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More significant for Christianity in the twentieth-century than the discoveries of the Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea Scrolls is the growing American awareness of the works of Rudolf Steiner. Practically unavailable until recently, English translations of his works from the German archives are now gradually coming into print.
Until The Burning Bush, no Bible commentary had incorporated the remarkable spiritual insights of anthroposophy. Now, Edward Reaugh Smith combines own extensive knowledge of traditional biblical scholarship with years of concentrated study of hundreds of Steiner titles. The result is, for the first time ever, a Bible commentary informed by anthroposophical insight.
Because of its radical newness, The Burning Bush, as an introductory volume to a complete series, deviates from the normal commentary mode, presenting a series of essays on terms and phrases of critical importance to a deeper comprehension of the biblical message. It includes an extensive bibliography of Steiner's works as well as numerous charts, diagrams, and cross-references, making this a tremendously valuable research tool.
Edward Reaugh Smith's lifelong search for the deeper meaning of the Bible (which he taught for over twenty-five years before discovering the writings of Steiner) expresses itself in this work.
Volume 2 of the Mercer Commentary on the Bible (MCB, 1994), the fascicle edition, comprises commentaries on the so-called "historical" books of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, along with several appropriate articles from the Mercer Dictionary of the Bible (MDB, 1990; 5th corrected printing, August 1997). This convenient yet thorough text is for the classroom and for anyone who wishes to focus on the study of the Old Testament "historical" books. Other volumes in the series focus on other appropriate groups of canonical and deuterocanonical writings (Prophets, Torah, Gospels, and so forth -- see p. vii for list). Each volume includes the complete MCB commentaries on the focus texts and several relevant articles from MDB.
Volume 1 of the Mercer Commentary on the Bible (MCB) comprises commentaries on Genesis -- Deuteronomy plus appropriate articles from the Mercer Dictionary of the Bible (MDB). This convenient text is for the classroom and for anyone who wishes to focus on the study of the Pentateuch/Torah. Other fascicles in the series focus on other appropriate groups of canonical and deuterocanonical writings. Already available are volumes 4 (Prophets), 6 (Gospels), and 7 (Acts and Pauline Writings). Other volumes will follow in due course (see the list on p. vii). Each volume includes both MCB commentaries and appropriate articles from MDB.
This fascicle edition of the massive Mercer Commentary on the Bible (1994/1995), with selections from the Mercer Dictionary of the Bible (1990), is intended primarily for students in the classroom, and already is meeting the need for a convenient yet comprehensive text in classes on the Prophets, the Gospels, and so forth. Church study groups also are finding these volumes to be convenient and helpful curriculum pieces for ongoing study courses and in Sunday school or church school.
Mercer University Press intends these texts to be available, appropriate, and helpful for Bible students both in and out of the classroom, and indeed for anyone seeking guidance in uncovering the abundant wealth of the Scriptures.
In this volume, a part of the Westminster Bible Companion series, Paul Hooker suggests that First and Second Chronicles is not a "history of Israel," but rather a theological reflection on the story of Israel's faith. The Chronicler, according to Hooker, seeks to sketch the lines of Israel's future as the people of God by drawing on the resources of Israel's past. Books in the Westminster Bible Companion series assist laity in their study of the Bible as a guide to Christian faith and practice. Each volume explains the biblical book in its original historical context and explores its significance for faithful living today. These books are ideal for individual study and for Bible study classes and groups.
Recent years have seen a remarkable surge in interest in the book of Genesis - the first book of the Bible - and a foundational text of Western culture. In this new commentary, Thomas Brodie offers a complete and accessible overview of Genesis from literary, theological, and historical standpoints. Brodie's work is organized around three main ideas: the first is that the primary subject of Genesis is human existence - while full of historical echoes, it is primarily a sophisticated portrayal of the progress and pitfalls of human life. His second thesis is that Genesis' basic organizational unity is binary, or diptych: building on older insights that Genesis is somehow dialogical, he argues that the entire book is composed of diptychs - accounts which, like some paintings, consist of two parts or panels. Finally, Brodie contends that many of Genesis' sources still exist, and can be identified and verified.
Perfect for students, Reading Isaiah is a practical and nontechnical literary introduction to the book of Isaiah as a poem. Peter Quinn-Miscall translates much of the Hebrew text and focuses upon parallelism, figurative language, and the use of imagery.
This study, based on a careful examination of hundreds of authoritative rabbinic writings, offers a very different picture of the textual reality of, and the rabbinic beliefs about the Torah. B. Barry Levy explores exactly how perfect or imperfect these rabbis thought the text to be. He demonstrates conclusively that many of the same rabbinic figures whose teachings inform other contemporary Orthodox doctrines were quite open about the fact that their Bible texts, even their Torah scrolls, were not completely accurate. Moreover, though many of the variations are of little exegetical significance, these rabbis often acknowledged that, textually speaking, the situation was beyond repair.
The Kalacakratantra is the latest and most comprehensive Buddhist Tantra that is available in its original Sanskrit. This will be the first thorough academic work to be published on this Tantra. The Kalacakratantra's five chapters are classified into three categories: Outer, Inner, and Other Kalacakratantra. The present work concentrates on the Inner Kalacakratantra, which deals with the nature of a human being.
