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The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies: 2017 (16 vols.)
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Overview

Over the last 40 years this pioneering series has established an unrivaled reputation for cutting-edge international scholarship in Biblical Studies and has attracted leading authors and editors in the field. The series takes many original and creative approaches to its subjects, including innovative work from historical and theological perspectives, social-scientific and literary theory, and more recent developments in cultural studies and reception history.

In the Logos edition, these volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Leading scholarship from a diverse field of disciplines
  • Thorough examination of key Old Testament passages
  • Deepens your study of the Old Testament with all new volumes from 2017

Product Details

Individual Titles

Body, Gender and Purity in Leviticus 12 and 15

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The so-called purity laws in Leviticus 11-15 reflect a cultic and social view on the male and female body. These texts do not give detailed physiological descriptions. Instead, they prescribe what to do in the cases of skin disease, delivery and wo/man’s genital discharges, but the particular way of dealing with the body and the language used in Leviticus 12 and 15 ask for clarification: How do these texts construct the male and female body? Which roles does gender play within this language?

By means of themes like menstruation and circumcision, the author unfolds the language used for the body in Leviticus and its interpretation history. The study provides material for a contemporary anthropology of bodies which relates the human sexed body to God’s holiness.

Dorothea Erbele-Kuester is currently visiting professor at Heidelburg University in Germany. She is a member of the Centre for Ethics in Antiquity and Christianity at Mainz University, Germany, and has been teaching n Belgium and the Netherlands.

Chronicles and the Politics of Davidic Restoration: A Quiet Revolution

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David Janzen argues that the Book of Chronicles is a document with a political message as well as a theological one and moreover, that the book’s politics explain its theology. The author of Chronicles was part of a 4th century B.C.E. group within the post-exilic Judean community that hoped to see the Davidides restored to power, and he or she composed this work to promote a restoration of this house to the position of a client monarchy within the Persian Empire. Once this is understood as the political motivation for the work’s composition, the reasons behind the Chronicler’s particular alterations to source material and emphasis of certain issues becomes clear.

The doctrine of immediate retribution, the role of ‘all Israel’ at important junctures in Judah’s past, the promotion of Levitical status and authority, the virtual joint reign of David and Solomon, and the decision to begin the narrative with Saul’s death can all be explained as ways in which the Chronicler tries to assure the 4th century assembly that a change in local government to Davidic client rule would benefit them. It is not necessary to argue that Chronicles is either pro-Davidic or pro-Levitical; it is both, and the attention Chronicles pays to the Levites is done in the service of winning over a group within the temple personnel to the pro-Davidic cause, just as many of its other features were designed to appeal to other interest groups within the assembly.

David Janzen is Senior Lecturer in Old Testament at Durham University, UK.

David’s Capacity for Compassion: A Literary-Hermeneutical Study of 1 - 2 Samuel

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In this book Barbara Green demonstrates how David is shown and can be read as emerging from a young naive, whose early successes grow into a tendency for actions of contempt and arrogance, of blindness and even cruelty, particularly in matters of cult. However, Green also shows that over time David moves closer to the demeanor and actions of wise compassion, more closely aligned with God.

Leaving aside questions of historicity as basically undecidable Green’s focus in her approach to the material is on contemporary literature. Green reads the David story in order, applying seven specific tools which she names, describes and exemplifies as she interprets the text. She also uses relevant hermeneutical theory, specifically a bridge between general hermeneutics and the specific challenges of the individual (and socially located) reader. As a result, Green argues that characters in the David narrative can proffer occasions for insight, wisdom, and compassion. Acknowledging the unlikelihood that characters like David and his peers, steeped in patriarchy and power, can be shown to learn and extend wise compassion, Green is careful to make explicit her reading strategies and offer space for dialogue and disagreement.

Barbara Green is Professor of Biblical Studies at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley.

Divining the Woman of Endor: African Culture, Postcolonial Hermeneutics, and the Politics of Biblical Translation

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An examination of the language of divination in the Hebrew Bible, particularly in 1 Samuel 28:3-25-the oft-called “Witch of Endor” passage. Kiboko contends that much of the vocabulary of divination in this passage and beyond has been mistranslated in authorized English and other translations used in Africa and in scholarly writings. Kiboko argues that the woman of Endor is not a witch. The woman of Endor is, rather, a diviner, much like other ancient Near Eastern and modern African diviners. She resists an inner-biblical conquest theology and a monologic authoritarian view of divination to assist King Saul by various means, including invoking the spirit of a departed person, Samuel.

