Whole groups of people have been targeted for slaughter because of their ethnicity or religion, from Armenia to Rwanda. Against this background, how are we to understand the command in Deuteronomy to 'not leave alive anything that breathes' of the Canaanite nations present in the Promised Land (Deut 20.17-18)? In this penetrating study, Milner begins by asking if this passage has been used to justify genocidal violence (it has, but not nearly as much as some have thought). He then considers how such texts have been understood, demonstrating that most readers have taken the passage allegorically, as a metaphor for the interior struggle against sin. That may seem to be too easy a solution. Yet, looking at modern historical and literary analyses of the text, Milner shows that the original audiences of this passage would also have taken it symbolically, since they lived many generations after the 'narrated time' of the Conquest when no Canaanites populations remained to be exterminated. Further, the narrative itself demonstrates that the 'military option' was a complete failure, and does not commend it to the audience of the text. Milner argues that God no more commanded genocide than he wandered about in the evening breeze in Eden (Gen 3:8) or encouraged Satan to persecute and tempt Job (Job 1-2). This is by no means a new insight, he says, tracing it back to early Christian theologians, particularly Origen and Gregory of Nyssa, who argued that passages not 'worthy of God' should not be interpreted literally.
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Herald of Good Tidings: Essays on the Bible, Prophecy, and the Hope of Israel in Honour of Antti Laato

Published: Sep 2021
£90.00
This volume is dedicated to the prominent biblical scholar, Antti Laato, of Åbo Akademi University, Finland, on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. In his extensive and many-faceted scholarly work spanning more than 35 years, there have been some focal points. One has been the Book of Isaiah, and, more broadly, the prophetic books and the messianic hopes they contain. From the 2010s onwards, another aspect has gained more visibility in Antti Laato's work: the reception history of the Bible —the Hebrew Bible in particular —in both Judaism and Christianity. Herald of Good Tidings is a collection of papers, by nineteen scholars mainly from the Nordic countries, on the heralds of redemption and hope, the prophets —their voice, words and deeds, and on the status and role of these prophets. The first part of the volume concerns the world of the Hebrew Bible: biblical prophetism, the prophets themselves and their books. The second part is devoted to the continuing message of the prophets in its post-biblical Jewish and Christian reception. A key aspect is their message of a bright future, whether about hope in general or about the Messiah. Their words are constantly being interpreted, sometimes personalities of the post-biblical era also being seen as prophetic figures. The brief third part of the book illustrates the ongoing influence of the prophets in times yet more distant than the post-biblical age from the prophets of the Hebrew Bible.
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Herald of Good Tidings: Essays on the Bible, Prophecy, and the Hope of Israel in Honour of Antti Laato

£90.00
This volume is dedicated to the prominent biblical scholar, Antti Laato, of Åbo Akademi University, Finland, on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. In his extensive and many-faceted scholarly work spanning more than 35 years, there have been some focal points. One has been the Book of Isaiah, and, more broadly, the prophetic books and the messianic hopes they contain. From the 2010s onwards, another aspect has gained more visibility in Antti Laato's work: the reception history of the Bible —the Hebrew Bible in particular —in both Judaism and Christianity. Herald of Good Tidings is a collection of papers, by nineteen scholars mainly from the Nordic countries, on the heralds of redemption and hope, the prophets —their voice, words and deeds, and on the status and role of these prophets. The first part of the volume concerns the world of the Hebrew Bible: biblical prophetism, the prophets themselves and their books. The second part is devoted to the continuing message of the prophets in its post-biblical Jewish and Christian reception. A key aspect is their message of a bright future, whether about hope in general or about the Messiah. Their words are constantly being interpreted, sometimes personalities of the post-biblical era also being seen as prophetic figures. The brief third part of the book illustrates the ongoing influence of the prophets in times yet more distant than the post-biblical age from the prophets of the Hebrew Bible.
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Sequencing the Hebrew Bible: The Order of the Books

Published: July 2021
£55.00
If the order of the Hebrew Bible's books is significant, as many believe, why did differing arrangements of the Hebrew Bible emerge over time? This is a crucial question for Bible readers generally and especially for scholars of compilational criticism —the study of how the books of the Hebrew Bible were arranged in their various orders. Yet few compilational critics offer a solution to this problem and several fail even to recognize the issue. Sequencing the Hebrew Bible makes the novel proposal that multiple orders are part of the compositional intent of the framers of the Hebrew Bible. That is, those responsible for producing the final form of the Hebrew Bible's text created multiple ways in which its books could be meaningfully arranged. No single arrangement, as found in ancient manuscripts and lists of the books, can fully account for the compositional intent of these framers. The task of the compilational critic is to identify these arrangements, classify them, and evaluate the effect of these varying arrangements. This solution has implications both for the production of modern Bibles and for biblical theology. While some interested in compilational criticism argue that modern Bibles should be reorganized to reflect earlier arrangements of the biblical books, this study would suggest that such attempts would be limited in value. For only one of the several attested arrangements could be presented in any printed Bible. As for the idea of attempting to arrange the Bible chronologically, this study argues that to do so would inhibit the reader's understanding of the design of the biblical authors. Since biblical theology bridges the gap between historical-critical and theological studies, internal tensions between historical and theological analyses are often apparent within biblical theology. Compilational criticism helps to relieve these tensions by showing how theology underlies the formation of the Hebrew Bible.
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Sequencing the Hebrew Bible: The Order of the Books

£55.00
If the order of the Hebrew Bible's books is significant, as many believe, why did differing arrangements of the Hebrew Bible emerge over time? This is a crucial question for Bible readers generally and especially for scholars of compilational criticism —the study of how the books of the Hebrew Bible were arranged in their various orders. Yet few compilational critics offer a solution to this problem and several fail even to recognize the issue. Sequencing the Hebrew Bible makes the novel proposal that multiple orders are part of the compositional intent of the framers of the Hebrew Bible. That is, those responsible for producing the final form of the Hebrew Bible's text created multiple ways in which its books could be meaningfully arranged. No single arrangement, as found in ancient manuscripts and lists of the books, can fully account for the compositional intent of these framers. The task of the compilational critic is to identify these arrangements, classify them, and evaluate the effect of these varying arrangements. This solution has implications both for the production of modern Bibles and for biblical theology. While some interested in compilational criticism argue that modern Bibles should be reorganized to reflect earlier arrangements of the biblical books, this study would suggest that such attempts would be limited in value. For only one of the several attested arrangements could be presented in any printed Bible. As for the idea of attempting to arrange the Bible chronologically, this study argues that to do so would inhibit the reader's understanding of the design of the biblical authors. Since biblical theology bridges the gap between historical-critical and theological studies, internal tensions between historical and theological analyses are often apparent within biblical theology. Compilational criticism helps to relieve these tensions by showing how theology underlies the formation of the Hebrew Bible.
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Explanations for Exile in Amos

Published: July 2021
£60.00
In four places, Amos announces Israel's coming exile to Assyria: 4.1-3, 5.25-27, 6.1-14 and 7.7-17. It will be Yahweh's punishment for social injustice. But who is to blame? Most scholars think it is the women (and men) of the mid-eighth-century BCE Israelite upper class. Not so, says Campos. It is the kings who are the culprits. Kings should champion social justice, as we know from ancient Near Eastern texts and biblical books like Jeremiah, and the endurance of the kingship depends on their upholding justice. Kings must also remain loyal Yahwists, and keep clear of alliances with foreign powers. The kingship has failed on these counts. In this forensic overturning of time-honoured readings of Amos's oracles, and with a fresh eye for his metaphors, Martha Campos outs the successors of Jeroboam (7.9) as the cows of Bashan (4.1), manufacturers of images for non-Yahwistic worship, especially of Ninurta/Sakkuth (5.26), lounging on couches at their banquets (6.4). And Amos himself is a tin wall (7.8), strong enough to fend off the arrows of his opponents. Explanations for Exile will be a breath of fresh air for scholars and students of the prophet Amos.
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Explanations for Exile in Amos

£60.00
In four places, Amos announces Israel's coming exile to Assyria: 4.1-3, 5.25-27, 6.1-14 and 7.7-17. It will be Yahweh's punishment for social injustice. But who is to blame? Most scholars think it is the women (and men) of the mid-eighth-century BCE Israelite upper class. Not so, says Campos. It is the kings who are the culprits. Kings should champion social justice, as we know from ancient Near Eastern texts and biblical books like Jeremiah, and the endurance of the kingship depends on their upholding justice. Kings must also remain loyal Yahwists, and keep clear of alliances with foreign powers. The kingship has failed on these counts. In this forensic overturning of time-honoured readings of Amos's oracles, and with a fresh eye for his metaphors, Martha Campos outs the successors of Jeroboam (7.9) as the cows of Bashan (4.1), manufacturers of images for non-Yahwistic worship, especially of Ninurta/Sakkuth (5.26), lounging on couches at their banquets (6.4). And Amos himself is a tin wall (7.8), strong enough to fend off the arrows of his opponents. Explanations for Exile will be a breath of fresh air for scholars and students of the prophet Amos.
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The Great Drama of Jeremiah: A Performance Reading

Published: May 2021
£65.00
In this original work, joining the growing corpus of performance criticism of Hebrew Bible texts, Billingham offers a performance reading of some eleven scenes in the book of Jeremiah, analysing their scripts, actors/speakers, audiences, settings and improvisation of scripts. While kings, priests, prophets and people act in various ways in these performances, Jeremiah himself plays an important role both in reporting their actions and in delivering speeches proclaiming Yhwh's oracles. Earth and members of the Earth community also raise their voices in distress at the absence of the exiled people. The people of the exile themselves can be assumed as the audience if no other is designated in a scene; it will be their role to process the experiences of the drama. Various socio-political and geographical contexts provide safe settings in which they may view the traumatic events that unfold. In a synchronic reading, Billingham argues that Jeremiah improvises several old Israelite traditions, applying them to the new context of exile, challenging the prevailing royal-priestly ideology, and prompting the audience to rethink its beliefs, attitudes and actions. Among the performances analysed in this book are the divine ultrasound of the pre-natal prophet, Jeremiah's vision of the reversal of creation, the people's search for a single righteous person in Jerusalem, the siege of the city and (horror!) the destruction of the temple. In a ludicrous contest with the idols, the best god wins. And Jeremiah smashes a pot as a sign-act for Judah's destruction. This heuristic reading of Jeremiah invites readers to interact with Jeremiah's messages as dramatic performances that may be brought to life in their own experiences of crisis, challenge and triumph.
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The Great Drama of Jeremiah: A Performance Reading

£65.00
In this original work, joining the growing corpus of performance criticism of Hebrew Bible texts, Billingham offers a performance reading of some eleven scenes in the book of Jeremiah, analysing their scripts, actors/speakers, audiences, settings and improvisation of scripts. While kings, priests, prophets and people act in various ways in these performances, Jeremiah himself plays an important role both in reporting their actions and in delivering speeches proclaiming Yhwh's oracles. Earth and members of the Earth community also raise their voices in distress at the absence of the exiled people. The people of the exile themselves can be assumed as the audience if no other is designated in a scene; it will be their role to process the experiences of the drama. Various socio-political and geographical contexts provide safe settings in which they may view the traumatic events that unfold. In a synchronic reading, Billingham argues that Jeremiah improvises several old Israelite traditions, applying them to the new context of exile, challenging the prevailing royal-priestly ideology, and prompting the audience to rethink its beliefs, attitudes and actions. Among the performances analysed in this book are the divine ultrasound of the pre-natal prophet, Jeremiah's vision of the reversal of creation, the people's search for a single righteous person in Jerusalem, the siege of the city and (horror!) the destruction of the temple. In a ludicrous contest with the idols, the best god wins. And Jeremiah smashes a pot as a sign-act for Judah's destruction. This heuristic reading of Jeremiah invites readers to interact with Jeremiah's messages as dramatic performances that may be brought to life in their own experiences of crisis, challenge and triumph.
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Abishag: Administrator of King David’s Household

