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Reading the Landscape of Ezekiel 40-48: A Theology of Resilience

Published: Oct 2023
£75.00
When the landscape architect IChun Kuo opens up an ancient plan written in the book of Ezekiel, she encounters a planner who is called “son of man”, who was instructed to a vision. Bewildered by this unworldly yet grounded visioned plan, Kuo seeks help from Assyrian King Sennacherib who constructed gardens, Jerome who was puzzled by the labyrinth, Newton who was obsessed with the measurement. She asks biblical scholars, archaeologists, architects and planners, until she finds the patterns.  Reading the Landscape of Ezekiel  is a journey of decoding a mesmerizing ancient landscape, which reflects history of social and ecological catastrophes, survival and renovation, and the mechanisms of God’s design. Kuo argues that Ezekiel 40–48 can be understood as an ancient resilient landscape plan that encompasses rigidity and ductility, resistance and recovery. Given the ancient hazards described in Ezekiel (sword, famine, evil creatures, and pestilence), the mechanism of landscape resilience in Ezekiel 40–48 is similar to modern time ecosystem resilience, as well as disaster risk reduction, and epidemiology/public health of war and defence policy. An understanding of the ancient planning in Ezekiel 40–48 may shed light on our reading of the biblical text, our way of viewing the depicted visions, as well as the implications of our planning of the environment.
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Reading the Landscape of Ezekiel 40-48: A Theology of Resilience

£75.00
When the landscape architect IChun Kuo opens up an ancient plan written in the book of Ezekiel, she encounters a planner who is called “son of man”, who was instructed to a vision. Bewildered by this unworldly yet grounded visioned plan, Kuo seeks help from Assyrian King Sennacherib who constructed gardens, Jerome who was puzzled by the labyrinth, Newton who was obsessed with the measurement. She asks biblical scholars, archaeologists, architects and planners, until she finds the patterns.  Reading the Landscape of Ezekiel  is a journey of decoding a mesmerizing ancient landscape, which reflects history of social and ecological catastrophes, survival and renovation, and the mechanisms of God’s design. Kuo argues that Ezekiel 40–48 can be understood as an ancient resilient landscape plan that encompasses rigidity and ductility, resistance and recovery. Given the ancient hazards described in Ezekiel (sword, famine, evil creatures, and pestilence), the mechanism of landscape resilience in Ezekiel 40–48 is similar to modern time ecosystem resilience, as well as disaster risk reduction, and epidemiology/public health of war and defence policy. An understanding of the ancient planning in Ezekiel 40–48 may shed light on our reading of the biblical text, our way of viewing the depicted visions, as well as the implications of our planning of the environment.
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Judges: Once Upon a Time in Israel

Published: Jun 2023
£22.50
Judges is the Bible’s end-of-the-frontier epic. It depicts the first generations of Israelite life in Canaan and portrays a set of memorable protagonists, the “judges,” who were wild enough to tame a wilderness, but too wild to persist into the next era of royal courts, central shrines, and political states. The core of Judges consists of a series of narratives about the outlaws, warlords and war-ladies, mercenaries, and jackleg and priests and prophets from ancient Ephraim whose exploits were recounted in a series of redacted documents that, to the chagrin of pious readers over the centuries, ended up in the Bible, of all places. There is Ehud, the left-handed assassin on a grim solo labyrinthine mission in and out of an enemy fortress. There is Deborah, the alpha female who, in one chapter, commands an army and, in another, is credited with uttering her eponymous song, which deserves to be counted among the world’s great war poetry. There is Jael, the man-slaughtering Bedouin woman who is handy with a hammer. There is Gideon, the insecure hero who leads, in one story, an outnumbered elite band of warriors to victory over an enemy force of uncountable proportions and, in another story, a clannish vendetta filled with torture, arson, and revenge killings. There is the tale of Abimelech which traces the rise and fall of a gangster. There is Jephthah, the outcast summoned to rescue his tribe when they need his desperado skill set, but whose rash vow has fatal consequences for his daughter. Finally, there is Samson, one of folk literature’s most memorable characterizations, a walking, talking incarnation of unshaved, unbalanced hyper-masculinity. This reading of the tales of Judges as a set of adventure stories from the early centuries of alphabetic literacy requires that we dig through mounds of didactic, theological, moralistic, messianic, and nationalistic landfill in order to reclaim the full glory—and horror—of their dark violence and eroticism, as well as to marvel at the coarse folk poetry in the tales’ narration and dialogue.
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Judges: Once Upon a Time in Israel

£22.50
Judges is the Bible’s end-of-the-frontier epic. It depicts the first generations of Israelite life in Canaan and portrays a set of memorable protagonists, the “judges,” who were wild enough to tame a wilderness, but too wild to persist into the next era of royal courts, central shrines, and political states. The core of Judges consists of a series of narratives about the outlaws, warlords and war-ladies, mercenaries, and jackleg and priests and prophets from ancient Ephraim whose exploits were recounted in a series of redacted documents that, to the chagrin of pious readers over the centuries, ended up in the Bible, of all places. There is Ehud, the left-handed assassin on a grim solo labyrinthine mission in and out of an enemy fortress. There is Deborah, the alpha female who, in one chapter, commands an army and, in another, is credited with uttering her eponymous song, which deserves to be counted among the world’s great war poetry. There is Jael, the man-slaughtering Bedouin woman who is handy with a hammer. There is Gideon, the insecure hero who leads, in one story, an outnumbered elite band of warriors to victory over an enemy force of uncountable proportions and, in another story, a clannish vendetta filled with torture, arson, and revenge killings. There is the tale of Abimelech which traces the rise and fall of a gangster. There is Jephthah, the outcast summoned to rescue his tribe when they need his desperado skill set, but whose rash vow has fatal consequences for his daughter. Finally, there is Samson, one of folk literature’s most memorable characterizations, a walking, talking incarnation of unshaved, unbalanced hyper-masculinity. This reading of the tales of Judges as a set of adventure stories from the early centuries of alphabetic literacy requires that we dig through mounds of didactic, theological, moralistic, messianic, and nationalistic landfill in order to reclaim the full glory—and horror—of their dark violence and eroticism, as well as to marvel at the coarse folk poetry in the tales’ narration and dialogue.
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Nahum, Habakkuk and Malachi

Published: May 2023
£20.00£60.00
Nahum, ironically named ‘the compassionate one’, Habakkuk who laments God’s failure to answer his questions about justice and violence, and the eponymous Malachi are the three characters whose record is the focus of this reading. The commentary offers a close reading of the Hebrew text of each book along with its rhetorical features. The three books are read from within their several ancient contexts, literary, cultural and theological. Only Habakkuk is specifically identified as a ‘prophet’, while Nahum’s and Malachi’s editors studiously avoid the term, raising a question about why these three books have been honoured with a place in the Scroll of the Twelve rather than somewhere else. Each book is titled a Massa’ by its editor, identifying them as examples of an emerging literary trope that combines both prophetic and wisdom elements in a didactic purpose. Nahum is identified not as a prophet but as a Visionary. He saw the dire situation of his people and expressed his longing for God’s intervention. The God of whom he spoke was one ‘jealous, and avenging’, one he longed would act against the overwhelming power of the Assyrians that threatened his people. Habakkuk, though identified as a prophet, shows no evidence of any prophetic activity. He laments the failure of justice and consequent violence as witnessed (1.2-4). The Lament-form used has been torn in two by the editor for the purpose of inserting a Dialogue with God (1.5-2.20), a Dialogue that fails completely to answer Habakkuk’s ‘Why?’ questions in 1.1-2. The concluding portion of the Lament (3.2-19) witnesses to Habakkuk’s continued trust in his God despite the divine failure to resolve his questions. The eponymous ‘Malachi’ is identified as a Messenger, never as a prophet, as the book reports six different and independent messages covering issues that arose during an extended period in early postexilic Judaean life. Using a frame of six Question-Response forms that feature rhetorical questions, his audiences deny the validity of each negative charge against them. Graham Ogden has been a United Bible Societies’ Translation Consultant. He lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
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Nahum, Habakkuk and Malachi

