Old Testament - Single Book Studies
Afterlife and Resurrection Beliefs in the Pseudepigrapha
Afterlife and Resurrection Beliefs in the Pseudepigrapha
Hardcover      ISBN: 0567685543

Jan A. Sigvartsen seeks to examine the immense interest in life after death, and speculation about the fates awaiting both the righteous and the wicked, that proliferated in the Second Temple period. In this volume Sigvartsen analyses the texts of the Pseudepigrapha, identifies the numerous afterlife and resurrection beliefs they contain, and presents an analysis of these beliefs and how they functioned in the Second Temple period.

A careful reading of these diverse resurrection passages - from testaments to wisdom, philosophical literature, and prayers - reveals that most of these distinct life-after-death views, regardless of their complexity, show little evidence of systematic development relational to one another, and are often supported by several key passages or shared motifs from texts that later became a part of the TaNaKh. This volume examines testaments from Adam to the Twelve Patriarchs, expansions of stories and legends such as Joseph and Aseneth and the ladder of Jacob, and texts such as 4 Maccabees, before finally considering the posthumous body, the nature of the soul, and anthropological implications. Sigvartsen's study provides a deeper understanding of how texts that later became a part of the TaNaKh were read by different communities during this important period, and the role they played in the development of the resurrection belief - a central article of faith in both Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism.

This volume is a companion to Sigvartsen's work on afterlife and resurrection in the Apocrypha and the apocalyptic literature of the Pseudepigrapha.
Amos of Israel
Amos of Israel
Hardcover      ISBN: 0865543550
Analytical Lexicon to the Septuagint: Expanded Edition
Analytical Lexicon to the Septuagint
Expanded Edition
Hardcover      ISBN: 1565635167

The Septuagint was the most influential Bible translation for Greek-speaking Christians of the first century and was the basis for many of the OT citations found in the NT. Taylor's lexicon includes every Greek word found in the Rahlfs LXX text in fully parsed form.

Ancient Sisterhood: Lost Traditions of Hagar & Sarah
Ancient Sisterhood
Lost Traditions of Hagar & Sarah
Paperback      ISBN: 0804010013

In this fascinating piece of scholarly detective work, biblical scholar Savina J. Teubal peels away millenia of patriarchal distortion to reveal the lost tradition of biblical matriarchs. In Ancient Sisterhood: The Lost Traditions of Hagar and Sarah (originally published as Hagar the Egyptian), she shows that Hagar, the mother of Ishmael, was actually lady-in-waiting to the priestess Sarah and participated in an ancient Near Eastern custom of surrogate motherhood.

Ancient Sisterhood cites evidence that Hebrew women actually enjoyed the privileges and sanctity of their own religious practices. These practices, however, were gradually eroded and usurped by the establishment of patriarchal monarchies that were based on militaristic conquest and power. Teubal examines the figures of Hagar and Sarah from a feminist perspective that combines thorough scholarship with an informed and detailed understanding of the cultural and religious influences from which the mysterious biblical figure of Hagar emerged. She looks at Hagar's important role in the genesis of Hebrew culture, her role as mother of the Islamic nations, and her power as a matriarch as opposed to her apparent status as a concubine.

Teubal posits two distinct sources for the Hagar episodes: Hagar as companion to Sarah and an unknown woman whom she refers to as the desert matriarch. She explores whether Hagar was a slave to Abraham or Sarah, the differences between Hagar and the desert matriarch, and the obscurantism of these important elements in biblical texts. Teubal sheds considerable light on two central figures of these world religions and "the disassociation of woman from her own female religious experience."
Aramaic Bible-Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Genesis
Aramaic Bible-Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
Genesis
Hardcover      ISBN: 0814654924

Incorrectly attributed to Jonathan ben Uzziel, this Targum, part of the Palestinian Targums, has been call Pseudo-Jonathan to rectify this mistaken identification. Pseudo-Jonathan provides us with a translation of almost every verse of the Pentateuch. Unique from other Targums of the Pentateuch in many ways, this Targum is also very much a composite work, but one composed with skill and initiative.

