Reviews of

Archive for the ‘Hebrew Bible’ Category

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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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

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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 »