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The long-held view that the Persian period in Israel (known as Yehud) was a historically derivative era that engendered little theological or literary innovation has been replaced in recent decades by an appreciation for the importance of the Persian period for understanding Israel's literature, religion, and sense of identity. A new image of Yehud is emerging that has shifted the focus from viewing the postexilic period as a staging ground for early Judaism or Christianity to dealing with Yehud on its own terms, as a Persian colony with a diverse population. Taken together, the thirteen chapters in this volume represent a range of studies that touch on a variety of textual and historical problems to advance the conversation about the significance of the Persian period and especially its formative influence on biblical literature. Contributors include Richard Bautch, Jon L. Berquist, Zipporah G. Glass, Alice W. Hunt, David Janzen, John Kessler, Melody D. Knowles, Jennifer L. Koosed, Herbert R. Marbury, Christine Mitchell, Julia M. O'Brien, Donald C. Polaski, Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Brent A. Strawn, and Christine Roy Yoder.
What happens to a community when it is destroyed by a foreign power? How do survivors face the future? Is it all over for them? In Constructing Exile, John Hill investigates how the people of ancient Judah survived invasion and destruction at the hands of the Babylonians. Although some of them were deported to Babylon, they created a new identity for themselves, and then, once they were back in Judah, they tried to recreate the past. Hill examines the way that later generations used the experience of the Babylonian invasion to interpret the crises of their own times. He shows how by the time of Jesus exile had become an image Judaism used to understand itself and its story.
The scholarly quest to answer the question of Jewish origins The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know—or think we know—about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be. He sheds new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers—and the religious and political agendas that have made finding answers so elusive. Introducing many approaches and theories, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and divisive topic.
Ehud Ben Zvi has been at the forefront of exploring how the study of social memory contributes to our understanding of the intellectual worldof the literati of the early Second Temple period and their textual repertoire. Many of his studies on the matter and several new relevant works are here collected together providing a very useful resource for furthering research and teaching in this area. The essays included here address, inter alia, prophets as sites of memory, kings as sites memory, Jerusalem as a site of memory, a mnemonic system shaped by two interacting ‘national’ histories, matters of identity and othering as framed and explored via memories, mnemonic metanarratives making sense of the past and serving various didactic purposes and their problems, memories of past and futures events shared by the literati, issues of gender constructions and memory, memories understood by the group as ‘counterfactual’ and their importance, and, in multiple ways, how and why shared memories served as a (safe) playground for exploring multiple, central ideological issues within the group and of generative grammars governing systemic preferences and dis-preferences for particular memories.
Includes various reports of the Association.
Undertaking a theological reading of Ezra-Nehemiah which emphasizes its character as narrative and story, Throntveit avoids an overly historical approach to the text and presents a clear picture of Ezra and Nehemiah.
This volume is a study of the ideology of the Chronicler in the context of the emerging theocratic community of Judah in the Persian period. This study breaks new ground in treating the 'purpose' of Chronicles from an explicitly social-theoretical perspective. Care is taken throughout to define concepts clearly and to highlight the interpretive perspectives employed making this volume particularly useful for those engaged in methodological discussion.
It has long been recognized that the Persian period is crucial to the history of the formation of the biblical corpora. The essays presented in this volume explore this critically important era, reconstructing the socio-economic shifts that took place as well as the religio-theological environment of the Judean community and its neighbours. The topics of this volume, sociological, archaeological and theological, include: ethnicities and administration in Persian-era Palestine (Yigal); the historical origin of the concept of the piety of the poor at Qumran (Ro); the development of the theological concept of Yhwh's punitive justice (Ro); social, cultural and demographic transformations in Persian-period Judah (Faust); changes in Judah and its neighbouring provinces in the fourth century BCE (Fantalkin and Tal); some Greek views of the Persian empire (Sano). The papers collected in this volume were presented at an international conference held at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, February 17-19, 2011, a testimony to the fruitfulness of this unusual Asian-Israeli scholarly dialogue.
