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Habitat, Human, and Holy: An Eco-Rhetorical Reading of the Gospel of Matthew

Published: Sep 2017
£20.00£50.00
Texts are rhetorical; they have an effect; they shape the mind and emotions of the readers who engage the text. Readers, in their turn, attend to the rhetoric of a text through the interpretative lens they bring to their reading of the text at the same time as they are being shaped by its rhetoric. Elaine Wainwright's eco-rhetorical reading of the Gospel of Matthew explores this interplay of rhetoric and perspective. An ecological perspective or hermeneutic is relatively new within biblical studies. It continues to be shaped and formed. Lorraine Code's call to 'ecological thinking' as a new 'social imaginary' informs the ecological perspective that Wainwright brings to this particular reading of the Gospel of Matthew. It is attentive to the interrelationships of all Earth constituents, and functions as a lens through which one can read the entire Gospel of Matthew. Such a perspective functions well with the particular rhetorical approach that guides this ecological reading. This approach is attentive to a complex weaving of material and 'other-than-human' as well as human features into the fabric of the text: hence the title Habitat, Human and Holy. It is their interaction in the text that constructs its rhetoric and it is this that engages the ecological reader. The story of Jesus, Emmanu-el, as it unfolds in the carefully structured Gospel of Matthew, is here read using an ecological hermeneutic and a rhetorical way of reading. Significant new insights emerge at each step of the way.
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Habitat, Human, and Holy: An Eco-Rhetorical Reading of the Gospel of Matthew

£20.00£50.00
Texts are rhetorical; they have an effect; they shape the mind and emotions of the readers who engage the text. Readers, in their turn, attend to the rhetoric of a text through the interpretative lens they bring to their reading of the text at the same time as they are being shaped by its rhetoric. Elaine Wainwright's eco-rhetorical reading of the Gospel of Matthew explores this interplay of rhetoric and perspective. An ecological perspective or hermeneutic is relatively new within biblical studies. It continues to be shaped and formed. Lorraine Code's call to 'ecological thinking' as a new 'social imaginary' informs the ecological perspective that Wainwright brings to this particular reading of the Gospel of Matthew. It is attentive to the interrelationships of all Earth constituents, and functions as a lens through which one can read the entire Gospel of Matthew. Such a perspective functions well with the particular rhetorical approach that guides this ecological reading. This approach is attentive to a complex weaving of material and 'other-than-human' as well as human features into the fabric of the text: hence the title Habitat, Human and Holy. It is their interaction in the text that constructs its rhetoric and it is this that engages the ecological reader. The story of Jesus, Emmanu-el, as it unfolds in the carefully structured Gospel of Matthew, is here read using an ecological hermeneutic and a rhetorical way of reading. Significant new insights emerge at each step of the way.
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The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew

Published: Jun 2014
£60.00
If homelessness typically entails a loss of social power and agency, then why do New Testament scholars so often envisage Jesus' itinerancy as a chosen lifestyle devoid of hardship? In this provocative new reading of the Gospel of Matthew, Robert J. Myles explores the disjuncture between Jesus and homelessness by exposing the political biases of modern Western readers. Drawing on the ideological politics of homelessness in contemporary society, Myles develops an interpretative lens informed by the Marxist critique of neoliberalism and, in particular, by the critical theory of Slavoj Žižek. Homelessness, from this perspective, is viewed not as an individual choice but rather as the by-product of wider economic, political and social forces. Myles argues that Jesus' homelessness has become largely romanticized in recent biblical scholarship. Is the flight to Egypt, for instance, important primarily for its recasting of Jesus as the new Moses, or should the basic narrative of forced displacement take centre stage? The remedy, Myles contends, is to read directly against the grain of contemporary scholarship by interpreting Jesus' homelessness through his wider economic, political and social context, as it is encoded in the biblical text. To demonstrate how ideology is complicit in shaping the interpretation of a homeless Jesus, a selection of texts from the Gospel of Matthew is re-read to amplify the destitution, desperation and constraints on agency that are integral to a critical understanding of homelessness. What emerges is a refreshed appreciation for the deviancy of Matthew's Jesus, in which his status as a displaced and expendable outsider is identified as contributing to the conflict and violence of the narrative, leading ultimately to his execution on the cross.
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The Homeless Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew

