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Archive for the ‘Hebrew Bible’ Category

A History of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah

In Edward Lipiński, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, History of Israel, History of Judah, Kurtis Peters, Peeters on January 6, 2021 at 9:02 pm
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2021.1.2 | Edward Lipiński. A History of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah. OLA 287. Leuven: Peeters, 2020. pp. XII+179. ISBN: 978-90-429-4212-7.

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of British Columbia.

With A History of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah Edward Lipiński has now added a companion volume to his recently published A History of the Kingdom of Israel (2018; see RBECS review here). The present volume proves to be as provocative as the first. From the front cover Lipiński prods at our assumptions. To call it the kingdom of Jerusalem and Judah implies a distinction of sorts: one kingdom, yes, but two polities? Or, perhaps, he implies that the kingdom changed sufficiently, such that the term “Judah” is not appropriate or adequate for the whole of the relevant time period. In fact, both of these ideas are presented, albeit briefly, in the book.

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The Construction of Gender and Identity in Genesis

In Bloomsbury, Gender Studies, Genesis, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Karalina Matskevich, Lindsay Fraughton, T & T Clark on August 6, 2020 at 7:09 am

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2020.08.14 | Karalina Matskevich. The Construction of Gender and Identity in Genesis: The Subject and the Other. T&T Clark, 2019. ISBN: 9780567695512.

Review by Lindsay Fraughton, University of British Columbia.

From the Documentary Hypothesis to the construction of The Woman’s Bible, scholarly approaches to the Book of Genesis have shifted alongside academic and social movements. Structuralism, fathered in biblical studies by Claude Lévi-Strauss and furthered by scholars like Mieke Bal and Ellen van Wolde, lost traction in the 21st century (Matskevich 2019, 208). However, in her 2019 publication Construction of Gender and Identity in Genesis: The Subject and the Other, Karalina Matskevich revitalises interdisciplinary structuralist approaches to the book of Genesis, setting the groundwork for future studies of the same nature. Read the rest of this entry »

The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity

In Canon, Eva MROCZEK, Hebrew Bible, Oxford University Press, Scribal culture, Second Temple, Shelby Bennet on December 11, 2019 at 11:56 pm

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2019.12.17 | Eva Mroczek. The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. pp xi+269. ISBN: 9780190886080.

Review by Shelby Bennett, Trinity Western University.

Eva Mroczek makes a powerful contribution to re-thinking a central concept in Judaism and Christianity: “canon.” She explores and challenges the role and purpose of those who composed sacred texts that fall both inside and outside the covers of modern biblical collections. The book places the reader in the Second Temple period’s literary culture and illuminates a world teeming with scripture, but without a Bible.

The first chapter introduces a dominant theme of the book: the impact of a post-printing press “book” culture on our understanding of the Jewish literary culture that produced the Old Testament and Hebrew Bible. Mroczek argues that anachronistic concepts of canon and “book” still shape biblical scholarship today despite awareness of the issue. Read the rest of this entry »

The Translation Style of Old Greek Habakkuk

In Adam W. Jones, Habakkuk, Hebrew Bible, James A. E. MULRONEY, Mohr Siebeck, Septuagint, Translation on October 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm

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2019.10.11 | James A. E. Mulroney. The Translation Style of Old Greek Habakkuk: Methodological Advancement in Interpretative Studies of the Septuagint. FAT II 86. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016. ISBN 978-3-16-154386-9.

Review by Adam W. Jones, London School of Theology.

While research in the field of Septuagint translation technique is not a new concept, there has been a recent surge in such studies. James A. E. Mulroney’s The Translation Style of Old Greek Habakkuk: Methodological Advancement in Interpretative Studies of the Septuagint, a revision of his doctoral dissertation (University of Edinburgh), is an important contribution to this field. It is the first study “to analyse the Greek style of Ambakoum as a Greek (Hellenistic) historical, religious and linguistic artefact in its own right” (p. 24). Read the rest of this entry »

Enemies and Friends of the State

In Ancient Near East, Christopher Rollston, Eisenbrauns, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Kurtis Peters on January 25, 2019 at 8:38 pm

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2019.1.2 | Christopher A. Rollston. Enemies and Friends of the State: Ancient Prophecy in Context. University Park: Eisenbrauns, 2018. pp. X + 613. ISBN: 9781575067643.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters

The biblical prophets and their historical personae have long fascinated readers of the Bible, scholars and non-scholars alike. They are dramatic; their words both condemn and offer hope; they are culture’s visionaries. However, some of the biblical prophets appear to align themselves closely to the power of the state and some are decidedly out of the state’s favour. In fact, how a prophet relates to the state is very often at the heart of the motivation for the prophet’s message. Enemies and Friends of the State: Ancient Prophecy in Context, edited by Christopher Rollston, is a collection of essays that seeks to tease out and explain this bipolar relationship of prophet and state. Read the rest of this entry »

From Adapa to Enoch

In HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Mohr Siebeck, Ryan D. Schroeder, Scribal culture, Seth L. Sanders on January 7, 2019 at 9:41 pm

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2019.1.1 | Seth L. Sanders. From Adapa to Enoch: Scribal Culture and Religious Vision in Judea and Babylon. Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism 167. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017. pp xiv + 280. ISBN 978-3-16-154456-9.

Reviewed by Ryan D. Schroeder, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

The notion of “scribal culture” has facilitated a novel phase in the study of biblical and ancient Near Eastern literature, signposted by works like David M. Carr’s Writing on the Tablet of the Heart: Origins of Scripture and Literature (2005), Karel van der Toorn’s Scribal Culture and the Making of the Hebrew Bible (2007), Eugene Ulrich’s The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Developmental Composition of the Bible (2015), and Sara J. Milstein’s Tracking the Master Scribe: Revision Through Introduction in Biblical and Mesopotamian Literature (2016).1
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Amos – Anchor Yale Bible

In Göran Eidevall, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Kurtis Peters, Yale University Press on December 24, 2018 at 11:14 pm

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2018.12.13 | Göran Eidevall.Amos: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary. Anchor Yale Bible 24G. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017. pp. xx + 292. ISBN: 978-0-300-17878-4.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters

Göran Eidevall has contributed the new Amos volume in the expanding Anchor Yale Bible commentary series. This commentary is the successor to the original Anchor Bible commentary on Amos by Francis L. Andersen and David Noel Freedman (1989). The present volume is a considerable departure from the earlier work in focus, and will undoubtedly provide a good complement to Andersen and Freedman’s work, rather than replacing it. Read the rest of this entry »

Micah: A Commentary

In Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, HB/OT, Hebrew Bible, Mark Glanville, Micah, Westminster John Knox on February 21, 2018 at 12:02 am

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2018.02.04 | Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, Micah: A Commentary. OTL. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2015.

Reviewed by Mark Glanville.

Daniel L. Smith-Christopher has produced a new commentary on Micah in the Old Testament Library series. This commentary follows an earlier commentary on Micah in this respected series by James Luther Mays, published in 1976.1 The body of the text comes to 227 pages, the first forty-four of which are introduction.

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The Jewish Literary Imagination in Antiquity

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

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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 »

Eating in Isaiah

In Andrew T. Abernethy, Brill, Food, Hebrew Bible, Isaiah, Rebekah Devine, review 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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