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Since the beginning of critical scholarship biblical texts have been dated using linguistic evidence. Until now there has been no introduction to and comprehensive overview of the field. Volume 1 introduces the linguistic dating of biblical texts. The book examines the principles and methodology used to differentiate Archaic, Early and Late biblical Hebrew; the relationship between linguistic characteristics and linguistic chronology or historical origins; the effects of dialects and diglossia on textual criticism; and the significance of extra-biblical sources. Key text samples and their linguistic features are presented, with concrete illustrations and pointers for discussion.
It has often been argued that Zerubbabel, the Jewish governor of Yehud at the time of the rebuilding of the temple (late 6th century BCE), was viewed by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah as the new king in the line of David. In this new study, Rose offers a contrary proposal for the interpretation of the oracles in Haggai 2 and Zechariah 3 and 6. He traces their background in the pre-exilic prophets, pays special attention to often neglected details of semantics and metaphor, and concludes that neither Haggai nor Zechariah designated Zerubbabel as the new king in Jerusalem. Instead, the oracles in Zechariah 3 and 6 should be seen as fully messianic.
This work presents a postmodern approach to Jewish proto-apocalyptic literature, breaking with common views on this literature as directly reflecting certain social realities. Isaiah 24-27 supports second-Temple Judaism through successful management, rather than exegesis, of earlier texts and traditions.
This study develops a whole series of new proposals concerning the structure, growth, authorship, and historical background of Isaiah 56-66 by using insights drawn from rhetorical and stylistic criticism.
In this major study, leading feminist biblical critic Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza focuses on Paul and his interpreters. She questions the apolitical ethos of biblical scholarship and argues for an alternative rooted in a critical understanding of language as a form of power. Modern biblical criticism, she reasons, derives much of its methodology and inspiration from an outdated notion of modern science. It professes value-neutrality and detachment from the world of politics and history. Yet, Schussler Fiorenza maintains, this posture belies an objectivity that fails to engage the sociopolitical context of both the text and today's reader. It also does not recognize the rhetorical character of biblical texts and readings. If language is understood in the sense of ancient rhetorics as a form of power that constitutes reality, then an ethics of interpretation is called for. The task of biblical studies is to identify and assess the ethical resources and moral visions of biblical religions. "Only then," Schussler Fiorenza contends, "will bibical studies be a significant partner in the global struggles seeking justice and well-being for all."
Recognizing gendered metaphors as literary and ideological tools that biblical and Assyrian authors used in the representation of warfare and its aftermath, this study compares the gendered literary complexes that authors on both sides of the Israelite-Assyrian encounter developed in order to claim victory. The study begins by identifying and tracing historically the presentation of royal masculinity in Assyrian royal texts and reliefs dating from the 9th through 7th centuries bce. Central to this analysis is the Assyrian representation of warfare as a masculine contest in which the enemy male is discredited as a rival through feminization. The second part of the study focuses on the biblical authors' responses to the Assyrian incursion and demonstrates that the dominant metaphorical complex for recording and remembering Israel and Judah's military encounters with Assyria was that of Jerusalem as a woman. This section, therefore, traces the evolving canonical biography of Jerusalem-the-Woman as her life story is told and remembered in relationship to Assyria. In the final section of the book, the contest of royal masculinity described in royal Assyrian texts informs the reading of the redactional history of Judah's memory of Assyria, and the insights gained from the study of a feminized Jerusalem are applied to a rereading of the siege scenes of the Assyrian palace reliefs. Innovative in its use of gendered language as the basis for historical comparison of biblical and Assyrian texts, this book is the first to offer a comprehensive methodology for defining and assessing the impact of gendered language within texts of historically linked cultures. This book also advances the discussion of what has been called "inner-biblical exegesis" by offering gendered metaphors as a lens through which to trace the evolution of Judean social memory within the biblical text.
"The History of the Fleet Street House": 20 p. at the end of v. 18.

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