£20.00£60.00
Nahum, ironically named ‘the compassionate one’, Habakkuk who laments God’s failure to answer his questions about justice and violence, and the eponymous Malachi are the three characters whose record is the focus of this reading. The commentary offers a close reading of the Hebrew text of each book along with its rhetorical features. The three books are read from within their several ancient contexts, literary, cultural and theological. Only Habakkuk is specifically identified as a ‘prophet’, while Nahum’s and Malachi’s editors studiously avoid the term, raising a question about why these three books have been honoured with a place in the Scroll of the Twelve rather than somewhere else. Each book is titled a Massa’ by its editor, identifying them as examples of an emerging literary trope that combines both prophetic and wisdom elements in a didactic purpose. Nahum is identified not as a prophet but as a Visionary. He saw the dire situation of his people and expressed his longing for God’s intervention. The God of whom he spoke was one ‘jealous, and avenging’, one he longed would act against the overwhelming power of the Assyrians that threatened his people. Habakkuk, though identified as a prophet, shows no evidence of any prophetic activity. He laments the failure of justice and consequent violence as witnessed (1.2-4). The Lament-form used has been torn in two by the editor for the purpose of inserting a Dialogue with God (1.5-2.20), a Dialogue that fails completely to answer Habakkuk’s ‘Why?’ questions in 1.1-2. The concluding portion of the Lament (3.2-19) witnesses to Habakkuk’s continued trust in his God despite the divine failure to resolve his questions. The eponymous ‘Malachi’ is identified as a Messenger, never as a prophet, as the book reports six different and independent messages covering issues that arose during an extended period in early postexilic Judaean life. Using a frame of six Question-Response forms that feature rhetorical questions, his audiences deny the validity of each negative charge against them. Graham Ogden has been a United Bible Societies’ Translation Consultant. He lives in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.
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Joban Papers

Published: Apr 2023
£75.00
In this volume, David J.A. 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 - 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 J.A. 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 - 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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Play the Man! Biblical Imperatives to Masculinity

Published: Apr 2023
£75.00
David J.A. Clines argues in Play the Man! that masculinity is a script, written for men by their societies, a script that men in their various cultures act out their whole lives long: 'no one is born a man'. He has been quick to deploy the insights of sociologists, historians, educationists, health professionals, psychologists and other scholars investigating masculinity in the contemporary and ancient worlds. The book's title is a recognition of masculinity as performance, and the Bible's depictions of males in action as far more than information or entertainment; they function as demands on the men who read them or have them read to them. Hence the subtitle, Biblical Imperatives to Masculinity, presumes that every biblical reference to the masculine is some kind of authoritative command. Clines—in this collection of writings prepared across three decades—has seen biblical texts as an excellent test bed for research into masculinity in one ancient culture as well as being an indubitable influence upon views and practices of masculinity in our own time.  The bulk of the book consists of studies of individual characters and texts of the Bible, analysing and profiling the masculinity that is there attested, assumed and encouraged. In conclusion, Clines reflects on the continuing impact of the biblical imperatives to masculinity, their effect on men, women and religion, in our own time.  
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Play the Man! Biblical Imperatives to Masculinity

£75.00
David J.A. Clines argues in Play the Man! that masculinity is a script, written for men by their societies, a script that men in their various cultures act out their whole lives long: 'no one is born a man'. He has been quick to deploy the insights of sociologists, historians, educationists, health professionals, psychologists and other scholars investigating masculinity in the contemporary and ancient worlds. The book's title is a recognition of masculinity as performance, and the Bible's depictions of males in action as far more than information or entertainment; they function as demands on the men who read them or have them read to them. Hence the subtitle, Biblical Imperatives to Masculinity, presumes that every biblical reference to the masculine is some kind of authoritative command. Clines—in this collection of writings prepared across three decades—has seen biblical texts as an excellent test bed for research into masculinity in one ancient culture as well as being an indubitable influence upon views and practices of masculinity in our own time.  The bulk of the book consists of studies of individual characters and texts of the Bible, analysing and profiling the masculinity that is there attested, assumed and encouraged. In conclusion, Clines reflects on the continuing impact of the biblical imperatives to masculinity, their effect on men, women and religion, in our own time.  
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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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Nehemiah: A Commentary by Lisbeth S. Fried - book cover
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Nehemiah: A Commentary

Published: Oct 2021
£60.00
Lisbeth Fried’s commentary on Nehemiah is the second instalment of her two-volume commentary on Ezra–Nehemiah. The first instalment, Ezra, was published by Sheffield Phoenix in 2015. Like her commentary on Ezra, Nehemiah too takes full advantage of recent results in archaeology and numismatics, as well as in the mechanisms of Persian and Hellenistic rule, and in the influence of the Hellenistic and Maccabean Wars on Jewish writings. Like her Ezra, the present volume includes a new translation of the book of Nehemiah, plus text-critical notes on each verse which compare and contrast the Greek, Latin and Syriac versions. The Introduction and extensive chapter commentaries provide a discussion of the larger historical and literary issues. Although not finalized until the Maccabean period, the book of Nehemiah contains a temple foundation document from the time of Darius I, a story of rebuilding and dedicating a city wall around Jerusalem in the mid-fifth century, and a memoir from a fifth-century governor of Judah. Numerous additions and lists that date from the Hellenistic and Maccabean periods complete the book. Fried concludes that the book of Nehemiah contains two separate first-person reports—one by the wall-builder, wine steward of Artaxerxes I, whose name we do not know, and one by Yeho’ezer, a fifth-century governor of Judah. We know his name from seals found at the governor’s mansion at Ramat Raḥel. Nehemiah, whose full name was actually Nehemiah Attiršata ben Ḥacaliah, neither built the wall around Jerusalem nor served as a fifth-century governor of Judah, Fried argues. Rather, he was a Persian Jew who had charge of the temple priesthood under Zerubbabel in the days of Darius I. Fried’s commentary promises to revolutionize how we read the book of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah: A Commentary by Lisbeth S. Fried - book cover
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Nehemiah: A Commentary

£60.00
Lisbeth Fried’s commentary on Nehemiah is the second instalment of her two-volume commentary on Ezra–Nehemiah. The first instalment, Ezra, was published by Sheffield Phoenix in 2015. Like her commentary on Ezra, Nehemiah too takes full advantage of recent results in archaeology and numismatics, as well as in the mechanisms of Persian and Hellenistic rule, and in the influence of the Hellenistic and Maccabean Wars on Jewish writings. Like her Ezra, the present volume includes a new translation of the book of Nehemiah, plus text-critical notes on each verse which compare and contrast the Greek, Latin and Syriac versions. The Introduction and extensive chapter commentaries provide a discussion of the larger historical and literary issues. Although not finalized until the Maccabean period, the book of Nehemiah contains a temple foundation document from the time of Darius I, a story of rebuilding and dedicating a city wall around Jerusalem in the mid-fifth century, and a memoir from a fifth-century governor of Judah. Numerous additions and lists that date from the Hellenistic and Maccabean periods complete the book. Fried concludes that the book of Nehemiah contains two separate first-person reports—one by the wall-builder, wine steward of Artaxerxes I, whose name we do not know, and one by Yeho’ezer, a fifth-century governor of Judah. We know his name from seals found at the governor’s mansion at Ramat Raḥel. Nehemiah, whose full name was actually Nehemiah Attiršata ben Ḥacaliah, neither built the wall around Jerusalem nor served as a fifth-century governor of Judah, Fried argues. Rather, he was a Persian Jew who had charge of the temple priesthood under Zerubbabel in the days of Darius I. Fried’s commentary promises to revolutionize how we read the book of Nehemiah.
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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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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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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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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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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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The Decalogue and its Cultural Influence

Published: Oct 2017
£33.00£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

£33.00£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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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
£19.00£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

£19.00£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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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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Ezra: A Commentary