Published: May 2021
£80.00
Following Daniel Bodi's previous monographs on the three wives of King David —Michal, Bathsheba and Abigail —here is a fourth one on Abishag, the last woman in his life. It has not been recognized before how decisive a role she played as a palace administrator in David's final political crisis, Adonijah's coup d’état , and Solomon's proclamation as king. Hitherto, Abishag has been given androcentric readings. Her position as administrator has been demoted to that of a mere housekeeper, bedfellow or even hot-water bottle. Some rabbinic authors transformed her into an androgynous being, claiming an intersex person warms better than a young female virgin. In fact, the term for Abishag's office as sōkenet is nothing but the feminine form of sken 'palace steward', a well-known functionary across the Semitic world. Much more than a simple housekeeper, Abishag wields administrative power with a legal role as a witness in Solomon's appointment. Exploring further the role of women at royal courts, Bodi also offers a comparative analysis of the famous queens who played a role in the royal succession as kings' mothers in Egypt, Mari, Hatti, Ugarit and Assyria. Solomon's appointment as David's successor results from a palace putsch, executed with cunning and craftiness, which are to be understood as archaic forms of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible, classical Greece and the ancient Near East. The stories of David's wives —and of Abishag —together form a Hebrew document in the style of an Advice to a Prince. An interesting comparison is drawn between David's four wives and the four females Odysseus encounters in Homer's Odyssey: Circe, Calypso, Nausicaa and Penelope. Strikingly, the Hebrew version of the Advice to a Prince and the Homeric Epic were being written at roughly the same time, the end of the eighth century bce.
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Abishag: Administrator of King David’s Household

£80.00
Following Daniel Bodi's previous monographs on the three wives of King David —Michal, Bathsheba and Abigail —here is a fourth one on Abishag, the last woman in his life. It has not been recognized before how decisive a role she played as a palace administrator in David's final political crisis, Adonijah's coup d’état , and Solomon's proclamation as king. Hitherto, Abishag has been given androcentric readings. Her position as administrator has been demoted to that of a mere housekeeper, bedfellow or even hot-water bottle. Some rabbinic authors transformed her into an androgynous being, claiming an intersex person warms better than a young female virgin. In fact, the term for Abishag's office as sōkenet is nothing but the feminine form of sken 'palace steward', a well-known functionary across the Semitic world. Much more than a simple housekeeper, Abishag wields administrative power with a legal role as a witness in Solomon's appointment. Exploring further the role of women at royal courts, Bodi also offers a comparative analysis of the famous queens who played a role in the royal succession as kings' mothers in Egypt, Mari, Hatti, Ugarit and Assyria. Solomon's appointment as David's successor results from a palace putsch, executed with cunning and craftiness, which are to be understood as archaic forms of wisdom in the Hebrew Bible, classical Greece and the ancient Near East. The stories of David's wives —and of Abishag —together form a Hebrew document in the style of an Advice to a Prince. An interesting comparison is drawn between David's four wives and the four females Odysseus encounters in Homer's Odyssey: Circe, Calypso, Nausicaa and Penelope. Strikingly, the Hebrew version of the Advice to a Prince and the Homeric Epic were being written at roughly the same time, the end of the eighth century bce.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: III. Fantasy and Alternative Histories

Published: Mar 2021
£22.00£70.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume III argues that fiction and fantasy play an important role in establishing expectations about the past. Changing sensitivities towards realism in art meant that imaginary visions were charged with an archaeological aesthetic. Orientalist painting offered seemingly realistic glimpses of ancient life. Stage plays and opera used the ancient Near East for performances that explored contemporary issues. Mummy stories evolved from humorous time-travel tales into horror fiction rooted in fears of materialism, and adventure novels ruminated on the obligations and dangers of empire. Alongside these explicitly fictional modes of thinking about the past, the nineteenth century saw a rise in popularity of esoteric thinking. People offered alternative versions of ancient history, imagining that ancient religious practices continued into the present, through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians or in the new movements of Mormonism and Theosophy. Volume III ends by examining the interpretations of the Near East offered by Sigmund Freud and H.P. Lovecraft, showing how these two figures influenced later popular experiences of the ancient Near East.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: III. Fantasy and Alternative Histories

£22.00£70.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume III argues that fiction and fantasy play an important role in establishing expectations about the past. Changing sensitivities towards realism in art meant that imaginary visions were charged with an archaeological aesthetic. Orientalist painting offered seemingly realistic glimpses of ancient life. Stage plays and opera used the ancient Near East for performances that explored contemporary issues. Mummy stories evolved from humorous time-travel tales into horror fiction rooted in fears of materialism, and adventure novels ruminated on the obligations and dangers of empire. Alongside these explicitly fictional modes of thinking about the past, the nineteenth century saw a rise in popularity of esoteric thinking. People offered alternative versions of ancient history, imagining that ancient religious practices continued into the present, through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians or in the new movements of Mormonism and Theosophy. Volume III ends by examining the interpretations of the Near East offered by Sigmund Freud and H.P. Lovecraft, showing how these two figures influenced later popular experiences of the ancient Near East.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: II. Collecting, Constructing, and Curating

Published: Mar 2021
£22.95£60.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume II examines the different ways that non-specialists encountered the materiality of the ancient Near East over the course of the nineteenth century. During this time, people collected artifacts while traveling in the region or paid to see the collections that others brought back. The public experienced the ancient world in museum exhibits that privileged 'real' artifacts in a new context or in hyper-real displays (like the Crystal Palace) where whole buildings from the ancient Near East were reconstructed. Men and women dressed as biblical characters in travelling fairs or spent an evening unwrapping a mummy. Individuals bought Assyriological souvenirs and employed Egyptian styles in their design, first in higher quality designer products and later in novelty items. Egyptian temples provided the architectural inspiration for buildings in London and the ancient use of colour was a strong argument for reimagining Victorian style. The adoption of Egypt, especially, in the world's-fair phenomenon linked the ancient Near East with a global future in which change was naturalized and consumers were taught not to be afraid of the transformations brought by the industrial age.
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The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: II. Collecting, Constructing, and Curating

£22.95£60.00
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of 'othering' and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds. Volume II examines the different ways that non-specialists encountered the materiality of the ancient Near East over the course of the nineteenth century. During this time, people collected artifacts while traveling in the region or paid to see the collections that others brought back. The public experienced the ancient world in museum exhibits that privileged 'real' artifacts in a new context or in hyper-real displays (like the Crystal Palace) where whole buildings from the ancient Near East were reconstructed. Men and women dressed as biblical characters in travelling fairs or spent an evening unwrapping a mummy. Individuals bought Assyriological souvenirs and employed Egyptian styles in their design, first in higher quality designer products and later in novelty items. Egyptian temples provided the architectural inspiration for buildings in London and the ancient use of colour was a strong argument for reimagining Victorian style. The adoption of Egypt, especially, in the world's-fair phenomenon linked the ancient Near East with a global future in which change was naturalized and consumers were taught not to be afraid of the transformations brought by the industrial age.
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Job: From Lament to Penitence

Published: Nov 2020
£60.00
Recent form-critical studies from Mark Boda and Rodney Werline among others have brought about an increased interest in the penitential form and a recognition of the form as distinct and derivative from the lament form. This development in scholarship has enabled the present study to develop a new analysis of the penitential form in Job and its interaction with the lament form. Using the methodological frameworks of form criticism and eco-anthropology —which studies how human identity is formed in relation with the natural world —, Breitkopf argues that the voice of the character Job undergoes a marked shift from lament to penitence as the book proceeds. It corresponds to a shift in the character's worldview, evinced in the book's language about the natural order. Negative language and imagery about nature is abundant in Job, e.g. when Job in chapter 3 curses existence (especially birth and life) and invokes Leviathan. In so doing, Job discloses his understanding of humanity as dominant over the natural world. But as the book of Job nears its end, the divine speeches, where wild animals and Leviathan are described as thriving and free from human control, subvert Job's negative language. Fundamentally, Breitkopf argues, Job's language, such as in chapter 3, is challenged by the divine speeches. Job's final words in response, especially in 42.6, expressed in penitential language, signal a reconsideration of his human identity as mere “dust and ash” within the framework of the natural world and represent a striking change from his original outlook.
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Job: From Lament to Penitence

£60.00
Recent form-critical studies from Mark Boda and Rodney Werline among others have brought about an increased interest in the penitential form and a recognition of the form as distinct and derivative from the lament form. This development in scholarship has enabled the present study to develop a new analysis of the penitential form in Job and its interaction with the lament form. Using the methodological frameworks of form criticism and eco-anthropology —which studies how human identity is formed in relation with the natural world —, Breitkopf argues that the voice of the character Job undergoes a marked shift from lament to penitence as the book proceeds. It corresponds to a shift in the character's worldview, evinced in the book's language about the natural order. Negative language and imagery about nature is abundant in Job, e.g. when Job in chapter 3 curses existence (especially birth and life) and invokes Leviathan. In so doing, Job discloses his understanding of humanity as dominant over the natural world. But as the book of Job nears its end, the divine speeches, where wild animals and Leviathan are described as thriving and free from human control, subvert Job's negative language. Fundamentally, Breitkopf argues, Job's language, such as in chapter 3, is challenged by the divine speeches. Job's final words in response, especially in 42.6, expressed in penitential language, signal a reconsideration of his human identity as mere “dust and ash” within the framework of the natural world and represent a striking change from his original outlook.
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Performing Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible

Published: Oct 2020
£65.00
In Performing Masculinity, the eminent Bulgarian literary critic Milena Kirova turns her attention to the Hebrew Bible, offering a reworking and condensation of two volumes of essays she published in Bulgarian in 2011 and 2017. Her chapters, each with an attractive and stimulating title, present a distinctive voice in current debates about masculinity in the Hebrew Bible. Masculinity studies have been developing during the last half a century, but there is still some opposition, not always conscious, to the field. Studies in masculinity in the Bible have an even shorter history and have created as yet little by way of a tradition among biblical scholars: it is a field still under development. Kirova has researched a rich variety of narrative situations, poetic characteristics, and symbolic functions of biblical men. Her research here is especially focused on the regal roles ascribed to masculinity in the ancient world. Among the intriguing questions Kirova poses are these: Why should heroes be beautiful? What is the benefit of weeping, and weeping eloquently? Why problematize what is 'natural'? Who is the 'bramble king'? The ten chapters of Performing Masculinity are deliberately interdisciplinary: anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary and gender studies complement biblical criticism. A variety of audiences will find the book a pleasure and an education.
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Performing Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible

£65.00
In Performing Masculinity, the eminent Bulgarian literary critic Milena Kirova turns her attention to the Hebrew Bible, offering a reworking and condensation of two volumes of essays she published in Bulgarian in 2011 and 2017. Her chapters, each with an attractive and stimulating title, present a distinctive voice in current debates about masculinity in the Hebrew Bible. Masculinity studies have been developing during the last half a century, but there is still some opposition, not always conscious, to the field. Studies in masculinity in the Bible have an even shorter history and have created as yet little by way of a tradition among biblical scholars: it is a field still under development. Kirova has researched a rich variety of narrative situations, poetic characteristics, and symbolic functions of biblical men. Her research here is especially focused on the regal roles ascribed to masculinity in the ancient world. Among the intriguing questions Kirova poses are these: Why should heroes be beautiful? What is the benefit of weeping, and weeping eloquently? Why problematize what is 'natural'? Who is the 'bramble king'? The ten chapters of Performing Masculinity are deliberately interdisciplinary: anthropology, psychoanalysis, literary and gender studies complement biblical criticism. A variety of audiences will find the book a pleasure and an education.
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Like the Stars Forever: Narrative and Theology in the Book of Daniel

Published: Oct 2020
£65.00
This anthology of Meadowcroft's essays (all but one previously published) coheres around three claims he makes about the book of Daniel. The first is that Daniel should be understood primarily as a wisdom figure, and that the first chapter of the book of Daniel is programmatic in that regard. The second is that the vision of the one like a son of man represents a theological hinge that guides an understanding of both the tales and the visions as expressions of participation in the divine life on the part of the wise Daniel and his people. The third claim is that the final chapter of Daniel, as the capstone of the wisdom story of Daniel, shows the aim of wise participation in the divine life as an enduring legacy of righteousness in those who encounter this wisdom. These claims are supported by a close reading of aspects of the narrative art on display in the book of Daniel; an exegetical appreciation of the interpretative impact of understanding the faithful wise as expressive of the hopes placed in the temple by the ancient people; and a theological and contextual reading of the experiences of Daniel and his friends —in the daily routines of life in the Babylonian and Persian courts, and in those strange apocalyptic encounters of the later chapters. From such reading there emerges the paradoxical nature of faith as certain hope and ethical clarity alongside mystery and uncertainty and the call to patient endurance. This delicate dance between certainty and patience, clarity and mystery was a feature of the experience of Daniel and his people in their time of exile, of later readers suffering under the heel of Antiochus Epiphanes, of those resisting the claims to lordship on the part of Rome, and still today of readers of the book of Daniel wherever empire is encountered and resisted.
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Like the Stars Forever: Narrative and Theology in the Book of Daniel

£65.00
This anthology of Meadowcroft's essays (all but one previously published) coheres around three claims he makes about the book of Daniel. The first is that Daniel should be understood primarily as a wisdom figure, and that the first chapter of the book of Daniel is programmatic in that regard. The second is that the vision of the one like a son of man represents a theological hinge that guides an understanding of both the tales and the visions as expressions of participation in the divine life on the part of the wise Daniel and his people. The third claim is that the final chapter of Daniel, as the capstone of the wisdom story of Daniel, shows the aim of wise participation in the divine life as an enduring legacy of righteousness in those who encounter this wisdom. These claims are supported by a close reading of aspects of the narrative art on display in the book of Daniel; an exegetical appreciation of the interpretative impact of understanding the faithful wise as expressive of the hopes placed in the temple by the ancient people; and a theological and contextual reading of the experiences of Daniel and his friends —in the daily routines of life in the Babylonian and Persian courts, and in those strange apocalyptic encounters of the later chapters. From such reading there emerges the paradoxical nature of faith as certain hope and ethical clarity alongside mystery and uncertainty and the call to patient endurance. This delicate dance between certainty and patience, clarity and mystery was a feature of the experience of Daniel and his people in their time of exile, of later readers suffering under the heel of Antiochus Epiphanes, of those resisting the claims to lordship on the part of Rome, and still today of readers of the book of Daniel wherever empire is encountered and resisted.
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The Edict of Cyrus and Notions of Restoration in Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles

Published: Oct 2020
£50.00
The Edict of Cyrus, both opening Ezra-Nehemiah (Ezra 1:1-4) and closing Chronicles (2 Chron. 36:22-23), serves a different role in each book. In Ezra —Nehemiah, it is a command resulting in a restoration event that has failed, whereas in Chronicles it is a command anticipating a successful future restoration event. In the context of canon, these different uses of the edict are theologically significant, especially in formulating ideas of hope for the future in Chronicles. While Chronicles is aware that a historical restoration transpired sometime in the past (1 Chron. 3:19-24; 9:2-44), it shares the sentiment of Ezra —Nehemiah, that the return was something of a failure. Through compositional analysis, Gilhooley argues that the edict closing Chronicles portrays the true, or rather, complete restoration not as a past event to be reflected upon but rather one to be anticipated sometime in the future —at a time when Israel was expected to see the establishment of a new glorified temple, political independence, release from servitude, and the blessings of new creation and of new cultic order. Reading Chronicles as the last book of the Old Testament in accordance with various Jewish witnesses, we find that the edict is transformed into a programmatic conclusion to the canon. Accordingly, the eschatological return to Zion and reconstruction of the temple appear to be dominating concerns of the canonical editors. These verses that bring to an end both Chronicles and the Old Testament as a whole may also be read in dialogue with canon-conscious structural markers elsewhere and, therefore, could be formative in constructing a canonical theology.
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The Edict of Cyrus and Notions of Restoration in Ezra-Nehemiah and Chronicles

£50.00
The Edict of Cyrus, both opening Ezra-Nehemiah (Ezra 1:1-4) and closing Chronicles (2 Chron. 36:22-23), serves a different role in each book. In Ezra —Nehemiah, it is a command resulting in a restoration event that has failed, whereas in Chronicles it is a command anticipating a successful future restoration event. In the context of canon, these different uses of the edict are theologically significant, especially in formulating ideas of hope for the future in Chronicles. While Chronicles is aware that a historical restoration transpired sometime in the past (1 Chron. 3:19-24; 9:2-44), it shares the sentiment of Ezra —Nehemiah, that the return was something of a failure. Through compositional analysis, Gilhooley argues that the edict closing Chronicles portrays the true, or rather, complete restoration not as a past event to be reflected upon but rather one to be anticipated sometime in the future —at a time when Israel was expected to see the establishment of a new glorified temple, political independence, release from servitude, and the blessings of new creation and of new cultic order. Reading Chronicles as the last book of the Old Testament in accordance with various Jewish witnesses, we find that the edict is transformed into a programmatic conclusion to the canon. Accordingly, the eschatological return to Zion and reconstruction of the temple appear to be dominating concerns of the canonical editors. These verses that bring to an end both Chronicles and the Old Testament as a whole may also be read in dialogue with canon-conscious structural markers elsewhere and, therefore, could be formative in constructing a canonical theology.
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A Star from Jacob, a Sceptre from Israel: Balaam’s Oracle as Rewritten Scripture in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Published: Sep 2020
£70.00
The fourth Balaam oracle (Numbers 24.17-19) appears in four separate Dead Sea Scrolls. But how it is used and understood remains puzzling and challenging. All four scrolls agree that the biblical text is a living artifact and endorse its authority. But they disagree on what it may mean to the audience of their own day. They adjust, rephrase and rework the biblical text according to their own needs and for the benefit of their audience. Following the twists and turns in this process of interpretation and rewriting has two benefits: first, we become more sensitized to the complexity of the processes by which the scriptural text came into being and to the fact that this process did not have a clear-cut end in mind. Rather, it is thanks to a constant reworking of the scriptural text that it remains alive for its readers. Second, in following closely the process of reinterpretation of this particular text we gain a better understanding of the world of Qumran, of the communication strategy of the Scrolls, and of some of their key theological concepts. In particular, Qumran beliefs about a messiah become more vividly tangible.
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A Star from Jacob, a Sceptre from Israel: Balaam’s Oracle as Rewritten Scripture in the Dead Sea Scrolls

£70.00
The fourth Balaam oracle (Numbers 24.17-19) appears in four separate Dead Sea Scrolls. But how it is used and understood remains puzzling and challenging. All four scrolls agree that the biblical text is a living artifact and endorse its authority. But they disagree on what it may mean to the audience of their own day. They adjust, rephrase and rework the biblical text according to their own needs and for the benefit of their audience. Following the twists and turns in this process of interpretation and rewriting has two benefits: first, we become more sensitized to the complexity of the processes by which the scriptural text came into being and to the fact that this process did not have a clear-cut end in mind. Rather, it is thanks to a constant reworking of the scriptural text that it remains alive for its readers. Second, in following closely the process of reinterpretation of this particular text we gain a better understanding of the world of Qumran, of the communication strategy of the Scrolls, and of some of their key theological concepts. In particular, Qumran beliefs about a messiah become more vividly tangible.
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Samson and Delilah: Selected Essays

Published: July 2020
£75.00
Samson and Delilah. Well-known biblical figures in a tale of deception, betrayal and a haircut. Or is there more to the tale than this? There is, in fact, a good deal more, as J. Cheryl Exum demonstrates in this wide-ranging collection of her essays. Far from being a simple story, the tale in Judges 13 —16 about Samson and his adventures, culminating in his fatal liaison with Delilah, is a subtle, nuanced and highly complex narrative with an elaborate literary structure, a sophisticated theological programme, and an ambitious and problematic androcentric agenda. It is, moreover, a story that lives on in literature, art, music and even Hollywood films. The eleven essays brought together in this volume investigate the Samson story from a diversity of critical perspectives and in a variety of its afterlives. Both Samson and Delilah are characters of many facets, as these essays reveal, and Judges 13 —16 emerges from this investigation as a story that encourages and supports rather than resists multiple, often incompatible, modes of reading it.
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Samson and Delilah: Selected Essays

£75.00
Samson and Delilah. Well-known biblical figures in a tale of deception, betrayal and a haircut. Or is there more to the tale than this? There is, in fact, a good deal more, as J. Cheryl Exum demonstrates in this wide-ranging collection of her essays. Far from being a simple story, the tale in Judges 13 —16 about Samson and his adventures, culminating in his fatal liaison with Delilah, is a subtle, nuanced and highly complex narrative with an elaborate literary structure, a sophisticated theological programme, and an ambitious and problematic androcentric agenda. It is, moreover, a story that lives on in literature, art, music and even Hollywood films. The eleven essays brought together in this volume investigate the Samson story from a diversity of critical perspectives and in a variety of its afterlives. Both Samson and Delilah are characters of many facets, as these essays reveal, and Judges 13 —16 emerges from this investigation as a story that encourages and supports rather than resists multiple, often incompatible, modes of reading it.
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Divine Election in the Hebrew Bible

Published: Nov 2019
£60.00
To citizens of the modern world the idea that someone or something might be especially elected by God seems problematic. If someone is elected, someone else is not elected. Does the God of all people have preferences? The idea that one particular nation should be elected by God is particularly difficult to accept. Nevertheless, as this study intends to show, divine election is a central theme in the Hebrew Bible, and present in all its main parts. There are central acts of elections and less central acts of election. Abraham is elected as the founder of the people of Israel. Moses is elected as the ancestor of the religious and political people of Israel. David is elected as first of the Davidic kings. The election of these persons represents something more important than the persons themselves. There are also other significant acts of election in the Hebrew Bible, especially the election of the land of Israel and of the city of Jerusalem. As well, there is the election of individuals such as the prophets. And even the Assyrians, the Babylonians and King Cyrus of Persia are presented as elected by God for special tasks. A new full-length study of the important concept of divine election in the Hebrew Bible is long overdue, and Hagelia's readable and balanced monograph can be expected to bring the topic back into contemporary conversation.
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Divine Election in the Hebrew Bible

