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Archive for the ‘Hebrew Bible’ Category

The Jewish Literary Imagination in Antiquity

In Book of Psalms, Eva MROCZEK, Hebrew Bible, Jeremiah Coogan, Oxford University Press, Scribal culture, Second Temple, Uncategorized on November 9, 2017 at 8:04 am

Mrocz mare

2017.11.23 | Eva Mroczek, The Jewish Literary Imagination in Antiquity. New York, NY/Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780190279837

Reviewed by Jeremiah Coogan, University of Notre Dame.

Before the categories of “book” and “Bible” dominated the literary imagination, Mroczek asks, “What did this literary world seem like to Second Temple writers?” (4). How did the creators and users of literary artifacts organize and conceptualize writing? We note that this literary world of Second Temple Judaism is explicitly textual; Mroczek avoids the temptation to see orality as the only alternative to our familiar models of textuality: she explores literary modes that are “deeply, self-consciously textual, but shaped differently from our own” (5). Read the rest of this entry »

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Eating in Isaiah

In Andrew T. Abernethy, Brill, Food, Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, Rebekah Devine on October 15, 2017 at 5:21 pm

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2017.10.21 | Andrew T. Abernethy, Eating in Isaiah: Approaching the Role of Food and Drink in Isaiah’s Structure and Message. Leiden: Brill, 2014. ISBN: 9789004270374

Review by Rebekah M. Devine

The past decade has yielded a small, yet robust crop of studies on food and drink in the Hebrew Bible. Andrew Abernethy’s contribution to this increasing yield looks at the role of food and drink in the literary structure of Isaiah, focusing on the sections that have been identified as major cruxes in the book and asking how food and drink contribute to Isaiah’s message.

Abernethy devotes the first chapter to surveying some of the recent scholarly approaches to the topic of food in biblical literature, and outlines his own method as a sequential-synchronic approach. The second chapter focuses on Isaiah 1 as an introduction to the whole book, looking at how food and drink function in its rhetoric. This study of Isaiah 1 sets the stage for later discussions on how these first food themes are fleshed out in Isaiah 2-35 (ch. 3) and 36-37 (ch. 4). 

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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

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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 »

A Concise Lexicon of Late Biblical Hebrew

In Ancient Israel, Avi Hurvitz, Brill, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Hebrew Language, Kurtis Peters, Lexicon on April 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm

2015.04.10 | Hurvitz, Avi. A Concise Lexicon of Late Biblical Hebrew: Linguistic Innovations in the Writings of the Second Temple Period. Supplements to Vetus Testamentum 160. Leiden: Brill, 2014. Pp. X+270. ISBN: 9789004266117. $128.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

Avi Hurvitz’s latest contribution to scholarship is a Hebrew lexicon of a very different sort than scholarship is used to seeing. He has extracted a diachronic layer of Biblical Hebrew – Late Biblical Hebrew (LBH) – and collated all linguistic markers of that period, namely anything that marks LBH as distinct from what precedes it (Hurvitz’s Classical Biblical Hebrew or CBH). While it is not new to create a lexicon for a certain diachronic layer of Hebrew (see Clines Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, as distinct from corpus-based lexica such as most other lexica of Biblical Hebrew), it is rather innovative to create one that is dedicated only to what is new or in the stages of development during a specific historical stratum that is also corpus restricted (Late Biblical Hebrew, rather than early Second Temple Hebrew). Read the rest of this entry »

Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volumes I and III

In Biblical Criticism, Garrick V. Allen, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, John BARTON on August 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Barton

2014.6.14 | James Barr. Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. 3 volumes. Edited by John Barton. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013-2014. 1985 pages (HB). ISBN 9780198261926.

Reviewed by Garrick V. Allen, University of St Andrews.

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

“It is fair to say that very few scholars who can write convincingly on wide questions of biblical interpretation and hermeneutic, as well as on general theology, also have the expertise to operate at this [linguistic] microscopic level, and to do so in a way that can command the interest of readers not themselves learned in this area” (vol. 3: p. 2)

This now complete set of Professor Barr’s essays is a formidable addition to any scholar’s library.The nearly 2000 pages of this collection speak to Barr’s prolific career of exploring the concentric concerns of Bible, theology, linguistics, exegesis, philology, Semitics, and other areas. As volume 2 of this set has previously been reviewed for this publication, I will focus my attention on volumes 1 and 3 at this time. The content of Barr’s articles are not in need of critical re-evaluation. Read the rest of this entry »

A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew

In B&H Academic, Biblical Hebrew Language, Duane A. GARRETT, Hebrew Bible, Jason S. DEROUCHIE, Kerry Lee, Linguistics on March 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

2014.3.7 | Garrett, Duane A. and Jason S. DeRouchie. A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew. Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2009. pp. vi + 423. ISBN: 978-0-8054-4962-4.