Published: Sep 2017
£29.50£60.00
Lisbeth Fried's commentary on Ezra is the first instalment of a projected two-volume commentary on Ezra —Nehemiah. It is the first full-length scholarly commentary on Ezra —Nehemiah to be written since 1988 and takes advantage of recent results in archaeology, of recent historical studies on the Persian Empire, and of recent studies of the influence of Hellenistic textual and legal traditions on Judean thought. It also draws extensively on the author's own research into the mechanisms by which the Persian Empire dominated and controlled its subject populations. The present volume includes a new translation of the Book of Ezra, plus annotations on each verse that compare and contrast the Greek, Latin and Syriac variations, including the text of Greek Esdras A. It also provides an extensive Introduction and chapter commentaries that discuss larger historical and literary issues. Fried concludes that Ezra —Nehemiah was written as one book at the beginning of the Hellenistic period. Although written then, it was formed from earlier texts: an Ezra memoir, a letter to Ezra from Artaxerxes II, and a Nehemiah memoir. All of these have been heavily edited, however. Fried concludes that both Ezra and Nehemiah were Persian officials, Ezra a Persian episkopos , and Nehemiah a Persian governor, and that both acted with the goals of their Persian overlords in mind, not the goals of the subject Judean population. The Judean author, writing under Hellenic domination, transformed these men into Judean heroes in order to promote the novel idea of a long tradition of foreign imperial support for local institutions —cultic, legal and physical. Fried's commentary promises to revolutionize how one reads the book of Ezra. This is the first volume in a new series of substantial works, Critical Commentaries.
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Ezra: A Commentary

£29.50£60.00
Lisbeth Fried's commentary on Ezra is the first instalment of a projected two-volume commentary on Ezra —Nehemiah. It is the first full-length scholarly commentary on Ezra —Nehemiah to be written since 1988 and takes advantage of recent results in archaeology, of recent historical studies on the Persian Empire, and of recent studies of the influence of Hellenistic textual and legal traditions on Judean thought. It also draws extensively on the author's own research into the mechanisms by which the Persian Empire dominated and controlled its subject populations. The present volume includes a new translation of the Book of Ezra, plus annotations on each verse that compare and contrast the Greek, Latin and Syriac variations, including the text of Greek Esdras A. It also provides an extensive Introduction and chapter commentaries that discuss larger historical and literary issues. Fried concludes that Ezra —Nehemiah was written as one book at the beginning of the Hellenistic period. Although written then, it was formed from earlier texts: an Ezra memoir, a letter to Ezra from Artaxerxes II, and a Nehemiah memoir. All of these have been heavily edited, however. Fried concludes that both Ezra and Nehemiah were Persian officials, Ezra a Persian episkopos , and Nehemiah a Persian governor, and that both acted with the goals of their Persian overlords in mind, not the goals of the subject Judean population. The Judean author, writing under Hellenic domination, transformed these men into Judean heroes in order to promote the novel idea of a long tradition of foreign imperial support for local institutions —cultic, legal and physical. Fried's commentary promises to revolutionize how one reads the book of Ezra. This is the first volume in a new series of substantial works, Critical Commentaries.
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Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements

Published: Sep 2015
£60.00
What happens when explorations of sexuality, gender and the Bible go down under? This fascinating collection of essays, written by scholars located in the Antipodes, traverses the highly contested landscapes of sexuality, gender and biblical studies, revealing a myriad of sexual discourses voiced within both the biblical texts and their interpretative traditions. Recognizing that textual meaning is always shaped by the cultural and contextual baggage the reader brings to the interpretative task, contributors raise provocative questions about the meanings, identities and ideologies that surround biblical discourses of sexuality and gender, exploring how these have been and can be reshaped and reconceived. Deane Galbraith examines the theological reflections of Augustine and Paul on Adam's 'perfect penis' in Eden while Roland Boer explores the earthy biblical vocabulary used to depict female genitalia. Christina Petterson, meanwhile, examines the Moravian Brethren's celebration of a Christ who bore on his body male and female genitalia. Travelling beyond the sexualized human body, Emily Colgan considers the problematic language of gender violence against the land that is voiced in Jeremiah. Elaine Wainwright blurs and queers the binary categories of human and non-human in the Sermon on the Mount. Yael Klangwisan continues this blurring of boundaries through her creative reading of Song of Songs. Moving from the gendered body to the gendered voice, Alan Cadwallader probes Paul's rhetorical gender-bending in his 'masculinized' oral culture. Caroline Blyth and Teguh Wijaya Mulya empower Delilah to vocalize her queer potential in both the biblical narrative and popular culture. Gillian Townsley adds her own Kiwi voice to explore queer possibilities in Philippians 4.2-3 in the light of New Zealand's same-sex marriage legislation. The volume concludes with a queer reconsideration of the Antipodes themselves from the perspective of a northern-hemisphere biblical scholar, Hugh Pyper. This compelling collection will make a substantive contribution to the bookshelves of scholars and interested readers in such areas as biblical studies, religion and gender-queer studies.
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Sexuality, Ideology and the Bible: Antipodean Engagements

£60.00
What happens when explorations of sexuality, gender and the Bible go down under? This fascinating collection of essays, written by scholars located in the Antipodes, traverses the highly contested landscapes of sexuality, gender and biblical studies, revealing a myriad of sexual discourses voiced within both the biblical texts and their interpretative traditions. Recognizing that textual meaning is always shaped by the cultural and contextual baggage the reader brings to the interpretative task, contributors raise provocative questions about the meanings, identities and ideologies that surround biblical discourses of sexuality and gender, exploring how these have been and can be reshaped and reconceived. Deane Galbraith examines the theological reflections of Augustine and Paul on Adam's 'perfect penis' in Eden while Roland Boer explores the earthy biblical vocabulary used to depict female genitalia. Christina Petterson, meanwhile, examines the Moravian Brethren's celebration of a Christ who bore on his body male and female genitalia. Travelling beyond the sexualized human body, Emily Colgan considers the problematic language of gender violence against the land that is voiced in Jeremiah. Elaine Wainwright blurs and queers the binary categories of human and non-human in the Sermon on the Mount. Yael Klangwisan continues this blurring of boundaries through her creative reading of Song of Songs. Moving from the gendered body to the gendered voice, Alan Cadwallader probes Paul's rhetorical gender-bending in his 'masculinized' oral culture. Caroline Blyth and Teguh Wijaya Mulya empower Delilah to vocalize her queer potential in both the biblical narrative and popular culture. Gillian Townsley adds her own Kiwi voice to explore queer possibilities in Philippians 4.2-3 in the light of New Zealand's same-sex marriage legislation. The volume concludes with a queer reconsideration of the Antipodes themselves from the perspective of a northern-hemisphere biblical scholar, Hugh Pyper. This compelling collection will make a substantive contribution to the bookshelves of scholars and interested readers in such areas as biblical studies, religion and gender-queer studies.
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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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Borges and the Bible

Published: May 2015
£50.00
Jorge Luis Borges is the darling of authors and critics who were once described as postmodern. Borges's fictions assail the boundaries between text, world and self. In one sense, the fictions are mere rhetorical games, puzzles, or 'tricks', which disrupt communication (and interpretation), but they also suggest —at least to some —metaphysical uncertainties. To read them is as if one read the fictions of Hume or the Buddha. Most of the literary and biblical scholars in this volume pair the Bible and its scholarship with one or more of Borges's short fictions (particularly those first collected in English in Ficciones ), but some venture into Borges's essays, poetry, and his life story (as he and others have told it). As to Bibles, some essayists focus on particular texts from the Hebrew Bible (like Genesis, Samuel, Kings or Job) or the Christian New Testament (like Mark, 2 Corinthians, or Revelation), while others engage traditions of interpretation like Gnosticism, the Kabbalah or academic biblical scholarship. Several focus on canon, translation, the craft of fiction, religion or hermeneutics as a way of thinking about Borges and the Bible. With Borges, interpretation is ubiquitous. Whether consciously fictionalizing or not, all (biblical) interpretation transforms its precursor. All (biblical) interpretation becomes a play with secrecy and revelation. Borgesian Bibles and scholarship are labyrinths, gardens of forking paths, unsettling and distorting mirrors. With Borges, biblical scholars come face to face with their finitude, obsession, fascination, ambivalence, and inevitable heresy vis-à-vis ta biblia.
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Borges and the Bible

