Thursday, March 12, 2009

RBL Highlights: 3/12/09

Highlights from the most recent Review of Biblical Literature:

Michael F. Bird
The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective
Reviewed by James P. Sweeney

James H. Charlesworth
The Historical Jesus: An Essential Guide
Reviewed by Peter J. Judge

Andrew D. Clarke
A Pauline Theology of Church Leadership
Reviewed by Jens Herzer

Tal Davidovich
The Mystery of the House of Royal Women: Royal Pilagsim as Secondary Wives in the Old Testament
Reviewed by Yael Shemesh

Mary Dove
The First English Bible: The Text and Context of the Wycliffite Versions
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton
Reviewed by Christo H. J. van der Merwe

David Flusser; translated by Azzan Yadin
Judaism of the Second Temple Period, Volume 1: Qumran and Apocalypticism
Reviewed by Joshua Schwartz

Richard S. Hess and Elmer A. Martens, eds.
War in the Bible and Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century
Reviewed by Brad E. Kelle

Alistair G. Hunter
An Introduction to the Psalms
Reviewed by Gert T. M. Prinsloo
Reviewed by John S. Vassar

Barclay M. Newman, ed.
The UBS Greek New Testament: A Reader's Edition
Reviewed by Cynthia Long Westfall

Anita Norich and Yaron Z. Eliav, eds.
Jewish Literatures and Cultures: Context and Intertext
Reviewed by Shlomo Berger

Robert B. Wright, ed.
The Psalms of Solomon: A Critical Edition of the Greek Text
Reviewed by Rodney A. Werline
Reviewed by Joel Willitts

Today: Buddhist Tantric Ritual Manuals

Courtesy of Prof. Peter Ochs:

The SIP Faculty and Grads invite you to their SIP Lunch this term, featuring:

Professor Nicolas Sihlé
(Dept. of Anthropology)

"Buddhist tantric ritual manuals and society: Reflections on an anthropological approach to a local corpus of religious texts"

Hosted by Adam Wells

Thursday March 12, 12:15 to 1:30: HALSEY FACULTY LOUNGE

(You are welcome to bring your own bag lunch; we'll provide cold drinks and cookies)

Best, The SIP Program

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Looavul... Luhvul...

Darrell Pursiful (aka Dr. Platypus) discusses one of the most charming aspects of speech throughout the state of Kentucky (and my hometown of Louisville in particular): its occasional removal or alteration of a syllable or two, often in the names of places, to create a new, seemingly inexplicable pronunciation. I can provide firsthand evidence of this practice: my paternal grandmother is from a small town in Marion County, the geographic center of the state. The name of the town is spelled "Lebanon," but locals (and all others in the know) pronounce it "Leb-nin." If you want to spend some time in Kentucky, you'd better figure this stuff out. ;-)

Darrell also provides an image of a helpful banner placed throughout Louisville by the city's tourism board; most people prefer one of the first two pronunciations listed there.

Polygamy in Second Temple Judaism

In his discussion of possible meanings of the phrase μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρα (lit. "the man of one woman" or "the husband of one wife") in 1 Timothy 3:2, Bill Mounce mentions the practice of polygamy:

Some hold that it [the phrase] is a prohibition against polygamy, i.e., married to one at a time. This argument is stronger than one might suspect from its near universal rejection. However, while polygamy was common in Judaism it was not common in Christianity, so it seems unlikely that Paul would have thought to prohibit something that rarely occurred.