Kiboko carries out a Hebrew word-study shaped by the theories of Mikhail M. Bakhtin regarding the utterance, heteroglossia, and dialogism in order to understand the designative, connotative, emotive, and associative meanings of the many divinatory terms in the Hebrew Bible. She then examines 1 Samuel 28 and a number of prior translations thereof, using the ideological framework of African-feminist-postcolonial biblical interpreters and translation theories to uncover the hidden ideology or transcript of these translations. Finally, using African contextual/cultural hermeneutics and cross-cultural translation theory, Kiboko offers new English, French, and Kisanga translations of this passage that are both faithful to the original text and more appropriate to an inculturated-liberation African Christian hermeneutic, theology, and praxis.

Biblical scholar Jeanne Kabamba Kiboko offers a compelling case for a postcolonial reading of the biblical woman of Endor. In Divining the Woman, a subversive reading of Eurocentric ‘conquest exegesis’ (230), Kiboko successfully executes her proposition ‘to analyze, to resist, and to reconstruct the so-called canonical literature’

Reading Religion

Feminist Frameworks and the Bible: Power, Ambiguity, and Intersectionality

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This volume on intercultural biblical interpretation includes essays by feminist scholars from Botswana, Germany, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, and the United States. Reading from a rich variety of socio-cultural locations, contributors present their hermeneutical frameworks for interpretation of Hebrew Bible texts, each framework grounded in the writer’s journey of professional or social formation and serving as a prism or optic for feminist critical analysis.

The volume hosts a lively conversation about the nature and significance of biblical interpretation in a global context, focusing on issues at the nexus of operations of power, textual ambiguity, and intersectionality. Engaged here are notions of biblical authority and postures of dissent; women’s agency, discernment, rivalry, and alliance in ancient and contemporary contexts; ideological constructions of sexuality and power; interpretations related to indigeneity, racial identity, interethnic intimacy, and violence in colonial contexts; theologies of the feminine divine and feminist understandings of the sacred; convictions about interdependence and conditions of flourishing for all beings in creation; and ethics of resistance positioned over against dehumanization in political, theological, and hermeneutical praxes. Through their textual and contextual engagements, contributors articulate a broad spectrum of feminist insights into the possibilities for emancipatory visions of community.

Carolyn J. Sharp is Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at Yale Divinity School, USA.

Hosea: A Textual Commentary

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Mayer I. Gruber provides a new commentary on and translation of Hosea. Building upon his work that debunked the myth of sacred prostitution, Gruber now goes on to show that the book of Hosea repeatedly advocates a single standard of marital fidelity for men and women and teaches cheated women to fight back.

Gruber employs the latest and most precise findings of lexicography and poetics to solve the difficulties of the text and to determine both how Hosea can be read and what this means. The translation differs from classical and recent renderings in eliminating forms and expressions, which are neither modern English nor ancient Hebrew. Referring to places, events, and material reality of the 9th and 8th centuries BCE, Gruber uncovers the abiding messages of the heretofore obscure book of Hosea. As in previous studies, Gruber employs the insights of behavioral sciences to uncover forgotten meanings of numerous allusions, idioms, similes, and metaphors. Judicious use is made also of textual history, reception history, and personal voice criticism. One of the least biblical books now speaks more clearly to present and future audiences than it did to many previous audiences.

Mayer I. Gruber is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Bible Archaeology and Ancient Near East, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

Reimagining Delilah’s Afterlives as Femme Fatale: The Lost Seduction

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The story of Samson and Delilah in Judges 16 has been studied and retold over the centuries by biblical interpreters, artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers. Within these scholarly and cultural retellings, Delilah is frequently fashioned as the quintessential femme fatale—the shamelessly seductive ‘fatal woman’ whose sexual treachery ultimately leads to Samson’s downfall. Yet these ubiquitous portrayals of Delilah as femme fatale tend to eclipse the many other viable readings of her character that lie, underexplored, within the ambiguity-laden narrative of Judges 16—interpretations that offer alternative and more sympathetic portrayals of her biblical persona.