£60.00
If homelessness typically entails a loss of social power and agency, then why do New Testament scholars so often envisage Jesus' itinerancy as a chosen lifestyle devoid of hardship? In this provocative new reading of the Gospel of Matthew, Robert J. Myles explores the disjuncture between Jesus and homelessness by exposing the political biases of modern Western readers. Drawing on the ideological politics of homelessness in contemporary society, Myles develops an interpretative lens informed by the Marxist critique of neoliberalism and, in particular, by the critical theory of Slavoj Žižek. Homelessness, from this perspective, is viewed not as an individual choice but rather as the by-product of wider economic, political and social forces. Myles argues that Jesus' homelessness has become largely romanticized in recent biblical scholarship. Is the flight to Egypt, for instance, important primarily for its recasting of Jesus as the new Moses, or should the basic narrative of forced displacement take centre stage? The remedy, Myles contends, is to read directly against the grain of contemporary scholarship by interpreting Jesus' homelessness through his wider economic, political and social context, as it is encoded in the biblical text. To demonstrate how ideology is complicit in shaping the interpretation of a homeless Jesus, a selection of texts from the Gospel of Matthew is re-read to amplify the destitution, desperation and constraints on agency that are integral to a critical understanding of homelessness. What emerges is a refreshed appreciation for the deviancy of Matthew's Jesus, in which his status as a displaced and expendable outsider is identified as contributing to the conflict and violence of the narrative, leading ultimately to his execution on the cross.
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Where the Wild Ox Roams: Biblical Essays in Honour of Norman C. Habel

Published: Sep 2013
£75.00
Norman C. Habel, the most eminent Hebrew Bible scholar of our time in Australia, has claimed a special place in biblical hermeneutics through his untiring work in the last two decades to foreground environmental issues as the critical lens through which the Bible must be read, judged and interpreted. This centre of his most recent work has built on a long career of creative engagement with the biblical text, creativity that has witnessed not only major contributions in Hebrew Bible scholarship (most especially on Job and ideologies of 'the land') but in drama, poetry, liturgy, puppetry and music. Norm Habel has demonstrated the possibility of the academic being an activist and the activist being a scholar, all the while encouraging emerging and established scholarship to see further into the text and through the text to the justice demanding to be established in the world. Seventeen friends have joined to honour the man and esteem, through this collection of essays, some of the illustrious facets of his prodigious output — on Job (Mark Brett, David Clines), ecological hermeneutics (Elaine Wainwright, Vicky Balabanski, Alan Cadwallader, Alice Sinnott, Dianne Bergant, Anne Elvey, Philip Davies), the arts (William Urbrock, Carol Newsom), and issues in personal encounters (Martin Buss, Marie Turner, Robert Crotty, Terence Fretheim, Ralph Klein, Gary Stansell).
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Where the Wild Ox Roams: Biblical Essays in Honour of Norman C. Habel

£75.00
Norman C. Habel, the most eminent Hebrew Bible scholar of our time in Australia, has claimed a special place in biblical hermeneutics through his untiring work in the last two decades to foreground environmental issues as the critical lens through which the Bible must be read, judged and interpreted. This centre of his most recent work has built on a long career of creative engagement with the biblical text, creativity that has witnessed not only major contributions in Hebrew Bible scholarship (most especially on Job and ideologies of 'the land') but in drama, poetry, liturgy, puppetry and music. Norm Habel has demonstrated the possibility of the academic being an activist and the activist being a scholar, all the while encouraging emerging and established scholarship to see further into the text and through the text to the justice demanding to be established in the world. Seventeen friends have joined to honour the man and esteem, through this collection of essays, some of the illustrious facets of his prodigious output — on Job (Mark Brett, David Clines), ecological hermeneutics (Elaine Wainwright, Vicky Balabanski, Alan Cadwallader, Alice Sinnott, Dianne Bergant, Anne Elvey, Philip Davies), the arts (William Urbrock, Carol Newsom), and issues in personal encounters (Martin Buss, Marie Turner, Robert Crotty, Terence Fretheim, Ralph Klein, Gary Stansell).
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The Death of Judas: The Characterization of Judas Iscariot in Three Early Christian Accounts of His Death