Was polygamy "common in Judaism" at the time of Paul--or decades later, during the composition of the Pastorals? In "Marriage, Divorce, and Family and Second Temple Judaism," published in Families in Ancient Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1997), John J. Collins presents a thorough overview of the evidence, noting that it is mentioned by Josephus, Justin Martyr, and the Mishnah; it was apparently practiced by elites such as Herod and his sons; and the recent discovery of the Bathaba archive suggests that it may have spread beyond the upper classes of society to members of the Palestinian bourgeois. Nevertheless, while the legal wranglings of Bathaba and her fellow wife over the property of their late husband provide important evidence that polygamy was not limited to eminent figures such as the Herodians, the correspondence "remains a single instance and does not warrant any generalization about the extent of polygamy in second temple Judaism" (p. 122), and Collins does not dramatically depart from the relative consensus "that monogamy was the norm throughout the second temple period" (ibid, citing S. Lowy's "The Extent of Jewish Polygamy in Tannaitic Times" [1958]). The fact that Justin Martyr is clearly engaged in a polemical dialogue with Judaism, and that the Mishnah often discusses past practices in a seemingly contemporary fashion, would support such a position.

The Brick Testament

Anyone looking to brush up their biblical literacy in a creative way should check out the Brick Testament. Ruben Dupertuis, one of my undergraduate mentors, gave a paper on it as part of SBL's "Bible and Popular Culture" section a couple years ago. Fun!

Happy Anniversary, Codex Sinaiticus!

While mindlessly surfing the web last night, I discovered an inexplicable oversight: I neglected to mention that February 4 marked the sesquicentennial (that's the 150th anniversary, for all you philistines out there) of the scholarly discovery of the priceless Codex Sinaiticus by Constantin von Tischendorf. Go drink a toast or gulp down a piece of cake in its honor... or check out the remarkable collaborative Codex Sinaiticus Project, which is slated for final completion in July 2009.

P.S. Don't tell Jim West that I was reminded of this date by Wikipedia's events feed, or I'll be blacklisted from the biblioblog world! ;-)

New From Baker/Fortress/WJK: More Good Stuff

Another recent announcement from Dove:

Aune, David E
Apocalypticism, Prophecy, and Magic in Early Christianity: Collected Essays
(Baker Book House, 2008)
Paperback List: $49.99 Dove Price: $39.99
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Renowned scholar David Aune, author of a leading commentary on the book of Revelation, here offers twenty studies on apocalypticism, the book of Revelation, and related topics. Several essays on the Apocalypse of John explore contextual relationships of the Apocalypse to apocalyptic literature. Other essays center on aspects of the content and interpretation of the Apocalypse itself by investigating issues such as discipleship, narrative christology, genre, and the problem of God and time. Essays on early Christian prophecy deal with charismatic exegesis in early Judaism and early Christianity, the relationship between Christian prophecy and the messianic status of Jesus, and the prophetic features found in The Odes of Solomon. Originally published in hardcover by Mohr Siebeck, this collection is now available in paperback.

Evans, Craig A N. T. Wright
Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened
(Westminster John Knox, 2009)
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What do history and archaeology have to say about Jesus death, burial, and resurrection? In this superb general reader book, two of the worlds most celebrated writers on the historical Jesus share their greatest findings. Together, Craig A. Evans and N. T. Wright concisely and compellingly convey the drama and the world-shattering significance of Jesus final days on earth. Certain to be a best seller during the Lent/Easter season and beyond!

Evans, Craig A Emanuel Tov (eds)
Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective
(Baker Book House, 2008)
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For those who want to go deeper in their understanding of the canon of Scripture, leading international scholars provide cutting-edge perspectives on various facets of the biblical writings, how those writings became canonical Scripture, and why canon matters. Craig Evans begins by helping those new to the field understand the different versions of the Hebrew Bible (Masoretic Text, Septuagint, Targum, Vulgate, etc.) as well as the books of the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha. Later essays also help beginners by explaining "canon" and the development of canons in various Jewish and Christian communities, the much-debated tripartite canon of the Hebrew Scriptures, and questions of authority. But the book also includes insightful explorations and perspectives to challenge more advanced readers, starting with Septuagint and Dead Sea Scrolls expert Emanuel Tov delving into the complexities of biblical writing and moving into a critical investigation of the usefulness of extracanonical Gospels for historical Jesus research and an exploration of the relationship of Paul to the canonization process. The result is a thought-provoking book that concludes with discussion of an issue at the fore today--the theological implications of canon.

