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Eisenbrauns Old Testament Studies Collection (3 vols.)

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The Eisenbrauns Old Testament Studies Collection will add to your understanding of Old Testament culture while also addressing significant, sometimes controversial, topics of modern scholarship. The ancient Near Eastern mode of thought is not at all intuitive to modern readers, but our understanding of ancient perspectives can only approach accuracy when we penetrate ancient texts on their own terms rather than imposing our modern worldview. This collection’s three volumes use thorough research and analysis to draw connections between archaeology, historical culture studies, and specific Scripture passages.

With Logos Bible Software, this collection is completely searchable, making the text more powerful and easier to access for scholarly work and personal study. Scripture text appears on mouseover in your preferred translation, and the Logos version integrates into your digital library, so your dictionaries and other reference tools are only ever a click away.

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Key Features

  • Analyzes specific Old Testament passages in relation to ancient cultural context
  • Discusses the relationship between archaeology and the dating of biblical texts
  • Includes a range of scholarly perspectives

Product Details

  • Title: Eisenbrauns Old Testament Studies Collection
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Volumes: 3
  • Pages: 780

Individual Titles

Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology

  • Author: John H. Walton
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 228

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

In Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, John Walton presents comparative studies of ancient texts and their cosmologies. The first half of the book focuses on the ancient texts that inform our understanding of Near Eastern cosmology. Egyptian, Sumerian, and Akkadian texts are the primary focus, but occasionally Ugaritic and Hittite are included as appropriate. Walton posits that functional ontology was pervasive in ancient writing because bringing about order and functionality was the very essence of creative activity.

The second half of the book is devoted to a fresh analysis of Genesis 1:1–2:4. Walton studies significant Hebrew terms and shows that, like the rest of the ancient Near East, the Israelite texts use a functional cosmology that is constructed with temple ideology in mind. He contends that Genesis 1 was never an account of material origins but that, as in the rest of the ancient world, the purpose of this “creation text” was to outline functions for the components of the cosmos. All of this demonstrates that, when we read Genesis 1 as the ancient document it is rather than trying to read it in light of our current world view, the text recovers the energy it had in its original context. At the same time, it provides a new perspective on Genesis 1 in relation to what have long been controversial issues.

The book makes an important contribution to the understanding of Genesis 1 in its ancient Near Eastern context and makes some provisional steps towards ‘a more vital biblical theology of creation.’

—Izaak J. de Hulster, researcher, University of Göttingen

John Walton is a professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School. Before teaching at Wheaton, Walton taught at Moody Bible Institute for 20 years. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Old Testament, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, and A Survey of the Old Testament.

Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel

  • Editor: Barry M. Gittlen
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Pages: 240

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

Sacred Time, Sacred Place is a collection of 12 scholarly papers from the American Schools of Oriental Research. These works bring together the disciplines of archaeology and biblical studies, encourage and enhance dialogue on the subject, and begin a study of Israelite religion based on new methods of examining textual and archaeological data.

The studies are based around four themes: the relationship between text and artifact; the relationship among images, archaeology, and religion; how holy places, particularly temples, can be better understood through contemporary structural studies; and death—how mortuary practices, texts concerning beliefs about the dead, and a comparison of the various sources of data can lead us to a fuller understanding of the experience of death and dying among the Israelites. Articles include:

  • “Religion Up and Down, Out and In” by Jonathan Z. Smith
  • “Theology, Philology, and Archaeology: In Pursuit of Ancient Israelite Religion” by W. G. Dever
  • “Philology and Archaeology: Imagining New Questions, Begetting New Ideas” by Ziony Zevit
  • “Israelite Figurines: A View from the Texts” by Karel van der Toorn
  • “On the Use of Images in Israel and the Ancient Near East: A Response to Karel van der Toorn” by Jack M. Sasson
  • “Preamble to a Temple Tour” by Ziony Zevit
  • “Solomon’s Temple: The Politics of Ritual Space” by Elizabeth Bloch-Smith
  • “The Four-Horned Altar and Sacred Space: An Archaeological Perspective” by Seymour Gitin
  • “Ritual as Symbol: Modes of Sacrifice in Israelite Religion” by Baruch A. Levine
  • “Death in the Life of Israel” by Elizabeth Bloch-Smith
  • “Tombs and Offerings: Archaeological Data and Comparative Methodology in the Study of Death in Israel” by Wayne T. Pitard
  • “How Far Can Texts Take Us? Evaluating Textual Sources for Reconstructing Ancient Israelite Beliefs about the Dead” by T. J. Lewis
This collection of essays places the ancient Israelite religion both methodologically and spatially in a broader context and will be useful not just to biblical scholars but to every student of religion.