£60.00
To citizens of the modern world the idea that someone or something might be especially elected by God seems problematic. If someone is elected, someone else is not elected. Does the God of all people have preferences? The idea that one particular nation should be elected by God is particularly difficult to accept. Nevertheless, as this study intends to show, divine election is a central theme in the Hebrew Bible, and present in all its main parts. There are central acts of elections and less central acts of election. Abraham is elected as the founder of the people of Israel. Moses is elected as the ancestor of the religious and political people of Israel. David is elected as first of the Davidic kings. The election of these persons represents something more important than the persons themselves. There are also other significant acts of election in the Hebrew Bible, especially the election of the land of Israel and of the city of Jerusalem. As well, there is the election of individuals such as the prophets. And even the Assyrians, the Babylonians and King Cyrus of Persia are presented as elected by God for special tasks. A new full-length study of the important concept of divine election in the Hebrew Bible is long overdue, and Hagelia's readable and balanced monograph can be expected to bring the topic back into contemporary conversation.
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The Subversive Chronicler: Narrative Film Theory and Canon Criticism Refocus his Intention

Published: Nov 2019
£55.00
In 1 and 2 Chronicles, commentators have long noted a pattern of retributive justice whereby kings who comply with Yahweh's will are rewarded with long life and honourable burial, whereas those who do not are disgraced. However, another pattern significantly emerges from a group of kings whose careers display an unexpected reversal. No convincing consensus has yet emerged to explain this reversal pattern. By exploring and adopting the insights of narrative film theory, particularly of cognitive film semiotics, into the effects of macro-repetition, Son uncovers the implications of these unexpected reversals. As the reversal pattern is interwoven with the retributive pattern, the narrative emerges as a falsifying narration, provoking a deep scepticism about the conventional view of retribution theology. Deleuzian film theory offers a crucial insight into how this falsifying narration works. The reversal pattern has a destabilizing effect, which suggests that the Chronicler's theological outlook is more nuanced than that of Samuel —Kings, or perhaps even frankly subversive of it. From a canonical perspective, furthermore, the presence of the Chronicler's work in the Ketuvim points to its potential function as a subtle theological readjustment in the postexilic Jewish community. The Subversive Chronicler is then a challenge to the Chronicler's theology as it is commonly understood and also as a refocusing of its difference from the historiography of Samuel —Kings.
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The Subversive Chronicler: Narrative Film Theory and Canon Criticism Refocus his Intention

£55.00
In 1 and 2 Chronicles, commentators have long noted a pattern of retributive justice whereby kings who comply with Yahweh's will are rewarded with long life and honourable burial, whereas those who do not are disgraced. However, another pattern significantly emerges from a group of kings whose careers display an unexpected reversal. No convincing consensus has yet emerged to explain this reversal pattern. By exploring and adopting the insights of narrative film theory, particularly of cognitive film semiotics, into the effects of macro-repetition, Son uncovers the implications of these unexpected reversals. As the reversal pattern is interwoven with the retributive pattern, the narrative emerges as a falsifying narration, provoking a deep scepticism about the conventional view of retribution theology. Deleuzian film theory offers a crucial insight into how this falsifying narration works. The reversal pattern has a destabilizing effect, which suggests that the Chronicler's theological outlook is more nuanced than that of Samuel —Kings, or perhaps even frankly subversive of it. From a canonical perspective, furthermore, the presence of the Chronicler's work in the Ketuvim points to its potential function as a subtle theological readjustment in the postexilic Jewish community. The Subversive Chronicler is then a challenge to the Chronicler's theology as it is commonly understood and also as a refocusing of its difference from the historiography of Samuel —Kings.
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The Multifaceted Saviour of Psalms 110 and 118: A Canonical Exegesis

Published: Nov 2019
£55.00
Since Gerald H. Wilson's landmark work, The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter (1985), scholars have been divided on how to interpret the appearances of the king in Book V (Psalms 107 —150). Many have agreed with Wilson in seeing a disjunction between Psalms 1 —89 and 90 —150, with Psalm 89 representing the apparent failure of the Davidic covenant, and signalling its replacement by a hope in the direct intervention of Yhwh without a role for a Davidic king. Although others have countered that Book V marks a return of the king, with references to David pointing to renewed hope in the Davidic covenant, in both cases scholars have interacted with the question as it was framed by Wilson. Vaillancourt moves the discussion forward by broadening the question to the portrayal of the figure of salvation in Book V of the Psalms, and by narrowing the scope to detailed canonical exegesis on two of its most salient psalms. Canonical exegesis of Psalm 110 displays a cosmic king at the right hand of Yhwh, who has a willing army at his disposal, who will mediate as priest between his people and Yhwh, and who will also accomplish a definitive victory for the people of God. Canonical exegesis of Psalm 118 displays a suffering and conquering king who leads the victory procession from the battle-field, one whose role resonates with a prophetic figure like Moses (cf. Deut. 18.18), as he echoes the songs of the first (Exod. 15) and of a second exodus (Isa. 12) in his responsive song of thanks (vv. 19 —28). In the final form of the book of Psalms, the Saviour figure in these psalms emerges as an eschatological figure of salvation who encompasses many hoped-for figures from across the Old Testament in one person, the one who will achieved full-scale deliverance for the people of God.
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The Multifaceted Saviour of Psalms 110 and 118: A Canonical Exegesis

£55.00
Since Gerald H. Wilson's landmark work, The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter (1985), scholars have been divided on how to interpret the appearances of the king in Book V (Psalms 107 —150). Many have agreed with Wilson in seeing a disjunction between Psalms 1 —89 and 90 —150, with Psalm 89 representing the apparent failure of the Davidic covenant, and signalling its replacement by a hope in the direct intervention of Yhwh without a role for a Davidic king. Although others have countered that Book V marks a return of the king, with references to David pointing to renewed hope in the Davidic covenant, in both cases scholars have interacted with the question as it was framed by Wilson. Vaillancourt moves the discussion forward by broadening the question to the portrayal of the figure of salvation in Book V of the Psalms, and by narrowing the scope to detailed canonical exegesis on two of its most salient psalms. Canonical exegesis of Psalm 110 displays a cosmic king at the right hand of Yhwh, who has a willing army at his disposal, who will mediate as priest between his people and Yhwh, and who will also accomplish a definitive victory for the people of God. Canonical exegesis of Psalm 118 displays a suffering and conquering king who leads the victory procession from the battle-field, one whose role resonates with a prophetic figure like Moses (cf. Deut. 18.18), as he echoes the songs of the first (Exod. 15) and of a second exodus (Isa. 12) in his responsive song of thanks (vv. 19 —28). In the final form of the book of Psalms, the Saviour figure in these psalms emerges as an eschatological figure of salvation who encompasses many hoped-for figures from across the Old Testament in one person, the one who will achieved full-scale deliverance for the people of God.
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The Song of Songs Afresh: Perspectives on a Biblical Love Poem

Published: Oct 2019
£60.00
This volume is one of the fruits of a six-year series of international conferences on the Song of Songs. The 13 diverse articles here being presented in four categories. 1. Classical exegetical studies. What does the blackness of the woman signify? Ausloos sees a tension between an exegetically appropriate and a politically correct interpretation, Biernot an example of Jewish discourse on blackness and whiteness ranging from antiquity to modern times. The function of the so-called dream in the Song is examined in the context of dreams in the ancient Near East with their two kinds of wake-up expressions (Fernandes). Fischer sees the daughters of Jerusalem as a means of identification for the reader and as placeholders for the young women of society. Next are intertextual readings of the Shulammite with a South African poem (Lombaard) and of the Song's vision of love with mythological traces in the Hebrew Bible (Mathys). 2. Post-modern exegetical studies. Included is a dialogue on horses in love and war (Landy and Metzler), a psychoanalytical reading on the theme of death (van der Zwan), and a blend of Ricoeur and cognitive metaphor theory that profiles the man in the Song (Verde). 3. Jewish studies. Baraniak studies the targumic exegesis, and DamohorskÌÁ the Song in Passover Piyyutim. 4. Hermeneutics. Responsible exegesis of the Song is Oosthuizen's theme, and Scheffler's is varieties of allegorizing.
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The Song of Songs Afresh: Perspectives on a Biblical Love Poem

£60.00
This volume is one of the fruits of a six-year series of international conferences on the Song of Songs. The 13 diverse articles here being presented in four categories. 1. Classical exegetical studies. What does the blackness of the woman signify? Ausloos sees a tension between an exegetically appropriate and a politically correct interpretation, Biernot an example of Jewish discourse on blackness and whiteness ranging from antiquity to modern times. The function of the so-called dream in the Song is examined in the context of dreams in the ancient Near East with their two kinds of wake-up expressions (Fernandes). Fischer sees the daughters of Jerusalem as a means of identification for the reader and as placeholders for the young women of society. Next are intertextual readings of the Shulammite with a South African poem (Lombaard) and of the Song's vision of love with mythological traces in the Hebrew Bible (Mathys). 2. Post-modern exegetical studies. Included is a dialogue on horses in love and war (Landy and Metzler), a psychoanalytical reading on the theme of death (van der Zwan), and a blend of Ricoeur and cognitive metaphor theory that profiles the man in the Song (Verde). 3. Jewish studies. Baraniak studies the targumic exegesis, and DamohorskÌÁ the Song in Passover Piyyutim. 4. Hermeneutics. Responsible exegesis of the Song is Oosthuizen's theme, and Scheffler's is varieties of allegorizing.
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God and Humans in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond: A Festschrift for Lennart Bostrè m on his 67th Birthday

Published: Sep 2019
£70.00
In 1990, in his important study The God of the Sages: The Portrayal of God in the Book of Proverbs, Lennart Boström tackled the issue of how the sages viewed their God and God's relationship with the world. In honour of Boström, and in line with that study, this Festschrift takes up this issue anew. A number of international specialists, including James Crenshaw, Göran Eidevall, Mark A. Throntveit, and Antti Laato, discuss various aspects of how God and humans are portrayed in the Bible. The first section of the book focuses on notions of God. There is a fresh look at monolatry in the Hebrew Bible, and at God's faithfulness in Paul's soteriology. The second section deals with humans, featuring, for example, two articles on Psalm 8.5, one with a focus on the Hebrew Bible, and the other reading the psalm through the eyes of women in Myanmar. There is also an article on angst in wisdom literature. The third section brings God and humans into dialogue, looking at how various interpretations of suffering in the psalms shape the view of the divine —human relationship, or how God and humans relate to each other in books like Jonah and Ruth. The fourth and last section of the book focuses on God and God's people, where new proposals are presented on the roles played by Zion and by the ten commandments. This volume presents stimulating and up-to-date engagements with its theme, an excellent resource for scholars of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
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God and Humans in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond: A Festschrift for Lennart Bostrè m on his 67th Birthday