Hanson, K C Douglas E. Oakman
Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Contexts, Second Edition
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
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Hanson and Oakman's award-winning and illuminating volume has become a widely used and cited introduction to the social context of Jesus and the early Jesus movement. This second edition updates all the discussions in light of more recent scholarship, improves clarity and readability of diagrams and maps, provides additional diagrams and images to enhance the book for student use, and includes new classroom resources, for professors and students, on a Companion Web site. Along with an overview of the ancient Mediterranean worldview, Palestine in the Time of Jesus explores major domains and institutions of Roman Palestine: kinship, politics, economy, and religion.

Holman, Susan R
Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society
(Baker Book House, 2008)
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Wealth and poverty are issues of perennial importance in the life and thought of the church. This volume brings patristic thought to bear on these vital issues. The contributors offer explanations of poverty in the New Testament period, explore developments among Christians in Egypt and Asia Minor and in early Byzantium, and connect patristic theology with contemporary public policy and religious dialogue. This volume inaugurates Holy Cross Studies in Patristic Theology and History, a partnership between Baker Academic and the Stephen and Catherine Pappas Patristic Institute of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts. The series is a deliberate outreach by the Orthodox community to evangelical, Protestant, and Catholic seminarians, pastors, and theologians. These multi-author books include contributors from all traditions but focus on the patristic (especially Greek patristic) heritage.

Horsley, Richard A (ed)
In The Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming The Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
Paperback List: $24.95 Dove Price: $19.99
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The Bible tells the stories of many empires. And many are still considered some of the largest of the ancient and classical world: the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and finally the Romans. In this provocative book, eight experts bring a critical analysis of these world empires in the background of the Old and New Testaments. As they explain, the Bible developed against the context of these empires, providing concrete meaning to the countercultural claims of Jews and Christians that their God was the true King, the real Emperor. Each chapter describes how to read the Bible as a reaction to empire and points to how to respond to the biblical message to resist imperial powers in every age.

Horsley, Richard A
Jesus in Context: Power, People, and Performance
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
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What difference did empire make for Jesus and his disciples? What difference did empire make for the broader social currents of which he and they were a part? What social roles did Jesus perform, what "little tradition" did he embody against the "great tradition" of Roman culture? What difference does it make for our understanding of Jesus if we attend to new kinds of evidence regarding popular movements, the dynamics of oral tradition, and reading history "from below"? Richard A. Horsley addresses all these questions and sketches a dramatic new picture of Jessus in light of recent approaches.

Kloppenborg, John S
Q, the Earliest Gospel: An Introduction to the Original Stories and Sayings of Jesus
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
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Estimated to date back to the very early Jesus movement, the lost Gospel known as Q offers a distinct and remarkable picture of Jesus and his significance and one that differs markedly from that offered by its contemporary, the apostle Paul. Rather than privileging Jesus? death and resurrection as the salvific events, highlighting his battles with demons, or concentrating on his messianic program of healing, this Sayings Gospel presents Jesus as a prophetic critic of unbelief and a sage with the wisdom that can transform. In Q, the true meaning of the kingdom of God is the fulfillment of a just society through the transformation of the human relationships within it: debt relief, mutuality and reciprocity, nonretaliation, and the total rejection of the long-standing Mediterranean honor and shame codes. Though this document has never been found, Kloppenborg offers a succinct account of why scholars maintain it existed in the first place and demonstrates how they have been able to reconstruct its contents and wording from the two later Gospels that used it as a source: Matthew and Luke. Presented here in its entirety, as developed by the International Q Project, this Gospel reveals a very different portrait of Jesus than in much of the later canonical writings, challenging the way we think of Christian origins and the very nature and mission of Jesus Christ.