Published: Oct 2012
£60.00
Images of Judas across the centuries of Christian interpretation predominantly depict him as an object of horror and condemnation. Some modern interpreters have argued, however, that details about Judas in the canonical Gospels, such as his remorse and suicide, are tragic elements that vindicate Judas, to some extent at least. In addition, the recent discovery of the Gospel of Judas has provided further evidence that even in antiquity there were widely differing views of Judas. The question of the characterization of Judas in early Christianity remains open. Ancient rhetorical handbooks and countless examples from the literature of the Greco-Roman period reveal that death-accounts were regarded as fertile opportunities for shaping the characterization of a figure. Authors and audiences shared the expectation that the manner of a person's death revealed character. This insight provides a new window into the interpretation of Judas in the early Christian era, since three accounts of the death of Judas have survived from before 150 CE through the Gospel of Matthew, the Acts of the Apostles, and the fragments of Papias. Strategies for encomium and invective, and other elements of Greco-Roman and Jewish literary portraiture, vividly reveal the character-shaping significance of the details in the accounts of Judas's death. His final words, final actions, and the mode of his death —whether suicide by hanging, falling headlong and bursting, or swelling to the size of a wagon —all would have been understood to signify Judas's inner qualities and indicate his moral worth. To ancient auditors, the characterization of Judas in these texts could lead only to the assessment of Jesus, 'Woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born' (Matt. 26.24).
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The Death of Judas: The Characterization of Judas Iscariot in Three Early Christian Accounts of His Death

£60.00
Images of Judas across the centuries of Christian interpretation predominantly depict him as an object of horror and condemnation. Some modern interpreters have argued, however, that details about Judas in the canonical Gospels, such as his remorse and suicide, are tragic elements that vindicate Judas, to some extent at least. In addition, the recent discovery of the Gospel of Judas has provided further evidence that even in antiquity there were widely differing views of Judas. The question of the characterization of Judas in early Christianity remains open. Ancient rhetorical handbooks and countless examples from the literature of the Greco-Roman period reveal that death-accounts were regarded as fertile opportunities for shaping the characterization of a figure. Authors and audiences shared the expectation that the manner of a person's death revealed character. This insight provides a new window into the interpretation of Judas in the early Christian era, since three accounts of the death of Judas have survived from before 150 CE through the Gospel of Matthew, the Acts of the Apostles, and the fragments of Papias. Strategies for encomium and invective, and other elements of Greco-Roman and Jewish literary portraiture, vividly reveal the character-shaping significance of the details in the accounts of Judas's death. His final words, final actions, and the mode of his death —whether suicide by hanging, falling headlong and bursting, or swelling to the size of a wagon —all would have been understood to signify Judas's inner qualities and indicate his moral worth. To ancient auditors, the characterization of Judas in these texts could lead only to the assessment of Jesus, 'Woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born' (Matt. 26.24).
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Five Stones and a Sling: Memoirs of a Biblical Scholar

