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Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California Series (10 vols.)
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Overview

The Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California Series brings together the writings of top scholars in ancient Judaic history, politics, language, and literature. These volumes are well researched, intensely critical, and intelligently written, offering up original arguments on ancient cultures. This collection is an invaluable resource for students and scholars of Near Eastern studies and anyone else interested in the details of Judaic history.

Logos Bible Software makes these texts easier to study than ever before. With Logos’ advanced search features, you can perform powerful searches by topic or Scripture reference—finding, for example, every mention of “exile,” or “Isaiah 48:1–11.”

Key Features

  • Linguistic, cultural, and political analysis of the ancient Near East
  • Perspectives from experts in the field

Individual Titles

The Hebrew Bible and Its Interpreters

  • Editors: William H. Propp, Baruch H. Halpern, and David Noel Freedman
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 1990
  • Pages: 231

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

The Hebrew Bible and Its Interpreters contains a number of essays originally presented at the Fourth Conversation in Biblical Studies held at the University of California, San Diego, as well as pieces by each of the editors.

The level of sophistication of these articles is high; they should prove stimulating for advanced students and practitioners of the discipline. Several of the essays should prove of enduring value, either in raising important issues or offering significant methodological insights.

Paul K. Hooker, director of ministerial formation and advanced studies, Austin Seminary

Each of the essays is interesting in its own right and must be read that way. They demonstrate that the study of the Old Testament is alive and well at this time.

Review & Expositor

William H. Propp is a professor at the University of California, San Diego, specializing in the civilizations and languages of the ancient Near East and in biblical and Judaic Studies. He teaches courses on Semitic epigraphy, Assyriology, Aramaic, Near Eastern history, the Hebrew Bible, and modern Hebrew languages and literature.

Baruch H. Halpern is editor of The Hebrew Bible and Its Interpreters.

David Noel Freedman (1922–2008) received his PhD in Semitic languages and literature from Johns Hopkins University in 1948. Distinguished author and prolific editor, D. N. Freedman contributed to the Anchor Yale Bible, Eerdmans Biblical Resources Series, and The Bible in Its World.

Isaiah 46, 47, and 48: A New Literary-Critical Reading

  • Authors: Chris Franke
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: 303

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

Following the direction established by James Muilenberg and others, author Chris Franke argues that the most fruitful approach to chapters 46–48 in Deutero-Isaiah is to read them with a literary dimension in mind. Franke perceives a highly creative, unique hand in the creation of this portion of Isaiah and believes that the material in these chapters consists of unified literary works. She uses specific criteria to test and validate this hypothesis. She also examines the nature and character of Hebrew poetry in these chapters, considering it within the context of contemporary Hebrew poetry studies.

Franke’s careful textual analysis makes the book mandatory reading for any involved in the study of Second Isaiah.

—D. J. Reimer

Franke provides a valuable perspective on the need to consider larger textual units in the analysis of prophetic literature.

Marvin A. Sweeney, professor of Hebrew Bible, Claremont School of Theology

Chris Franke is the author of Isaiah 46, 47, and 48: A New Literary-Critical Reading, and editor of The Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets and The Twelve Prophets.

The Book around Immanuel: Style and Structure in Isaiah 2–12

  • Author: Andrew H. Bartelt
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 298

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

Applying the principles of poetic analysis (based on the work of D. N. Freedman) and rhetorical analysis (based on the work of J. Muilenberg), Bartelt examines the style and structure of Isaiah 2–12. He finds that the structure of this segment is based on 800 eight-syllable lines, the core being chapters 6–8, the section known as the “Book of Immanuel.” This central portion is ringed by two concentric circles that share its structural devices and thematic motifs.

It is hard to fault Bartelt’s conclusions: his lineation boundaries conform well to meaning units, and he gives good examples of matching elements found in the corresponding chiastic circles. While this is not an exegetical work, its minute structural study does yield an important key to the unity and meaning of the whole of Isaiah 2–12. Not only does Bartelt provide a fresh look at the purpose and unity of Isaiah 2–12, he enthusiastically embraces the long tradition of careful Hebrew poetry analysis and restores its luster as an important tool for meaning.

—Lawrence Boadt, Washington Theological Union

In sum, Bartelt’s study points to some important elements in the interpretation of Isaiah. The artistic dimension of Isaiah, particularly its poetic character and rhetorical features, clearly requires extended analysis along the lines that Bartelt puts forward.

Marvin A. Sweeney, professor of Hebrew Bible, Claremont School of Theology

Andrew H. Bartelt earned his PhD from the University of Michigan and now serves as the vice president and academic dean of Concordia Seminary in St Louis, MO. He teaches in the area of First Testament theology, and is the author of Fundamental Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic.

The Structure of Psalms 93–100

  • Author: David M. Howard Jr.
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Pages: 247

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

An exhaustive study of these kingship psalms, Howard’s study confirms that Hebrew poetry is regularized around a pattern of bicolons of roughly 8:8 syllables and 3:3 stresses. This work is a major contribution to the rhetorical-critical method of study.