"Web of Life" weaves its suggestive interpretation of Jewish
culture in the Palestine of late antiquity on the warp of a
singular, breathtakingly tragic, and sublime rabbinic text,
"Lamentations Rabbah." The textual analyses that form the core of
the book are informed by a range of theoretical paradigms rarely
brought to bear on rabbinic literature: structural analysis of
mythologies and folktales, performative approaches to textual
production, feminist theory, psychoanalytical analysis of culture,
cultural criticism, and folk narrative genre analysis.
The Temple Scroll and Related Texts, one of the series Companion to the Qumran Scrolls, is a comprehensive roadmap to the Temple Scroll, the longest and one of the most complex of the manuscripts from Qumran. The central chapter contains a discussion of the contents of the Temple Scroll, including sections on the Temple and its courts, purity regulation, the festival calendar, and the Deuteronomic Paraphrase with the Law of the King. The Companion also includes a chapter on the Description of the New Jerusalem, as well as one on the relationship of the Temple Scroll to the Book of Jubilees, 4QMiqsat Ma'aseh ha-Torah, and the Damascus Document. Written in accessible language and featuring extensive bibliographies, this Companion is ideal for undergraduate and graduate classes.>
The Tao-Te-Ching -- the unfolding of life -- is a book to read again and again. Lao-Tzu's timeless work is of value to everyone, regardless of personal beliefs, traditions, and religious practices. It poetically encapsulates the primordial wisdom of another time, when the Sage was able to live a contemplative life, unencumbered by complex rites or the cares of the world. It is a guide that shows us how yielding leads to transformation; it reveals the highest manifestation of life, forever seeking its highest expression.
Originally translated into French by Leon Wieger, the 1913 edition was published as Les Peres du Systeme Taoiste. Wieger was recognized by the great Orientalist, Ananda Coomaraswamy, as one of the "handful" of Western Orientalists who truly understood Chinese philosophy. Derek Bryce now brings Wieger's French into English. His translation demonstrates a conscious commitment to both the original Chinese text and the profound insights of Wieger's work. To this edition, Bryce adds summaries of the writings attributed to three other Taoists -- Huai-Nan-Tzu, Kuan-Yin-Tzu, and Tung-Ku-Ching -- from Wieger's Histoire des Croyances et des Opinions Philosophiques en Chine (1917). The Wieger-Bryce translation offers the reader new insights into the eternal wisdom of the Tao-Te-Ching.
In the second book of Samuel, the prophet Nathan tells King David that God will give to him and his descendants a great and everlasting kingdom. In this study William Schniedewind looks at how this dynastic Promise has been understood and transmitted from the time of its first appearance at the inception of the Hebrew monarchy until the dawn of Christianity. He shows in detail how, over the centuries, the Promise grew in importance and prestige.
The Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran provide the oldest, best, and most direct witness we have to the origins of the Hebrew Bible. Prior to the discovery of the Scrolls, scholars had textual evidence for only a single, late period in the history of the biblical text, leading them to believe that the text was uniform. The Scrolls, however, provide documentary evidence a thousand years older than all previously known Hebrew manuscripts and reveal a period of pluriformity in the biblical text prior to the stage of uniformity.
In this important collection of studies, Eugene Ulrich, one of the world's foremost experts on the Dead Sea Scrolls, outlines a comprehensive theory that reconstructs the complex development of the ancient texts that eventually came to form the Old Testament. Several of the essays set forth his pioneering theory of "multiple literary editions," which is replacing older views of the origins of the biblical text.
"The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origins of the Bible" represents the leading edge of research in the exciting field of Scrolls studies.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims trace their roots to Abraham, but the course of that lineage is not the same for all three faiths. Judaism and Christianity view Isaac, the son of Sarah, as the offspring of Abraham through whom the family line is continued. Islam, on the other hand, sees Ishmael, son of Hagar, as the rightful heir who carries on the family name. The two sacred texts of these religions, the Bible and the Qur'an, have much in common, highlighting the close relationship that exists between the two lines of Abraham's family. This book examines some of the themes, figures, and episodes that are shared by the Bible and the Qur'an. It is an introduction to the Qur'an for the descendants of Isaac, who are invited to listen to and learn from the way Ishmael and his descendants retell the family stories.
Using a series of intriguing and suspenseful narratives, Woman at the Window explores universal female postures, responses, and language which underlie the collective feminine experience. Drawing from traditional Biblical readings and feminist explorations, this text offers a series of creative, analytical retellings of Biblical stories focusing on women's roles. The ancient tales are used to highlight the archetypal characteristics, forms of conduct, psychic reactions, and inner motivations of the contemporary. woman. Aschenasy's insightful and careful reading of the old texts, combined with the aid of modern perspectives on social and individual behaviors, genetic and environmental influences, and modern literary theories, help augment and deepen the understanding of the Biblical tales as well as women's roles within them.
