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Eerdmans Old Testament History Collection (7 vols.)
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Overview

The Eerdmans Old Testament History Collection presents an in-depth study on the biblical world and its texts. Drawing information from ancient texts and insights from philosophers, historians, anthropologists, theologians, and theorists, the contributors—some of the best scholars in their respective fields—bring you seven concise volumes on Old Testament interpretation, history, culture, and religion.

This collection will broaden your understanding of biblical texts by:

  • Studying the social and political history
  • Rediscovering ancient texts—including the Apocrypha, book of Isaiah, Targum, and Pentateuch
  • Looking at how the Babylonian exile changed the Jewish political and religious infrastructure
  • Analyzing the relationship between religion and royal authority in Homeric Greece, biblical Israel, and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia

The Eerdmans Old Testament History Collection (7 vols.) introduces new insights into the context of the Bible by using current historical, cultural, literary, and theological methods and techniques. This engaging collection is perfect for students, pastors, scholars, or laity seeking a clear understanding to complex issues surrounding Old Testament history and interpretation.

With Logos, every word is essentially a link! Scripture references are linked directly to the Bibles in your library—both the original language texts and English translations. Double-clicking any word automatically opens your lexicons to the relevant entry, making Hebrew words instantly accessible. With Logos, you can quickly move from the table of contents to your desired content and search entire volumes and collections by topic, title, or Scripture reference.

Key Features

  • Works on a variety of biblical and theological topics
  • Written in an academic yet readable style
  • Includes bibliographies, indexes, and appendixes

Individual Titles

Chieftains of the Highland Clans: A History of Israel in the Twelfth And Eleventh Centuries B.C.

  • Author: Robert D. Miller II
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 206

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

An illuminating social history of ancient Israel, Chieftains of the Highland Clans offers an unusually thorough and original reconstruction of Israelite society prior to the rise of the monarchy around 1000 B.C. Using the latest archaeological research and anthropological theories, Robert Miller presents an intriguing picture of what life was like in early Israel.

Ethnographic evidence from diverse cultures suggests the “complex chiefdom” model as the most appropriate for the archaeology of twelfth and eleventh-century highland Palestine. This model details the economic and political realities of prestate societies with ascribed rank and hierarchical political control. As he applies and fine-tunes the complex chiefdom model, Miller illustrates areas of potential correspondence and contradiction between his reconstruction and the biblical text. Students of archaeology, Palestine, and the Hebrew Bible will not want to miss Miller’s fresh and fascinating conclusions about the sociopolitical nature of early Israel.

[Chieftains of the Highland Clans] is important because it is one of the first comprehensive studies of the highland settlement system to take seriously the biblical text and attempt to reconstruct both social and political history from both the archaeological and textual evidence.

Review and Expositor

No longer will the period of Israelite beginnings be considered a dark age. With meticulous and brilliant attention to method, Robert Miller uses the materials from a stunning array of archaeological excavations and surveys along with anthropological models to illuminate the highland settlements of the Iron I period. This pioneering study at last tells us what early Israel was really like.

—Carol Meyers, Mary Grace Wilson Professor in Religion, Duke University

In this volume Robert Miller supplies a missing piece in the social history of the central highlands of Palestine in the twelfth and eleventh centuries B.C.E. . . . Miller carefully defines and employs the complex chiefdom model to clarify social and political developments in that critical era prior to the establishment of the Israelite monarchy.

Victor H. Matthews, Professor of Religious Studies, Missouri State University

Robert D. Miller II is Associate Professor of Old Testament at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Invitation to the Apocrypha

  • Author: Daniel J. Harrington
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 230

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

In this volume, a leading biblical scholar helps readers rediscover the ancient books of the Old Testament Apocrypha. Invitation to the Apocrypha provides a clear, basic introduction to these important—but often neglected—ancient books.

Using the latest and best scholarship yet writing for those new to the Apocrypha, Daniel Harrington guides readers through the background, content, and message of each book. A distinctive feature of this primer is that it focuses throughout on the problem of suffering, highlighting what each book of the Apocrypha says about this universal human experience.

One of the best and most readable introductions to the books of the Apocrypha which has so far been produced.

Society for Old Testament Study Booklist

. . . This is an introductory book, designed for nonspecialists, but presenting the best of contemporary biblical scholarship. As such, it stands as a model for showing how the fruits of technical biblical studies can be applied for the benefit of the educated by nontechnical reader.

Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Harrington's careful scholarship and clear writing is evident throughout. Intended as a college or seminary introduction, anyone interested in the topic or in these very interesting but less known books will be richly rewarded in the reading.

The Bible Today

As one would expect from Harrington, the volume is clearly written, meticulously researched, and balanced and sensible in its critical judgments. . . . At every stage there are excellent bibliographies to guide those who would move on to further study.

