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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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Interpreting the Text: Essays on the Old Testament, its Reception and its Study

Published: Apr 2015
£60.00
Roger Tomes (1928 —2011) was a well-known British scholar of the Old Testament, wide-ranging in his interests and meticulous in his scholarship. He was particularly productive after his retirement from his post at Northern College, Manchester, an interdenominational college for ministry training and theological study, and remained an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. He excelled in the conference paper or journal article form, but made no collection of his papers in his lifetime. Two of his Manchester colleagues have here made a selection from both his published essays and his unpublished papers, many of them delivered in the last few years to the Ehrhardt Seminar for biblical research in Manchester. Tomes was always concerned with the relevance of the Bible to the life of the Church, and the earliest essay in the volume, from 1969, is a contribution to the theology of the Old Testament. Others deal with the reception of biblical criticism in theological education in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One of Tomes's abiding concerns was with Jewish —Christian relations; his interests in Jewish interpretation are reflected here in a study of the rabbinic use of the book of Jeremiah, and an essay on the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus. He was working on the reception history of the story of David at the time of his death, and the fruits of that study are included in the form of two fascinating essays. Besides all this, the book covers a range of topics in the study of the Old Testament, including the deutero-canonical writings, its law and historical writings in particular.
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Interpreting the Text: Essays on the Old Testament, its Reception and its Study

£60.00
Roger Tomes (1928 —2011) was a well-known British scholar of the Old Testament, wide-ranging in his interests and meticulous in his scholarship. He was particularly productive after his retirement from his post at Northern College, Manchester, an interdenominational college for ministry training and theological study, and remained an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. He excelled in the conference paper or journal article form, but made no collection of his papers in his lifetime. Two of his Manchester colleagues have here made a selection from both his published essays and his unpublished papers, many of them delivered in the last few years to the Ehrhardt Seminar for biblical research in Manchester. Tomes was always concerned with the relevance of the Bible to the life of the Church, and the earliest essay in the volume, from 1969, is a contribution to the theology of the Old Testament. Others deal with the reception of biblical criticism in theological education in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One of Tomes's abiding concerns was with Jewish —Christian relations; his interests in Jewish interpretation are reflected here in a study of the rabbinic use of the book of Jeremiah, and an essay on the Jewish American poet Emma Lazarus. He was working on the reception history of the story of David at the time of his death, and the fruits of that study are included in the form of two fascinating essays. Besides all this, the book covers a range of topics in the study of the Old Testament, including the deutero-canonical writings, its law and historical writings in particular.
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Discourse, Dialogue, and Debate in the Bible: Essays in Honour of Frank H. Polak

Published: Aug 2014
£70.00
Frank H. Polak's contributions to Biblical Studies cover many fields, from Septuagint and Qumran studies to many other disciplines. His most important contributions in recent decades, however, have been to the narrative criticism and discourse analysis of the Bible, including their application to issues of date and authorship, which have been debated since ancient times. Polak's work is informed by many branches of general and Semitic linguistics, social anthropology and historiography, along with a broad, humanistic approach. In his work, he has attempted to balance literary, linguistic and historical criticism in order to achieve a synthesis of these separate but overlapping fields, all of them necessary for reading the Hebrew Bible in a responsible manner. This volume is offered to Frank by friends and colleagues from Tel Aviv University, where he has taught for almost 40 years, and from other academic institutions, in honour of his illustrious career and on the occasion of his retirement from teaching. The contributors all debate questions of discourse, dialogue, language and history —questions that have been central to Frank's researches over the years. This is the seventh volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner-Idan), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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Discourse, Dialogue, and Debate in the Bible: Essays in Honour of Frank H. Polak

£70.00
Frank H. Polak's contributions to Biblical Studies cover many fields, from Septuagint and Qumran studies to many other disciplines. His most important contributions in recent decades, however, have been to the narrative criticism and discourse analysis of the Bible, including their application to issues of date and authorship, which have been debated since ancient times. Polak's work is informed by many branches of general and Semitic linguistics, social anthropology and historiography, along with a broad, humanistic approach. In his work, he has attempted to balance literary, linguistic and historical criticism in order to achieve a synthesis of these separate but overlapping fields, all of them necessary for reading the Hebrew Bible in a responsible manner. This volume is offered to Frank by friends and colleagues from Tel Aviv University, where he has taught for almost 40 years, and from other academic institutions, in honour of his illustrious career and on the occasion of his retirement from teaching. The contributors all debate questions of discourse, dialogue, language and history —questions that have been central to Frank's researches over the years. This is the seventh volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner-Idan), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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Jeremiah Closer Up: The Prophet and the Book