Review by Kerry Lee.

Many thanks to B&H Academic for providing a review copy.

A Modern Grammar for Biblical Hebrew is a deductive introductory Hebrew grammar by Duane Garrett and Jason DeRouchie. It is divided into 41 chapters and 8 appendices. Accompanying the book is a CD containing a variety of teaching aids including audio files to assist in the learning of the pronunciation of the alphabet and vocabulary. There is also a workbook available to accompany the grammar, and Garrett has put together a blog to accompany the grammar, as well (see http://hebrewgrammar.sbts.edu/). The grammar is designed to be usable in several different ways for a two semester Biblical Hebrew course. What this means is that there are built into the organization of the material four potential stopping points, depending on the goals of a given Hebrew course. Read the rest of this entry »

The Concept of Canonical Intertextuality and the Book of Daniel

In Amanda Davis Bledsoe, Book of Daniel, Canonical Intertextuality, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Intertextuality, Jordan M. SCHEETZ, Wipf and Stock on March 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm

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2014.3.5 | Jordan M. Scheetz. The Concept of Canonical Intertextuality and the Book of Daniel. Eugene, Oreg.: Pickwick, 2011. ix + 174 pp. ISBN: 9781608995165.

Review by Amanda Davis Bledsoe, University of Munich.

Many thanks to Wipf and Stock for providing a review copy.

In this book, Scheetz constructs “the concept of canonical intertextuality,” using the book of Daniel as a case study. He identifies this methodology as using a particular collection of texts that have been intentionally placed together (i.e., canon) and ordered so that, when read intertextually, the “texts exegete one another through their order and overall placement together, giving a big picture that would not have been possible if textual units had been left by themselves” (p. 34). More specifically, the goal of this concept of canonical intertextuality is “to understand the actual composition of the text of scripture that is at the same time a text and many texts” (p. 31). Read the rest of this entry »

The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero

In Ancient Israel, Andrew Knapp, Archaeology, Biblical Criticism, David (king of Israel), HarperOne, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Historical Criticism, Joel BADEN on January 31, 2014 at 12:00 am

Historical David

2014.1.3 | Joel Baden. The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero. New York: HarperOne, 2013. 310 pages. ISBN: 9780062188311.

Reviewed by Andrew Knapp.

Many thanks to HarperOne for providing a review copy.

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It is often said of historical Jesus studies that each biography reflects the scholar who wrote it more than it reflects Jesus of Nazareth. Let us hope that the same does not apply to historical David studies, because Joel Baden considers the famed king of Israel to be a villainous, duplicitous, overreaching scoundrel. Through Baden’s critical reading of the biblical text, David “is revealed as a thoroughly amoral individualist, concerned only for his own well-being” (98). David was “a vile human being” (259) who “even in his own day, was considered guilty of horrific crimes” (260). Read the rest of this entry »

Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume II: Biblical Studies.

In Biblical Criticism, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, James BARR, John BARTON, Kurtis Peters, Oxford University Press, Scripture on January 29, 2014 at 12:00 am

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2014.1.2 | Barton, John, ed. Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume II: Biblical Studies. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. pp. i-xii + 619. ISBN: 978-0-19-969289-7).

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of Edinburgh.

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

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It is no mere flattery to say that this second instalment in Barton’s collection of essays by James Barr is an invaluable addition to any biblical scholar’s library, particularly those in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. James Barr, the prolific writer and frequent formidable adversary, deserved for his writing to be made readily available to as wide an audience as possible. This is what Barton has achieved.

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Contours in the Text

In Bloomsbury, Garrick V. Allen, Hebrew Bible, Jonathan D. H. NORTON, Josephus, Manuscripts, New Testament, Paul, Qumran, Romans, Scribal habits, Scripture, Second Temple, Septuagint, Textual Criticism on December 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

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2013.12.23 | Jonathan D. H. Norton. Contours in the Text: Textual Variation in the Writings of Paul, Josephus and the Yahad. Library of New Testament Studies 430; London: T&T Clark, 2011. xiii + 210 pages (PB). ISBN 9780567521996.

Review by Garrick V. Allen, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury for providing a review copy.

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In this volume, Norton explores Paul’s reuse and awareness of multiple antecedent scriptural traditions in the textually pluriform environment of first century Palestine. His approach blends text-critical acumen and an awareness of exegetical issues in the contemporary discussion. His study “questions Paul’s awareness and encounter with textual plurality in Jewish scripture” (p. 1). Read the rest of this entry »