£70.00
In 1990, in his important study The God of the Sages: The Portrayal of God in the Book of Proverbs, Lennart Boström tackled the issue of how the sages viewed their God and God's relationship with the world. In honour of Boström, and in line with that study, this Festschrift takes up this issue anew. A number of international specialists, including James Crenshaw, Göran Eidevall, Mark A. Throntveit, and Antti Laato, discuss various aspects of how God and humans are portrayed in the Bible. The first section of the book focuses on notions of God. There is a fresh look at monolatry in the Hebrew Bible, and at God's faithfulness in Paul's soteriology. The second section deals with humans, featuring, for example, two articles on Psalm 8.5, one with a focus on the Hebrew Bible, and the other reading the psalm through the eyes of women in Myanmar. There is also an article on angst in wisdom literature. The third section brings God and humans into dialogue, looking at how various interpretations of suffering in the psalms shape the view of the divine —human relationship, or how God and humans relate to each other in books like Jonah and Ruth. The fourth and last section of the book focuses on God and God's people, where new proposals are presented on the roles played by Zion and by the ten commandments. This volume presents stimulating and up-to-date engagements with its theme, an excellent resource for scholars of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.
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Hebrew Masculinities Anew

Published: Jun 2019
£65.00
The study of biblical masculinities is now a clearly recognizable discipline in critical biblical gender studies. This book, the third in a series of SPP volumes that include Men and Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond (ed. Ovidiu Creangă, 2010) and Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded (ed. Ovidiu Creangă and Peter-Ben Smit, 2014), takes stock of recent methodological and thematic developments, while introducing fresh new questions, expanding traditional approaches, and adding new texts to the corpus of masculinities in the Hebrew Bible. The volume's introduction (Ovidiu Creangă) celebrates the rich palette of approaches and disciplinary intersections that now characterize the study of Hebrew Bible masculinities, while calling attention to understudied topics. The next thirteen chapters dig deep into the methodological building-blocks underpinning biblical masculinity (Stephen Wilson); the theoretically essential distinction between queer and non-queer masculinities (Gil Rosenberg); the often-neglected yet essential representation of God's masculinity (David J.A. Clines); the competing masculinities of God, Pharaoh, and Moses in historical and lesbian perspective (Caralie Focht and Richard Purcell); Queen Jezebel's performance of masculinity (Hilary Lipka); Priestly and Deuteronomic fantasies of male perfection (Sandra Jacobs); the problem-ridden masculinity of Moses (Amy Kalmanofsky); the rhetoric of 'queen-making' in the prophetic literature (Susan E. Haddox); Jonah's homosocial masculinity (Rhiannon Graybill); the scribal masculinity of Daniel (Brian C. DiPalma); the ephemeral masculinity of mortal men (Milena Kirova); the masculine agencies in the Song of Songs (Martti Nissinen); and the intertwining of money and masculinity in the Book of Proverbs (Kelly Murphy). In the final chapter, Stuart Macwilliam reflects on methodological opportunities, thematic expansions, and a future direction for biblical masculinities.
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Hebrew Masculinities Anew

£65.00
The study of biblical masculinities is now a clearly recognizable discipline in critical biblical gender studies. This book, the third in a series of SPP volumes that include Men and Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond (ed. Ovidiu Creangă, 2010) and Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded (ed. Ovidiu Creangă and Peter-Ben Smit, 2014), takes stock of recent methodological and thematic developments, while introducing fresh new questions, expanding traditional approaches, and adding new texts to the corpus of masculinities in the Hebrew Bible. The volume's introduction (Ovidiu Creangă) celebrates the rich palette of approaches and disciplinary intersections that now characterize the study of Hebrew Bible masculinities, while calling attention to understudied topics. The next thirteen chapters dig deep into the methodological building-blocks underpinning biblical masculinity (Stephen Wilson); the theoretically essential distinction between queer and non-queer masculinities (Gil Rosenberg); the often-neglected yet essential representation of God's masculinity (David J.A. Clines); the competing masculinities of God, Pharaoh, and Moses in historical and lesbian perspective (Caralie Focht and Richard Purcell); Queen Jezebel's performance of masculinity (Hilary Lipka); Priestly and Deuteronomic fantasies of male perfection (Sandra Jacobs); the problem-ridden masculinity of Moses (Amy Kalmanofsky); the rhetoric of 'queen-making' in the prophetic literature (Susan E. Haddox); Jonah's homosocial masculinity (Rhiannon Graybill); the scribal masculinity of Daniel (Brian C. DiPalma); the ephemeral masculinity of mortal men (Milena Kirova); the masculine agencies in the Song of Songs (Martti Nissinen); and the intertwining of money and masculinity in the Book of Proverbs (Kelly Murphy). In the final chapter, Stuart Macwilliam reflects on methodological opportunities, thematic expansions, and a future direction for biblical masculinities.
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Ancestral Queerness: The Normal and the Deviant in the Abraham and Sarah Narratives

Published: May 2019
£50.00
What would it look like to be queer in the time of Abraham and Sarah? What is normative and what is deviant in their stories? What does this have to do with queer lives today? In Ancestral Queerness, Gil Rosenberg uses a careful comparative method to develop a cross-cultural queer category ('Queer'). He applies this category to Abraham and Sarah and argues that, Abraham and Sarah may usefully be regarded as 'Queer'. Rosenberg's comparisons draw on a variety of contemporary queer stories, scholarship, and theories. These include a lesbian mother trying to support her partner and newborn daughter, Australian polyamorous families, Lee Edelman's figure of the Child, and gay men building families through surrogacy. These comparisons lead Rosenberg to surprising new interpretations of several key passages in Genesis 11 —21. For example, he argues that Abraham wants to hide his marriage to Sarah because their relationship is a queer one, and that Sarah may not actually be wanting a biological child. Rosenberg also highlights the combination of normative and deviant elements in Abraham's strategies for obtaining an heir, and the role of ethnic and class difference in Abraham's and Sarah's efforts to become more normative. Bold in its conclusions but careful and precise in its method, Ancestral Queerness breaks new ground by developing a queer theory applicable to diverse cultures, revealing the bias in previous scholarship on Abraham and Sarah, and opening up new paths of interpretation in their narratives.
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Ancestral Queerness: The Normal and the Deviant in the Abraham and Sarah Narratives

£50.00
What would it look like to be queer in the time of Abraham and Sarah? What is normative and what is deviant in their stories? What does this have to do with queer lives today? In Ancestral Queerness, Gil Rosenberg uses a careful comparative method to develop a cross-cultural queer category ('Queer'). He applies this category to Abraham and Sarah and argues that, Abraham and Sarah may usefully be regarded as 'Queer'. Rosenberg's comparisons draw on a variety of contemporary queer stories, scholarship, and theories. These include a lesbian mother trying to support her partner and newborn daughter, Australian polyamorous families, Lee Edelman's figure of the Child, and gay men building families through surrogacy. These comparisons lead Rosenberg to surprising new interpretations of several key passages in Genesis 11 —21. For example, he argues that Abraham wants to hide his marriage to Sarah because their relationship is a queer one, and that Sarah may not actually be wanting a biological child. Rosenberg also highlights the combination of normative and deviant elements in Abraham's strategies for obtaining an heir, and the role of ethnic and class difference in Abraham's and Sarah's efforts to become more normative. Bold in its conclusions but careful and precise in its method, Ancestral Queerness breaks new ground by developing a queer theory applicable to diverse cultures, revealing the bias in previous scholarship on Abraham and Sarah, and opening up new paths of interpretation in their narratives.
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United in Exile, Reunited in Restoration: The Chronicler’s Agenda

Published: May 2019
£50.00
The books of 1 —2 Chronicles, though ostensibly a history work recounting the past, is in reality a challenge to its fourth-century Jewish audience in Babylonia to make a vital decision about their future. They are presented with the choice of remaining in exile, where they have been born, or of uprooting themselves and travelling to their ancestral but unknown land. By introducing unique accounts of exile, such as that of the Reubenite leader Beerah (1 Chron. 5), and by reinterpreting familiar accounts of forced migration, such as the Babylonian exile of 'all Israel', the Chronicler reveals the current state of Israel in exile. As he looks into the future, he inserts pleas for restoration on the lips of Hebrew heroes such as David and Hezekiah, along with stories of transformation, like Manasseh's return from humiliating captivity, to educate his readers about their role in completing the process of restoration for all Israel. Since the exile meant Jerusalem's reduction, the end of the Davidic monarchy, and the scattering of tribal Israel, restoration would mean 'all Israel' reunited in Jerusalem under the levitical priesthood in worship at the rebuilt temple. Cyrus's decree, inspired by Yahweh, had commanded that all God's people 'go up', but Second Temple Israel had stalled somewhere between exile and restoration. Therefore, the Chronicler urges all Diaspora Israel to return home. Previous studies of the exile —restoration theme in segments of Chronicles (mainly 2 Chron. 36) and in Chronicles —Ezra —Nehemiah have led to the distorted view that the Chronicler is proclaiming victory over exile. Heard on his own terms, the Chronicler is rather dissatisfied with Israel's current state of restoration, optimistic that reunion in Jerusalem will conclude the exile, and adamant that 'all Israel' must take responsibility for the nation's sin and judgment —and restoration.
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United in Exile, Reunited in Restoration: The Chronicler’s Agenda

£50.00
The books of 1 —2 Chronicles, though ostensibly a history work recounting the past, is in reality a challenge to its fourth-century Jewish audience in Babylonia to make a vital decision about their future. They are presented with the choice of remaining in exile, where they have been born, or of uprooting themselves and travelling to their ancestral but unknown land. By introducing unique accounts of exile, such as that of the Reubenite leader Beerah (1 Chron. 5), and by reinterpreting familiar accounts of forced migration, such as the Babylonian exile of 'all Israel', the Chronicler reveals the current state of Israel in exile. As he looks into the future, he inserts pleas for restoration on the lips of Hebrew heroes such as David and Hezekiah, along with stories of transformation, like Manasseh's return from humiliating captivity, to educate his readers about their role in completing the process of restoration for all Israel. Since the exile meant Jerusalem's reduction, the end of the Davidic monarchy, and the scattering of tribal Israel, restoration would mean 'all Israel' reunited in Jerusalem under the levitical priesthood in worship at the rebuilt temple. Cyrus's decree, inspired by Yahweh, had commanded that all God's people 'go up', but Second Temple Israel had stalled somewhere between exile and restoration. Therefore, the Chronicler urges all Diaspora Israel to return home. Previous studies of the exile —restoration theme in segments of Chronicles (mainly 2 Chron. 36) and in Chronicles —Ezra —Nehemiah have led to the distorted view that the Chronicler is proclaiming victory over exile. Heard on his own terms, the Chronicler is rather dissatisfied with Israel's current state of restoration, optimistic that reunion in Jerusalem will conclude the exile, and adamant that 'all Israel' must take responsibility for the nation's sin and judgment —and restoration.
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The Decalogue and its Cultural Influence

