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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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The Formation of the Pentateuch

In Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, HB/OT, Jan C. Gertz, Konrad SCHMID, Mohr Siebeck, Pentateuch, Uncategorized, William L. Kelly on June 27, 2017 at 11:54 pm

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2017.06.13 | Gertz, Jan C., Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, and Konrad Schmid. The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 111. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016. pp. xi + 1204. ISBN: 978-3-16-153883-4.

Review by William L. Kelly, University of Edinburgh.

The Pentateuch, as the editors of this volume rightly point out, is one of the foundational texts in the humanities. For critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, few areas of research could claim to be as foundational, and equally few involve such a tremendous range of critical issues, methods, and approaches. Where did this literature come from? How was it written and from what sources did its writers draw? When did it become ‘scripture’ and what does that designation mean? And, considering the various paradigms and hypotheses to have emerged in the last century of scholarship, how can a diverse field build toward consensus? Addressing questions such as these with fifty-six peer-reviewed essays and more than twelve-hundred pages,The Formation of the Pentateuch is a substantial and valuable contribution to a vital area of study. Read the rest of this entry »

La syntaxe du codex

In Brepols, Codicology, Dan Batovici, Manuscript Studies, Manuscripts, Marilena Maniaci, Patrick ANDRIST, Paul CANART, Uncategorized on January 23, 2017 at 2:56 pm

syntaxe

2017.01.03 | Patrick Andrist, Paul Canart, Marilena Maniaci. La syntaxe du codex: Essai de codicologie structurale. Bibliologia 34; Turnhout: Brepols, 2013. ISBN: 9782503543932.

Review by Dan Batovici, KU Leuven.

This book, a collaborative project based on the extensive previous work in the field of the three authors, is an attempt to produce a comprehensive and coherent typology for describing complex codices. While the most obvious aim of this book is to offer an extensive tool for manuscript cataloguing, it is also meant and will likely prove quite useful in all connected fields. Indeed, there are well known difficulties in describing complex manuscripts in biblical studies as well—for  instance the generalised use of the ever-ambiguous ‘miscellany’ term—where a plus of specificity as well as descriptions up to date with technical codicological terminology would be welcome. Read the rest of this entry »

New Cambridge History of The Bible (Vol. 3)

In Cambridge University Press, Emanuel CONTAC, Euan CAMERON, Printing, Reception history, Translation, Transmission history, Uncategorized on January 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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2017.01.02 | Euan Cameron, ed. The New Cambridge History of The Bible. Volume 3: from 1450 to 1750. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. xx + 975 pages. Hardback £125. ISBN: 9780521513425.

Review by Emanuel Conțac, Pentecostal Theological Institute of Bucharest.

The third volume in the New History of the Bible series published by CUP, assembles 34 papers and essays surveying the complex evolution and influence of the most disseminated hypertext in the printing era.
Whereas the editors of the initial series had compressed the post-Reformation period into a single volume, in the revised series the past 500 years are covered by two separate volumes, each addressing a wider variety of topics than would have been possible to include in a single 650-page volume. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pauline Effect: The Use of the Pauline Epistles by Early Christian Writers

In De Gruyter, Jennifer R. STRAWBRIDGE, Jonathon Lookadoo, NT reception history, Paul, Reception history, Uncategorized on July 11, 2016 at 10:20 pm

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2016.07.13 | Jennifer R. Strawbridge. The Pauline Effect: The Use of the Pauline Epistles by Early Christian Writers. SBR 5. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2015. pp. vii + 309. ISBN: 978-3-11-043770-6.

Review by Jonathon Lookadoo, University of Otago

Many thanks to Walter de Gruyter for providing a review copy.

Amid the increasing popularity of reception histories in Humanities scholarship and particularly in early Christian studies, Jennifer Strawbridge has added a unique and timely study of the way in which Paul’s letters were received in the ante-Nicene period. A two-fold emphasis frames the book, which began as an Oxford DPhil thesis supervised by Christopher Rowland and Teresa Morgan. First, the book investigates the way in which early Christian authors used Pauline letters. Second, the volume considers how the interpretation of Paul’s letters may illuminate their role in early Christian formation. Read the rest of this entry »

An Introduction to the Medieval Bible

In Cambridge University Press, Frans van LIERE, Hermeneutics, Manuscripts, Mark W. ELLIOTT, Medieval, Uncategorized on June 6, 2016 at 2:28 pm

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2016.06.08 | Frans van Liere, An Introduction to the Medieval Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014 Hardback ISBN: 9780521865784.

Review by Mark W. Elliott, University of St Andrews.

The author seems to wish to address the guild of biblical studies, at least as part of his audience. He is prepared from the outset to contend that the bible cannot be read ‘naively’, as though the history of its interpretation did not exist.  He wants the rich tradition of medieval biblical interpretation to be made known to biblical scholars and students, as something relevant for understanding the bible today (p. xii).  This is a noble aim.

Indeed, a book written by a historian might be the most useful kind of ‘Bible in the Middle Ages’ for it offers things hitherto beyond the ken of biblical scholars.  Who knew just how important the Codex Amiatinus as the oldest extant copy of Jerome’s bible was in the middle ages, as produced in England by Ceolfrid, which would do much to make the Vulgate standard in the Western Church? Read the rest of this entry »

The Roman Army and the Expansion of the Gospel: The Role of the Centurion in Luke-Acts

In Alexander KYRYCHENKO, De Gruyter, Kai Akagi, Luke-Acts, Uncategorized on February 6, 2015 at 10:14 am

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2015.02.03 | Alexander Kyrychenko. The Roman Army and the Expansion of the Gospel: The Role of the Centurion in Luke-Acts. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 203. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014. pp. xi + 228. ISBN: 9783110344028.

Reviewed by Kai Akagi, University of St Andrews.

Many thanks to De Gruyter for providing a review copy.

This volume is the published version of Alexander Kyrychenko’s PhD dissertation from 2013, supervised by Carl R. Holladay at Emory University. It considers the literary function of the Roman centurion in Luke-Acts in light of the presentation of the Roman military in contemporary Greco-Roman and Jewish literature. Kyrychenko offers his study as concerned with narrative in its attention to the literary and thematic significance of how Luke-Acts presents Roman centurions and contextual in its examination of portrayals of the Roman military across literatures. Read the rest of this entry »

Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies

In Brill, Nicola Denzey LEWIS, Sarah Parkhouse, Uncategorized on October 16, 2014 at 10:00 am

CFGGRA

2014.10.16 | Nicola Denzey Lewis. Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Under Pitiless Skies. (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 81). Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2013.

Reviewed by Sarah Parkhouse, Durham University.

Many thanks to Brill for providing a review copy.

Nicola Denzey Lewis’ Cosmology and Fate in Gnosticism and Graeco-Roman Antiquity reveals that in Gnostic and Graeco-Roman texts, the skies are not pitiless. The aims of the book are three-fold: firstly, a survey of how second-century authors understood astrological fate (heimarmene) as controlled by cosmic beings; secondly, the suggestion that these authors (almost) consistently offered their readers an escape from heimarmene; and, thirdly, further deconstruction of the orthodoxy-heresy dichotomy. The book demonstrates Denzey Lewis’ impressive knowledge of all things second century, explicitly shown by her ability to discuss fate in New Testament, Middle Platonic, Stoic, Gnostic, Manichean, Hermetic, pagan and proto-orthodox texts, despite stating that ‘language of “enslavement to Fate” in antiquity was rare’ (p.28). Read the rest of this entry »