Published: Oct 2009
£14.95
Michael Goulder is a scholar who has always taken an original approach to the Bible and biblical criticism. He has developed five major theories, which challenged received opinion among the learned; and the book tells the story of how these 'stones' fared when confronting the biblical establishment. He wryly admits that his slinging has been rather less successful than David's against Goliath. Among his five theories a special place must be given to his demonstration of how much of the teaching ascribed to Jesus actually derived from the evangelists —the Lord's Prayer for example being composed by Matthew out of Jesus' prayers in Gethsemane. The parables too are the composition of the evangelists, Matthew characteristically writing of kings and rich merchants, while Luke speaks of women, stewards, a beggar and a Samaritan. A long-rooted error Michael Goulder has valiantly opposed has been the belief that Matthew and Luke were both dependent on a lost source, Q; in fact, he argues, Luke was familiar with Matthew's Gospel and copied or developed its teaching as he thought best. Goulder has worked at the Old Testament as well as the New. He concludes that the Psalms were not the individual prayers of pious Israelites, as Gunkel and others supposed, but the compositions of kings or their poets, deploring national disasters and praying for blessing at the great autumn festival. This account of Goulder's scholarly work is fascinatingly interwoven with that of his life and ministry; and there are many anecdotes and vignettes of other people that are both amusing and interesting. He was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church, and though he resigned his Orders in 1981, he never lost his love of the Bible.
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Five Stones and a Sling: Memoirs of a Biblical Scholar

£14.95
Michael Goulder is a scholar who has always taken an original approach to the Bible and biblical criticism. He has developed five major theories, which challenged received opinion among the learned; and the book tells the story of how these 'stones' fared when confronting the biblical establishment. He wryly admits that his slinging has been rather less successful than David's against Goliath. Among his five theories a special place must be given to his demonstration of how much of the teaching ascribed to Jesus actually derived from the evangelists —the Lord's Prayer for example being composed by Matthew out of Jesus' prayers in Gethsemane. The parables too are the composition of the evangelists, Matthew characteristically writing of kings and rich merchants, while Luke speaks of women, stewards, a beggar and a Samaritan. A long-rooted error Michael Goulder has valiantly opposed has been the belief that Matthew and Luke were both dependent on a lost source, Q; in fact, he argues, Luke was familiar with Matthew's Gospel and copied or developed its teaching as he thought best. Goulder has worked at the Old Testament as well as the New. He concludes that the Psalms were not the individual prayers of pious Israelites, as Gunkel and others supposed, but the compositions of kings or their poets, deploring national disasters and praying for blessing at the great autumn festival. This account of Goulder's scholarly work is fascinatingly interwoven with that of his life and ministry; and there are many anecdotes and vignettes of other people that are both amusing and interesting. He was ordained a priest in the Anglican Church, and though he resigned his Orders in 1981, he never lost his love of the Bible.
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Matthew, Second Edition

Published: Apr 2009
£15.00£35.00
Margaret Davies takes up the insights of reader-response criticism to explore how the conventions and strategies of the Gospel of Matthew draw the reader into the world that the text creates. There is a recognition also of the text's significance as authoritative scripture for modern Christians, and the bias that this gives to any interpretative strategy. This is a reprint of the 1993 edition.
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Matthew, Second Edition

£15.00£35.00
Margaret Davies takes up the insights of reader-response criticism to explore how the conventions and strategies of the Gospel of Matthew draw the reader into the world that the text creates. There is a recognition also of the text's significance as authoritative scripture for modern Christians, and the bias that this gives to any interpretative strategy. This is a reprint of the 1993 edition.
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The Illegitimacy of Jesus: A Feminist Theological Interpretation of the Infancy Narratives, Expanded Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Published: Oct 2006
£18.50£45.00
This work of impeccable New Testament scholarship was a sensation when it was first published in 1987. Jane Schaberg argued that Matthew and Luke were aware that Jesus had been conceived illegitimately, probably as a result of a rape of Mary, and had left in their Gospels some hints of that knowledge, even though their main purpose was to explore the theological significance of Jesus' birth. By having the Messiah born out of the exploitation of a woman of the poor, God demonstrates the vindication of the oppressed in a truly miraculous manner. Exegetical precision, theological passion, and an exquisite prose style are combined in this landmark book, whose importance is yet to be fully recognized. Perhaps not surprisingly, the book and its author were vilified, even though scholarly reviewers found much to praise in it, and it still features on many classroom reading lists. For this Anniversary Edition, we have added Schaberg's own disturbing account of the reception of the book, and two extensive responses--one respectfully dissenting, one fully supportive--from other New Testament scholars.
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The Illegitimacy of Jesus: A Feminist Theological Interpretation of the Infancy Narratives, Expanded Twentieth Anniversary Edition

