Images from the ancient Near East are an important though generally underutilized source of data for interpreting the Hebrew Bible and the cultural context from which it emerged. The essays in this volume highlight the ways that ancient Near Eastern iconography can inform exegesis. This aim is accomplished through case studies in iconographic exegesis that exhibit sound methodologies for relating images and texts.
Since the 1970s, biblical scholars have been turning increasingly to iconography as a source for understanding the religion, history and literature of the ancient Near East. The essays in this volume tackle two thorny issues: 1) how images reflect the cultures that produce them and 2) the nature of the relationship between images and texts, both within discrete cultures and among different cultures. Until now, there have been relatively few methodologically self-conscious treatments of ancient iconography and its relationship to the biblical text. So this volume addresses a clear need for demonstrating transparent and consistent methods for iconographic work among biblical scholars.
Another important contribution to the use of the visual imagery in the study of the Hebrew Bible.
Izaak J. de Hulster is working as post-doctoral researcher at the Georg-August-University Göttingen (Germany) as part of the Alexander-von-Humboldt foundation sponsored Sofja Kovalevskaja Project “Unity and Diversity in Early Jewish Monotheisms.” He holds an MA in theology from Utrecht University and an M.Div. from the Seminary of the Baptist congregations in The Netherlands.
Joel M. LeMon is Assistant Professor of Old Testament,Candler School of Theology, Emory University, USA