£50.00
Jorge Luis Borges is the darling of authors and critics who were once described as postmodern. Borges's fictions assail the boundaries between text, world and self. In one sense, the fictions are mere rhetorical games, puzzles, or 'tricks', which disrupt communication (and interpretation), but they also suggest —at least to some —metaphysical uncertainties. To read them is as if one read the fictions of Hume or the Buddha. Most of the literary and biblical scholars in this volume pair the Bible and its scholarship with one or more of Borges's short fictions (particularly those first collected in English in Ficciones ), but some venture into Borges's essays, poetry, and his life story (as he and others have told it). As to Bibles, some essayists focus on particular texts from the Hebrew Bible (like Genesis, Samuel, Kings or Job) or the Christian New Testament (like Mark, 2 Corinthians, or Revelation), while others engage traditions of interpretation like Gnosticism, the Kabbalah or academic biblical scholarship. Several focus on canon, translation, the craft of fiction, religion or hermeneutics as a way of thinking about Borges and the Bible. With Borges, interpretation is ubiquitous. Whether consciously fictionalizing or not, all (biblical) interpretation transforms its precursor. All (biblical) interpretation becomes a play with secrecy and revelation. Borgesian Bibles and scholarship are labyrinths, gardens of forking paths, unsettling and distorting mirrors. With Borges, biblical scholars come face to face with their finitude, obsession, fascination, ambivalence, and inevitable heresy vis-à-vis ta biblia.
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Interpreting the Text: Essays on the Old Testament, its Reception and its Study, edited by Walter J. Houston and Adrian H.W. Curtis

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, edited by Walter J. Houston and Adrian H.W. Curtis

£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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Proverbs

Published: Jan 2015
£15.00£35.00
In previous commentaries on Proverbs, little is said about any literary and thematic unity in the book. This commentary, by contrast, reads Proverbs not as a collection of disjointed aphorisms, but as a book of symmetrically arranged wisdom-teaching where topics, forms of expression and rhetoric are constantly hearkening back to what has preceded or heralding what is to follow. In the preface (1.1-7), the editors of Proverbs introduce a book of wisdom-teaching which the audience, the youth of Israel, are supposed to understand by discerning the figurative language in which the teaching is expressed. The present-day reader of Proverbs is invited in this commentary to read from the same perspective, becoming, like the original audience, engaged in the unfolding figurative language. At the outset Proverbs is set well within the household (1.8 —9.18), where a mother and father urge their naive and uncommitted son to retain their teaching and to successfully establish his own household. Wisdom is personified as a teacher and a welcoming host whose metaphorical banquet is laid out in the poetry of the topical groups identified in the 'Proverbs of Solomon' (10.1 —22.16). The parental wisdom teaching in the 'Words of the Wise' (22.17 —24.34) addresses a youth now on the threshold of public life, marking out a path of courageous wisdom amid attractive but self-destructive alternatives. In the 'Other Proverbs of Solomon' (chaps. 25 —29) a wealth of imagery and stark antitheses highlight earlier themes and inculcate personal responsibility in a lawless society. The Book of Proverbs concludes with the striking portraits of three eminent wise ones (chaps. 30 —31), who are presumably imbued with the spirit of the Book.
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Proverbs

£15.00£35.00
In previous commentaries on Proverbs, little is said about any literary and thematic unity in the book. This commentary, by contrast, reads Proverbs not as a collection of disjointed aphorisms, but as a book of symmetrically arranged wisdom-teaching where topics, forms of expression and rhetoric are constantly hearkening back to what has preceded or heralding what is to follow. In the preface (1.1-7), the editors of Proverbs introduce a book of wisdom-teaching which the audience, the youth of Israel, are supposed to understand by discerning the figurative language in which the teaching is expressed. The present-day reader of Proverbs is invited in this commentary to read from the same perspective, becoming, like the original audience, engaged in the unfolding figurative language. At the outset Proverbs is set well within the household (1.8 —9.18), where a mother and father urge their naive and uncommitted son to retain their teaching and to successfully establish his own household. Wisdom is personified as a teacher and a welcoming host whose metaphorical banquet is laid out in the poetry of the topical groups identified in the 'Proverbs of Solomon' (10.1 —22.16). The parental wisdom teaching in the 'Words of the Wise' (22.17 —24.34) addresses a youth now on the threshold of public life, marking out a path of courageous wisdom amid attractive but self-destructive alternatives. In the 'Other Proverbs of Solomon' (chaps. 25 —29) a wealth of imagery and stark antitheses highlight earlier themes and inculcate personal responsibility in a lawless society. The Book of Proverbs concludes with the striking portraits of three eminent wise ones (chaps. 30 —31), who are presumably imbued with the spirit of the Book.
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Deuteronomy and Environmental Amnesia

Published: Sep 2014
£45.00
Modern Westerners suffer from environmental amnesia, our failure to remember properly our intimate connections to the places in our lives and to the other inhabitants of these places, both human and non-human. Although environmental amnesia may be the underlying diagnosis of our contemporary ecological problems, in Deuteronomy and Environmental Amnesia Raymond Person argues that environmental amnesia has roots in ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, and that ancient forms of environmental amnesia are evident in the book of Deuteronomy. Raymond Person combines the ecological hermeneutics of the Earth Bible project for the first time with an emerging approach in environmental philosophy —that is, environmental hermeneutics which draws significantly from the works of Heidegger, Gadamer, Habermas and Ricoeur. As he explores the presence of ancient forms of environmental amnesia in Deuteronomy, he draws extensively from other approaches to the ancient Near East and the Bible that emphasize the interactions between material culture and text and that take seriously the Other as portrayed in the Bible, especially household archaeology, zooarchaeology, feminist approaches, and postcolonial approaches. His analysis discovers not only forms of environmental amnesia that the Deuteronomic school suffered from and promoted ideologically, but also partial remedies for forms of ancient environmental amnesia in some of the Deuteronomic legislation. His reflection on environmental amnesia and its partial remedies in the text of Deuteronomy provides insights into our modern forms of environmental amnesia and how we may begin to lessen its effects on the Earth community. Between the introduction and conclusion, the volume contains two parts. The first part consists of chapters on how environmental amnesia exists in various themes in Deuteronomy: the family household, land versus wilderness, Israel versus the nations, clean versus unclean animals, and urban versus rural. The second part is somewhat more like a traditional commentary, focusing on themes in selected passages, including herem in Deut. 7.1-26, the sabbath year in Deut. 15.1-18, war in Deut. 20.1-20, first-fruits and the third-year tithe in Deut. 26.1-19, and eschatology in Deut. 28.1-68 and 30.1-20.
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Deuteronomy and Environmental Amnesia

£45.00
Modern Westerners suffer from environmental amnesia, our failure to remember properly our intimate connections to the places in our lives and to the other inhabitants of these places, both human and non-human. Although environmental amnesia may be the underlying diagnosis of our contemporary ecological problems, in Deuteronomy and Environmental Amnesia Raymond Person argues that environmental amnesia has roots in ancient Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, and that ancient forms of environmental amnesia are evident in the book of Deuteronomy. Raymond Person combines the ecological hermeneutics of the Earth Bible project for the first time with an emerging approach in environmental philosophy —that is, environmental hermeneutics which draws significantly from the works of Heidegger, Gadamer, Habermas and Ricoeur. As he explores the presence of ancient forms of environmental amnesia in Deuteronomy, he draws extensively from other approaches to the ancient Near East and the Bible that emphasize the interactions between material culture and text and that take seriously the Other as portrayed in the Bible, especially household archaeology, zooarchaeology, feminist approaches, and postcolonial approaches. His analysis discovers not only forms of environmental amnesia that the Deuteronomic school suffered from and promoted ideologically, but also partial remedies for forms of ancient environmental amnesia in some of the Deuteronomic legislation. His reflection on environmental amnesia and its partial remedies in the text of Deuteronomy provides insights into our modern forms of environmental amnesia and how we may begin to lessen its effects on the Earth community. Between the introduction and conclusion, the volume contains two parts. The first part consists of chapters on how environmental amnesia exists in various themes in Deuteronomy: the family household, land versus wilderness, Israel versus the nations, clean versus unclean animals, and urban versus rural. The second part is somewhat more like a traditional commentary, focusing on themes in selected passages, including herem in Deut. 7.1-26, the sabbath year in Deut. 15.1-18, war in Deut. 20.1-20, first-fruits and the third-year tithe in Deut. 26.1-19, and eschatology in Deut. 28.1-68 and 30.1-20.
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Finding Wisdom in Nature: An Eco-Wisdom Reading of the Book of Job

