Reviews of

Archive for the ‘HB/OT’ Category

Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Student’s Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament

In Biblical Hebrew Language, HB/OT, Hebrew Language, J. David PLEINS, Jonathan HOMRIGHAUSEN, Kerry Lee, Zondervan on November 17, 2017 at 6:10 pm

2017.12.24 | J. David Pleins with Jonathan Homrighausen, Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Student’s Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2017. ISBN: 9780310530749

Review by Kerry Lee

Biblical Hebrew Vocabulary by Conceptual Categories: A Student’s Guide to Nouns in the Old Testament, by J. David Pleins and Jonathan Homrighausen, is a lexical aid for students and teachers of Biblical Hebrew that arranges over 2,000 Hebrew nouns into over 175 conceptual categories, or semantic fields. This book is highly versatile with many uses not only for beginning students but also for intermediate and advanced students as well as for teachers.

The way Biblical Hebrew has traditionally been taught follows a largely deductive, grammar-first-vocabulary-second approach (the majority of beginner grammars all follow more or less the same basic structure, with some minor variations). While this approach might work for university students, it often proves problematic for non-traditional students (working adults and retirees, among whom there are many who desire to learn Biblical Hebrew). In fact, personal experience calls into question whether it really is the best method for any but the most dedicated and academically minded of university students. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

The Formation of the Pentateuch

In Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, HB/OT, Jan C. Gertz, Konrad SCHMID, Mohr Siebeck, Pentateuch, Uncategorized, William L. Kelly on June 27, 2017 at 11:54 pm

9735_00_detail

2017.06.13 | Gertz, Jan C., Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, and Konrad Schmid. The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 111. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016. pp. xi + 1204. ISBN: 978-3-16-153883-4.

Review by William L. Kelly, University of Edinburgh.

The Pentateuch, as the editors of this volume rightly point out, is one of the foundational texts in the humanities. For critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, few areas of research could claim to be as foundational, and equally few involve such a tremendous range of critical issues, methods, and approaches. Where did this literature come from? How was it written and from what sources did its writers draw? When did it become ‘scripture’ and what does that designation mean? And, considering the various paradigms and hypotheses to have emerged in the last century of scholarship, how can a diverse field build toward consensus? Addressing questions such as these with fifty-six peer-reviewed essays and more than twelve-hundred pages,The Formation of the Pentateuch is a substantial and valuable contribution to a vital area of study. Read the rest of this entry »

What Kind of God?

In Ancient Israel, Brent A. Strawn, Eisenbrauns, HB/OT, Mark Glanville, Michael J. Chan, Terence Fretheim on May 17, 2017 at 8:37 pm

frewhatki

2017.05.09 | Michael J. Chan and Brent A. Strawn, eds. What Kind of God? Collected Essays of Terence E. Fretheim (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2015). ISBN: 978-1-57506-343-0.

Review by Mark Glanville

Michael J. Chan and Brent A. Strawn have collected thirty essays of Terence E. Fretheim that explore the question, in various ways: what kind of God is presented in the Old Testament?

The volume begins with two introductory essays, one by the editors, the other by Fretheim himself (Part I). Crucial for Fretheim’s reading of the Old Testament is the relationality of God to the both the human world and the non-human world. “For Fretheim, ‘genuine’ relationship is marked by risk, sacrifice, commitment, limitation, change, power-sharing, and the ability of both parties to shape the future, even God’s future” (4). Part II, “God and the World,” is concerned with an understanding of God and of the divine relationship to the world. Read the rest of this entry »

The Social World of Deuteronomy

In Ancient Israel, Cascade Books, Deuteronomy, Don C. Benjamin, Feminist Biblical Criticism, HB/OT, Mark Glanville, Wipf and Stock on March 10, 2017 at 10:15 am

9781498228701

2017.03.06 | Don C. Benjamin. The Social World of Deuteronomy: A New Feminist Commentary. Cascade: Oregon, 2015. ISBN: 9781498228701.

Review by Mark Glanville.

Don C. Benjamin’s commentary on Deuteronomy, The Social World of Deuteronomy: A New Feminist Commentary (2015), is one of a number of recent commentaries on this book, including those by Daniel I. Block, (2012), Jack R. Lundbom (2013), and Eckart Otto (German, 2012-17). Benjamin’s commentary is unique, first, in that its primary methodology is to bring insights from the social sciences to bear upon the text, and, second, in that a feminist hermeneutic that is sensitive to the voices of women and other populations that are given a “small voice” in the text of Deuteronomy strongly shapes both the interpretative method and the content focus of the book. Read the rest of this entry »

Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History

In Brennan Breed, HB/OT, Indiana University Press, Kengo Akiyama, Reception history on July 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm

9780253012524_med

2016.07.12 | Brennan W. Breed. Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception HistoryIndiana Series in Biblical Literature. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2014. pp.xii + 299. ISBN: 978-0-253-01252-4.

Review by Kengo Akiyama

Many thanks to Indiana University Press for providing a review copy.

This book, a winner of the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise 2016, is based on Breed’s doctoral dissertation, which was written under the supervision of Carol Newsom at Emory University. The book consists of introduction, seven main chapters, and conclusion, followed by notes, bibliography, and index.