Sewanee Theological Review

Daniel J. Harrington is Professor of New Testament at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Among his many other books are Who Is Jesus? Why Is He Important? and How to Read the Gospels.

Judaism, the First Phase: The Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism

  • Author: Joseph Blenkinsopp
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 288

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Most studies of how early Judaism related to the non-Jewish world and how others perceived it start no earlier than the Hellenistic period. Joseph Blenkinsopp argues that we must go further back, to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and its temple and the liquidation of the political and religious infrastructure—monarchy, priesthood, scribalism, prophecy—which had sustained the Judean state for centuries. Judaism, the First Phase is a fresh—and potentially stunning—look at Jewish origins, tracing the legacy of Ezra and Nehemiah.

. . . presented with typical clarity, incisiveness, and breadth of scholarship. No student of early Judaism will fail to learn much from the numerous insights of this book . . . Blenkinsopp's unique combination of wide learning and elegant argumentation makes his scholarship pleasurable as well as instructive.

Philip R. Davies, Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield

Blenkinsopp's profound knowledge of biblical (and related) texts and their potential interrelationships is displayed prominently throughout the volume. The combination of thoughtful detailed analysis and an approach in which the "big historical picture" is always at the center ensures that this book will be widely read and cited both by historians of the period and by scholars researching particular texts relevant to the period.

Ehud Ben Zvi, Professor, University of Alberta

Joseph Blenkinsopp is John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His other books include The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible, A History of Prophecy in Israel, and the three-volume Anchor Bible commentary on Isaiah.

Opening the Sealed Book: Interpretations of the Book of Isaiah in Late Antiquity

  • Author: Joseph Blenkinsopp
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Pages: 335

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Of all the texts in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, perhaps no book has a more colorful history of interpretation than Isaiah. A comprehensive history of this interpretation between the prophet Malachi and the first days of Christianity, Joseph Blenkinsopp’s Opening the Sealed Book traces three different prophetic traditions in Isaiah—the “man of God,” the critic of social structures, and the apocalyptic seer.

Blenkinsopp explores the place of Isaiah in Jewish sectarianism, at Qumran, and among early Christians, touching on a number of its themes, including exile, “the remnant of Israel,” martyrdom, and “the servant of the Lord.” Encompassing several disciplines—hermeneutics, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Second Temple studies, Christian origins—Opening the Sealed Book will appeal to Jewish and Christian scholars as well as readers fascinated by the intricate and influential prophetic visions of Isaiah.

This wide-ranging and original book probes the interpretation and use of the book of Isaiah in Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament. An impressive and stimulating contribution to the early history of biblical interpretation.

John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale University

Joseph Blenkinsopp brings his enormous learning to the use of the book of Isaiah in a later generation of Jewish and Christian reading. This important book makes two immense contributions to our learning. . . . it greatly illuminates our historical understanding of formative Jewish and Christian communities in their use of Scripture . . . it makes clear how relentlessly pluralistic is our long-term reading of Scripture that resists any single reductionist reading.

Walter Brueggemann, Professor Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary

. . . Blenkinsopp not only explores the history of Isaiah’s reception in early Judaism and Christianity but also uncovers the numerous links between the figure of the prophet (and his book) and Jewish apocalyptic and sectarian movements, including Christianity itself. A brilliant and largely convincing synthesis by a scholar renowned for the depth and range of his learning.

Philip R. Davies, Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield

Joseph Blenkinsopp is John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His other books include The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible, A History of Prophecy in Israel, and the three-volume Anchor Bible commentary on Isaiah.

Piety and Politics: The Dynamics of Royal Authority in Homeric Greece, Biblical Israel, and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia

  • Author: Dale Launderville
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 425

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Ancient kings who did not honor the gods overlooked an indispensable means for ruling effectively in their communities. In many traditional societies royal authority was regarded as a divine gift bestowed according to the quality of the relationship of the king both to God or the gods and to the people. The tension and the harmony within these human and divine relationships demanded that the king repeatedly strive to integrate the community’s piety with his political strategies.

This fascinating study explores the relationship between religion and royal authority in three of history’s most influential civilizations: Homeric Greece, biblical Israel, and Old Babylonian Mesopotamia. Dale Launderville identifies similar, contrasting, and analogous ways that piety functioned in these distinct cultures to legitimate the rule of particular kings and promote community well-being. Key to this religiopolitical dynamic was the use of royal rhetoric, which necessarily took the form of political theology. By examining a host of ancient texts and drawing on the insights of philosophers, poets, historians, anthropologists, social theorists, and theologians, Launderville shows how kings increased their status the more they demonstrated through their speech and actions that they ruled on behalf of God or the gods.

