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This first full-scale account of Leviticus by a world renowned anthropologist presents the biblical work as a literary masterpiece. Seen in an anthropological perspective Leviticus has a mystical structure which plots the book into three parts corresponding to the three parts of the desert tabernacle, both corresponding to the parts of Mount Sinai. This completely new reading transforms the interpretation of the purity laws. The pig and other forbidden animals are not abhorrent, they command the same respect due to all God's creatures. Boldly challenging several traditions of Bible criticism, Mary Douglas claims that Leviticus is not the narrow doctrine of a crabbed professional priesthood but a powerful intellectual statement about a modern religion which emphasizes God's justice and compassion.
In this pioneering book, James Hoffmeier examines the most current Egyptological evidence and argues that it supports the biblical record concerning the Israelite sojourn in Egypt.
Conflict and Authority in Luke 19:47 to 21:4 examines Luke's account of a verbal confrontation between Jesus and the religious leaders of Jerusalem. Professor Grangaard analyzes the role of this passage within the larger narrative and illuminates Luke's presentation of the teachings of Jesus on such topics as the payment of taxes to Caesar, the nature of life in the Resurrection, and the relationship of the Messiah to David. This confrontation over Jesus' authority provides a narrative transition between Jesus' ministry and journey (4:14-19:46) and the events of his Passion (22:1-24:53), while preparing the way for the climax of the story.
Ayatollah al-Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al Musawi al-Khui (1899-1992) was
one of the most respected and widely acclaimed authorities on
Twelver Shi'ite Islam in this century. This book, which was first
published in Arabic in 1974, presents al-Khuis comprehensive
introduction to the history of the Quran. In it, al-Khui revisits
many critical and controversial topics connected with the
collection and ultimate canonization of the text that have received
little attention in contemporary Muslim scholarship since the
classical age. For instance, he tackles what is probably the single
most controversial subject in Quranic studies: the question of
possible alterations to the Quran as maintained by some succeeding
generations of compilers of the Quran.
This book examines the episode of Paul's encounter with the Hellenistic culture at Lystra as related in The Acts of the Apostles using the synchronic methods of semiotics and rhetorical analysis. After comparing the results of the analyses and discussing the merits, limitations, and complementarity of both methods, the author brings to the fore the literary and theological questions posed by the text. The significance of the episode is discussed in the context of the book of Acts.
An important reinterpretation of the Hebrew Bible as historiography, now available in paper. The First Historians is a book that no one with serious interest in biblical scholarship can afford to neglect. Halpern is one of the most fertile, exuberant, and audacious minds of his generation. He is witty, learned, and outrageous in turn, a Momigliano of Hebrew historiography. One learns more from one book by Halpern than from a dozen by his plodding peers."-Frank Moore Cross, Harvard University "With characteristic imagination, erudition, and wit, Halpern challenges the established understanding. . . of the Former Prophets. His designation of those books as historiography will surprise those who think that genre began with the Greeks. No one concerned with the roots of historical thinking in the West or with the relationship of the Bible to history can afford to miss this extraordinary volume"-Jon D. Levenson, Harvard Divinity School "It is an impressive and extremely important book. My only regret is that someone didn't write these things long ago-Halpern shows himself to be a master of literature, history, Semitic linguistics, ancient Near Eastern texts, and archaeology. No one in his generation controls all of these tools of the trade as Halpern does."-Richard Elliott Friedman, University of California, San Diego
Traditionally, the Talmud was read as law, that is, as the authoritative source for Jewish practice and obligations. To this end, it was studied at the level of its most minute details, with readers often ignoring the composite whole. Methods of reading have shifted as more readers have turned to the Talmud for evidence of rabbinic history, religion, rhetoric, or anthropology; still, few have employed a genuinely literary approach. In Reading the Rabbis, Kraemer attempts to fill this gap by developing a method for reading the Talmud as literature. He draws on the tools developed in the study of other literatures, particularly rhetorical and reader-response criticisms, to unearth previously unnoticed levels of meaning. The result is that readers will gain a new understanding of the complexity of Rabbinic Judaism, and a new model of rabbinic piety.