Pregeant, Russell
Knowing Truth, Doing Good: Engaging New Testament Ethics
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
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As we face new, complex, and controversial ethical issues in our lives, turning to the writings of the New Testament for guidance can be a bewildering experience. One reason this is so, says Pregeant, is that the New Testament writings belong to a distant and very different cultural world, where many of our contemporary questions simply weren't imagined. Another reason is the open - ended character of language and the possibility - and desirability - of multiple and often competing strands of meaning in the New Testament writings. In Knowing Truth, Doing Good, Pregeant models a careful and sensitive approach to ethics in the New Testament writings. Instead of looking for "the New Testament answer" or "the early Christian view," he calls us to own our responsibility for the ways we interpret the Bible and for the ethical decisions we make in the Bible's name. Pregeant explores such topics as: * Madness in the Methods: On Learning to Treat the Text as Subject * The Ethics of the Jesus Movement * The Ethics of the Canonical Writings * Engaging New Testament Ethics

Rowe, C Kavin
Early Narrative Christology: The Lord in the Gospel of Luke
(Baker Book House, 2009)
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Despite the striking frequency with which the Greek word for kyrios (Lord) occurs in Luke's Gospel, this study is the first comprehensive analysis of Luke's use of this word. Rowe offers a careful exegetical discussion of all the passages in the Gospel that use kyrios for Jesus in order to trace the complex and deliberate development in Luke's narrative of Jesus's identity as Lord. Detailed attention to Luke's artistry and use of Mark demonstrates that Luke has a nuanced and sophisticated christology. For Rowe, Luke's use of kyrios for Jesus not only after the resurrection but throughout shows Jesus's close association with the God of Israel. This book, now available in paperback, was first published in hardcover by Walter de Gruyter.

Wilson, Walter T
Pauline Parallels: A Comprehensive Guide
(Westminster John Knox, 2009)
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Paul's letters to early churches form one of the largest and most theologically rich parts of the New Testament. Wilson examines each passage from every one of Paul's letters-including those that some scholars believe were written by someone else-and show how they overlap and connect with passages from a broad spectrum of ancient literature. Parallels are drawn with other Pauline letters, New Testament and Old Testament writings, early Jewish literature such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the philosophical and religious works of Greece and Rome. In terms of its range of parallels, this book is the most complete study of its kind to date. Pauline Parallels: A Comprehensive Guide is sure to be invaluable resource for understanding Paul's concepts for many years to come.

Monday, March 9, 2009

New From SBL: Minorities and Sicarii

... but not in the same book, of course!

They Were All Together in One Place? Toward Minority Biblical Criticism

Randall C. Bailey, Tat-siong Benny Liew, Fernando F. Segovia, editors

Critics from three major racial/ethnic minority communities in the United States—African American, Asian American, and Latino/a American—focus on the problematic of race and ethnicity in the Bible and in contemporary biblical interpretation. With keen eyes on both ancient text and contemporary context, contributors pay close attention to how racial/ethnic dynamics intersect with other differential relations of power such as gender, class, sexuality, and colonialism. In groundbreaking interaction, they also consider their readings alongside those of other racial/ethnic minority communities. The volume includes an introduction pointing out the crucial role of this work within minority criticism by looking at its historical trajectory, critical findings, and future directions. The contributors are Cheryl B. Anderson, Francisco O. García-Treto, Jean-Pierre Ruiz, Frank M. Yamada, Gale A. Yee, Jae-Won Lee, Gay L. Byron, Fernando F. Segovia, Randall C. Bailey, Tat-siong Benny Liew, Demetrius K. Williams, Mayra Rivera Rivera, Evelyn L. Parker, and James Kyung-Jin Lee.
Paper $45.95 • 412 pages • ISBN 9781589832459 • Semeia Studies • Hardback edition

The Sicarii in Josephus's Judean War: Rhetorical Analysis and Historical Observations