Published: Sep 2014
£40.00
Wisdom, where can she be found?' This question, at the core of Job 28, is arguably the central question also of the entire book of Job. Where is Wisdom found in Job 28? Habel's answer may be surprising: in the domains and forces of nature, in the ecosystems of the cosmos! And who employs the 'scientific approach' of the ancient Wisdom School to discern this Wisdom? A Sage called God during the process of creation. This key chapter, Job 28, is therefore where Habel begins his ecological commentary, using an approach he designates an eco-wisdom reading. In the preceding 27 chapters of the Book of Job, the focus had seemed to be on the question of where justice could be found. Job has been ready to take God to court in order to find justice. Yet, throughout these chapters there has also been a question about Wisdom, raised by Job and each of his friends, though it has remained churning in the background. When God finally answers Job, God communicates —via nature —about the 'design' of the cosmos. During his journey through the cosmos with his divine mentor, depicted in the divine speeches of Job 38 —41, Job is challenged to discern the 'way,' the 'place' and the inter-relationship of the domains and forces of nature, which is to say, their dynamic innate Wisdom. In his final speech, Job admits he does not know everything and dismisses his plan to take God to court, and the claim for justice lapses. In its place, Job declares he has 'seen' or 'observed' God —presumably in the ecosystems of the cosmos that God has shown him. So the Book of Job ends with his experience of what we may call an 'ecological conversion'.
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Finding Wisdom in Nature: An Eco-Wisdom Reading of the Book of Job

£40.00
Wisdom, where can she be found?' This question, at the core of Job 28, is arguably the central question also of the entire book of Job. Where is Wisdom found in Job 28? Habel's answer may be surprising: in the domains and forces of nature, in the ecosystems of the cosmos! And who employs the 'scientific approach' of the ancient Wisdom School to discern this Wisdom? A Sage called God during the process of creation. This key chapter, Job 28, is therefore where Habel begins his ecological commentary, using an approach he designates an eco-wisdom reading. In the preceding 27 chapters of the Book of Job, the focus had seemed to be on the question of where justice could be found. Job has been ready to take God to court in order to find justice. Yet, throughout these chapters there has also been a question about Wisdom, raised by Job and each of his friends, though it has remained churning in the background. When God finally answers Job, God communicates —via nature —about the 'design' of the cosmos. During his journey through the cosmos with his divine mentor, depicted in the divine speeches of Job 38 —41, Job is challenged to discern the 'way,' the 'place' and the inter-relationship of the domains and forces of nature, which is to say, their dynamic innate Wisdom. In his final speech, Job admits he does not know everything and dismisses his plan to take God to court, and the claim for justice lapses. In its place, Job declares he has 'seen' or 'observed' God —presumably in the ecosystems of the cosmos that God has shown him. So the Book of Job ends with his experience of what we may call an 'ecological conversion'.
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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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Moses: The Man and the Myth in Music

Published: July 2014
£50.00
With this book, Leneman completes a trilogy on musical interpretations of biblical narratives. Her previous books were Love, Lust, and Lunacy: The Stories of Saul and David in Music (2010) and The Performed Bible: The Story of Ruth in Opera and Oratorio (2007). Moses has often been thought of more as a myth than as a man. Later retellings of his story —particularly in operas and oratorios —demythologize him, portraying him and all the characters surrounding him on a more human scale. Moses the statue comes down from his pedestal and becomes a living man. For example, in the Bible the primary relationship of Moses is with God; secondarily it is with the people of Israel, rather than with individuals. In opera and the many oratorio settings the figure of Moses is enhanced by his representation as a man with many emotional ties —to Zipporah, Miriam or Aaron, or to all three. Re-reading and re-telling biblical narratives through musical settings gives voice to often silent biblical characters, offering the reader and listener unexpected ways to hear and understand their story. In Moses: The Man and the Myth in Music, highlighting how Moses was richly imagined in oratorios and operas, Leneman discusses 16 operas and oratorios from the eighteenth to the twentieth century —including works by Handel, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Schoenberg and more obscure composers whose music has seldom or never been explored. Through music, the listener can hear and also feel the suffering of the Israelites; the passion of Moses as leader, liberator, and even lover; the intensity of Miriam's vision and commitment; and the whole range of emotion experienced by every character that inhabits this story. The music and librettos not only fill in the spaces between the lines, but go beyond the margins of the biblical text to conjure up a multi-dimensional world.
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Moses: The Man and the Myth in Music

£50.00
With this book, Leneman completes a trilogy on musical interpretations of biblical narratives. Her previous books were Love, Lust, and Lunacy: The Stories of Saul and David in Music (2010) and The Performed Bible: The Story of Ruth in Opera and Oratorio (2007). Moses has often been thought of more as a myth than as a man. Later retellings of his story —particularly in operas and oratorios —demythologize him, portraying him and all the characters surrounding him on a more human scale. Moses the statue comes down from his pedestal and becomes a living man. For example, in the Bible the primary relationship of Moses is with God; secondarily it is with the people of Israel, rather than with individuals. In opera and the many oratorio settings the figure of Moses is enhanced by his representation as a man with many emotional ties —to Zipporah, Miriam or Aaron, or to all three. Re-reading and re-telling biblical narratives through musical settings gives voice to often silent biblical characters, offering the reader and listener unexpected ways to hear and understand their story. In Moses: The Man and the Myth in Music, highlighting how Moses was richly imagined in oratorios and operas, Leneman discusses 16 operas and oratorios from the eighteenth to the twentieth century —including works by Handel, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, Massenet, Schoenberg and more obscure composers whose music has seldom or never been explored. Through music, the listener can hear and also feel the suffering of the Israelites; the passion of Moses as leader, liberator, and even lover; the intensity of Miriam's vision and commitment; and the whole range of emotion experienced by every character that inhabits this story. The music and librettos not only fill in the spaces between the lines, but go beyond the margins of the biblical text to conjure up a multi-dimensional world.
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Encountering Violence in the Bible

Published: Oct 2013
£60.00
Our world is full of violence, with repeated acts of terrorism and generally rising rates of violent criminal acts as the most obvious forms of the phenomenon in the Western world. It even reached the peaceful shores of Norway in the summer of 2011. This was one of the reasons why the first international meeting of the Norwegian Summer Academy for Biblical Studies was devoted to the topic 'Violence as an Ethical Challenge in the Bible'. Eighteen biblical scholars from nine different countries (Joshua Berman, Lennart Bostršm, Friedmann Eissler, Torleif Elgvin, LarsOlov Eriksson, Karin Finsterbusch, Georg Fischer, Terence E. Fretheim, Hallvard Hagelia, Dana M. Harris, Robert L. Hubbard, Jr, ÌÉrstein Justnes, Gordon McConville, Kirsten Nielsen, Tommy Wasserman, Karl William Weyde, Peter Wick and Markus Zehnder) met on the beautiful premises of Ansgar Theological Seminary to discuss some of the most fundamental aspects of the topic. The papers presented at the conference are collected in the present volume, dealing mostly with the Hebrew Bible, but covering also the New Testament, Jewish literature from the Second Temple period and the Qur'an. The contributions reflect a refreshing variety of scholarly and theological approaches. One of the fundamental questions addressed in several studies is how biblical texts justifying violence can be properly understood and used today. Other questions raised are how violent some of the often-criticized biblical passages really are and how violence can be overcome.
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Encountering Violence in the Bible