Is God a Vegetarian? is one of the most complete explorations of vegetarianism in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Young, a linguistics and New Testament scholar, attempts to answer the question being asked with greater and greater frequency: "Are Christians morally obligated to be vegetarians?"
Many people are confused about the apparent mixed messages within the Bible. On the one hand, God prescribes a vegetarian diet in the Garden of Eden and the apocalyptic visions of Isaiah and John imply the restoration of a vegetarian diet. However, it is also clear that God permits, Jesus partakes in, and Paul sanctions the eating of flesh. Does the Bible give any clear guidance?
Close readings of key biblical texts pertaining to dietary customs, vegetarianism, and animal rights make up the substance of the book. Rather than ignoring or offering a literal, twentieth-century interpretation of the passages, the author analyzes the voices of these conflicting dietary motifs within their own social contexts. Interwoven throughout these readings are discussions of contemporary issues, such as animal testing and experimentation, the fur industry, raising animals in factories, and the effects of meat-eating on human health.
Thirteen chapters cover such topics as
The author provides two vegetarian recipes at the end of each chapter. An epilogueincludes guidelines for becoming a vegetarian and a recommended reading list.
Insightful and challenging, Is God a Vegetarian? poses provocative questions for vegetarians, Christians, and anyone reflecting upon her personal choices and ethical role in our world today.
Anonymous characters -- such as Lot's wife, Jephthah's daughter, Pharoah's baker, and the witch of Endor -- are ubiquitous in the Hebrew Bible, and appear in a wide variety of roles. Adele Reinhartz here answers two principal questions concerning this aspect of biblical narrative. First, is there a "poetics of anonymity," and if so, what are its contours? Second, how does anonymity affect the readers' response to, and construction of, unnamed biblical characters. She is especially interested in issues related to gender, determining whether female characters are more likely to be anonymous than male characters, and whether the anonymity of female characters functions differently from that of male characters.
This book looks at the relationship between biblical Hebrew verbs and the passage of time in narrative. It offers a summary of previous studies and theories, and argues that one possible way of understanding the fundamental meanings of Hebrew verbs is by examining the role played by the four main verb forms in ordering time.
The incredible discoveries at Qumran are unveiled in this compelling volume by one of the world's foremost experts on biblical archaeology and the ancient Qumran community. Drawing on the best of current research and a thorough knowledge of all the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hartmut Stegemann analyzes the purpose of the Qumran settlement, paints a picture of how daily life was carried on there, explores the relation of the Qumran community to John the Baptist, to Jesus, and to early Christianity, and uncovers the true nature of the Qumran writings, which continue to have a profound impact on biblical studies today
This is an introduction to the Qur'an for those who want to know more about it and do not know where to start. In it, Jacques Jomier takes selected passages and points out their distinctive style and language, drawing attention to the religious ideas in the Qur'an and the way in which they are expressed. He shows how the Qur'an keeps returning to certain fundamental truths or essential points of doctrine, its great themes, yet often elsewhere confines itself to suggestion and allusion. He is also deeply aware of the role of the Qur'an in the history of Islam and the life of the community, so that it is not just a holy book but also arouses the emotions Christians feel as they remember family Christmases or hear quiet organ music in a darkened church. Chapters include discussions of Mecca and the early days of Islam, the Muslim community, Adam, Abraham, the prophets, Jesus, and hymns to God the creator. Jacques Jomier is a Dominican and the author of How to Understand Islam.
..". a superb example of modern Orthodox Jewish biblicalinterpretation." -- Interpretation
"This detailed andintriguing work represents years of thought and meticulous analysis as well as afresh reading of several familiar prophetic narratives found in the OT." -- TheCatholic Biblical Quarterly
..". this book containswell-argued and thoughtful literary readings... Simon is thoroughly versed in thesecondary literature but has managed to write a volume accessible to both scholarsand informed general readers..." -- Choice
Noted biblicalscholar Uriel Simon undertakes a systematic study of prophetic narratives in theBible. He focuses on seven stories (including Samuel's call to prophecy, Saul atEndor, and David and Bathsheba), analyzing their form and structure, theirrhetorical devices, their descriptions of character and motive, their narrativetechniques -- in short, on the ways in which the stories are told.
Sirach is a book that raises a very distinctive set of problems. What should we call it (Sirach, Ecclesiasticus, Ben Sira)? What is the relation between the traditional Greek text and the recently rediscovered Hebrew parts of the book? Where did it stand in relation to Jewish tradition and the Hellenism that was sweeping the Mediterranean world? In this guide, a new addition to Sheffield's series on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, these questions are discussed, as well as the use the author made of Scripture, and the scholarly placing of the book in the Wisdom tradition. The author's attitude to women is considered and the volume ends with a consideration of some of the chief theological themes of Sirach.
Considering the extent of social injustice in the world today, how can Christians combine their efforts with those of other concerned people to solve this problem? This book offers an answer to this question by examining how Israel used the social justice thought of other Near-Eastern peoples to face its own justice crises. It uses as its framework the Hebrew Bible's statements about this issue in its law codes, prophetic books, psalms, narrative works and wisdom literature.
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