Published: Oct 2017
£32.50£70.00
Reception history is one of the most inviting, yet also one of the most difficult, fields in the study of the Bible today. It is difficult because it involves so many layers of expertise. The reception-historian does not only need a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the biblical text itself, but also familiarity with the cultures and intellectual background of the many diverse ages in which it has been read and appropriated; and in addition needs to be versed in media other than writing, including the visual and performing arts. But it is inviting because it carries its practitioners so far beyond the confines of ordinary textual study, with its concern for language and text, and out into an ocean of interdisciplinary engagement with writings that have, after all, stimulated the imaginations as well as the intellects of generations of religious (and non-religious) readers. The Decalogue is an obvious candidate for a reception-historical treatment. It has acquired over the centuries an enormous weight of commentary, and has been assimilated into the most varied cultures. Though a text, it has often also been an icon, appearing on walls in churches and now even in American courthouses. The subject was ripe for study, and the conference at which the papers in this book were delivered marked a significant milestone in biblical reception history' (from John Barton's Preface to the volume). The 21 papers in this volume offer the richest and most wide-ranging interdisciplinary collection of studies on the reception of the Decalogue in culture, and will prove to be a fundamental resource for students of the biblical text and of the reception of the Bible in general.
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The Decalogue and its Cultural Influence

£32.50£70.00
Reception history is one of the most inviting, yet also one of the most difficult, fields in the study of the Bible today. It is difficult because it involves so many layers of expertise. The reception-historian does not only need a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the biblical text itself, but also familiarity with the cultures and intellectual background of the many diverse ages in which it has been read and appropriated; and in addition needs to be versed in media other than writing, including the visual and performing arts. But it is inviting because it carries its practitioners so far beyond the confines of ordinary textual study, with its concern for language and text, and out into an ocean of interdisciplinary engagement with writings that have, after all, stimulated the imaginations as well as the intellects of generations of religious (and non-religious) readers. The Decalogue is an obvious candidate for a reception-historical treatment. It has acquired over the centuries an enormous weight of commentary, and has been assimilated into the most varied cultures. Though a text, it has often also been an icon, appearing on walls in churches and now even in American courthouses. The subject was ripe for study, and the conference at which the papers in this book were delivered marked a significant milestone in biblical reception history' (from John Barton's Preface to the volume). The 21 papers in this volume offer the richest and most wide-ranging interdisciplinary collection of studies on the reception of the Decalogue in culture, and will prove to be a fundamental resource for students of the biblical text and of the reception of the Bible in general.
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Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded

Published: Oct 2017
£24.50£65.00
Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded brings together ten innovative studies on varieties of masculinity evidenced in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and other early Christian writings. A sequel to the 2010 collection, Men and Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond, this new volume raises important questions about why the study of biblical masculinities matters, what it contributes to our knowledge of the ancient writers' world as well as to our contemporary world, and which methods adequately attend to that study. The volume is designed as a resource for scholars of both Testaments working from a variety of biblical traditions and ideological perspectives on masculinity. The following studies are offered as companions in the conversation: Yahweh's masculinity in appearances in glory in Exodus and Ezekiel (Alan Hooker); Proverbs' (de)construction of masculinity (Hilary Lipka); Saul's troubled masculinity in 1 —2 Samuel (Marcel M€Äcelaru); weeping men in the Torah and the Deuteronomistic history (Milena Kirova); Athaliah's manly rule (Stuart Macwilliam); Joseph of Nazareth as an everyday man (Justin Glessner); being a male disciple in Matthew's 'antitheses' (Hans-Ulrich Weidemann); eunuch masculinity in Matthew's Gospel (Susanna Asikainen); masculinity and circumcision in the first century (Karin Neutel and Matthew Anderson); and Thecla's masculinity in the Acts of Thecla (Peter-Ben Smit). Ovidiu Creangă opens the volume with a critical appraisal of the current state of play in the field, while Martti Nissinen and Bjorn Krondorfer offer closing critical reflections that situate the book's topics within broader debates regarding masculinities in religious studies.
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Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded

£24.50£65.00
Biblical Masculinities Foregrounded brings together ten innovative studies on varieties of masculinity evidenced in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and other early Christian writings. A sequel to the 2010 collection, Men and Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond, this new volume raises important questions about why the study of biblical masculinities matters, what it contributes to our knowledge of the ancient writers' world as well as to our contemporary world, and which methods adequately attend to that study. The volume is designed as a resource for scholars of both Testaments working from a variety of biblical traditions and ideological perspectives on masculinity. The following studies are offered as companions in the conversation: Yahweh's masculinity in appearances in glory in Exodus and Ezekiel (Alan Hooker); Proverbs' (de)construction of masculinity (Hilary Lipka); Saul's troubled masculinity in 1 —2 Samuel (Marcel M€Äcelaru); weeping men in the Torah and the Deuteronomistic history (Milena Kirova); Athaliah's manly rule (Stuart Macwilliam); Joseph of Nazareth as an everyday man (Justin Glessner); being a male disciple in Matthew's 'antitheses' (Hans-Ulrich Weidemann); eunuch masculinity in Matthew's Gospel (Susanna Asikainen); masculinity and circumcision in the first century (Karin Neutel and Matthew Anderson); and Thecla's masculinity in the Acts of Thecla (Peter-Ben Smit). Ovidiu Creangă opens the volume with a critical appraisal of the current state of play in the field, while Martti Nissinen and Bjorn Krondorfer offer closing critical reflections that situate the book's topics within broader debates regarding masculinities in religious studies.
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The Female Ruse: Women’s Deception and Divine Sanction in the Hebrew Bible

Published: Sep 2017
£25.00£60.00
From Eve to Esther, the Hebrew Bible is replete with gendered tales of trickery. A lie is uttered, a mask donned, a seduction staged, while redemption is propelled forward, guided by the divine hand. From the first 'female ruse' — Eve presenting the fruit of the tree of knowledge to Adam — humanity becomes embodied, engaged in history, moving from the Garden to exile, from wandering to homeland and redemption (and back again). Consider Rebekah dressing her beloved son in goatskins to steal the blessing from his blind father; Lot's daughters lying with their drunken father, and then conceiving the founding fathers of Ammon and Moab; Leah and Rachel, the mothers of the twelve tribes of Israel, duping Jacob on their wedding night; Tamar's seduction of Judah, her father-in-law, who then bears the progenitor of the Davidic line; Naomi sending Ruth to the threshing floor to seduce Boaz by night; Bathsheba invoking an oath that King David had supposedly made in order to forward Solomon, her son, as successor to the monarchy; and Queen Esther concealing her Jewish identity in the Persian imperial court. Over the course of nine chapters, the author traces these narratives of deception; in each case, God is in cahoots with these feminine agents in advancing the providential plan. A tension holds between the 'best laid plans' of men and the divine will as forwarded by women. Drawing on classic rabbinic sources and modern literary exegesis, the author exposes the conflict between the simple progression of genealogies and the process of selection through alliances of family and kin. Women are at the crux of that conflict, seemingly compelled to choose the indirect route while the deity appears to endorse their lie.
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The Female Ruse: Women’s Deception and Divine Sanction in the Hebrew Bible

£25.00£60.00
From Eve to Esther, the Hebrew Bible is replete with gendered tales of trickery. A lie is uttered, a mask donned, a seduction staged, while redemption is propelled forward, guided by the divine hand. From the first 'female ruse' — Eve presenting the fruit of the tree of knowledge to Adam — humanity becomes embodied, engaged in history, moving from the Garden to exile, from wandering to homeland and redemption (and back again). Consider Rebekah dressing her beloved son in goatskins to steal the blessing from his blind father; Lot's daughters lying with their drunken father, and then conceiving the founding fathers of Ammon and Moab; Leah and Rachel, the mothers of the twelve tribes of Israel, duping Jacob on their wedding night; Tamar's seduction of Judah, her father-in-law, who then bears the progenitor of the Davidic line; Naomi sending Ruth to the threshing floor to seduce Boaz by night; Bathsheba invoking an oath that King David had supposedly made in order to forward Solomon, her son, as successor to the monarchy; and Queen Esther concealing her Jewish identity in the Persian imperial court. Over the course of nine chapters, the author traces these narratives of deception; in each case, God is in cahoots with these feminine agents in advancing the providential plan. A tension holds between the 'best laid plans' of men and the divine will as forwarded by women. Drawing on classic rabbinic sources and modern literary exegesis, the author exposes the conflict between the simple progression of genealogies and the process of selection through alliances of family and kin. Women are at the crux of that conflict, seemingly compelled to choose the indirect route while the deity appears to endorse their lie.
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Journeys in the Songscape: Space and the Song of Songs

Published: Sep 2017
£20.00£60.00
The poetic world of the Song of Songs is a famously heady and distortive landscape, filled with bright sunlit rills, nocturnal cityscapes, and fecund bodies laid out like kingdoms. But what does the Song's use and abuse of spatial relationships tell us about its subject matter, and what do its strange panoramas tell us about literary space more broadly? Directly challenging recent methodological trends in biblical spatial studies, Journeys in the Songscape uses a range of innovative critical tools to explore, map and critique poetic space in the Song of Songs. Taking the reader on a series of journeys across the Song's gendered, rural, urban and bodily spaces, Meredith argues that the worlds that spring up between the Song's lovers are all subtle reimaginings of the space between the biblical page and its own readers, and that at the heart of the Song is a (con)fusion of the dynamics of loving with the experience of reading. Love is at work in the Song, says Meredith, but it is not its subject so much as a sign under which collusions of power, textuality, space and subjectivity labour. The Song's world speaks not only to sexual relationships, then, but to the structure of language itself; textual spaces do not organize textual meaning but rather image its fundamental instability. Journeys in the Songscape is a bold new literary treatment of the Song of Songs, but it is also a rethinking of what we mean by the term 'literary space', and represents a playful incitement to reconsider how critical tools are put to use in apprehending space as a literary construct.
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Journeys in the Songscape: Space and the Song of Songs

£20.00£60.00
The poetic world of the Song of Songs is a famously heady and distortive landscape, filled with bright sunlit rills, nocturnal cityscapes, and fecund bodies laid out like kingdoms. But what does the Song's use and abuse of spatial relationships tell us about its subject matter, and what do its strange panoramas tell us about literary space more broadly? Directly challenging recent methodological trends in biblical spatial studies, Journeys in the Songscape uses a range of innovative critical tools to explore, map and critique poetic space in the Song of Songs. Taking the reader on a series of journeys across the Song's gendered, rural, urban and bodily spaces, Meredith argues that the worlds that spring up between the Song's lovers are all subtle reimaginings of the space between the biblical page and its own readers, and that at the heart of the Song is a (con)fusion of the dynamics of loving with the experience of reading. Love is at work in the Song, says Meredith, but it is not its subject so much as a sign under which collusions of power, textuality, space and subjectivity labour. The Song's world speaks not only to sexual relationships, then, but to the structure of language itself; textual spaces do not organize textual meaning but rather image its fundamental instability. Journeys in the Songscape is a bold new literary treatment of the Song of Songs, but it is also a rethinking of what we mean by the term 'literary space', and represents a playful incitement to reconsider how critical tools are put to use in apprehending space as a literary construct.
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Persuading God: Rhetorical Studies of First-Person Psalms

