Reviews of

El-Amarna Correspondence

In Ancient Near East, Anson F. Rainey, Brill, Egypt, HB/OT, Kurtis Peters, William Schniedewind, Zipora Cochavi-Rainey on March 22, 2015 at 3:20 am

2015.03.08 | Rainey, Anson F. Z”L. The El-Amarna Correspondence: A New Edition of the Cuneiform Letters from the Site of El-Amarna based on Collations of all Extant Tablets, edited by William Schniedewind and Zipora Cochavi-Rainey. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

Many students, and perhaps even some scholars, of the Bible are unaware of the corpus of material that comes to us from el-Amarna in Egypt. Of course, this material is not written in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, nor does it tell of any events that can easily correlate with the biblical corpus. Why, then, ought those who study the Bible to know these texts? Or more to the point, what does Rainey’s extensive work on them offer to biblical studies?

These texts from el-Amarna (an artificial name derived from a misunderstanding in the early 19th century – p.1), consist largely of letters written to and sometimes from Egypt during the reigns of the 18th dynasty Pharaohs Amenḥotep III and Amenḥotep IV (who later famously adopted the name Akhenaten).

Experientia, Volume 2: Linking Text and Experience

In Colleen SHANTZ, Rebecca Dean, Rodney A. WERLINE, Society of Biblical Literature on March 11, 2015 at 9:43 pm

experientia2

2015.03.07 | Colleen Shantz and Rodney A. Werline, eds. Experientia, Volume 2: Linking Text and Experience. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012.

Reviewed by Rebecca Dean, Pembroke College, Oxford.

Many thanks to SBL Press for providing a review copy.

This book forms the second volume of collected essays on the subject of religious experience within early Judaism and early Christianity to emerge from the work of the Society of Biblical Literature group of the same name. The earlier volume, subtitled Inquiry Into Religious Experience in Early Judaism and Christianity, represents the first collective attempt to explore religious experience within the field of biblical studies, and as such much of its focus is upon establishing the parameters of the category, and exploring potential avenues for accessing and analysing relevant material in ancient texts. The second volume, subtitled Linking Text and Experience, is intended to build upon these foundations, with particular attention being paid to new possibilities for research within the field.

Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition

In Anti-Judaism, David NIRENBERG, Rebekah Devine, W.W. Norton on February 25, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Anti-JudaismMech_r1.indd

2015.02.06 | David Nirenberg. Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company: 2014. pp. 610. ISBN: 9780393347913.

Reviewed by Rebekah M. Devine, Wheaton College.

Many thanks to W.W. Norton for providing a review copy.

David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition is self-avowedly a history of thought (p. 7), a history that seeks to demonstrate how the idea of the ‘Jew’ has been used as a derogatory shorthand for anyone who is ‘other.’ To use the example from the epigraph to the book, why is it that the 17th century English poet George Herbert can write that anyone who loves “this world’s delights before true Christian joy” has made a “Jewish choice”? How is it that Jews, Jewishness, and Judaism have become, in the history of Western Tradition, shorthand for all manner of “sins” like small-mindedness and greed?

As Nirenberg concedes in the introduction, the three thousand year scope of his investigation will be problematic for some historians.

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