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Archive for the ‘Kurtis Peters’ Category

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 »

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

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 »

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 »

El-Amarna Correspondence

In Ancient Near East, Anson F. Rainey, Brill, Egypt, HB/OT, Kurtis Peters, William Schniedewind, Zipora Cochavi-Rainey on March 22, 2015 at 3:20 am

2015.03.08 | Rainey, Anson F. Z”L. The El-Amarna Correspondence: A New Edition of the Cuneiform Letters from the Site of El-Amarna based on Collations of all Extant Tablets, edited by William Schniedewind and Zipora Cochavi-Rainey. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

Many students, and perhaps even some scholars, of the Bible are unaware of the corpus of material that comes to us from el-Amarna in Egypt. Of course, this material is not written in Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic, nor does it tell of any events that can easily correlate with the biblical corpus. Why, then, ought those who study the Bible to know these texts? Or more to the point, what does Rainey’s extensive work on them offer to biblical studies?

These texts from el-Amarna (an artificial name derived from a misunderstanding in the early 19th century – p.1), consist largely of letters written to and sometimes from Egypt during the reigns of the 18th dynasty Pharaohs Amenḥotep III and Amenḥotep IV (who later famously adopted the name Akhenaten). Read the rest of this entry »

Bible and Interpretation: the Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume III: Linguistics and Translation.

In HB/OT, James BARR, John BARTON, Kurtis Peters, Oxford University Press on November 21, 2014 at 12:00 am

2014.11.20 | Barton, John, ed. Bible and Interpretation: The Collected Essays of James Barr. Volume III: Linguistics and Translation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. £120. pp. 816. ISBN: 978-0-19-969290-3.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters,
University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

James Barr’s contributions to scholarship are many and varied, as already witnessed by volumes I and II of his essays collected by John Barton, but his contributions to the study of biblical languages are perhaps his greatest. This volume alone is one third larger than each of the previous two volumes and speaks to the amount of time and effort he spent working to hone the field and sharpen its level of analysis. One need only think of some of his famous monographs The Semantics of Biblical Language, or Comparative Philology and the Text of the Old Testament in order to observe the impact he has made on Biblical Studies. The present volume, however, consists of his smaller contributions – smaller, that is, in terms of printed size, not in terms of significance. Read the rest of this entry »

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant: c. 8000-332 BCE

In Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, Ann E. KILLEBREW, Archaeology, Kurtis Peters, Margreet L. STEINER, Oxford University Press on November 17, 2014 at 12:14 am


2014.11.18 | Margreet L. Steiner and Ann E. Killebrew, eds. The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant: c. 8000-332 BCE. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. £110. pp. 912. ISBN 978-0-19-921297-2.

Reviewed by Kurtis Peters,
University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to OUP for providing a review copy.

Steiner and Killebrew have delivered exactly what those of us in Biblical Studies needed – an access point for engaging with the world of archaeology as it pertains to the Levant. In the past it has been difficult for biblical scholars and students to engage critically with archaeological research on a particular subject, or time period, or geographic region. A quick glance through the table of contents will immediately reveal that this book is designed for such novice or intermediate readers. It is as a guidebook for interested amateurs, such as many of RBECS’ readers, that it will be evaluated here. 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

9780199692897

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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The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II

In Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Avraham FAUST, Eisenbrauns, HB/OT, Iron Age II, Kurtis Peters on January 27, 2014 at 6:34 pm

FAUARCHAE

2014.1.1 | Avraham Faust, The Archaeology of Israelite Society in Iron Age II. Translated by Ruth Ludlum. (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2012. pp. xviii + 328. ISBN: 978-1-57506-179-5).

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to Eisenbrauns for providing a review copy.

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Avraham Faust has provided those of us in Biblical Studies with a gift. For decades, biblical scholars have tried to make sense of the society (or societies) represented in the biblical texts. What were they like? How was their social structure organized? Were there significant cultural differences among various regions within the kingdoms of Israel and Judah? These questions were usually answered by appeal to the Bible – whether the things it said or the things it left unsaid – or by appeal to basic synopses of archaeological and ethnographic studies on the matter.

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Radical Frame Semantics and Biblical Hebrew: Exploring Lexical Semantics

In Brill, Cognitive Semantics, HB/OT, Kurtis Peters, Linguistics, Stephen SHEAD on June 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm

2013.06.12 | Stephen Shead. Radical Frame Semantics and Biblical Hebrew: Exploring Lexical Semantics. Biblical Interpretation Series 108. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2011. Pp. xxvii + 378. ISBN: 978-90-04-18839-6.

Review by Kurtis Peters, University of Edinburgh.

Many thanks to Brill for kindly providing us with a review copy.

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In recent years, there has been a slow but steady movement toward adapting modern linguistic theory to the study of biblical languages, particularly within lexical semantics – the study of word meaning. Shead’s Radical Frame Semantics represents yet another step forward in this general trend, and a strong one at that.

In this volume, Shead has clearly grasped the task at hand – to articulate a responsible method for handling the meaning of words in an ancient language – and has demonstrated convincingly that there is much to be gained from applying such a method.

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