Texts about war pervade the Hebrew Bible, raising challenging questions in religious and political ethics. Among the most disquieting war passages are those in which God demands the total annihilation of the enemy without regard to gender, age, or military status. The ideology of the "ban", however, is only one among a range of attitudes towards war preserved in the ancient Israelite literary tradition. Applying insights from anthropology, comparative literature, and feminist studies, Niditch considers a wide spectrum of war ideologies in the Hebrew Bible, seeking in each case to discover why and how these views might have made sense to biblical writers, who themselves can be seen to wrestle with the ethics of violence. Niditch thus challenges the stereotype of the violent "Old" Testament - of law versus gospel, justice versus mercy, and judgment versus love. To understand attitudes about war in the Hebrew Bible, Niditch argues, is to understand war in general: the motivations, justifications, and rationalizations of those who wage it. In addition, this exploration reveals much about the social and cultural history of Israel, as war texts are found to map the world views of biblical writers from various periods and settings. Reviewing ways in which modern scholars have interpreted this controversial material, Niditch sheds further light on the normative assumptions that shape our understanding of ancient Israel. More widely, this work explores how human beings attempt to justify killing and violence. Niditch's unique study will be of particular interest to students of Judaism, the Bible, and religion, as well as ethicists and historians concerned with relating classical sources tocontemporary issues.
Jerome was one of the very few early Christian scholars to know any Hebrew. This is a unique introduction, translation, and commentary of his Questions on Genesis - a fascinating work showing a Christian working alongside Jews in an age very different from our own. Jerome's influence on the Church is well known - but this work is equally important for the light thrown on the history and origin of many ideas at the heart of the Jewish tradition.
This is a literary and theological study of the Biblical Antiquities of Pseudo-Philo--a long, well-written reinterpretation of the Hebrew Bible written by a Palestinian Jew of the first century C.E. Using the methodologies of redaction and literary criticism, Murphy provides an analysis of the whole of the Biblical Antiquities. After a chapter-by-chapter analysis, Murphy addresses several topics more generally--major characters, major themes, and the historical context of the work. Full concordances to the Latin text are provided to assist future research on Pseudo-Philo. This book will prove an important resource for students of Jewish interpretation of the Bible at the end of the Second Temple period. It also sheds light on Jewish thought of the period regarding covenant, leadership in Israel, women in Israel, relations with Gentiles, divine providence, divine retribution, eschatology, and many other subjects. Furnishing a broad interpretive context for future work on the Biblical Antiquities, this study gives students of the Bible access to an important literary and religious product of first-century Judaism.
Here is a kaleidoscope of tales, a key to many of the richest literary and artistic traditions of the western world: Adam's ascent into Heaven in a chariot, Abraham's trail by fire, Jonah's fabulous adventrure in the whale, the life of Moses, Hannah's desire for a son, Solomon as a beggar, the wooing of Rebekah, and Balshazzar's feast. This is storytelling with a grain of salt and a lot of wit; tales springing from the antiquity of oral tradition, told with sheer delight in the glory of a book transformed by a hundred generations whose daily thoughts and deeds were transformed by The Book.
This anthology brings together for the first time the most popular and widely used English hymns from that genre's most formative and important period: the eighteenth century. This annotated collection of some 325 hymns (with author introductions and a general historical sketch) will be of inestimable value to scholars, students, and laypersons from several disciplines and interests; from social history to church history and theology, from political science to literature. Hymns were the most widely read and memorized verbal structures of the eighteenth century: this anthology, therefore, provides unique and higly significant insights into the culture and habits of thought of a people - and their spiritual leaders.
This critical study traces the development of the literary forms and conventions of the Babylonian Talmud, or Bavli, analyzing those forms as expressions of emergent rabbinic ideology. The Bavli, which evolved between the third and sixth centuries in Sasanian Iran (Babylonia), is the most comprehensive of all documents produced by rabbinic Jews in late antiquity. It became the authoritative legal source for medieval Judaism, and for some its opinions remain definitive today. Kraemer here examines the characteristic preference for argumentation and process over settled conclusions of the Bavli. By tracing the evolution of the argumentational style, he describes the distinct eras in the development of rabbinic Judaism in Babylonia. He then analyzes the meaning of the disputational form and concludes that the talmudic form implies the inaccessibility of perfect truth and that on account of this opinion, the pursuit of truth, in the characteristic talmudic concern for rabbinic process, becomes the ultimate act of rabbinic piety.
Now at seventy-three volumes, this popular MLA series (ISSN 1059-1133) addresses a broad range of literary texts. Each volume surveys teaching aids and critical material and brings together essays that apply a variety of perspectives to teaching the text. Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, student teachers, education specialists, and teachers in all humanities disciplines will find these volumes particularly helpful.