Published: May 2013
£15.00£40.00
Closer up than what? Many recent studies of Jeremiah leave us with but a faint glimmer of this great Hebrew prophet; in some he disappears completely into later tradition. Some scholars think that the book of Jeremiah lacks historical veracity: when it was composed, supposedly in the late exilic or postexilic periods, historical memories had been dimmed and ideology had come to dominate the Jeremiah legacy. The present essays combine to argue that both the prophet and his book can be viewed “closer up” than the imagination of many modern-day interpreters will allow. The first three essays discuss the text, rhetoric and composition of the book of Jeremiah. The longer Hebrew text is given preference over the Greek Septuagint text, which means that we can dispense entirely with the idea that scribes were busily writing, editing and expanding the Jeremiah book in Babylon. Rhetorical and other delimiting criteria show that Jeremiah’s so-called ‘Temple Sermon’ (7.1-15) is rather a cluster of three oracles manifesting a rudimentary form of logic. Finally, a correlation of Gedaliah’s murder with the exile of 582 argues for a nearly four-year existence of the remnant community at Mizpah, more than enough time for Jeremiah and Baruch to write up the events following the destruction of Jerusalem. The remaining essays discuss Jeremiah’s views of history, the created order, the covenant, and nations of the world, as well as the prophet’s so-called ‘confessions’. These extraordinary insights into the interior disposition of a Hebrew prophet reveal how Jeremiah felt about the word he had to preach, and what impact it had on him personally. The confessions are analysed both as formal psalm-like laments, and as gems of rhetorical composition.
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Jeremiah Closer Up: The Prophet and the Book

£15.00£40.00
Closer up than what? Many recent studies of Jeremiah leave us with but a faint glimmer of this great Hebrew prophet; in some he disappears completely into later tradition. Some scholars think that the book of Jeremiah lacks historical veracity: when it was composed, supposedly in the late exilic or postexilic periods, historical memories had been dimmed and ideology had come to dominate the Jeremiah legacy. The present essays combine to argue that both the prophet and his book can be viewed “closer up” than the imagination of many modern-day interpreters will allow. The first three essays discuss the text, rhetoric and composition of the book of Jeremiah. The longer Hebrew text is given preference over the Greek Septuagint text, which means that we can dispense entirely with the idea that scribes were busily writing, editing and expanding the Jeremiah book in Babylon. Rhetorical and other delimiting criteria show that Jeremiah’s so-called ‘Temple Sermon’ (7.1-15) is rather a cluster of three oracles manifesting a rudimentary form of logic. Finally, a correlation of Gedaliah’s murder with the exile of 582 argues for a nearly four-year existence of the remnant community at Mizpah, more than enough time for Jeremiah and Baruch to write up the events following the destruction of Jerusalem. The remaining essays discuss Jeremiah’s views of history, the created order, the covenant, and nations of the world, as well as the prophet’s so-called ‘confessions’. These extraordinary insights into the interior disposition of a Hebrew prophet reveal how Jeremiah felt about the word he had to preach, and what impact it had on him personally. The confessions are analysed both as formal psalm-like laments, and as gems of rhetorical composition.
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Men and Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond

Published: Nov 2010
£60.00
The study of masculinity in the Bible is increasingly becoming established as a field of critical inquiry in biblical gender studies. This book highlights a variety of methodological approaches that reveal the complex and multifaceted construction of masculinity in biblical and post-biblical literature. It focuses uniquely and explicitly on men and the world they inhabit, documenting changes in the type of men and masculinities deemed legitimate, or illegitimate, across various social and historical contexts of the ancient Near East. At the same time, it interrogates readers' assumptions about the writers' positioning of male bodies, sexuality and relationships in a gender order created to reflect men's interests, yet in need of constant reordering. In this volume specific features of biblical masculinity are explored: the masculinity of less favoured sons in Genesis (Susan Haddox); the ideology of Temple masculinity in Chronicles (Roland Boer); the masculinity of Moses (Brian DiPalma); the performative nature of masculinity in the Sinai episode (David Clines); Deuteronomy's regimentation of masculinity (Mark George); Joshua's hegemonic masculinity in the Conquest Narrative (Ovidiu Creangă); Naaman's disability in relation to ideologies of masculinity (Cheryl Strimple and Ovidiu Creangă); Job's position as a man in charge in the Testament of Job (Maria Haralambakis); Priestly notions of sexuality in the covenant of the rainbow and circumcision in Genesis (Sandra Jacobs); Samson's masculinity in terms of male honour (Ela Lazarewicz-Wyrzykowska); the popular depiction of Jeremiah as a 'lamenting prophet' against the book of Jeremiah's male ideology (C.J. Patrick Davis); the gendered interaction of a Bible-study group with Daniel's dreams (Andrew Todd). Finally, David Clines and Stephen Moore offer closing critical reflections that situate the book's topics within a broader spectrum of issues in masculinity.
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Men and Masculinity in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond

£60.00
The study of masculinity in the Bible is increasingly becoming established as a field of critical inquiry in biblical gender studies. This book highlights a variety of methodological approaches that reveal the complex and multifaceted construction of masculinity in biblical and post-biblical literature. It focuses uniquely and explicitly on men and the world they inhabit, documenting changes in the type of men and masculinities deemed legitimate, or illegitimate, across various social and historical contexts of the ancient Near East. At the same time, it interrogates readers' assumptions about the writers' positioning of male bodies, sexuality and relationships in a gender order created to reflect men's interests, yet in need of constant reordering. In this volume specific features of biblical masculinity are explored: the masculinity of less favoured sons in Genesis (Susan Haddox); the ideology of Temple masculinity in Chronicles (Roland Boer); the masculinity of Moses (Brian DiPalma); the performative nature of masculinity in the Sinai episode (David Clines); Deuteronomy's regimentation of masculinity (Mark George); Joshua's hegemonic masculinity in the Conquest Narrative (Ovidiu Creangă); Naaman's disability in relation to ideologies of masculinity (Cheryl Strimple and Ovidiu Creangă); Job's position as a man in charge in the Testament of Job (Maria Haralambakis); Priestly notions of sexuality in the covenant of the rainbow and circumcision in Genesis (Sandra Jacobs); Samson's masculinity in terms of male honour (Ela Lazarewicz-Wyrzykowska); the popular depiction of Jeremiah as a 'lamenting prophet' against the book of Jeremiah's male ideology (C.J. Patrick Davis); the gendered interaction of a Bible-study group with Daniel's dreams (Andrew Todd). Finally, David Clines and Stephen Moore offer closing critical reflections that situate the book's topics within a broader spectrum of issues in masculinity.
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Recent Research on the Major Prophets

Published: Oct 2008
£60.00
Given the many new methods and approaches for interpreting biblical literature that have appeared in the past several decades, it is hardly surprising that our understanding of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel has expanded and diversified at a rapid pace. Historical-critical understandings and perspectives have been challenged and often dramatically altered. New approaches, such as social-scientific criticism, rhetorical criticism, feminist criticism, reader response criticism, literary analysis, anthropological analysis, structuralist criticism, ideological criticism, and deconstructionist criticism have both challenged old approaches and shed new light on the texts being studied. In this volume, Alan Hauser presents eleven articles, each with an extensive bibliography, that survey the variety and depth of recent and contemporary scholarship on these three prophets. Five of them are new to this volume. All are written by experts in each area of scholarship, including Marvin Sweeney, Paul Kim, Roy Melugin, Robert P. Carroll, Peter Diamond, Katheryn Pfisterer Darr and Risa Levitt Kohn. Hauser introduces the volume with a comprehensive summary and overview of the articles.
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Recent Research on the Major Prophets

£60.00
Given the many new methods and approaches for interpreting biblical literature that have appeared in the past several decades, it is hardly surprising that our understanding of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel has expanded and diversified at a rapid pace. Historical-critical understandings and perspectives have been challenged and often dramatically altered. New approaches, such as social-scientific criticism, rhetorical criticism, feminist criticism, reader response criticism, literary analysis, anthropological analysis, structuralist criticism, ideological criticism, and deconstructionist criticism have both challenged old approaches and shed new light on the texts being studied. In this volume, Alan Hauser presents eleven articles, each with an extensive bibliography, that survey the variety and depth of recent and contemporary scholarship on these three prophets. Five of them are new to this volume. All are written by experts in each area of scholarship, including Marvin Sweeney, Paul Kim, Roy Melugin, Robert P. Carroll, Peter Diamond, Katheryn Pfisterer Darr and Risa Levitt Kohn. Hauser introduces the volume with a comprehensive summary and overview of the articles.
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Jeremiah, Volume 1