£60.00
Our world is full of violence, with repeated acts of terrorism and generally rising rates of violent criminal acts as the most obvious forms of the phenomenon in the Western world. It even reached the peaceful shores of Norway in the summer of 2011. This was one of the reasons why the first international meeting of the Norwegian Summer Academy for Biblical Studies was devoted to the topic 'Violence as an Ethical Challenge in the Bible'. Eighteen biblical scholars from nine different countries (Joshua Berman, Lennart Bostršm, Friedmann Eissler, Torleif Elgvin, LarsOlov Eriksson, Karin Finsterbusch, Georg Fischer, Terence E. Fretheim, Hallvard Hagelia, Dana M. Harris, Robert L. Hubbard, Jr, ÌÉrstein Justnes, Gordon McConville, Kirsten Nielsen, Tommy Wasserman, Karl William Weyde, Peter Wick and Markus Zehnder) met on the beautiful premises of Ansgar Theological Seminary to discuss some of the most fundamental aspects of the topic. The papers presented at the conference are collected in the present volume, dealing mostly with the Hebrew Bible, but covering also the New Testament, Jewish literature from the Second Temple period and the Qur'an. The contributions reflect a refreshing variety of scholarly and theological approaches. One of the fundamental questions addressed in several studies is how biblical texts justifying violence can be properly understood and used today. Other questions raised are how violent some of the often-criticized biblical passages really are and how violence can be overcome.
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Abigail, Wife of David, and Other Ancient Oriental Women

Published: Oct 2013
£50.00
This is the first book devoted to the biblical figure of Abigail, whose encounter with David is narrated in 1 Samuel 25. An interdisciplinary study, its seven papers combine biblical criticism, narratology, history of religions, Assyriology and the study of midrash. One article (by Michaël Guichard) brings to light a major historical analogy from the Mari documents to the triangular relationship of Abigail, Nabal and David. The career of the princess Inib-sharri, first married to an old sheikh, and, after his sudden, mysterious death, to a younger princeling, provides a very apt analogy to that of Abigail. Another article (by Daniel Bodi) compares David's way of seizing power to the pattern of seizing power in the ancient Near East: Zimri-Lim in Mari, Idrimi in Alalakh, and the 'Apiru in the Amarna texts serve as analogies to David. The tale of David as an ambitious warlord taking power through marriage can be paralleled by the myth of Nergal and Ereshkigal; in its older Amarna version Nergal takes power through violence whereas in its Assyrian version his power is due to Ereshkigal's seduction and love. The Abigail story combines both aspects, beginning with violence and ending with marriage (Jean-Jacques Glassner). Some rabbis saw Abigail as a seducer and a hellish type of woman. The final articles (by Bodi and Jean-Marie Husser) show that, while her behaviour might be ambiguous, she should not be branded a scarlet woman.
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Abigail, Wife of David, and Other Ancient Oriental Women

£50.00
This is the first book devoted to the biblical figure of Abigail, whose encounter with David is narrated in 1 Samuel 25. An interdisciplinary study, its seven papers combine biblical criticism, narratology, history of religions, Assyriology and the study of midrash. One article (by Michaël Guichard) brings to light a major historical analogy from the Mari documents to the triangular relationship of Abigail, Nabal and David. The career of the princess Inib-sharri, first married to an old sheikh, and, after his sudden, mysterious death, to a younger princeling, provides a very apt analogy to that of Abigail. Another article (by Daniel Bodi) compares David's way of seizing power to the pattern of seizing power in the ancient Near East: Zimri-Lim in Mari, Idrimi in Alalakh, and the 'Apiru in the Amarna texts serve as analogies to David. The tale of David as an ambitious warlord taking power through marriage can be paralleled by the myth of Nergal and Ereshkigal; in its older Amarna version Nergal takes power through violence whereas in its Assyrian version his power is due to Ereshkigal's seduction and love. The Abigail story combines both aspects, beginning with violence and ending with marriage (Jean-Jacques Glassner). Some rabbis saw Abigail as a seducer and a hellish type of woman. The final articles (by Bodi and Jean-Marie Husser) show that, while her behaviour might be ambiguous, she should not be branded a scarlet woman.
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Sight and Insight in Genesis: A Semantic Study

Published: Oct 2013
£60.00
Sight and Insight shows how prominent are terms from the semantic field of sight in the book of Genesis. They are constantly found in openings, at turning points, and as constituents in place-names and personal names. Because of their presence at strategic points in the plot of Genesis, words of sight enhance cohesion among the narratives of the book. From the beginning of time, according to Genesis, there have been numerous instances of seeing on the part of both God and humans. But as Genesis progresses, God gradually becomes more hidden and his seeing gives place to human perception. These observations are built upon a sound theoretical foundation, outlined in the opening chapter, which provides a clear definition of the concept of 'semantic field' and an explanation of related semantic terms such as 'frames' and 'prototypes'. Subsequent chapters identify the words that can be assigned to the 'sight' field, examine the deployment of the sight field in individual narratives in Genesis, and study the sight field over larger sections of the book. This is the sixth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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Sight and Insight in Genesis: A Semantic Study

£60.00
Sight and Insight shows how prominent are terms from the semantic field of sight in the book of Genesis. They are constantly found in openings, at turning points, and as constituents in place-names and personal names. Because of their presence at strategic points in the plot of Genesis, words of sight enhance cohesion among the narratives of the book. From the beginning of time, according to Genesis, there have been numerous instances of seeing on the part of both God and humans. But as Genesis progresses, God gradually becomes more hidden and his seeing gives place to human perception. These observations are built upon a sound theoretical foundation, outlined in the opening chapter, which provides a clear definition of the concept of 'semantic field' and an explanation of related semantic terms such as 'frames' and 'prototypes'. Subsequent chapters identify the words that can be assigned to the 'sight' field, examine the deployment of the sight field in individual narratives in Genesis, and study the sight field over larger sections of the book. This is the sixth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
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Chorus in the Dark: The Voices of the Book of Lamentations

Published: Oct 2013
£60.00
Chorus in the Dark invites attention to the treaty negotiated by the voices of Lamentations. The issues of God's justice and human rights are at the centre of a forceful discussion embodied in the five poems of Lamentations. Difficult questions are subtly raised: How can God's justice be recognized and honoured in the midst of suffering? How can the human right to protest against mistreatment be respected? How can loss, grief, and shame be overcome? What future is there for the victims? How can these sensitive issues be negotiated without loss? Zion is the first major speaker in Lamentations. Zion projects the voice of a woman crying by the grave. Her pain is intense, her loss is vast, her anger is uncontrollable. Zion is unable to see any future. God is indeed just in destroying her, but her surviving children do not deserve her fate. The other major speaker is the man of Lamentations 3. He too speaks of the pain, grief, anger, and desire for vengeance of a victim bent under the yoke of affliction. Yet, like a Davidic king, he dares to claim covenant promises and hope that darkness will eventually turn to light. Through both harmony and discord, and with a profound ambivalence toward the future, the separate voices of Lamentations resonate in a timbre that transcends the sum of its parts. The five poems, while having unique value individually, are meant to be read together as a living documentation of a moment of suspension, a great turning point in the history of Israel.
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Chorus in the Dark: The Voices of the Book of Lamentations

£60.00
Chorus in the Dark invites attention to the treaty negotiated by the voices of Lamentations. The issues of God's justice and human rights are at the centre of a forceful discussion embodied in the five poems of Lamentations. Difficult questions are subtly raised: How can God's justice be recognized and honoured in the midst of suffering? How can the human right to protest against mistreatment be respected? How can loss, grief, and shame be overcome? What future is there for the victims? How can these sensitive issues be negotiated without loss? Zion is the first major speaker in Lamentations. Zion projects the voice of a woman crying by the grave. Her pain is intense, her loss is vast, her anger is uncontrollable. Zion is unable to see any future. God is indeed just in destroying her, but her surviving children do not deserve her fate. The other major speaker is the man of Lamentations 3. He too speaks of the pain, grief, anger, and desire for vengeance of a victim bent under the yoke of affliction. Yet, like a Davidic king, he dares to claim covenant promises and hope that darkness will eventually turn to light. Through both harmony and discord, and with a profound ambivalence toward the future, the separate voices of Lamentations resonate in a timbre that transcends the sum of its parts. The five poems, while having unique value individually, are meant to be read together as a living documentation of a moment of suspension, a great turning point in the history of Israel.
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Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach

Published: Sep 2013
£50.00
Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach explores in an original and reflective way the relations between the linguistic forms, ideas and life involvements of biblical genres. The various forms of the Hebrew Bible reflect and correspond to the richly diverse life experiences of the Hebrew people, which include varied legal, cultic and erotic interactions. Divine speech is a prominent literary form in the Hebrew Bible, according to Buss's analysis. It has an emotive character, and is highly personal. Such speech establishes a series of Origin events that run from creation to the foundation of kingship; it both provides norms for life and struggles with human recalcitrance. Divine speech also provides evaluative assessments of present and envisaged situations, and it promises a truly good End. The humans to whom divine speech is directed are called on to acknowledge the divine reality, which they can do through self-transcendence, as a part of selfhood. In ethics, a receptive attitude acknowledges the unconditional worth of others, which is supported by Deity. Human speech is usually also emotive, although on occasion it is concerned rather with dry historical actualities. It is intertwined with divine speech in narratives and prophecies. In these fourteen essays (one of them previously unpublished) the renowned biblical scholar Martin Buss gathers an array of his work from many years, bringing to bear on the Hebrew Bible his extensive researches in cross-cultural data and in other disciplines such as philosophy and social psychology.
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Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach

£50.00
Toward Understanding the Hebrew Canon: A Form-Critical Approach explores in an original and reflective way the relations between the linguistic forms, ideas and life involvements of biblical genres. The various forms of the Hebrew Bible reflect and correspond to the richly diverse life experiences of the Hebrew people, which include varied legal, cultic and erotic interactions. Divine speech is a prominent literary form in the Hebrew Bible, according to Buss's analysis. It has an emotive character, and is highly personal. Such speech establishes a series of Origin events that run from creation to the foundation of kingship; it both provides norms for life and struggles with human recalcitrance. Divine speech also provides evaluative assessments of present and envisaged situations, and it promises a truly good End. The humans to whom divine speech is directed are called on to acknowledge the divine reality, which they can do through self-transcendence, as a part of selfhood. In ethics, a receptive attitude acknowledges the unconditional worth of others, which is supported by Deity. Human speech is usually also emotive, although on occasion it is concerned rather with dry historical actualities. It is intertwined with divine speech in narratives and prophecies. In these fourteen essays (one of them previously unpublished) the renowned biblical scholar Martin Buss gathers an array of his work from many years, bringing to bear on the Hebrew Bible his extensive researches in cross-cultural data and in other disciplines such as philosophy and social psychology.
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The Necessary King: A Postcolonial Reading of the Deuteronomistic Portrait of the Monarchy

Published: Sep 2013
£80.00
The Necessary King explains why Israel needed a king according to the Deuteronomistic History, and why its exilic readers can expect no future except under Davidic rule. Given Israel's tendency to rebellion against its divine suzerain, the king is the necessary agent of God's colonization of Israel, making and keeping it a loyal subject. The Deuteronomistic History with its pro-Davidic narrative has three prongs, each of which relies on an imitation of the imperial ideology of Judah's colonial masters. First, Dtr imitates the discourse of Neo-Assyrian treaties and Mesopotamian royal inscriptions, replacing the imperial suzerain with God. Second, having established this client —suzerain relationship in Deuteronomy, Dtr then goes on to imitate imperial portrayals of the disloyal and wicked foreign enemies whom the Mesopotamian king colonizes. Israel is a foreign enemy in God's eyes, repetitively proving their disloyalty to their divine suzerain and so demonstrating the need for an Israelite king who will colonize them —for their own good. Third, Dtr imitates the ideology of the Mesopotamian powers in its portrayal of the monarchy. Dtr presents the Davidides' relation to Judah/Israel just as the Mesopotamian colonial powers present their kings' relation to the foreign peoples they have conquered: their colonial rule is necessary, and actually benefits the peoples whom they colonize. Disqualifying prophets, priests, and judges as potential leaders of Israel, and presenting the people as far too sinful to live without leadership, the Deuteronomistic History portrays the Davidic monarchy as a necessity.
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The Necessary King: A Postcolonial Reading of the Deuteronomistic Portrait of the Monarchy

£80.00
The Necessary King explains why Israel needed a king according to the Deuteronomistic History, and why its exilic readers can expect no future except under Davidic rule. Given Israel's tendency to rebellion against its divine suzerain, the king is the necessary agent of God's colonization of Israel, making and keeping it a loyal subject. The Deuteronomistic History with its pro-Davidic narrative has three prongs, each of which relies on an imitation of the imperial ideology of Judah's colonial masters. First, Dtr imitates the discourse of Neo-Assyrian treaties and Mesopotamian royal inscriptions, replacing the imperial suzerain with God. Second, having established this client —suzerain relationship in Deuteronomy, Dtr then goes on to imitate imperial portrayals of the disloyal and wicked foreign enemies whom the Mesopotamian king colonizes. Israel is a foreign enemy in God's eyes, repetitively proving their disloyalty to their divine suzerain and so demonstrating the need for an Israelite king who will colonize them —for their own good. Third, Dtr imitates the ideology of the Mesopotamian powers in its portrayal of the monarchy. Dtr presents the Davidides' relation to Judah/Israel just as the Mesopotamian colonial powers present their kings' relation to the foreign peoples they have conquered: their colonial rule is necessary, and actually benefits the peoples whom they colonize. Disqualifying prophets, priests, and judges as potential leaders of Israel, and presenting the people as far too sinful to live without leadership, the Deuteronomistic History portrays the Davidic monarchy as a necessity.
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The Sacrifice of Isaac: The Reception of a Biblical Story in Music

Published: Aug 2013
£60.00
The biblical story of the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22), or the Akedah in Hebrew tradition, has inspired composers, artists, writers, and dramatists down through the centuries to produce some of the greatest musical, artistic, literary, and dramatic masterpieces the world knows today. This book explores the reception of Genesis 22 in five compositions that not only have been influential in the history of classical art music but also present some of the most insightful and distinctive interpretations of the biblical story. Spanning more than four hundred years, and stemming from a variety of musical genres, the works selected include an oratorio latino by Giacomo Carissimi, the 'Father of Oratorio'; an oratorio volgare by the Bohemian Josef Mysliveček; a canticle, and a movement from the War Requiem of the eminent British composer Benjamin Britten; and a cantata by the Jewish American composer Judith Lang Zaimont. Dowling Long argues that, despite intensive exegetical work on Genesis 22 and the attention given to the concept of seeing in the narrative, biblical commentators have generally neglected the concept of hearing, which features prominently in the story's reception in music. This book will be of interest to biblical scholars, musicologists, teachers of religious education and music education, as well as to readers interested in reception history. It is beautifully illustrated with 80 images of the sacrifice of Isaac in art, stone, needlework of tapestry and embroidery, and furniture together with photographs of composers and 86 musical excerpts.
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The Sacrifice of Isaac: The Reception of a Biblical Story in Music

£60.00
The biblical story of the sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22), or the Akedah in Hebrew tradition, has inspired composers, artists, writers, and dramatists down through the centuries to produce some of the greatest musical, artistic, literary, and dramatic masterpieces the world knows today. This book explores the reception of Genesis 22 in five compositions that not only have been influential in the history of classical art music but also present some of the most insightful and distinctive interpretations of the biblical story. Spanning more than four hundred years, and stemming from a variety of musical genres, the works selected include an oratorio latino by Giacomo Carissimi, the 'Father of Oratorio'; an oratorio volgare by the Bohemian Josef Mysliveček; a canticle, and a movement from the War Requiem of the eminent British composer Benjamin Britten; and a cantata by the Jewish American composer Judith Lang Zaimont. Dowling Long argues that, despite intensive exegetical work on Genesis 22 and the attention given to the concept of seeing in the narrative, biblical commentators have generally neglected the concept of hearing, which features prominently in the story's reception in music. This book will be of interest to biblical scholars, musicologists, teachers of religious education and music education, as well as to readers interested in reception history. It is beautifully illustrated with 80 images of the sacrifice of Isaac in art, stone, needlework of tapestry and embroidery, and furniture together with photographs of composers and 86 musical excerpts.
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The Politics of Israel’s Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building