Howard has provided an excellent study of Psalms 93–100 which is must reading for all who are interested in these psalms in particular and/or the question of the shape of the Psalter in general. Howard has succeeded in showing the value of the quest and in providing a methodological map for others to follow.

Mark D. Futato, professor of Old Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

Howard achieves his goal of analyzing the structure of Psalms 93–100 and contributing to Psalm research with a well-constructed and easy to use book. The appendices which include dating, prose particle counts and percentages, divine names and titles, and wisdom and royalist/Zion traditions in the Psalter, are also helpful and lead one to speculate on future areas of study.

—Mary Katharine Deeley, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary

David M. Howard Jr. earned an MA in theology from Wheaton College and a PhD in Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan. Currently, he is professor of Old Testament at Bethel Theological Seminary.

Psalm 119: The Exaltation of Torah

  • Author: David Noel Freedman
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 140

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

The alphabetic acrostic is one of the most easily identifiable poetic forms in the Hebrew Bible. Examples can be found in prophetic discourse (Nahum), the lament over the destruction of Jerusalem (Lamentations), liturgical song (Psalms), and wisdom literature (Proverbs). Yet its obviousness has tended to deflect deeper exploration of its structure and purpose. Since Mowinckel denigrated the acrostics in the Psalms as a “disintegration of style,” too often scholars have ignored the form.

There is no reason that alphabetic acrostics should be less creative, expressive, or complex than other psalms. The essays collected here investigate the acrostic format as a legitimate option for Israelite poets rather than as the refuge of the uninspired. In this volume, David Noel Freedman reveals the poets’ mastery of the demanding acrostic form and explains why it merits inclusion in future discussions of biblical poetic art.

It is refreshing to find a study exhibiting a love for and appreciation of Psalm 119 that is informed, obvious, and contagious . . . this slim volume will contribute to a new understanding and utilization of a seldom read and often misunderstood psalm.

James Limburg, professor emeritus of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

Throughout the volume, Freedman’s sense of detail, even a mathematical precision, is evident as he charts the many, fine variations deemed to be artistic in purpose . . . in Freedman’s hands, the resulting “map” of Psalm 119 is quite useful, noting many minute features that critics seeking the larger picture might overlook.

Mark S. Smith, Skirball Professor of Bible, New York University

David Noel Freedman (1922–2008) received his PhD in Semitic languages and literature from Johns Hopkins University in 1948. Distinguished author and prolific editor, D. N. Freedman contributed to the Anchor Yale Bible, Eerdmans Biblical Resources Series, and The Bible in Its World.

Between Heaven and Earth: Divine Presence and Absence in the Book of Ezekiel

  • Author: John F. Kutsko
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Pages: 199

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

With the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the exile of Israel to the land of its enemies, the prophet Ezekiel faced a challenge: how to respond to the enemies’ taunts that Israel’s God was absent. To ask the question, “Where is God?” was to face several complex problems. How is God to be represented? How is Yahweh to be differentiated from other deities? What is Yahweh’s relationship to Israel in exile?

Kutsko sets out to answer these questions within the theme of divine presence and absence, particularly as it relates to the kabod theology in Ezekiel. He shows that God’s absence becomes, for Ezekiel, an argument for his presence and power, while the presence of idols indicated their absence and impotence. This conceptualization of Yahweh defines the power and position of God in distinctively universal terms.

Between Heaven and Earth is a thoroughly researched, carefully argued, and highly creative study, which offers much food for thought and deserves to be widely read.

—Andrew Mein, professor, Westcott House, Cambridge

The book has many strengths, among them a sustained and largely successful effort to interpret the book of Ezekiel in its larger, cultural context as an erudite, literary reworking of Israelite and Mesopotamian traditions. The book is therefore a useful model of the comparative study of biblical and ancient Near Eastern materials. As such, it also offers helpful approaches to current questions about Ezekiel’s rhetorical strategies by demonstrating the manner in which Ezekiel appropriated well-known political idioms and adapted them to suit his theological aims.

—Margaret S. Odell, professor of religion, St. Olaf College

John F. Kutsko earned a MA in Near Eastern studies from The University of Michigan and a PhD in Near Eastern languages from Harvard University. He is an affiliate professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has contributed to The SBL Handbook of Style and The Book of Ezekiel: Theological and Anthropological Perspectives.

The Storm-God in the Ancient Near East

  • Author: Alberto R. W. Green
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 381

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

In this comprehensive study of a common deity found in the ancient Near East, Alberto R. W. Green brings together evidence from the worlds of myth, iconography, and literature, arriving at a new synthesis of the place of the Storm-god. He finds that the Storm-god was the force primarily responsible for major areas of human concern. Then, Green traces these motifs through the Mesopotamian, Anatolian, Syrian, and Levantine regions. Ultimately, Green shows that Yahweh can be identified as a unique version of a storm-god, as the creator of all and the self-existing God who needs no other.