Assimilation Versus Separation: Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel
Assimilation Versus Separation
Joseph the Administrator and the Politics of Religion in Biblical Israel
Paperback      ISBN: 0765809028

How to behave in the diaspora has been a central problem for Jews over the ages. They have debated whether to assimilate by adopting local customs or whether to remain a God-centered people loyal to their temporal rulers but maintaining the peculiar customs that separated them from their host nations. The question not only of survival, but of the basis for survival, is also a central problem in the Joseph stories of the Book of Genesis. The work shows its readers the grand alternatives of Judaism, instilled in two larger-than-life figures, so its readers can reassess for themselves the road Judaism did not take, and understand why Joseph though admirable in many respects, is left out of the rest of the Bible.The question is answered through the stories about how Joseph, the son of Jacob, saved his people/family from famine by becoming a high-ranking administrator to Pharaoh. By analyzing his behavior to the people over whom he exercises power, Joseph lords it over his brothers, grieves his father, takes lands from Egyptian farmers, and engages in forced deportation. Wildavsky explains why Joseph-the-assimilator is replaced in the Book of Exodus by Moses-the-lawgiver. The book ends by demonstrating that Joseph and Moses are, and are undoubtedly meant to be exact opposites.As in his earlier book on The Nursing Father: Moses as a Political Leader, Wildavsky combines analysis of political and administrative leadership with both traditional and modern study of texts: thematic linkages via plot, grammar, dreams, poetry, and religious doctrine. Thus the chapter on "Joseph the Administrator" is preceded by a chapter on Joseph as The Dream Lord" and followed by an analysis and explanation of why Jacob's obscure blessings to his sons are more like curses. Always the emphasis is on the reciprocal influence of religion and politics, on rival answers to questions about how Hebrews should relate to each other and to outsiders. New, in paperback, the book will be of interest to biblical scholars and readers as well as those concerned with the interaction of religion and political life.

At Risk in the Promised Land: A Commentary on the Book of Judges
At Risk in the Promised Land
A Commentary on the Book of Judges
Paperback      ISBN: 0802804322
The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel
The Beginning of Politics
Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel
Hardcover      ISBN: 0691174628

New insights into how the Book of Samuel offers a timeless meditation on the dilemmas of statecraft

The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The Beginning of Politics mines the story of Israel's first two kings to unearth a natural history of power, providing a forceful new reading of what is arguably the first and greatest work of Western political thought.

Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes show how the beautifully crafted narratives of Saul and David cut to the core of politics, exploring themes that resonate wherever political power is at stake. Through stories such as Saul's madness, David's murder of Uriah, the rape of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, the book's author deepens our understanding not only of the necessity of sovereign rule but also of its costs--to the people it is intended to protect and to those who wield it. What emerges from the meticulous analysis of these narratives includes such themes as the corrosive grip of power on those who hold and compete for power; the ways in which political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies; and the intensity with which the tragic conflict between political loyalty and family loyalty explodes when the ruler's bloodline is made into the guarantor of the all-important continuity of sovereign power.

The Beginning of Politics is a timely meditation on the dark side of sovereign power and the enduring dilemmas of statecraft.
The Beginning of Politics: Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel
The Beginning of Politics
Power in the Biblical Book of Samuel
Paperback      ISBN: 0691191689

How the book of Samuel offers a timeless meditation on the dilemmas of statecraft

The book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The Beginning of Politics mines the story of Israel's first two kings to unearth a natural history of power, providing a forceful new reading of what is arguably the first and greatest work of Western political thought.

Through stories such as Saul's madness, David's murder of Uriah, the rape of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, the author of Samuel deepens our understanding not only of the necessity of sovereign rule but also of its costs--to the people it is intended to protect and to those who wield it. Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes show how these beautifully crafted narratives cut to the core of politics, offering a timely meditation on the dark side of sovereign power and the enduring dilemmas of statecraft.
Behold Your King: The Hope for the House of David in the Book of Zechariah
Behold Your King
The Hope for the House of David in the Book of Zechariah
Paperback      ISBN: 0567689239

This book investigates the nature of the hope for the house of David in the final form of the book of Zechariah. It focuses particularly on the following themes: the roles of Joshua and Zerubbabel; the nature and identity of the Shoot; the coming King; the Shepherd; and the Pierced One.

It challenges the scholarly consensus, going back to the thesis of Julius Wellhausen, that the high priest took over the role and prerogatives of the pre-exilic monarch in the early post-exilic period. Instead, Zechariah merely envisages Joshua the high priest being reinstated to the temple duties that were undertaken before the exile. Furthermore, Zechariah does not identify Zerubbabel as the promised future Davidic king (Shoot). Rather, Zechariah demonstrates a hope for the restoration of a Davidic king who will have a key role in temple building after the time of Zerubbabel.

The belief that Zechariah 9-11 and 12-14 are oracles that seek to reinterpret prophecies that have become problematic is also challenged. There is no strong evidence that the hope for the house of David in Zechariah 9-14 contradicts the presentation of Zechariah 1-8. This thesis shows how these later chapters continue and develop many of the themes related to the Davidic hope in Zechariah 1-8.

The picture of the Davidic hope that emerges from the book of Zechariah is consistent with the expectations of earlier prophets and confirms that the book, when read as a whole, provides a strong impetus for later messianism in the post-exilic period.