In Reimagining Delilah’s Afterlives as Femme Fatale, Caroline Blyth guides readers through an in-depth exploration of Delilah’s afterlives as femme fatale in both biblical interpretation and popular culture, tracing the social and historical factors that may have inspired them. She then considers alternative afterlives for Delilah’s character, using as inspiration both the Judges 16 narrative and a number of cultural texts which deconstruct traditional understandings of the femme fatale, thereby inviting readers to view this iconic biblical character in new and fascinating lights.

Caroline Blyth is lecturer in theology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She specialises in work on the bible and gender.

Sedaqa and Torah in Postexilic Discourse

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The chapters in this volume clarify crucial aspects of Torah by exploring its relationship to sedaqa (righteousness). Observing the Torah is often considered to be the main identity-marker of Israel in the post-exilic period. However, sedaqa is also widely used as a force of group cohesion and as a resource for ethics without references to torah. The contributors to this volume explore these crucial themes for the post-exilic period, and show how they are related in the key texts that feature them.

Though torah and sedaqa can have some aspects in common, especially when they are amended by aspects of creation, both terms are rarely linked to each other explicitly in the Old Testament, and if so, different relations are expressed. These are examined in this book. The opening of the book of Isaiah is shown to integrate torah-learning into a life of righteousness (sedaqa). In Deuteronomy sedaqa is shown to refer to torah-dictacticism, and in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah torah can be understood as symbol of sedaqa meaning the disposition of each individual to accept torah as prescriptive law. However, the chapters also show that these relationships are not exclusive and that sedaqa is not always linked to torah, for in late texts of Isaiah sedaqa is not realized by torah-observance, but by observing the Sabbath.

Studies in Isaiah: History, Theology, and Reception

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The Book of Isaiah is considered one of the greatest prophetic works in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. The complex history of the book’s composition, over several time periods, can often perplex and enthrall. The editors to this volume encourage readers to engage deeply with the text in order to get a grasp of the traces and signs within it that can be seen to point to the book’s process of composition and ongoing reinterpretation over time. The contributions discuss suggested segments of composition and levels of interpretation, both within the book of Isaiah and its history of reception

The book is divided into two sections: in the first part certain motifs that have come to Isaiah from a distant past are traced through to their origins. Arguments for a suggested ‘Josianic edition’ are carefully evaluated, and the relationship between the second part of Isaiah and the Book of Psalms is discussed, as are the motifs of election and the themes of Zion theology and the temple. The second part of the book focuses on the history of reception and looks at Paul’s use of the book of Isaiah, and how the book is used, and perhaps misused in a contemporary setting in the growing churches in Africa. With a range of international specialists, including Hugh Williamson, Tommy Wasserman, and Knut Holter, this is an excellent resource for scholars seeking to understand Isaiah in a greater depth.

Greger Andersson is Assistant Professor and Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Örebro University in Sweden and Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Örebro Theological Seminary.

The Influence of Post-Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic on the Translator of Septuagint Isaiah

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For many years, scholars have noted that post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic may have influenced some of the renderings in the ancient Greek versions of the Hebrew Bible, but examination of this has usually been done only in passing with little or no discussion and scant evidence. Seulgi L. Byun examines the ancient Greek version of Isaiah, commonly referred to as LXX (Septuagint) Isaiah, and examines a number of possible cases in depth in order to determine the degree to which semantic change within Hebrew, as well as the spread of Aramaic already in the Second Temple period, may have influenced the translator.

The book begins with an overview of key issues (semantic change; the development (or non-development) of the Hebrew language; previous scholarship; issues in the study of LXX Isaiah; and methodological considerations). This is followed by four larger sections representing various categories of examples where post-biblical Hebrew or Aramaic may have influenced renderings in the text, each offering specific examples. The first section contains examples where post-biblical Hebrew may have influenced LXX Isaiah; the second section offers examples of Aramaic influence; the third section addresses examples where the influence is not clear (possibly both post-biblical Hebrew and Aramaic); and the fourth section discusses the possibility of word manipulation—cases where the translator of LXX Isaiah ‘manipulated’ the Hebrew with a post-biblical Hebrew or Aramaic meaning/word in mind.