Mark Andrew Brighton

This book offers a comprehensive study of the Sicarii in Josephus’s Judean War. Detailed rhetorical analyses are provided not only for the Masada narrative, where Josephus tells how the Sicarii famously committed suicide, but also for all other places in War where their activities are described or must be inferred from the context. The study shows how Josephus adopted the Sicarii in his narrative to develop and bring to a resolution several major themes in War. In a departure from the classical proposal that the Sicarii were an armed and fanatical off-shoot of the Zealots, this work concludes that from a historical perspective, “Sicarii” was a somewhat fluid term used to describe Jews of the Judean revolt who were associated with acts of violence against their own people for religious/political ends.
Paper $26.95 • 200 pages • ISBN 9781589834064 • Early Judaism and Its Literature • Hardback edition

CJA Colloquium: Morwenna Ludlow

Courtesy of Prof. Judy Kovacs. Anyone in the area should stop by:

Please mark your calendars for our next meeting on Tuesday, April 7,
12:30 -1:45 in Newcomb Hall Room 389.

Our guest speaker will be Prof. Morwenna Ludlow, of Exeter University (England), who will speak on the topic: "Power and Dominion? Patristic Readings of Genesis 1." Please look over beforehand the primary texts that will be distributed a week or so before the colloquium.

Prof. Ludlow offers this summary of her presentation:

In current environmental debates, Christian biblical interpretation has often been held at least partly responsible for faulty modern Western attitudes to the natural world. In particular, attention has fallen on readings of Gen. 1:26 in which God is described as giving humans 'dominion' over other creatures. Setting the modern theological and ecological debate to one side, this paper will give an historical analysis of some church fathers' interpretations of the first chapter of Genesis. The first part - 'power' - will be a brief survey of readings of Gen. 1:1 with the aim of examining what kind of interpretation the fathers are attempting (literal, figurative, allegorical?) and in what kind of contexts (homilies for a mixed audience, more specialised philosophical treatises?). It will be seen that a factor unifying diverse interpretations is an emphasis on the unique power of God. The paper's second part - 'dominion' - will focus on Gen. 1:26, analysing the fathers' understanding of the relationship of humans to other animals in the light both of the 'imago dei' theme and of late antique concepts of human and animal nature (especially in relation to the concept of 'soul').

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Your Comments Are Requested...

While my experiences with Blogger have been generally good, I've occasionally regretted its relative lack of customizable features when compared to other publishing platforms such as WordPress. For instance, I've always been a little jealous of the "Recent Commentations" portion of Nick Norelli's sidebar; one of the most interesting and rewarding things about sharing ideas and information in this type of format is the rich, evolving conversation that it fosters. Fortunately, the fine folks at have created an extremely user-friendly widget that corrects this glaring problem, and the most recent comments on this blog will now be proudly displayed in the sidebar immediately beneath the blogroll.

So, the moral of this story is... let's see more comments! ;-)

New From Fortress/WJK: Good Stuff

A recent announcement from Dove (which is currently offering these titles at various discounts). There are a number of good-looking books here; I'm particularly interested in Dale Martin's take on biblical pedagogy, which I plan to read before teaching the subject again.

Davies, Philip R
Memories of Ancient Israel: An Introduction to Biblical History-Ancient and Modern
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
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Recent years have seen an explosion of writing on the history of Israel, prompted largely by definitive archaeological surveys and attempts to write a genuine archaeological history of ancient Israel and Judah. The scholarly world has also witnessed an intense confrontation between so-called minimalists and maximalists over the correct approach to the historicity of the Bible. Memories of Ancient Israel looks at the issues at stake in doing biblical historythe ideologies involved, the changing role of archaeology, and the influence of cultural contexts, both ancient and modern. Davies suggests a different way of defining the problem of reliability and historicity by employing the theory of cultural memory. In doing so, he provides a better explanation of how ancient societies constructed their past but also a penetrating insight into the ideological underpinnings of today's scholarly debates.

