Reviews of

Archive for the ‘Kurtis Peters’ Category

A History of the Kingdom of Israel

In Ancient Israel, Edward Lipiński, History of Israel, Kurtis Peters, Peeters on April 17, 2019 at 6:43 pm

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2019.4.5 | Edward Lipiński. A History of the Kingdom of Israel. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 275. Leuven: Peeters, 2018. ISBN: 978-90-429-3655-3. pp. xii+209.

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of British Columbia

Histories of Israel have become commonplace. The topic of Israel’s history has always intrigued scholars and many have undertaken to reconstruct their own version of that history. Some of the earlier histories of the twentieth century, like that of John Bright, used the biblical text as a primary source, questioning only minimally its historical value. Many followed along this trajectory and some still largely do. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 | Rollston, Christopher, A. 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 »

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 »

Where the Gods Are

In Ancient Israel, HB/OT, Israelite Religion, Kurtis Peters, Mark S. Smith, Yale University Press on December 13, 2018 at 10:50 pm

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2018.12.12 | Mark S. Smith. Where the Gods Are: Spatial Dimensions of Anthropomorphism in the Biblical World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-0-300-20922-8. Pp. Xxii + 221.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters

Where the Gods Are is Mark Smith’s latest contribution to the study of Israel’s religious heritage. In this short volume he proceeds to evaluate the nature of anthropomorphism applied to divinity witnessed in the biblical texts and in the relevant Northwest Semitic literature. The question of divine anthropomorphism came about for Smith over a number of years and thus this new contribution really consists of a compilation and synthesis of previously published material with significant additions. Read the rest of this entry »

A Question of Beginnings, a Debate without End

In De Gruyter, HB/OT, Jürgen van OORSCHOT, Kurtis Peters, Markus Witte, review article, Uncategorized on January 11, 2018 at 9:33 am

Yahwism

2018.01.01 | Jürgen van Oorshot and Markus Witte (eds.). The Origins of Yahwism. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentlichen Wissenschaft 484. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.

Review article by Kurtis Peters, University of British Columbia.

Introduction

Among the long-standing controversial subjects in biblical studies the discussion surrounding the geographical and cultural origins of Yahweh worship sits comfortably. Read the rest of this entry »

Ancient Mesopotamian Religion and Mythology

In A. R. George, Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, Kurtis Peters, Mohr Siebeck, Mythology, review, T. M. Oshima, W. G. Lambert on September 13, 2017 at 6:59 pm

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2017.09.20 | W. G. Lambert, Ancient Mesopotamian Religion and Mythology: Selected Essays, ed. A. R. George and T. M. Oshima, Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 15 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016). ISBN: 9783161536748.

Review by Kurtis Peters

W. G. Lambert’s contributions to Assyriology are unquestionably many. His work in Babylonian wisdom literature and the publishing of the Atra-Ḫasīs epic are alone testament to the enduring value of his work. In the present volume one finds a range of Lambert’s essays on the pantheon, myth, and religion found in ancient Mesopotamia. The editors, A. R. George and T. M. Oshima, divided the volume into five sections. First is “Introductory Considerations”, within which one finds two essays, “Morals in Mesopotamia” and “Ancient Mesopotamian Gods: Superstition, Philosophy, Theology”. Though the material here overlaps with much of what comes in later essays, these set some necessary groundwork and do so in a more generalist way. That the latter was published in Revue de l’histoire des religions confirms its broad scope. 

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

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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 »

A Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition

In Ancient Near East, Brill, Kurtis Peters, Semitics, Ugaritic on July 17, 2015 at 5:04 am

Olmo

2015.07.17 | Gregorio del Olmo Lete and Joaquín Sanmartín. A Dictionary of the Ugaritic Language in the Alphabetic Tradition. Third Revised Edition. 2 vols. Translated and Edited by Wilfred G.E. Watson. (Leiden, Brill: 2015. $330. pp xliv + 989. ISBN: 978-90-04-28864-5).

Review by Kurtis Peters.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

The value of Ugaritic studies for the understanding of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament needs hardly to be underscored. Countless comparisons, accurate or otherwise, between the Ba’al cycle and the Canaanite/Israelite worship of said deity have already been made. One cannot question the wealth of information that Ugaritic texts have provided us about religion in the Levant in the Late Bronze Age. They have also illuminated a good deal of the geopolitical situation during that time period. But one would be remiss to neglect the impact of Ugaritic studies on the study of Semitic philology and linguistics. 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

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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 »

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 »