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1 Chronicles, Second Edition

Published: Oct 2007
£13.50£17.00
The books of Chronicles have a certain fantasy quality about them. They create an imaginary world in which things happen just so, and in which any potentially untidy loose ends in their narrative of the past are tied together in a highly systematic way. This is storytelling with the didactic purpose of inculcating a particular ideology, bombarding the reader with a kaleidoscopic procession of heroes and villains and presenting a frontierland of danger and opportunity. John Jarick's focus on the literary world of Chronicles provides a fresh reading of the work, foregrounding the often unrecognized artistry in the telling of the tale —including at times a distinctly musical language and a careful mathematical precision. But at the same time he does not hide the dark underbelly of the writing, with its persistent note of conformity to the political and religious system advocated by the storytellers. This edition is a reprint of the original 2002 edition with different pagination. A companion volume on 2 Chronicles is published for the first time in 2007.
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1 Chronicles, Second Edition

£13.50£17.00
The books of Chronicles have a certain fantasy quality about them. They create an imaginary world in which things happen just so, and in which any potentially untidy loose ends in their narrative of the past are tied together in a highly systematic way. This is storytelling with the didactic purpose of inculcating a particular ideology, bombarding the reader with a kaleidoscopic procession of heroes and villains and presenting a frontierland of danger and opportunity. John Jarick's focus on the literary world of Chronicles provides a fresh reading of the work, foregrounding the often unrecognized artistry in the telling of the tale —including at times a distinctly musical language and a careful mathematical precision. But at the same time he does not hide the dark underbelly of the writing, with its persistent note of conformity to the political and religious system advocated by the storytellers. This edition is a reprint of the original 2002 edition with different pagination. A companion volume on 2 Chronicles is published for the first time in 2007.
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Judges

Published: Oct 2007
£13.50£17.00
In this new contribution to the Readings series of commentaries, Roger Ryan offers a challenge to the fashionable disdain for the heroes of the Book of Judges. As against the current consensus majoring on the supposed flaws in the characters of the judges, and denigrating them as participants in Israel's moral and religious decline, he paints a positive portrait of each of the book's judge-deliverers. The key element in all the stories of the judges is that each of them wins independence for oppressed Israelites against great odds —an element that should predispose readers to a favourable evaluation of the heroes. Ehud slaughters an enemy king when the only weapon he has is a homemade dagger. Barak resolutely charges downhill against enemy chariots reinforced with iron. Jael slaughters an enemy commander by improvising with a hammer and a tent peg. Gideon defeats hordes of nomadic invaders with a small token army. The lone hero Samson slaughters the Philistine foe in great numbers. The Book of Judges presents in this reading a dark story-world in which its characters take heroic risks as they resolve conflicts by violent means. Their stories are jubilantly told and readers are expected to be neither squeamish nor censorious.
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Judges

£13.50£17.00
In this new contribution to the Readings series of commentaries, Roger Ryan offers a challenge to the fashionable disdain for the heroes of the Book of Judges. As against the current consensus majoring on the supposed flaws in the characters of the judges, and denigrating them as participants in Israel's moral and religious decline, he paints a positive portrait of each of the book's judge-deliverers. The key element in all the stories of the judges is that each of them wins independence for oppressed Israelites against great odds —an element that should predispose readers to a favourable evaluation of the heroes. Ehud slaughters an enemy king when the only weapon he has is a homemade dagger. Barak resolutely charges downhill against enemy chariots reinforced with iron. Jael slaughters an enemy commander by improvising with a hammer and a tent peg. Gideon defeats hordes of nomadic invaders with a small token army. The lone hero Samson slaughters the Philistine foe in great numbers. The Book of Judges presents in this reading a dark story-world in which its characters take heroic risks as they resolve conflicts by violent means. Their stories are jubilantly told and readers are expected to be neither squeamish nor censorious.
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Qoheleth, Second Edition

Published: May 2007
£13.50£17.00
Qoheleth's driving question, according to Ogden, is posed in the opening lines of his book. It is the question, What lasting advantage (yithron) results from the multitude of activities in which humans find themselves engaged? In a word, the answer is, None; but the supplementary question remains, How shall we then live? Qoheleth is no pessimist. Even though he believes that nothing survives from the activities of life, he encourages his readers to live life to the full, to 'eat, drink and enjoy what God provides'. Wisdom is one of those enjoyable benefits of life, but even it has its limitations: it can never produce an understanding of the totality. What of the classic term hebel (traditionally translated 'vanity') in Qoheleth's thought? It is much better understood, argues Ogden, as 'enigma' or 'mystery', and the mystery it points to is the mystery of the yithron: how is joy the proper goal of human life when we know it must inevitably come to an end without leaving any surplus?
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Qoheleth, Second Edition