—Pavel Cech, lecturer, Charles University, Prague

Barry M. Gittlen received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and has been involved with field archaeology in Israel for decades. Dr. Gittlen is chairman of the Mid-Atlantic region of the American Schools of Oriental Research and teaches at Towson University.

Text and History: Historiography and the Study of the Biblical Text

  • Author: Jens Bruun Kofoed
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Pages: 312

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

During the past two or three decades, the value of the Hebrew Bible as a testimony to the history of Israel has come under siege. As the date of the text has been pushed later and later, often into the Hellenistic era, it has been devalued accordingly. In Text and History, Jens Bruun Kofoed steps forward to address the methodological issues that lie behind the use of the biblical text as a source for historical information. He describes methods for using the biblical text honestly, and by both discussing presuppositions underlying various methodologies and evaluating specific test cases, shows that a late date does not reduce the text’s value as a source of historical information. Taking modern genre research and authorial intent into account opens new vistas for evaluating the reliability of ancient texts and creates a way forward from the current impasse.

Text and History represents a substantial effort toward ending the impasse that has gripped the debate over the use of biblical texts in the study of the history of ancient Israel. Recognizing the acute need for a careful study of the assumptions and principles underlying historiographic practice within the biblical guild, Kofoed offers such a study, with results that will be helpful to historically interested biblical scholars of any methodological and philosophical persuasion and that should, as the author hopes, offer a useful springboard for future research.

—D. Matthew Stith, pastor, Community Presbyterian Church

Kofoed may be commended for his careful scholarship. He asks the questions of an honest historian. No historian is impartial, and Kofoed is no exception. He seeks a strong argument for concluding decisively that Kings reports accurate history. However, while his desire motivates him to find conclusive evidence, he does not push further than warranted and is always willing to offer more modest conclusions than it appears he had hoped for.

Michael R. Licona, associate professor in theology, Houston Baptist University

Jens Bruun Kofoed lectures at the Copenhagen Lutheran School of Theology.

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2 ratings

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  1. Prayson Daniel
    After reading Walton's The Lost World of Genesis One, a popular level work on his revolutionizing idea, I could not wait to read a scholarly level thesis. Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology was what I wanted. Detailed, resources, and much more on the case that Genesis 1 is not so much material creations but functional creations. Ancient Near Easterns, unlike their contemporary Greeks or us in modern time, were less concerned with material origins. Reading Genesis 1 in ancient Near Eastern Jews' eyes will bring new light into the most complex passages in the Bible.
  2. Shaun Tabatt