Gravett, Sandra L Karla G. Bohmbach, F.V. Greifenhagen, Donald C. Polaski
Introduction to The Hebrew Bible: A Thematic Approach
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
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This pedagogically astute introduction to the Hebrew Bible is designed specifically for undergraduates. It begins with the most basic questions: from where and when did the Hebrew Bible originate, how was it written, and how did people read it? And in focusing on the fundamental question of the canon "Who are we,"it first gives much attention to the issues of identity, especially in contexts of family, gender, ethnicity, and class. Then it explores how the ancient Israelites organized themselves in terms of power and state, and finally delineates the larger questions of God and ideology within the canon. The result is a flow of topics that yields a textbook more in line with other studies of ancient literature and culture. Without ignoring the religious function of the Hebrew Bible, it instead presents religion as a part of every aspect of existence. Through art, photography, literature, and popular culture, this text vibrantly presents the concepts of the Hebrew Bible and offers a companion Web site for teachers, with tests and other pedagogical aids.

Horsley, Richard A (ed)
In The Shadow of Empire: Reclaiming The Bible as a History of Faithful Resistance
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
Paperback List: $24.95 Dove Price: $19.99
Save $4.96 (20%)

The Bible tells the stories of many empires. And many are still considered some of the largest of the ancient and classical world: the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and finally the Romans. In this provocative book, eight experts bring a critical analysis of these world empires in the background of the Old and New Testaments. As they explain, the Bible developed against the context of these empires, providing concrete meaning to the countercultural claims of Jews and Christians that their God was the true King, the real Emperor. Each chapter describes how to read the Bible as a reaction to empire and points to how to respond to the biblical message to resist imperial powers in every age.

Kessler, Rainer Linda M. Maloney (trans)
Social History of Ancient Israel: An Introduction
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
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Histories of ancient Israel have usually focused attention on major figures in powerful positions: kings, prophets, and patriarchs. Kessler asks about the larger social patterns that shaped the everyday life of ordinary people, from the emergence of Israel in the hills of Canaan, to the Jewish populations of Greek city-states in the Hellenistic age. The introductory section includes discussion of social history as discipline and as method, event history and the "long haul," the representation of social history, and the history of research. Two other sections explore the methods of the social history of Israel and the epochs of Israel's social history, including discussions of environment as living space, Israel's emergence as a kinship-based society, exile and its consequences, and more. Includes a time line, glossary of terms, maps and illustrations.

Lemche, Niels Peter
Old Testament between Theology and History: A Critical Survey
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
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From its inception at the time of the Enlightenment until the mid-twentieth century, the historical-critical method constituted the dominant paradigm in Old Testament studies. In this magisterial overview, Niels Peter Lemche surveys the development of the historical-critical method and the way it changed the scholarly perception of the Old Testament. In part 1 he describes the rise and influence of historical-critical approaches, while in part 2 he traces their decline and fall. Then, in part 3, he discusses the identity of the authors of the Old Testament, based on the content of the literature they wrote, demonstrating that the collapse of history does not preclude critical study. Part 4 investigates the theological consequences of this collapse and surveys Old Testament and biblical theology in its various manifestations in the twentieth century. An appendix includes a history of Palestine from the Stone Age to modern times, constructed without recourse to the Old Testament.

Maier, Christl M
Daughter Zion, Mother Zion: Gender, Space, and the Sacred in Ancient Israel
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
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In this innovative and important work Christl M. Maier argues that the way Israelites in the exilic and post-exilic periods spoke of Jerusalem as gendered space ? a "female" city ? helps us trace reactions to the crisis of exile and the emergence of a new national-religious identity. Taking up the Zion tradition in Isaiah of Jerusalem, Jeremiah, Hosea, Ezekiel, and Lamentations, Maier explores motifs of Jerusalem as mother, daughter, bride, whore, and injured victim. Her interpretation of gendered metaphors also helps us understand contemporary political and religious constructions of gender and political power.