£18.50£45.00
This work of impeccable New Testament scholarship was a sensation when it was first published in 1987. Jane Schaberg argued that Matthew and Luke were aware that Jesus had been conceived illegitimately, probably as a result of a rape of Mary, and had left in their Gospels some hints of that knowledge, even though their main purpose was to explore the theological significance of Jesus' birth. By having the Messiah born out of the exploitation of a woman of the poor, God demonstrates the vindication of the oppressed in a truly miraculous manner. Exegetical precision, theological passion, and an exquisite prose style are combined in this landmark book, whose importance is yet to be fully recognized. Perhaps not surprisingly, the book and its author were vilified, even though scholarly reviewers found much to praise in it, and it still features on many classroom reading lists. For this Anniversary Edition, we have added Schaberg's own disturbing account of the reception of the book, and two extensive responses--one respectfully dissenting, one fully supportive--from other New Testament scholars.
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The Coming King and the Rejected Shepherd: Matthew’s Reading of Zechariah’s Messianic Hope

Published: Jun 2006
£15.95£60.00
Surprisingly, this is the first full-length study devoted to Matthew's use of Zechariah by way of quotation and allusion. Three times he cites Zechariah (21.5; 26.31; 27.9-10), and on at least eight occasions he alludes to the prophet (23.35; 24.30, 31, 36; 25.31; 26.15, 28, 56). It is the messianic vision of Zechariah that has appealed to Matthew, with its elements of the restoration of the humble Davidic king, the smiting of the divinely appointed shepherd, the creation of a renewed remnant, and the worship of Yahweh by all nations. Among the questions Ham undertakes to resolve in this precise and clearly presented monograph are: how much Matthew's reading of Zechariah owes to his Jewish predecessors, how much he is in harmony with other early Christian readers of the prophet, and to what extent his image of Jesus has been shaped by Zechariah's eschatological hopes.
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The Coming King and the Rejected Shepherd: Matthew’s Reading of Zechariah’s Messianic Hope

£15.95£60.00
Surprisingly, this is the first full-length study devoted to Matthew's use of Zechariah by way of quotation and allusion. Three times he cites Zechariah (21.5; 26.31; 27.9-10), and on at least eight occasions he alludes to the prophet (23.35; 24.30, 31, 36; 25.31; 26.15, 28, 56). It is the messianic vision of Zechariah that has appealed to Matthew, with its elements of the restoration of the humble Davidic king, the smiting of the divinely appointed shepherd, the creation of a renewed remnant, and the worship of Yahweh by all nations. Among the questions Ham undertakes to resolve in this precise and clearly presented monograph are: how much Matthew's reading of Zechariah owes to his Jewish predecessors, how much he is in harmony with other early Christian readers of the prophet, and to what extent his image of Jesus has been shaped by Zechariah's eschatological hopes.
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Entertaining Angels: Early Christian Hospitality in Its Mediterranean Setting