Published: Sep 2017
£18.50£45.00
Written by a scholar of rhetoric, Persuading God demonstrates that the first-person psalms that make up over a third of the Book of Psalms were designed not simply to express the feelings of individual Israelites but to persuade God to act. The book casts a new light on the roles of all the players in the situations in which the psalms were composed and performed: the person represented by the speaker on whose particular troubles the psalm is based, the spectators and opponents who are sometimes addressed directly by the speaker, the poet-musicians who craft the speaker's case and occasionally undermine it, and most of all, God as the direct addressee whose presumed openness to persuasion and willingness to intervene underlie the entire event. The readings provide new explanations for many long-standing puzzles: how to deal with the long string of imprecations in Psalm 109, whether Psalm 4 is best read as protesting a false accusation or as countering apostasy, why so many verses in Psalm 62 begin with the exclamation ach , and, more generally, why so many first-person psalms seem to swing abruptly between despair and praise. The book demonstrates the relevance of contemporary rhetorical theory to Hebrew Bible studies, including the work of ChaÌøm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Kenneth Burke, and Mikhail Bakhtin. It also illuminates the state of rhetorical practice in the ancient Near East at the same time that rhetorical theories were first being codified and taught in archaic and classical Athens.
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Persuading God: Rhetorical Studies of First-Person Psalms

£18.50£45.00
Written by a scholar of rhetoric, Persuading God demonstrates that the first-person psalms that make up over a third of the Book of Psalms were designed not simply to express the feelings of individual Israelites but to persuade God to act. The book casts a new light on the roles of all the players in the situations in which the psalms were composed and performed: the person represented by the speaker on whose particular troubles the psalm is based, the spectators and opponents who are sometimes addressed directly by the speaker, the poet-musicians who craft the speaker's case and occasionally undermine it, and most of all, God as the direct addressee whose presumed openness to persuasion and willingness to intervene underlie the entire event. The readings provide new explanations for many long-standing puzzles: how to deal with the long string of imprecations in Psalm 109, whether Psalm 4 is best read as protesting a false accusation or as countering apostasy, why so many verses in Psalm 62 begin with the exclamation ach , and, more generally, why so many first-person psalms seem to swing abruptly between despair and praise. The book demonstrates the relevance of contemporary rhetorical theory to Hebrew Bible studies, including the work of ChaÌøm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, Kenneth Burke, and Mikhail Bakhtin. It also illuminates the state of rhetorical practice in the ancient Near East at the same time that rhetorical theories were first being codified and taught in archaic and classical Athens.
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Megilloth Studies: The Shape of Contemporary Scholarship

Published: Feb 2016
£60.00
This volume brings together two years of papers read to the Megilloth Consultation Group at the Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature; it represents some of the most recent work being done by a group of international scholars on the collection of Hebrew Bible books known as the Megilloth. Although the individual books of the Megilloth have received ample academic attention in contemporary scholarship, relatively little has been done to situate them under this broader rubric. To this end, the present volume addresses a range of issues associated with studying the five scrolls, such as the internal relationship between the books themselves, intertextual connections between the five scrolls and other portions of the Hebrew Bible, gender and ethnic concerns in the five scrolls, and the theological commitments and contours of the collection. Several of the papers and the volume itself also intentionally wrestle with the viability of the category 'Megilloth' as a meaningful term in academic studies of these writings. In addition to papers on the Megilloth in general (Galvin, Stone, Fullerton Strollo), there are studies on Esther (Davis, Greenspoon, Avnery, Peters, three of them in relation to Ruth), Lamentations (Gruber and Yona, Flanders) and Qoheleth (Weeks).
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Megilloth Studies: The Shape of Contemporary Scholarship

£60.00
This volume brings together two years of papers read to the Megilloth Consultation Group at the Annual Meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature; it represents some of the most recent work being done by a group of international scholars on the collection of Hebrew Bible books known as the Megilloth. Although the individual books of the Megilloth have received ample academic attention in contemporary scholarship, relatively little has been done to situate them under this broader rubric. To this end, the present volume addresses a range of issues associated with studying the five scrolls, such as the internal relationship between the books themselves, intertextual connections between the five scrolls and other portions of the Hebrew Bible, gender and ethnic concerns in the five scrolls, and the theological commitments and contours of the collection. Several of the papers and the volume itself also intentionally wrestle with the viability of the category 'Megilloth' as a meaningful term in academic studies of these writings. In addition to papers on the Megilloth in general (Galvin, Stone, Fullerton Strollo), there are studies on Esther (Davis, Greenspoon, Avnery, Peters, three of them in relation to Ruth), Lamentations (Gruber and Yona, Flanders) and Qoheleth (Weeks).
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The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible

Published: Oct 2015
£18.50£50.00
The question 'What is a child?' is not easily answered. To make us aware of the multiple factors that contribute to the social construction of childhood in the Hebrew Bible, Naomi Steinberg draws on ethno-historical evidence and incorporates the insights of contemporary social studies of childhood. Through close readings of Genesis 21, 1 Samuel 1 and Exodus 21.22-25, she argues that chronological age and biological immaturity do not determine the boundaries of childhood in biblical Israel. The social constructions of childhood in the Hebrew Bible were based on what the child could do for the parent, not vice versa. Children were their parents' property and were used to fulfil their parents' desires and needs. Not all children had the same experiences of childhood, of course. For example, whether a child was born into a monogamous or polygamous family shaped the course of its future. Other relevant factors in the construction of the multiplicities of childhoods included gender, birth order, and the socio-political historical contexts of ancient Israel. Steinberg convincingly corrects the notion that childhood is a static category in the human life cycle, showing that meanings of childhood are not generic and cannot be carried over from one society to another. This fascinating study, in which the author draws fruitfully on her personal cross-cultural experience of children's lives in Guatemala, exposes the reality that childhood in the Hebrew Bible was radically different from present-day childhood.
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The World of the Child in the Hebrew Bible

£18.50£50.00
The question 'What is a child?' is not easily answered. To make us aware of the multiple factors that contribute to the social construction of childhood in the Hebrew Bible, Naomi Steinberg draws on ethno-historical evidence and incorporates the insights of contemporary social studies of childhood. Through close readings of Genesis 21, 1 Samuel 1 and Exodus 21.22-25, she argues that chronological age and biological immaturity do not determine the boundaries of childhood in biblical Israel. The social constructions of childhood in the Hebrew Bible were based on what the child could do for the parent, not vice versa. Children were their parents' property and were used to fulfil their parents' desires and needs. Not all children had the same experiences of childhood, of course. For example, whether a child was born into a monogamous or polygamous family shaped the course of its future. Other relevant factors in the construction of the multiplicities of childhoods included gender, birth order, and the socio-political historical contexts of ancient Israel. Steinberg convincingly corrects the notion that childhood is a static category in the human life cycle, showing that meanings of childhood are not generic and cannot be carried over from one society to another. This fascinating study, in which the author draws fruitfully on her personal cross-cultural experience of children's lives in Guatemala, exposes the reality that childhood in the Hebrew Bible was radically different from present-day childhood.
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Visions of Life in Biblical Times: Essays in Honor of Meir Lubetski

Published: Oct 2015
£60.00
This important volume is in honour of the distinguished Semitist and epigrapher Meir Lubetski, of Baruch College, City University of New York. Lubetski has made the chief focus of his research the contribution of the East Mediterranean legacy —languages, literature and archaeological artifacts —to our understanding of the biblical world. The wide-ranging collection of essays gathered here include, after a personal appreciation of the honoree by his children, papers by Paula Berggren on Shakespeare's Cains, Chaim Cohen on the 'third-man' charioteers, John Day on Noah's ark as made of reeds, Robert Deutsch on six new Hebrew seals, Joseph Fleishman on the law of the defamer (Deut. 22), Moshe Garsiel on the rivalry between Adonijah and Solomon, Claire Gottlieb on Genesis 1 in the twenty-first century, Martin Heide on a new ostracon, Richard Hess on the strange absence of Egyptian names from the book of Joshua, Regine Hunziker-Rodewald on a new Ammonite seal, Isaac Kalimi on the key methods of Targum Chronicles, André Lemaire on the place of Qumran in Jewish history, David Marcus on the Aramaic versions of the burning bush narrative, Robert Stieglitz on divine kingship at Ugarit, Peter van der Veen on a two-headed bronze bull figurine, and Ada Yardeni on legal texts from various locations in the Judean desert.
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Visions of Life in Biblical Times: Essays in Honor of Meir Lubetski

£60.00
This important volume is in honour of the distinguished Semitist and epigrapher Meir Lubetski, of Baruch College, City University of New York. Lubetski has made the chief focus of his research the contribution of the East Mediterranean legacy —languages, literature and archaeological artifacts —to our understanding of the biblical world. The wide-ranging collection of essays gathered here include, after a personal appreciation of the honoree by his children, papers by Paula Berggren on Shakespeare's Cains, Chaim Cohen on the 'third-man' charioteers, John Day on Noah's ark as made of reeds, Robert Deutsch on six new Hebrew seals, Joseph Fleishman on the law of the defamer (Deut. 22), Moshe Garsiel on the rivalry between Adonijah and Solomon, Claire Gottlieb on Genesis 1 in the twenty-first century, Martin Heide on a new ostracon, Richard Hess on the strange absence of Egyptian names from the book of Joshua, Regine Hunziker-Rodewald on a new Ammonite seal, Isaac Kalimi on the key methods of Targum Chronicles, André Lemaire on the place of Qumran in Jewish history, David Marcus on the Aramaic versions of the burning bush narrative, Robert Stieglitz on divine kingship at Ugarit, Peter van der Veen on a two-headed bronze bull figurine, and Ada Yardeni on legal texts from various locations in the Judean desert.
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Biblical Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism

Published: Oct 2015
£20.00£80.00
This volume will prove a classic textbook on rhetorical criticism in the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible. Following the lead of the famous Presidential Address to the Society of Biblical Literature in 1968 by James Muilenburg, 'Form Criticism and Beyond', Jack Lundbom has for over 40 years been developing and shaping the field with a stream of papers. 26 of them (three not previously published) are gathered into this volume. Hebrew rhetoric has a long history, reaching back even into the early Israelite period. Recognition of rhetorical elements in the Bible can be seen in Hillel, Augustine, ibn Ezra, and Calvin, as well as among certain biblical scholars of the 18th and 19th centuries. But the revival of rhetoric and the modern method of rhetorical criticism is more recent, having begun in America among classical scholars in the early 1900s, and having been widely adopted by biblical scholars in the last third of the twentieth century. Biblical scholars today invariably have rhetorical criticism in their exegetical toolbox, but the field lacks such a comprehensive corpus of studies as the present volume supplies. Reading the Bible with an eye to the rhetorical nature of its discourse —not just the style, but its structures and modes of argumentation —gives one a sharpened view of biblical figures, their legacy, and much else in the biblical text. One also gets new insight into the audiences for whom biblical messages were originally intended. Rhetorical criticism offers a ready yield for all those seeking a closer understanding of the biblical texts.
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Biblical Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism

£20.00£80.00
This volume will prove a classic textbook on rhetorical criticism in the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible. Following the lead of the famous Presidential Address to the Society of Biblical Literature in 1968 by James Muilenburg, 'Form Criticism and Beyond', Jack Lundbom has for over 40 years been developing and shaping the field with a stream of papers. 26 of them (three not previously published) are gathered into this volume. Hebrew rhetoric has a long history, reaching back even into the early Israelite period. Recognition of rhetorical elements in the Bible can be seen in Hillel, Augustine, ibn Ezra, and Calvin, as well as among certain biblical scholars of the 18th and 19th centuries. But the revival of rhetoric and the modern method of rhetorical criticism is more recent, having begun in America among classical scholars in the early 1900s, and having been widely adopted by biblical scholars in the last third of the twentieth century. Biblical scholars today invariably have rhetorical criticism in their exegetical toolbox, but the field lacks such a comprehensive corpus of studies as the present volume supplies. Reading the Bible with an eye to the rhetorical nature of its discourse —not just the style, but its structures and modes of argumentation —gives one a sharpened view of biblical figures, their legacy, and much else in the biblical text. One also gets new insight into the audiences for whom biblical messages were originally intended. Rhetorical criticism offers a ready yield for all those seeking a closer understanding of the biblical texts.
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Authority and Violence in the Gideon and Abimelech Narratives: A Sociological and Literary Exploration of Judges 6-9