Published: July 2013
£60.00
It is not uncommon that historical images —presented as simply given, self-evident and even indisputable —are employed in political readings of the past and used as a legitimizing tool. For that reason, the authors of this volume, biblical scholars, archaeologists, anthropologists and historians, undertake a deconstruction of modern biblical discourses on the Bible's production and the history of ancient Israel, enabling the exploration of critical approaches to ancient Palestine's past, to the history of the peoples of the region, to the history of the biblical text(s) and, last but not least, to the modern political uses of biblical narratives as legitimizing land ownership and nationalisms. Among the topics treated are the appearance of Judaism and its connection to the production of biblical literature, the politics of archaeological practice in Israel, the role of archaeology in the production of nationalist narratives of the past, the relationship between genetic studies and Jewish nationalism, and the prospects for writing critical histories of ancient Palestine beyond biblical images and religious and political aspirations. Each article illustrates the close relationship between the Bible, archaeology and processes of nation-building in the State of Israel. The Politics of Israel's Past concerns itself both with the ways in which contemporary politics affects the knowledge of the past and with the processes by which constructions of an ancient past legitimate modern political situations.
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The Politics of Israel’s Past: The Bible, Archaeology and Nation-Building

£60.00
It is not uncommon that historical images —presented as simply given, self-evident and even indisputable —are employed in political readings of the past and used as a legitimizing tool. For that reason, the authors of this volume, biblical scholars, archaeologists, anthropologists and historians, undertake a deconstruction of modern biblical discourses on the Bible's production and the history of ancient Israel, enabling the exploration of critical approaches to ancient Palestine's past, to the history of the peoples of the region, to the history of the biblical text(s) and, last but not least, to the modern political uses of biblical narratives as legitimizing land ownership and nationalisms. Among the topics treated are the appearance of Judaism and its connection to the production of biblical literature, the politics of archaeological practice in Israel, the role of archaeology in the production of nationalist narratives of the past, the relationship between genetic studies and Jewish nationalism, and the prospects for writing critical histories of ancient Palestine beyond biblical images and religious and political aspirations. Each article illustrates the close relationship between the Bible, archaeology and processes of nation-building in the State of Israel. The Politics of Israel's Past concerns itself both with the ways in which contemporary politics affects the knowledge of the past and with the processes by which constructions of an ancient past legitimate modern political situations.
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The Joseph of Genesis as Hellenistic Scientist

Published: July 2013
£75.00
To today's confrontations between religion and science Jovanovic contrasts the vibrant collaboration that characterizes Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beginnings. Designation of the patriarch Joseph as both a dream interpreter and a diviner (Gen. 44.4, 15) is a specific example of biblical appropriation of the ancient Mediterranean understanding of cup divination and dream interpretation as among the scientific activities of its social, spiritual and academic elite. Jovanovic argues that the image of Joseph as a Hellenistic scientist nourished the popularity of early Jewish and Christian literature on Joseph. The works of Josephus and Philo, Rabbinic midrashim, and the newly discovered The Ethiopic Story of Joseph, as well as Jubilees, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and Joseph and Aseneth, hold that Joseph's profession was that of a scientist of vision. The interpretation of the symbolic images in dreams and cup divination was a scientific method of communication with the divine and of prediction of the future, which Jovanovic calls 'revelation by visual effects'. Joseph's image as an Egyptian academic provoked varied responses in Hellenistic Jewish circles. The dismay expressed by Jubilees and Philo arose from Joseph's perceived betrayal of religious and traditional values. The acclamation of Josephus and The Ethiopic Story of Joseph demonstrates that a number of Hellenistic Jews believed that their creative integration into the vibrant Hellenistic culture could be successful and deepen their own Jewish identity. While previous scholarship has focused on representations of Joseph either as an ethical model or as a type of Christ, this is the first major work that explores the image of Joseph as an ancient scholar and spiritual expert.
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The Joseph of Genesis as Hellenistic Scientist

£75.00
To today's confrontations between religion and science Jovanovic contrasts the vibrant collaboration that characterizes Jewish, Christian, and Islamic beginnings. Designation of the patriarch Joseph as both a dream interpreter and a diviner (Gen. 44.4, 15) is a specific example of biblical appropriation of the ancient Mediterranean understanding of cup divination and dream interpretation as among the scientific activities of its social, spiritual and academic elite. Jovanovic argues that the image of Joseph as a Hellenistic scientist nourished the popularity of early Jewish and Christian literature on Joseph. The works of Josephus and Philo, Rabbinic midrashim, and the newly discovered The Ethiopic Story of Joseph, as well as Jubilees, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and Joseph and Aseneth, hold that Joseph's profession was that of a scientist of vision. The interpretation of the symbolic images in dreams and cup divination was a scientific method of communication with the divine and of prediction of the future, which Jovanovic calls 'revelation by visual effects'. Joseph's image as an Egyptian academic provoked varied responses in Hellenistic Jewish circles. The dismay expressed by Jubilees and Philo arose from Joseph's perceived betrayal of religious and traditional values. The acclamation of Josephus and The Ethiopic Story of Joseph demonstrates that a number of Hellenistic Jews believed that their creative integration into the vibrant Hellenistic culture could be successful and deepen their own Jewish identity. While previous scholarship has focused on representations of Joseph either as an ethical model or as a type of Christ, this is the first major work that explores the image of Joseph as an ancient scholar and spiritual expert.
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Now My Eye Sees You: Unveiling an Apocalyptic Job

Published: May 2013
£16.50£50.00
This groundbreaking study on the book of Job is the first systematic effort to reveal and organize its apocalyptic impulses. Drawing on such scholars as John Collins, Christopher Rowland and Frank Moore Cross, Johnson argues that interpreting Job through the lens of apocalypse yields a coherent reading that is able to incorporate all of the seemingly disparate literary features of the book that historically stymie interpreters. An apocalyptic reading of Job begins with the presence of three important revelations: Eliphaz's vision, the hymn to wisdom and the Yahweh speeches. A literary division following these revelations contributes to the book's overall emphasis, which is to persevere in the midst of suffering. Thorny questions such as the reason Elihu was not rebuked by God in the epilogue receive fresh treatment from an apocalyptic paradigm. In tracing the history of the interpretation of Job, Johnson offers evidence that both Jewish and Christian traditions recognized many of these 'apocalyptic' elements. For example, the LXX version of Job contains a resurrection plus in the epilogue, the Testament of Job emphasizes the influence of Satan, the Qumran sect may have drawn strength from the book's message to persevere, and the 'apocalyptic' passage of James upholds Job as a model for perseverance. Viewing Job as a nascent form of apocalypse may also resuscitate Von Rad's hypothesis that apocalypse grew out of wisdom categories over against the more commonly accepted prophetic works. Students of Job at all levels are treated here to a stimulating appraisal that will open their eyes to the apocalyptic characteristics woven throughout this diverse book. This monograph will make important contributions to genre studies, the history of interpretation and be valuable to those interested in the intersection of wisdom and apocalypse.
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Now My Eye Sees You: Unveiling an Apocalyptic Job

£16.50£50.00
This groundbreaking study on the book of Job is the first systematic effort to reveal and organize its apocalyptic impulses. Drawing on such scholars as John Collins, Christopher Rowland and Frank Moore Cross, Johnson argues that interpreting Job through the lens of apocalypse yields a coherent reading that is able to incorporate all of the seemingly disparate literary features of the book that historically stymie interpreters. An apocalyptic reading of Job begins with the presence of three important revelations: Eliphaz's vision, the hymn to wisdom and the Yahweh speeches. A literary division following these revelations contributes to the book's overall emphasis, which is to persevere in the midst of suffering. Thorny questions such as the reason Elihu was not rebuked by God in the epilogue receive fresh treatment from an apocalyptic paradigm. In tracing the history of the interpretation of Job, Johnson offers evidence that both Jewish and Christian traditions recognized many of these 'apocalyptic' elements. For example, the LXX version of Job contains a resurrection plus in the epilogue, the Testament of Job emphasizes the influence of Satan, the Qumran sect may have drawn strength from the book's message to persevere, and the 'apocalyptic' passage of James upholds Job as a model for perseverance. Viewing Job as a nascent form of apocalypse may also resuscitate Von Rad's hypothesis that apocalypse grew out of wisdom categories over against the more commonly accepted prophetic works. Students of Job at all levels are treated here to a stimulating appraisal that will open their eyes to the apocalyptic characteristics woven throughout this diverse book. This monograph will make important contributions to genre studies, the history of interpretation and be valuable to those interested in the intersection of wisdom and apocalypse.
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