Launderville’s work also sheds light on a number of perennial questions about ancient political life. How could the people call the king to account? Did the people forfeit too much of their freedom and initiative by giving obedience to a king who symbolized their unity as a community? How did the religious traditions serve as a check on the king’s power and keep alive the voice of the people? This study in comparative political theology elucidates these engaging concerns from multiple perspectives, making Piety and Politics of interest to readers in fields ranging from biblical studies and theology to ancient history and political science.

Piety and Politics is a tour de force on the culture and ideals of the greatest civilizations of the past and how their successes, failures, and hopes still teach us today in our ideals for society. Issues of justice, individual rights, cooperation, and constant submission to the will of the gods ran deep through all three societies, but only the monotheism of Israel’s faith was able to survive intact to bring these ideals to the modern world. Readers of this study will broaden their understanding of history, culture, ancient religion, and the role of royalty in national government and will clearly see the implications of Launderville’s discussion for our contemporary world.

—Lawrence Boadt

One of those rare books that, if taken seriously, would shake up our disciplinary structures as well as our lives.

Journal of Biblical Literature

Dale Launderville is Associate Professor of Theology at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota. He served on the editorial committee for the revision of the Old Testament of the New American Bible.

Targum and Testament Revisited: Aramaic Paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible: A Light on the New Testament, 2nd ed.

  • Author: Martin McNamara
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 367

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Targum and Testament Revisited is a new edition of a text first published in 1972, now revised in light of research during the intervening period. In his introduction Martin McNamara details significant developments in the field, ending with a note on the tell-like structure of targumic tradition, with interpretations from different ages, also showing the presence of continuity in interpretation of certain passages down through the centuries of Jewish history.

The first part of the book examines the formation of targumic tradition, specifically treating the early written Targums, Aramaic as the language of the Jews, and the origin, transmission, and date of the Targums of the Pentateuch and the Prophets. Part two considers the possible relationship between certain New Testament passages and targumic tradition, including a reverential manner of speaking of God; God and creation; the Holy Spirit; sin and virtue; eschatology; and the Targums and Johannine literature.

There has been intense examination of most aspects of targumic tradition over recent decades. McNamara draws on these varied sources—including the annotated English translation of all the Targums in the Aramaic Bible—and offers an appendix outlining all extant Targums of the rabbinic tradition. McNamara's updated overview will be an indispensable resource for scholars of biblical and Jewish studies.

Martin McNamara is Professor Emeritus of Sacred Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology, Dublin, Ireland.

Treasures Old and New: Essays in the Theology of the Pentateuch

  • Author: Joseph Blenkinsopp
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 238

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Pentateuch is one anchor of the Western religious heritage, a rich source of theological and spiritual instruction that can be plumbed again and again. In Treasures Old and New, accomplished biblical scholar Joseph Blenkinsopp engages several interesting topics in dialogue with texts from the Pentateuch.

In keeping with the view that the Pentateuch is far too multiplex to be encapsulated in a single theological system, Blenkinsopp has written Treasures Old and New as a “sketchbook” of theology in the Pentateuch. This fruitful approach allows him to consider themes that easily fall through the cracks of more systematic works of biblical theology. Among the many subjects that Blenkinsopp pursues are the role of memory in the construction of the past, the dependence of Christianity on Judaism, the close connection between sacrifice and community in Old Testament Israel, the proper meaning of human stewardship of the world, and belief (or lack of belief) in a meaningful postmortem existence.

Blenkinsopp also explores well-known texts from less-well-known angles. The Garden of Eden story, for example, gains in resonance when read together with Gilgamesh, and the laws governing diet and cleanliness become clearer in the light of current ecological concerns. Readers will also learn from Blenkinsopp’s novel approach to such important yet enigmatic stories as the Creation, Cain and Abel, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, the Call of Abram, and Sodom and Gomorrah.

Blessed with an extraordinary ability to transmit complex issues in concise and lucid fashion, Blenkinsopp shows that serious engagement with biblical texts, while sometimes demanding, can be intellectually and religiously rewarding.

This erudite, instructive, and engaging collection of essays brings much fresh insight to the biblical text. . . . [It] offers many rewarding and instructive insights.

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

Of the great biblical interpreters of our age, no one can emulate Joseph Blenkinsopp’s scholarship. He brings to the biblical text not only a huge range of knowledge and interests but also sharp perception and shrewd judgment. Above all, again and again he gets to the heart of the issue—a critical engagement with the text and with its authors. These essays demonstrate the best of his work, which is original, profound, and always fresh.

Philip R. Davies, Professor of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield

I strongly recommend this book to all those who remember the biblical stories of their childhood and youth and are interested in taking a fresh journey into humanity’s past with an intrepid, engrossing guide.

David Noel Freedman

Joseph Blenkinsopp is John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His other books include The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible, A History of Prophecy in Israel, and the three-volume Anchor Bible commentary on Isaiah.

Product Details

  • Title: Eerdmans Old Testament History Collection
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Volumes: 7
  • Pages: 2,089