    Shaun Tabatt


    When LOGOS contacted me about reviewing the Eisenbrauns Old Testament Studies Collection, I jumped at the chance. I'm a bit of an Old Testament and ANE studies geek, so this collection is right up my alley. The Eisenbrauns Old Testament Studies Collection is comprised of three volumes. They are: *Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology by John H. Walton *Sacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel edited by Barry M. Gittlen *Text and History: Historiography and the Study of the Biblical Text by Jens Bruun Kofoed Let me take a few moments to briefly comment on each volume. Genesis 1 As Ancient CosmologyGenesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology: If you're at all familiar with the work of John H. Walton, you've not doubt followed the progression of his work on Ancient Near Eastern thought. My first exposure to his work in this area was The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate (IVP Academic, 2009) and later Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible (Baker Academic, 2006). Both of these books were immensely helpful in whetting my appetite for ANE studies and I highly recommend each of them. If like me you've read one or both of the previously mentioned volumes, then picking up a copy of Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology is a bit of a no brainer. The first half of the book is devoted to the ANE texts that are key to informing our understanding regarding the way ANE peoples thought about cosmology. A range of texts are covered, including Akkadian, Egyptian, Hittite, Sumerian, and Ugaritic. Walton strives to demonstrate "that ancient Near Eastern literature is concerned primarily with order and control of functions of the world that exists rather than with speculations about how the material world that exists came into being." (Walton, p. 8). In the second half of the book, Walton offers an analysis of Genesis 1:1-2:4, seeking to show that the "Genesis account pertains to functional origins rather than material origins and that temple ideology underlies the Genesis cosmology." (Walton, p. 198-199). If you're serious about Ancient cosmology and the origins debate, Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology is a must have addition to your library. Sacred Time Sacred PlaceSacred Time, Sacred Place: Archaeology and the Religion of Israel: Sacred Time, Sacred Place offers twelve scholarly papers from the American Schools of Oriental Research. The papers are organized into four sections. They are: *Charting The Course: The Relationship Between Text and Artifact *Prayers in Clay: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Figurines *The Mythology of Sacred Space: Structures and Structuralism *Death in the Life of Israel The articles I especially appreciated were Theology, Philology, and Archaeology: In the Pursuit of Ancient Israelite Religion by William G. Dever and Philology and Archaeology: Imagining New Questions, Begetting New Ideas by Ziony Zevit. My interest was largely due to the fact that I'm a bit of a philology nerd. Overall, this volume offers good food for thought on how we can better understand the Israelite religion through the study of both archaeological and textual data. Text And HistoryText and History: Historiography and the Study of the Biblical Text: Text and History is a revision of Kofoed's Ph.D. thesis. His goals and intent for the book is summarized best in the following paragraph found in chapter one: "The thesis of the present study is that the texts of the Hebrew Bible contain much more reliable information than the above-mentioned “skeptics” claim—not only for the period of the extant text (i.e., the oldest known [unvocalized] Hebrew or Greek manuscripts) but also for the period it purports to describe—and, consequently, that it must be included in rather than excluded from the pool of reliable data for a reconstruction of the origin and history of ancient Israel. After an introductory survey of important and relevant developments within general historical theory, I will seek to pin down the key problems related to the use or nonuse of the texts of the Hebrew Bible as historical sources and subsequently discuss the possible criteria for determining the epistemological and historiographical value of the texts." (Kofoed, p. 4-5). I feel strongly that the Eisenbrauns Old Testament Studies Collection will go a long way in helping me to round out the Old Testament resources in my growing digital library. I anticipate turning to Walton's book often in my ANE reading and research. Gittlen and Kofoed's volumes are a bit more academic than many of the resources I've had to date and I think they're going to be useful for diving into broader Old Testament studies and related disciplines. As I consider the range of topics covered across these three books, I'm excited to have them available in a digital, searchable format, because it will allow me to more easily incorporate each of these resources into my Old Testament Studies. At the time of this review, purchasing the Eisenbrauns Old Testament Studies Collection for LOGOS Bible Software will save you $31.55 off the print price. All things considered, this collection offers three great Old Testament resources at a reasonable price. My overall rating for this collection is 5 out of 5 stars. A few thoughts on digital libraries and LOGOS 5: One of the difficulties faced by every seminary/grad school student, pastor, and self-proclaimed Bible geek is the question of how large to grow our personal library. This is a question I’ve been reflecting on now for over a decade and a half and each year my library continues to grow. As the shelves in my office fill up and sometimes overflow, the idea of adding certain resources into my collection electronically continues to become a more and more appealing option. Now when it comes to deciding which platform is best for expanding your library electronically, you’ll quickly discover that your fellow Bible geek friends have opinions that run as deep as the age old battles of Ford versus Chevy and PC versus Mac. Personally, I use Bible software from all three of the main vendors in this space and when it comes to the largest number of titles available and support for the largest number of desktop and mobile platforms, LOGOS Bible Software has been the standout leader for many years. In the course of getting ready for this review I finally made the leap from LOGOS version 4 to version 5. Other than a brief time commitment for completing the download and installing the upgrade, the whole process was very simple and came off without a hitch. If you’re still on an earlier version of the LOGOS engine, you may want to consider updating to the latest version, which is freely available for download. LOGOS 5 has some significant feature enhancements, but the most noticeable for me was the improved speed of search, which is something I know many of my fellow LOGOS users and I are always looking for in every upgrade and update. Disclaimer: This product was provided by LOGOS Bible Software for review. The reviewer was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
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