The contribution of The Storm-God in the Ancient Near East is most significant with regard to the synthesis and interpretation of the epigraphic material, especially from Mesopotamia and Syria . . . I would recommend the book for the bookshelves of students of epigraphy, iconography, and religious history, since it brings together a wealth of divergent material from various disciplines that almost transform it into a reference work.

—Martin G. Klingbiel, River Plate Adventist University

Green’s book is very well written, lucid in its comments, and dynamic in its presentation. His methodology is to be commended for its ability to elucidate the reader via sociology, ideology, and geography. The approach combines divergent elements of the Storm-god motif into a manageable coherent whole that is quite beneficial for the scholar.

—Joseph R. Cathey, Dallas Baptist University

Alberto R. W. Green received a PhD in ancient Near Eastern and biblical history from the University of Michigan. He is the author of The Quest for the Kingdom of God: Studies in Honor of George E. Mendenhall and The Role of Human Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East.

Le-David Maskil: A Birthday Tribute for David Noel Freedman

  • Editors: Richard Elliott Friedman and William H. Propp
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 118

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

For the past half-century, David Noel Freedman has had an enormous impact on the study of the Bible, both as an author and as an editor. “We know what it means to have David Noel Freedman as one’s editor,” comment his colleagues in the opening of this book. “[He] can make a bad book good, and a good book better . . . can make its author a better scholar and a better writer.” In this volume, his compatriots at the University of California, San Diego, contribute eight essays in celebration of his impact, and in honor of his contributions to biblical studies.

Page for page, this volume is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest scholars of our time.

Michael S. Moore, Fuller Theological Seminary

Richard Elliott Friedman specializes in Near Eastern civilization and literature. He has been honored as the American Council of Learned Societies Fellow and a visiting fellow at both Cambridge and Oxford. He is the author of Who Wrote the Bible?, Commentary on the Torah, The Bible Now, and The Hidden Face of God.

William H. Propp is a professor at the University of California, San Diego, specializing in the civilizations and languages of the ancient Near East, and in biblical and Judaic Studies. He teaches courses on Semitic epigraphy, Assyriology, Aramaic, Near Eastern history, the Hebrew Bible, and modern Hebrew languages and literature.

The Priest and the Great King: Temple–Palace Relations in the Persian Empire

  • Author: Lisbeth Fried
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 261

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

The Priest and the Great King investigates the impact of Achaemenid rule on the political power of local priesthoods during the 6th–4th centuries BC. Scholars typically assume that, as long as tribute was sent to Susa, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, subject peoples remained autonomous. Fried’s work challenges this assumption. She examines the inscriptions, coins, temple archives, and literary texts from Babylon, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Judah and concludes that there was no local autonomy. The High Priest had no real power; there was no theocracy. The only people with power in the Empire were Persians and their appointees.

Overall, there is no question that Fried’s monograph deserves careful attention by those who are interested in the Achaemenid Persian period and specifically the issue of temple-palace relations in Yehud and throughout the empire. Her analysis is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about imperial control and the state of autonomy of subject peoples during this period.

—Kenneth A. Ristau, lecturer in history, Pennsylvania State University

As one can see readily, this work is ambitious in scope, rigorous in methodology, and meticulous in detail. It is a pleasure to see Fried’s mind work as the narrative takes shape.

J. Harold Ellens, lecturer and psychologist

Lisbeth Fried earned a PhD in Hebrew and Judaic studies from New York University. She is a visiting scholar at the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the editor of Was 1 Edras First? An Investigation into the Priority and Nature of 1 Edras and Ezra and the Law in History and Tradition.

Images of Others: Iconic Politics in Ancient Israel

  • Author: Nathaniel B. Levtow
  • Series: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 214

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

In Images of Others, Nathaniel Levtow examines Mesopotamian and Israelite iconoclastic traditions. Levtow argues that Israelite parodies of Mesopotamian iconic cults were not unique expressions of an iconic monotheism, but assertions of Israelite political potency during and shortly after the Babylonian Exile. By interpreting Israelite icon parodies in this context, Levtow rejects the idea of “idolatry” as a static, native Israelite descriptive category. He concludes that biblical representations of iconic cults reveal dynamic acts of Israelite social formation and exemplify the enduring power of the cult image in ancient West Asian societies.

Levtow’s book is more than a significant contribution to the scholarly literature on the biblical prophetic texts that scholars often refer to as parodies on the use of ritual images—it is a step forward toward a more nuanced and reasoned understanding of these texts.

—James M. Kennedy, associate professor, Baylor University

This volume by Nathaniel Levtow is a welcome addition to the discussion of the nature and role of aniconic ideology in ancient Israelite and Judean cultic traditions . . . Whether or not the reader ends up subscribing to Levtow’s views, the volume is an interesting read which offers new insights and proposals to some well-trodden ground, and is definitely worth consideration.

—Bruce A. Power, Booth University College

Nathaniel B. Levtow earned a PhD in religious studies from Brown University. He served as an educational and cultural affairs research fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem in 2011 and a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Montana.

Product Details

  • Title: Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California Series
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Volumes: 10
  • Pages: 2,392