An important resource for those interest in the language and literature of the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint.... Students and scholars interested in the LXX... will not be disappointed with Seulgi Byun’s work. His research has advanced the field and deepened our understanding of LXX Isaiah. It raises new questions and encourages further research into the complex linguistic world of the LXX.

The Expository Times

Seulgi L. Byun teaches at Oak Hill College, London, UK.

The Land of Canaan in the Late Bronze Age

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This volume provides a series of contributions on the crucial aspects relating to the Bible and the Late Bronze Age period. The volume is introduced with a background essay surveying the main areas of history and current scholarship relating to Late Bronze Age Palestine and to the Egyptian New Kingdom (Dynasties 18-20) domination of the region, as well as the question of the biblical account of the same geographical area and historical period.

Specific chapters address a range of key concerns: the history of Egypt’s dealing with Canaan is surveyed in chapters by Grabbe and Dijkstra. The Amarna texts are also dealt with by Lemche, Mayes and Grabbe. The archaeology is surveyed by van der Steen. The Merenptah Stela mentioning Israel is of considerable interest and is discussed especially by Dijkstra. This leads on to the burning question of the origins of Israel which several of the contributors address. Another issue is whether the first Israelite communities practised egalitarianism, an issue taken up by Guillaume, with a response by Kletter.

Grabbe’s treatment of the LBA [Late Bronze Age] in Canaan, always a provocative topic to address for biblical historians, Egyptologists and archaeologists, provides a worthy contribution to the ongoing discussion of this fascinating, but complex historical period.

Reading Religion

Lester L. Grabbe is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism at the University of Hull. He is founder and convenor of the European Seminar in Historical Methodology. A recent book is Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know it?

The Levite Singers in Chronicles and Their Stabilising Role

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This study focuses on the Chronicler’s special interest in Levite singers. It takes into consideration the socio-ideological milieu of the Jerusalem temple community in the Persian period and the Mesopotamian elite professional norms and practices that nourished the singers and their music. It also explores the conception of the earthly temple as representative of its heavenly counterpart, and looks at the way in which this shaped the Chronicler’s theological frame of reference.

The work is divided into two parts. Part I examines the Mesopotamian scribal-musical background, to which Ko attributes the rise of music in Chronicles. Part II considers the Chronicler’s ideological perspective, the language of the temple and the educational, scribal, and liturgical services of Levite singers. By focusing on the characterisation of the Levite singers in the light of their Mesopotamian counterparts, Ko shows how they sought to foster cosmic stability according to the terms of the Davidic covenant.

Ming Him Ko is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Alliance Bible Seminary, Hong Kong.

The Solomon Narratives in the Context of the Hebrew Bible: Told and Retold

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This book is concerned with ascertaining the value of having two versions of the same monarchic history of Israel within the Hebrew Bible (focusing on the books of Kings and Chronicles). It is furthermore concerned with how the book of Chronicles is read in relation to the book of Kings as Chronicles is so often considered to be a later rewritten text drawing upon an earlier version of the Masoretic Text of Samuel and Kings.

The predominant scholarly approach to reading the book of Chronicles is to read it in light of how the Chronicler emended his source texts (additions, omissions, harmonizations). This approach has yielded great success in our understanding of the Chronicler’s theology and rhetoric. However, Cook asserts, it has also failed to consider how the book of Chronicles can be read as an autonomous and coherent document. That is, a diachronic approach to reading Chronicles sometimes misses the theological and rhetorical features of the text in its final form. This book shows the great benefit of reading these narratives as autonomous and coherent by using the Solomon narratives as a case study. These narratives are first read individually, and then together, so as to ascertain their uniqueness vis-à-vis one another. Finally, Cook addresses questions related to the concordance of these narratives as well as their purposes within their respective larger literary contexts.

Sean Cook graduated from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) with a Ph.D. in the Hebrew Bible, and is currently teaching in Calgary, Canada.

The Storied Ethics of the Thanksgiving Psalms

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Drawing on research from the field of narrative ethics, The Storied Ethics of the Thanksgiving Psalms argues that story and storytelling function as important instruments in a given community’s ethical shaping. While this argument has gained some traction in the field of Old Testament ethics, it has yet to inform an ethical reading of non-narrative texts, such as the Psalter. However, because the thanksgiving psalms are characterized by their inclusion of the worshipper’s story, they stand to benefit from the application of a narrative ethical approach.