Martin, Dale B
Pedagogy of the Bible: An Analysis and Proposal
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
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For generations, most seminary teaching of the Bible has focused on the historical-critical method. While this method has been the assumption in almost every seminary curriculum, the actual effects of this approach to Scripture have hardly been examined. From studying the biblical studies courses at ten different seminaries and divinity schools, Dale Martin learned what faculties were doing and what students were hearing. This book presents his discoveries, offering the best-ever inside look into the teaching of the Bible for ministry. Going beyond mere description, Martin argues for a new emphasis on interpreting Scripture within the context of church history and theology. Such a reading would be more theological, more integrated into the whole theological curriculum, and more theoretical (as it would focus on whats at stake in interpretation); however, Martin surprisingly argues, it would be more practical at the same time.

McCready, Wayne O
Common Judaism: Explorations in Second-Temple Judaism
(Augsburg Fortress, 2008)
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Two decades after the publication of E. P. Sanders's monumental Judaism: Practice and Belief inaugurated vigorous debates about the extent and significance of commonality and diversity in ancient Judaism, Common Judaism gathers a host of scholars to present the state of our understanding of what was common ground in Second-Temple Judaism. By examining the tensions between a "common Judaism" and local settings, partisan Judaism, and the influence of Hellenism, these essays set contemporary discussion on a secure footing. An important resource for scholars and students alike, the contributors include: Lee L. Levine, Susan Haber, Daniel Poxon, David Miller, Eliezer Segal, and many more. Including an introductory essay by E.P. Sanders, this should become a standard reference work in the fields of early Judaism and New Testament studies.

O'Brien, Julia M
Challenging Prophetic Metaphor: Theology and Ideology in the Prophets
(Westminster John Knox, 2008)
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The prophets of the Old Testament use a wide variety of metaphors to describe God and to portray how to understand people in relation to God. Some of these metaphors are familiar and soothing; others are unfamiliar and confusing. Still others portray God in ways that are difficult and uncomfortableGod as abusive husband, for instance, or as neglectful father. Julia OBrien searches the prophetic books for these metaphors, looking for ways that the different images intersect and build off each other. When confronted with disturbing metaphors, she deals with them unflinchingly, providing a sharp critique and evaluation of the interpretations of these metaphors for God. Giving particular attention to the possible uses of these metaphors in the church todayfor good or illOBrien listens to the fullness of the prophetic messages and points us toward new ways to read these theological metaphors for a just faith today.

Perdue, Leo G
Wisdom Literature: A Theological History
(Westminster John Knox, 2007)
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The Old Testament's wisdom literature offers one of the most intriguing collections of biblical books (Proverbs, Job, the Psalms about Torah and wisdom, Ecclesiastes, Qoheleth, Ben Sira, and the Wisdom of Solomon). In this magisterial textbook, preeminent wisdom scholar Leo G. Perdue sets each book of wisdom in its historical context, examining the conditions that produced the book and shaped its thinking. This allows him to show how wisdom thought changed over time in response to shifting historical and social conditions. Not only analyzing the historical setting of wisdom, Perdue discerns the theological themes and theological developments within this rich literature.

Sawyer, John F A
Concise Dictionary of the Bible and Its Reception
(Westminster John Knox, 2009)
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This dictionary not only identifies terms and biblical figures but examines them from the perspective of "reception history"-the history of the Bible's effect on its readers. Biblical books, passages, and characters certainly played important roles in the history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but they also influenced other religious traditions, preachers, writers, poets, artists, and filmmakers. The study of such cultural effects of the Bible is an emerging field, and this work promises to open new avenues of exploration.

Another Dove Sale: Used Books 50% Off

The sale ends March 14. The available titles may be viewed by subject here.

No More Manuscripts?

The astute folks at Evangelical Textual Criticism note that the original announcement of the discovery of several new New Testament manuscripts at the Benaki Museum has been removed. Hopefully we'll see some additional information in the next few days.