Published: Sep 2015
£55.00
Authority and violence exhibit a close and complex relationship in the social worlds depicted in biblical narratives as well as in ancient and modern societies. The perceived legitimacy or illegitimacy of authority and violence can hinge upon a number of factors. In the stories of Gideon and Abimelech in Judges 6 —9, lethal actions are depicted as justified, regrettable, or reproachful based, in part, on assumptions regarding kinship, honor, and justice. These narratives form an intriguing interlude within Judges as they directly broach, for the first time in the flow of biblical history, the 'reality' of dynastic kingship within Israel while telling a tale of deadly and divinely motivated reversals of power. An interdisciplinary approach that blends social-scientific analysis driven by Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of social field, habitus, capital, and doxa with a close narrative analysis recommends new ways of understanding the biblical characters' motivations, skills, and social capital; the linguistic capital of the text's creators; and the social worlds from which the narratives emerged. By examining the narrated relations of power through a sociological lens, the study discerns and describes how political and religious power is attained, preserved, transmitted, resisted, endorsed, disguised, or divinized. Building upon this basis, concentration on narrated violence suggests how the stories might be purposed to endorse, legitimate, or resist authority in the ancient context. The study concludes with a synthesis of its results and a survey of scribalism in order to recommend historical settings for the origination of the narratives. The study demonstrates how the biblical text, as a cultural product, can both knowingly and unknowingly communicate information about a society's social relations, values, and concerns. This is the second volume in the sub-series The Bible and Social Science.
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Authority and Violence in the Gideon and Abimelech Narratives: A Sociological and Literary Exploration of Judges 6-9

£55.00
Authority and violence exhibit a close and complex relationship in the social worlds depicted in biblical narratives as well as in ancient and modern societies. The perceived legitimacy or illegitimacy of authority and violence can hinge upon a number of factors. In the stories of Gideon and Abimelech in Judges 6 —9, lethal actions are depicted as justified, regrettable, or reproachful based, in part, on assumptions regarding kinship, honor, and justice. These narratives form an intriguing interlude within Judges as they directly broach, for the first time in the flow of biblical history, the 'reality' of dynastic kingship within Israel while telling a tale of deadly and divinely motivated reversals of power. An interdisciplinary approach that blends social-scientific analysis driven by Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of social field, habitus, capital, and doxa with a close narrative analysis recommends new ways of understanding the biblical characters' motivations, skills, and social capital; the linguistic capital of the text's creators; and the social worlds from which the narratives emerged. By examining the narrated relations of power through a sociological lens, the study discerns and describes how political and religious power is attained, preserved, transmitted, resisted, endorsed, disguised, or divinized. Building upon this basis, concentration on narrated violence suggests how the stories might be purposed to endorse, legitimate, or resist authority in the ancient context. The study concludes with a synthesis of its results and a survey of scribalism in order to recommend historical settings for the origination of the narratives. The study demonstrates how the biblical text, as a cultural product, can both knowingly and unknowingly communicate information about a society's social relations, values, and concerns. This is the second volume in the sub-series The Bible and Social Science.
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Solomon the Lover and the Shape of the Song of Songs

Published: Sep 2015
£50.00
Reading the Song of Songs perpetually raises the question, What is this love that has been sung about so evocatively to ever new generations? The exuberance of the poetry and the remarkable history of its reception make the understanding of what the poetry is all about the more urgent for the conscientious reader. The shape of the Song and what this shape reveals of the poet's concerns are central for this study. Hauge's analysis discloses that a special arrangement of formally independent units, signalled by effects of repetition, is typical of its composition. The strophes are set out in a fivefold pattern containing three types of passage: narrative elements, addresses to the daughters of Jerusalem, and dialogues between the lovers. The tension of the opening scenes dedicated to Solomon and his women, contrasted with a final scene where the king is the humble supplicant, reflects an underlying story of how Solomon the lover of many women was transformed into a lover of the One. The story is dedicated to the power of love, its character as an overwhelming force being even accented by implications of shame. Motifs of absence and separation suggest longing as the essence of love, the final image of the lover as the hart upon the fragrant mountains adding a tinge of sadness to the impression. Themes from the Solomon tradition are important for the narrative strand. The formal shape and the cast of actors are deeply influenced by Proverbs 1 —7, not least when the poet plays havoc with venerable aspects of the wisdom tradition.
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Solomon the Lover and the Shape of the Song of Songs

£50.00
Reading the Song of Songs perpetually raises the question, What is this love that has been sung about so evocatively to ever new generations? The exuberance of the poetry and the remarkable history of its reception make the understanding of what the poetry is all about the more urgent for the conscientious reader. The shape of the Song and what this shape reveals of the poet's concerns are central for this study. Hauge's analysis discloses that a special arrangement of formally independent units, signalled by effects of repetition, is typical of its composition. The strophes are set out in a fivefold pattern containing three types of passage: narrative elements, addresses to the daughters of Jerusalem, and dialogues between the lovers. The tension of the opening scenes dedicated to Solomon and his women, contrasted with a final scene where the king is the humble supplicant, reflects an underlying story of how Solomon the lover of many women was transformed into a lover of the One. The story is dedicated to the power of love, its character as an overwhelming force being even accented by implications of shame. Motifs of absence and separation suggest longing as the essence of love, the final image of the lover as the hart upon the fragrant mountains adding a tinge of sadness to the impression. Themes from the Solomon tradition are important for the narrative strand. The formal shape and the cast of actors are deeply influenced by Proverbs 1 —7, not least when the poet plays havoc with venerable aspects of the wisdom tradition.
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Adam, Eve, and the Devil: A New Beginning, Second Enlarged Edition

Published: Aug 2015
£22.50£60.00
In this book the authors develop an intriguing theory about the Canaanite origin of the biblical traditions concerning the origin of the cosmos and the creation of humankind. Adam, Eve, and the Devil tells a new story about human beginnings and at the same time proposes a fresh start for biblical research into primordial traditions. A number of clay tablets from Ugarit, dating from the late thirteenth century BCE, throw new light, Korpel and de Moor argue, on the background of the first chapters of Genesis and the myth of Adam. In these tablets, El, the creator deity, and his wife Asherah lived in a vineyard or garden on the slopes of Mt Ararat, known in the Bible as the mountain where Noah's ark came to rest. The first sinner was not a human being, but an evil god called Horon who wanted to depose El. Horon was thrown down from the mountain of the gods, and in revenge he transformed the Tree of Life in the garden into a Tree of Death and enveloped the whole world in a poisonous fog. Adam was sent down to restore life on earth, but failed because Horon in the form of a huge serpent bit him. As a result Adam and his wife lost their immortality. This myth found its way into the Bible, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigraphical literature, though it was often transformed or treated critically. Adam, Eve, and the Devil traces the reception of the myth in its many forms, and also presents the oldest pictures of Adam and Eve ever identified (one of them on the front cover of the book). A second, enlarged edition is published in paperback in August, 2015.
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Adam, Eve, and the Devil: A New Beginning, Second Enlarged Edition

£22.50£60.00
In this book the authors develop an intriguing theory about the Canaanite origin of the biblical traditions concerning the origin of the cosmos and the creation of humankind. Adam, Eve, and the Devil tells a new story about human beginnings and at the same time proposes a fresh start for biblical research into primordial traditions. A number of clay tablets from Ugarit, dating from the late thirteenth century BCE, throw new light, Korpel and de Moor argue, on the background of the first chapters of Genesis and the myth of Adam. In these tablets, El, the creator deity, and his wife Asherah lived in a vineyard or garden on the slopes of Mt Ararat, known in the Bible as the mountain where Noah's ark came to rest. The first sinner was not a human being, but an evil god called Horon who wanted to depose El. Horon was thrown down from the mountain of the gods, and in revenge he transformed the Tree of Life in the garden into a Tree of Death and enveloped the whole world in a poisonous fog. Adam was sent down to restore life on earth, but failed because Horon in the form of a huge serpent bit him. As a result Adam and his wife lost their immortality. This myth found its way into the Bible, the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigraphical literature, though it was often transformed or treated critically. Adam, Eve, and the Devil traces the reception of the myth in its many forms, and also presents the oldest pictures of Adam and Eve ever identified (one of them on the front cover of the book). A second, enlarged edition is published in paperback in August, 2015.
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‘For She Has Heard’: The Standing Stone in Joshua 24 and the Development of a Covenant Symbol

Published: Aug 2015
£50.00
In this unusual and fascinating study, Elizabeth Berne DeGear draws on both biblical studies and psychoanalytic theory to interpret the role of the standing stone erected by Joshua in the sanctuary at Shechem. The presence of a listening stone in the sanctuary distinguishes the ritual space in Joshua 24, yet this religious symbol has received little scholarly attention. DeGear begins with the question: What is this numinous feminine presence serving as witness to the people's covenantal relationship with their God? Comparing this stone's function with the function of other covenant stones in the Hebrew Bible and throughout the ancient Near East, DeGear illuminates both the power of the symbol and its dynamics in the people's religious development. In psychoanalytic mode, DeGear goes on to show how humans create and use symbols differently at various positions along the path to maturity. Her study presents a new perspective on how covenant symbols in the Hebrew Bible function in the development of the communities using them. The present analysis of this one biblical symbol offers scholars and students of biblical and religious studies the tools to engage in psychologically informed consideration of covenant. With its focus on sanctuary, symbol and psyche, DeGear's exploration of the stone extends from the world of ancient Israel to today's worship communities, where the Bible itself is used as a covenant symbol. What emerges is a picture of how the standing stone and other mediating symbols function in the religion of communities in the Bible and beyond.
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‘For She Has Heard’: The Standing Stone in Joshua 24 and the Development of a Covenant Symbol

£50.00
In this unusual and fascinating study, Elizabeth Berne DeGear draws on both biblical studies and psychoanalytic theory to interpret the role of the standing stone erected by Joshua in the sanctuary at Shechem. The presence of a listening stone in the sanctuary distinguishes the ritual space in Joshua 24, yet this religious symbol has received little scholarly attention. DeGear begins with the question: What is this numinous feminine presence serving as witness to the people's covenantal relationship with their God? Comparing this stone's function with the function of other covenant stones in the Hebrew Bible and throughout the ancient Near East, DeGear illuminates both the power of the symbol and its dynamics in the people's religious development. In psychoanalytic mode, DeGear goes on to show how humans create and use symbols differently at various positions along the path to maturity. Her study presents a new perspective on how covenant symbols in the Hebrew Bible function in the development of the communities using them. The present analysis of this one biblical symbol offers scholars and students of biblical and religious studies the tools to engage in psychologically informed consideration of covenant. With its focus on sanctuary, symbol and psyche, DeGear's exploration of the stone extends from the world of ancient Israel to today's worship communities, where the Bible itself is used as a covenant symbol. What emerges is a picture of how the standing stone and other mediating symbols function in the religion of communities in the Bible and beyond.
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