Published: May 2006
£17.50
In this remarkable commentary, first published in 1986, Carroll offered the first systematic study of the book that turned its back on the prevailing trend to use the book to reconstruct the historical Jeremiah, propounding rather the view that the book was the compilation of many small units, much edited and reworked, which were rarely connected originally with a prophet Jeremiah. Carroll's work has all the expected features of a major biblical commentary: thorough investigation of the original text, in this case also of the sharply divergent Septuagint translation, deep acquaintance with the scholarly literature on the book, unceasing close reading of the work in its final shape and in its detail. But it adds a distinctively Carrollian dimension: its unrelenting analysis of the often conflicting ideological and theological forces that created every aspect of the book, demanding of its readers that they approach it as an unremittingly intellectual literary work. Unaccountably, this commentary, published originally in the Old Testament Library series of Westminster Press in the USA and SCM Press in the UK, has gone out of print. Sheffield Phoenix Press offers this reprinted edition both because of its continuing significance and as a personal tribute to its author, whose untimely death occurred in 2000.
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Jeremiah, Volume 1

£17.50
In this remarkable commentary, first published in 1986, Carroll offered the first systematic study of the book that turned its back on the prevailing trend to use the book to reconstruct the historical Jeremiah, propounding rather the view that the book was the compilation of many small units, much edited and reworked, which were rarely connected originally with a prophet Jeremiah. Carroll's work has all the expected features of a major biblical commentary: thorough investigation of the original text, in this case also of the sharply divergent Septuagint translation, deep acquaintance with the scholarly literature on the book, unceasing close reading of the work in its final shape and in its detail. But it adds a distinctively Carrollian dimension: its unrelenting analysis of the often conflicting ideological and theological forces that created every aspect of the book, demanding of its readers that they approach it as an unremittingly intellectual literary work. Unaccountably, this commentary, published originally in the Old Testament Library series of Westminster Press in the USA and SCM Press in the UK, has gone out of print. Sheffield Phoenix Press offers this reprinted edition both because of its continuing significance and as a personal tribute to its author, whose untimely death occurred in 2000.
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Josiah’s Reform and Jeremiah’s Scroll: Historical Calamity and Prophetic Response

Published: Jan 2006
£50.00
This exciting new study of the prophet Jeremiah attributes to him a pivotal significance in the historical period of Josiah's reign. He was, so Leuchter argues, one of the central agents of Josiah's propaganda machine and was intimately involved with the king's political agenda. Jeremiah, himself originally a member of the scribal school that composed the Deuteronomistic literature, encouraged the Shilonites of Anathoth to become active in Josiah's programme in the North following the waning of Assyrian power. Dismayed by the Shilonites' rejection of him and Josiah, and by the king's death at Megiddo, Jeremiah came to a radically new understanding of the divine purpose, encapsulated in the famous Temple sermon of Jeremiah 7 and evidenced in the prophet's debates with the political establishment in Jerusalem in the years that followed. In his thoroughgoing historical reconstruction, Leuchter outlines a very specific sequence of events that took their rise from the Shilonite rejection of Deuteronomic policy, and on that basis carefully demarcates the texts that would have been included in Jeremiah's first scroll (the Urrolle ). Leuchter's monograph will make an important contribution to the study of the history and the literature of the late seventh century BCE.
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Josiah’s Reform and Jeremiah’s Scroll: Historical Calamity and Prophetic Response

£50.00
This exciting new study of the prophet Jeremiah attributes to him a pivotal significance in the historical period of Josiah's reign. He was, so Leuchter argues, one of the central agents of Josiah's propaganda machine and was intimately involved with the king's political agenda. Jeremiah, himself originally a member of the scribal school that composed the Deuteronomistic literature, encouraged the Shilonites of Anathoth to become active in Josiah's programme in the North following the waning of Assyrian power. Dismayed by the Shilonites' rejection of him and Josiah, and by the king's death at Megiddo, Jeremiah came to a radically new understanding of the divine purpose, encapsulated in the famous Temple sermon of Jeremiah 7 and evidenced in the prophet's debates with the political establishment in Jerusalem in the years that followed. In his thoroughgoing historical reconstruction, Leuchter outlines a very specific sequence of events that took their rise from the Shilonite rejection of Deuteronomic policy, and on that basis carefully demarcates the texts that would have been included in Jeremiah's first scroll (the Urrolle ). Leuchter's monograph will make an important contribution to the study of the history and the literature of the late seventh century BCE.
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