Published: Jan 2005
£55.00
Hospitality in the ancient Mediterranean world was not a matter of entertaining one's neighbours to dinner. And among the early Christians it was not the same as table-fellowship either, though most modern works confuse that with hospitality. Hospitality was essentially the provision of food and protection for travellers; it could include also a bath, supplies for the traveller's onward journey, and an escort along the road toward to the traveller's next destination. Unlike other writers, Arterbury combs through a broad spectrum of Greek, Roman and Jewish texts -- as well as early Christian texts outside the New Testament -- for literary depictions of the custom of hospitality. As well, he brings into the picture the Greek novels, which provide us with vivid insights into ancient Mediterranean life. His book presents the most complete analysis of the terms used for hospitality. And he shows how important the practice of hospitality is in understanding the narrative of the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius in Acts 10-11: Luke is here suggesting that Christian communities should employ the traditional custom of hospitality as an effective means of bridging the cultural divide between Jews and Gentiles, evangelizing unbelievers, and forging bonds of friendship with strangers. This revealing and engaging example of what Arterbury describes as 'historical audience-oriented criticism' will be appreciated by scholars and students interested in the reality of life in New Testament times.
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Entertaining Angels: Early Christian Hospitality in Its Mediterranean Setting

£55.00
Hospitality in the ancient Mediterranean world was not a matter of entertaining one's neighbours to dinner. And among the early Christians it was not the same as table-fellowship either, though most modern works confuse that with hospitality. Hospitality was essentially the provision of food and protection for travellers; it could include also a bath, supplies for the traveller's onward journey, and an escort along the road toward to the traveller's next destination. Unlike other writers, Arterbury combs through a broad spectrum of Greek, Roman and Jewish texts -- as well as early Christian texts outside the New Testament -- for literary depictions of the custom of hospitality. As well, he brings into the picture the Greek novels, which provide us with vivid insights into ancient Mediterranean life. His book presents the most complete analysis of the terms used for hospitality. And he shows how important the practice of hospitality is in understanding the narrative of the conversion of the Gentile Cornelius in Acts 10-11: Luke is here suggesting that Christian communities should employ the traditional custom of hospitality as an effective means of bridging the cultural divide between Jews and Gentiles, evangelizing unbelievers, and forging bonds of friendship with strangers. This revealing and engaging example of what Arterbury describes as 'historical audience-oriented criticism' will be appreciated by scholars and students interested in the reality of life in New Testament times.
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The Birthing of the New Testament: The Intertextual Development of the New Testament Writings

Published: Nov 2004
£22.50
Many are saying that the prevailing paradigm of New Testament origins is going nowhere. In its place, Brodie’s stunning book invites us to suspend all ‘knowledge’ we already have about the history of the New Testament’s development, and to be willing to entertain the following thesis. Everything hinges on Proto-Luke, a history of Jesus using the Elijah–Elisha narrative as its model, which survives in 10 chapters of Luke and 15 of Acts. Mark then uses Proto-Luke, transposing its Acts material back into the life of Jesus. Matthew deuteronomizes Mark, John improves on the discourses of Matthew. Luke–Acts spells out the story at length. Add the Pauline corpus, the descendant of Deuteronomy via the Matthean logia, and the New Testament is virtually complete. This is a totalizing theory, an explanation of everything, and its critics will be numerous. But even they will be hugely intrigued, and have to admit that Brodie’s myriads of challenging observations about literary affinities demand an answer.
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The Birthing of the New Testament: The Intertextual Development of the New Testament Writings

£22.50
Many are saying that the prevailing paradigm of New Testament origins is going nowhere. In its place, Brodie’s stunning book invites us to suspend all ‘knowledge’ we already have about the history of the New Testament’s development, and to be willing to entertain the following thesis. Everything hinges on Proto-Luke, a history of Jesus using the Elijah–Elisha narrative as its model, which survives in 10 chapters of Luke and 15 of Acts. Mark then uses Proto-Luke, transposing its Acts material back into the life of Jesus. Matthew deuteronomizes Mark, John improves on the discourses of Matthew. Luke–Acts spells out the story at length. Add the Pauline corpus, the descendant of Deuteronomy via the Matthean logia, and the New Testament is virtually complete. This is a totalizing theory, an explanation of everything, and its critics will be numerous. But even they will be hugely intrigued, and have to admit that Brodie’s myriads of challenging observations about literary affinities demand an answer.
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