The introductory chapter (‘Introduction: The Constitutive Divide of Reception History’) frames the discussion by problematising ‘borderlines’, a concept that all critical studies implicitly or explicitly employ. Read the rest of this entry »

Mantik im Alten Testament

In Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, divination, HB/OT, Mantik, Rüdiger Schmitt, Ugarit-Verlag, William L. Kelly on June 17, 2016 at 3:17 am

titel333

2016.06.11 | Rüdiger Schmitt, Mantik im Alten Testament, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 411, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2014. pp. xi + 212. ISBN: 978-3-86835-100-2.

Review by William L. Kelly, University of Edinburgh

Many thanks to Ugarit-Verlag for generously providing a review copy.

Divination is a topic which has enjoyed a growing amount of attention in contemporary scholarship, especially the relationship between divination and prophecy in the Hebrew Bible. Scholars now recognise that ancient prophecy was not an isolated phenomenon; it existed within a larger complex of religious ideas, symbols and practices related to communication between humans and gods. In Mantik im Alten Testament, Rüdiger Schmitt examines the practitioners, instruments and discourses related to divination in the Hebrew Bible. Schmitt is already a contributor to this area of research, e.g. as with his Habilitationsschrift published as Magie im Alten Testament (AOAT 313, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2004). Read the rest of this entry »

A History of the Ancient Near East

In Ancient Near East, HB/OT, Kurtis Peters, Marc Van De Mieroop, Wiley Blackwell on December 27, 2015 at 4:52 am

111871816X

2015.12.23 |Marc Van De Mieroop. A History of the Ancient Near East: ca. 3000-323 BC. 3rd Edition. Chichester, West Sussex, UK; Malden, MA, USA: Wiley Blackwell, 2016. Pp. Xxii + 400. ISBN: 9781118718162.

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of British Columbia.

Many thanks to Wiley Blackwell for providing a review copy.

Flip open nearly any page of a Hebrew Bible and you will find yourself brushing up against the history of the Ancient Near East. At times it is quite obvious: Sennacherib, king of Assyria, invades Judah in 2 Kings, Isaiah, and 2 Chronicles; Ezra and Nehemiah, in the books named after them, return to Palestine with the blessing of the Persian emperor; Nahum prophesies the fall of Nineveh. Yet, the history of the Ancient Near East (ANE) influences other parts of the Hebrew Bible (HB) in more subtle ways. According to broadly held views, Deuteronomy was composed as a reaction to the suzerainty of Assyria over her vassals in the period of the Neo-Assyrian empire. The opening chapters to Genesis, according to many, are written so as to make sense of the life of exile in Babylon.1 Read the rest of this entry »

Ethics in Ancient Israel

In Ancient Israel, Ethics, HB/OT, John BARTON, Kengo Akiyama, Oxford University Press on December 6, 2015 at 11:00 pm

9780199660438

2015.12.22 | John Barton. Ethics in Ancient Israel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. pp.xii + 317. ISBN: 978-0-19-966043-8

Review by Kengo Akiyama.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

In this book, John Barton argues that sustained reflection on ethics already existed in ancient Israel well before Socrates who is usually credited as the first to reflect on morality from a philosophical perspective. Instead of the more common approach of analysing the ethics of the Old Testament, that is, morality prescribed or implied by the Old Testament (a theological construct), Barton looks for historical evidence of ‘ethical thinking’ in ancient Israel (a historical description). He advances two theses in this book: [i] ‘the documents we have from ancient Israel do not portray ethical obligation exclusively in terms of obedience to the declared will of God,’ and [ii] ‘the very idea that there was critical reflection on moral issues in ancient Israel’ (p.12). The book consists of introduction, ten chapters, conclusion, bibliography and indices. Read the rest of this entry »

The Text of the Hebrew Bible. From the Rabbis to the Masoretes

In Elvira Martín-Contreras, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Lorena Miralles-Maciá, Pieter B. Hartog, V&R unipress on July 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm

thb

2015.07.16 | Elvira Martín-Contreras, Lorena Miralles-Maciá. The Text of the Hebrew Bible: From the Rabbis to the Masoretes. JAJSup 13. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014.

Review by Pieter B. Hartog, KU Leuven.

Many thanks to Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht for providing a review copy.

The development of the text of the Hebrew Bible has enjoyed a renewed interest in recent years. But whilst studies on the text of Scripture in the Second Temple period abound,[1] the period subsequent to it tends to be ignored. The reasons for this neglect are easy to see. The period between the Rabbis and the Masoretes is traditionally considered a “dark age” in the history of the biblical text. What is more, this era is commonly taken as one in which a single textual tradition (the Masoretic Text or MT) was dominant – in contrast to earlier eras, where textual fluidity and pluriformity prevailed.[2] Read the rest of this entry »

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary

In Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, Archaeology, commentary, HB/OT, John H. Walton, Kurtis Peters, Zondervan on June 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

ZIBBC

2015.06.13 | Walton, John H., ed. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary. 5 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009. $249.95. ISBN 978-0-310-25572-7).

Review by Kurtis Peters.

Many thanks to Zondervan for providing a review copy.

John Walton, chief editor of Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, has taken on an enormous task. Enormous, of course, is simply the gathering of data and contributors for a multi-volume commentary. But perhaps more significant yet is his aim: to have the evangelical world engage with the ancient Near East (hereafter ANE) in a meaningful way. 5 volumes, 32 contributors, and nearly 3,000 pages later, Walton has, it seems, succeeded at least insofar as he has provided the evangelical community with perhaps the most thorough and most accessible resource for them to grapple with the reality of the Old Testament and its ANE setting. Read the rest of this entry »