In the present study, this argument is tested through a close reading of three thanksgivings—Psalms 116, 118, and 138—each of which clearly demonstrates a didactic concern. Yahweh is presented as one who is worthy of trust, even in the midst of personal disaster. The affirmation of Yahweh’s character provides the framework for the community’s continued (or renewed) commitment and trust, hope and expectancy. The example provided by the worshipper challenges the audience to pray as they prayed, to trust as they trust, to live with hope as they live with hope. In addition, these psalms, and the stories they retell, invite the audience to tell their story when God answers their prayers, and to do so in public, in corporate worship, for the benefit of the community.

These intended results—prayer, commitment, trust, hope, expectancy, public storytelling and thanksgiving—are not typically pursued in “ethical” studies, but they are clearly part of the Psalter’s comprehensive vision of the ethical life and are, therefore, worthy of careful consideration.

Violence, Otherness and Identity in Isaiah 63:1-6: The Trampling One Coming from Edom

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Violence disturbs. And violent depictions, when encountered in the biblical texts, are all the more disconcerting. Isaiah 63:1-6 is an illustrative instance. The prophetic text presents the “Arriving One” in gory details (‘trampling down people’; ‘pouring out their lifeblood’ v.6). Further, the introductory note that the Arriving One is “coming from Edom” (cf. v.1) may suggest Israel’s unrelenting animosity towards Edom. These two themes: the “gory depiction” and “coming from Edom” are addressed in this book.

Irudayaraj uses a social identity reading to show how Edom is consistently pictured as Israel’s proximate and yet ‘other’-ed entity. Approaching Edom as such thus helps situate the animosity within a larger prophetic vision of identity construction in the postexilic Third Isaian context. By adopting an iconographic reading of Isaiah 63:1-6, Irudayaraj shows how the prophetic portrayal of the ‘Arriving One’ in descriptions where it is clear that the ‘Arriving One’ is a marginalised identity correlates with the experiences of the “stooped” exiles (cf 51:14). He also demonstrates that the text leaves behind emphatic affirmations (‘mighty’ and ‘splendidly robed’ cf. v.1; “alone” cf. v.3), by which the relegated voice of the divine reasserts itself. It is in this divine reassertion that the hope of the Isaian community’s reclamation of its own identity rests.

I highly recommend Irudayaraj’s book to scholars as well as students of the Bible because of its scholarly scrutiny and relevance.... It has something to say about the religious and racial conflicts that have happened and are still happening near and far. By constantly making who is (supposed to be) close kin “other,” often in the name of their God, people try to regain dominance that they think they used to possess. Irudayaraj’s book is a wakeup call for all of us to acknowledge such danger lurking in us and an invitation to find ways to live together in peace in spite of our disagreements and differences.

Asian American Theological Forum

Dominic S. Irudayaraj S.J. teaches in Hekima University College, Nairobi, Kenya.

Women and Exilic Identity in the Hebrew Bible

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Notions of women as found in the Bible have had an incalculable impact on western cultures, influencing perspectives on marriage, kinship, legal practice, political status, and general attitudes. Women and Exilic Identity in the Hebrew Bible is drawn from three separate strands to address and analyse this phenomenon. The first examines how women were conceptualized and represented during the exilic period. The second focuses on methodological possibilities and drawbacks connected to investigating women and exile. The third reviews current prominent literature on the topic, with responses from authors.

With chapters from a range of contributors, topics move from an analysis of Ruth as a woman returning to her homeland, and issues concerning the foreign presence who brings foreign family members into the midst of a community, and how this is dealt with, through the intermarriage crisis portrayed in Ezra 9-10, to an analysis of Judean constructions of gender in the exilic and early post-exilic periods. The contributions show an exciting range of the best scholarship on women and foreign identities, with important consequences for how the foreign/known is perceived, and what that has meant for women through the centuries.

The contributions show a range of the best scholarship on women and foreign identities, with important consequences for how the foreign/known is perceived, and what that has meant for women through the centuries.

Interpretation

About Andrew Mein

Andrew Mein is Lecturer in Old Testament at the University of Durham, UK.

About Claudia V. Camp

Claudia V. Camp is Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University, USA and was on the steering committee of the Seminar. She is currently co-general editor of the LHBOTS series, as well as the author or editor of 4 books and numerous articles.