The Sprunt Lectures delivered at Union Theological Seminary,
Richmond, Virginia, February 1982.
The Hadith are believed to be the words of the Prophet, memorised by his followers and written down in the first or second centuries AH. This is a clear introduction to the arguments surrounding both the Hadith and the documents themselves. Comparing the views put forward in the Hadith with those of the Qur'an, it takes the student through all aspects of the Hadith in clear and accessible terms.
berit/Bund ist ein zentraler Begriff des judischen wie des christlichen Glaubens. Seine geschichtliche Entwicklung forderte zunehmend die theologische Forschung heraus. Ab 1930 entstand eine regelrechte Bundeseuphorie, die Gefahr lief, berit/Bund zu einem Allerweltsbegriff werden zu lassen. Doch ab 1967 bezog Ernst Kutsch gegen den Bundesbegriff massiv Stellung, da er seiner Meinung nach hoechstens in Ausnahmefallen gelten koenne. Als er schliesslich verlangte, auf den Gebrauch des Wortes "Bund" ganz zu verzichten und stattdessen von "Verpflichtung" zu sprechen, loeste er damit in der alttestamentlichen Forschung erschrecktes Stillschweigen aus. Seine Angriffe gegen die UEbersetzung "Bund" fuhrten aber nicht zum Untergang des Bundesgedankens, sondern im Gegenteil zu seinem vertieften Verstandnis.
The study of the Chinese Buddhist Canon-the basic literature of Buddhism-does not have an eminent place in study either in China or in the Western World. For the contributors to this volume, their chapters are the result of decades of dedication to academic research, and they reveal many facets of the Buddhist Canon that were previously unstudied. This book originated in the first and second International Conferences on Chinese Buddhist Canon, and focuses on the communication of the Chinese Buddhist Canon through the medium of print. It enhances our knowledge of how the canon was collated, proofread and printed. This book was originally published as a special issue of Studies in Chinese Religions.
What is prophecy? - Social criticism? Divination? Political rhetoric? Whimsy? A literary genre? Some or all of the above, or something else entirely? How does it function in the biblical text? How did it function in Israelite society? How does it relate to phenomena found in other Ancient Near Eastern cultures? How does true prophecy differ from false? The various facets and enigmas of Hebrew prophecy have occupied many biblical scholars over recent decades, and the progress of the investigation is documented by this collection of quality articles that have appeared in "Vetus Testamentum," Readers will find the individual studies, from a variety of approaches, frequently eye-opening, always instructive and stimulating. The collection as a whole offers a useful resource for all students of biblical prophecy.
This volume, the second in the series of Marie-Therese d'Alverny's selected articles to be published by Variorum, gathers the majority of her studies on the understanding of Islam in the West from the early Middle Ages until the mid-13th century; some related works will be included in a further selection. In the 12th century, as she shows, a serious effort was for the first time made to learn something of the reality behind the fabulous and scurrilous stories about Muhammad and Islam. A collection of translations from Arabic, including the Koran, was commissioned in 1140 by Peter the Venerable of Cluny, and d'Alverny found the manuscript in which his secretary wrote these out. This discovery led her to explore other translations into Latin of the Koran and other Islamic texts, to identify the work of the translators Hermann of Carinthia, Robert of Ketton and Mark of Toledo, and to depict the milieu in which this work was possible.
Providing an analysis of the complete story of Mary in its liturgical, narrative and rhetorical contexts, this literary reading is a prerequisite to any textual reading of the Qur'an whether juristic, theological, or otherwise. intertextuality between the Old Testament, New Testament and the Qur'an. The Qur'an is an oral event, linguistic phenomenon and great literature. So the application of modern literary theories is essential to have full comprehension of the history of the development of literary forms from pre-Islamic period such as poetry, story telling, speech-giving to the present. In addition, there is a need, from a feminist perspective, to understand in depth why a Christian mother figure such as Mary was important in early Islam and in the different stages of the development of the Qur'an as a communication process between Muhammad and the early Muslim community. Introducing modern literary theories, gender perspective and feminist criticism into Qur'anic scholarship for the first time, this book will be an invaluable resource for scholars and researchers of Islamic Studies, Qur'anic and New Testament Studies, Comparative Literature and Feminist Theology.
A world-famous rabbi and teacher offers subtle, penetrating, psychological portraits of 25 significant men and women of the Old Testament.
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