£13.50£17.00
Qoheleth's driving question, according to Ogden, is posed in the opening lines of his book. It is the question, What lasting advantage (yithron) results from the multitude of activities in which humans find themselves engaged? In a word, the answer is, None; but the supplementary question remains, How shall we then live? Qoheleth is no pessimist. Even though he believes that nothing survives from the activities of life, he encourages his readers to live life to the full, to 'eat, drink and enjoy what God provides'. Wisdom is one of those enjoyable benefits of life, but even it has its limitations: it can never produce an understanding of the totality. What of the classic term hebel (traditionally translated 'vanity') in Qoheleth's thought? It is much better understood, argues Ogden, as 'enigma' or 'mystery', and the mystery it points to is the mystery of the yithron: how is joy the proper goal of human life when we know it must inevitably come to an end without leaving any surplus?
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Haggai

Published: Oct 2006
£13.50£17.00
This new commentary is organized around a distinctive discourse analysis of the small prophetic book of Haggai, and an appreciation of its tightly crafted narrative. Identifying six discrete oracles from the prophet Haggai, Meadowcroft structures his analysis of the narrative around those six oracles. Thematically, the centre of Haggai's prophecy is the role of the temple within the life of the people of God. The desolation of the temple is bound up with the desolation of the land and the desolation of the people on the land. Rebuilding the temple will be the means to break the cycle of desolation. But things are more complex than that. Rebuilding the temple must happen within the fraught imperial context; and rebuilding the temple will foreground a tension between institutional life and the life of the Spirit. Contextualizing Haggai in today's world, Meadowcroft offers an extensive prolegomenon on reading Haggai as scripture. In it he hears a challenge to the Church in the West and a call to rediscover humanity's priestly role in the temple of an environment under threat of desolation.
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Haggai

£13.50£17.00
This new commentary is organized around a distinctive discourse analysis of the small prophetic book of Haggai, and an appreciation of its tightly crafted narrative. Identifying six discrete oracles from the prophet Haggai, Meadowcroft structures his analysis of the narrative around those six oracles. Thematically, the centre of Haggai's prophecy is the role of the temple within the life of the people of God. The desolation of the temple is bound up with the desolation of the land and the desolation of the people on the land. Rebuilding the temple will be the means to break the cycle of desolation. But things are more complex than that. Rebuilding the temple must happen within the fraught imperial context; and rebuilding the temple will foreground a tension between institutional life and the life of the Spirit. Contextualizing Haggai in today's world, Meadowcroft offers an extensive prolegomenon on reading Haggai as scripture. In it he hears a challenge to the Church in the West and a call to rediscover humanity's priestly role in the temple of an environment under threat of desolation.
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Isaiah

Published: Oct 2006
£13.50£17.00
Peter Miscall's commentary on Isaiah was among the first volumes in the series Readings published by JSOT Press in 1993. Sheffield Phoenix Press is now relaunching the series, under the editorship of John Jarick, with a revised reprint of Miscall's work (including a new preface), and an entirely new volume on Haggai by Tim Meadowcroft. The aim of the series remains to present compact literary readings of the biblical books, unencumbered by the paraphernalia of traditional criticism and alert to the impact of literary studies on biblical interpretation. Each contributor to the series approaches their text from their own personal literary position. In this fine and characteristic study, Miscall concentrates especially on the play of images in the prophetic book, their interweaving and constant intertextuality.
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Isaiah

£13.50£17.00
Peter Miscall's commentary on Isaiah was among the first volumes in the series Readings published by JSOT Press in 1993. Sheffield Phoenix Press is now relaunching the series, under the editorship of John Jarick, with a revised reprint of Miscall's work (including a new preface), and an entirely new volume on Haggai by Tim Meadowcroft. The aim of the series remains to present compact literary readings of the biblical books, unencumbered by the paraphernalia of traditional criticism and alert to the impact of literary studies on biblical interpretation. Each contributor to the series approaches their text from their own personal literary position. In this fine and characteristic study, Miscall concentrates especially on the play of images in the prophetic book, their interweaving and constant intertextuality.
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