A Pilgrim's Guide to the Weird and Wonderful World of the Bible
Author: Robin A. Parry
Pubpsher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of the Bible. When we read Scripture we often imagine that the world inhabited by the Bible's characters was much the same as our own. We would be wrong. The biblical world is an ancient world with a flat earth that stands at the center of the cosmos, and with a vast ocean in the sky, chaos dragons, mystical mountains, demonic deserts, an underground zone for the dead, stars that are sentient beings, and, if you travel upwards and through the doors in the solid dome of the sky, God's heaven--the heart of the universe. This book takes readers on a guided tour of the biblical cosmos with the goal of opening up the Bible in its ancient world. It then goes further and seeks to show how this very ancient biblical way of seeing the world is still revelatory and can speak God's word afresh into our own modern worlds.
Symbolism and Supersessionism in the Study of Ancient Judaism
Author: Jonathan Klawans
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Ancient Jewish sacrifice has long been misunderstood. Some find in sacrifice the key to the mysterious and violent origins of human culture. Others see these cultic rituals as merely the fossilized vestiges of primitive superstition. Some believe that ancient Jewish sacrifice was doomed from the start, destined to be replaced by the Christian eucharist. Others think that the temple was fated to be superseded by the synagogue. In Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple Jonathan Klawans demonstrates that these supersessionist ideologies have prevented scholars from recognizing the Jerusalem temple as a powerful source of meaning and symbolism to the ancient Jews who worshiped there. Klawans exposes and counters such ideologies by reviewing the theoretical literature on sacrifice and taking a fresh look at a broad range of evidence concerning ancient Jewish attitudes toward the temple and its sacrificial cult. The first step toward reaching a more balanced view is to integrate the study of sacrifice with the study of purity-a ritual structure that has commonly been understood as symbolic by scholars and laypeople alike. The second step is to rehabilitate sacrificial metaphors, with the understanding that these metaphors are windows into the ways sacrifice was understood by ancient Jews. By taking these steps-and by removing contemporary religious and cultural biases-Klawans allows us to better understand what sacrifice meant to the early communities who practiced it. Armed with this new understanding, Klawans reevaluates the ideas about the temple articulated in a wide array of ancient sources, including Josephus, Philo, Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and Rabbinic literature. Klawans mines these sources with an eye toward illuminating the symbolic meanings of sacrifice for ancient Jews. Along the way, he reconsiders the ostensible rejection of the cult by the biblical prophets, the Qumran sect, and Jesus. While these figures may have seen the temple in their time as tainted or even defiled, Klawans argues, they too-like practically all ancient Jews-believed in the cult, accepted its symbolic significance, and hoped for its ultimate efficacy.
Until very recently, the idea of ancient Jewish sciences would have been considered unacceptable. Since the 1990’s, Early Modern and Medieval Science in Jewish sources has been actively studied, but the consensus was that no real scientific themes could be found in earlier Judaism. This work points them out in detail, and posits a new field of research: the scientific activity evident in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Jewish Pseudepigrapha. The publication of new texts and new analyses of older ones reveals crucial elements that are best illuminated by the history of science, and may have interesting consequences for it. The contributors evaluate these texts in relation to astronomy, astrology and physiognomy, marking the first comprehensive attempt to account for scientific themes in Second Temple Judaism. They investigate the meaning and purpose of scientific explorations in an apocalyptic setting. An appreciation of these topics paves the way to a renewed understanding of the scientific fragments scattered throughout rabbinic literature. The book first places the Jewish material in the ancient context of the Near Eastern and Hellenistic worlds. While the Jewish texts were not on the cutting edge of scientific discovery, they find a meaningful place in the history of science, between Babylonia and Egypt, in the time period between Hipparchus and Ptolemy. The book uses recent advances in method to examine the contacts and networks of Jewish scholars in their ancient setting. Second, the essays here tackle the problematic concept of a national scientific tradition. Although science is nowadays often conceived as universal, the historiography of ancient Jewish sciences demonstrates the importance of seeing the development of science in a local context. The book explores the tension between the hegemony of central scientific traditions and local scientific enterprises, showing the relevance of ancient data to contemporary postcolonial historiography of science. Finally, philosophical questions of the demarcation of science are addressed in a way that can advance the discussion of related ancient materials. Online edition available as part of the NYU Library's Ancient World Digital Library and in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW).
Analyzing the ways in which ideas of heroic discourse and the socio-religious and political needs of the period moulded iconography, this book explores the evolution of the iconography of the early mediaeval Hindu temples of the Indian peninsula, over the course of the 6th-12th centuries C.E.
Genesis: A Theological Commentary for Preachers engages hermeneutics for preaching, employing theological exegesis that enables the preacher to utilize all the narrative units of the book to craft effective sermons. This commentary unpacks the crucial link between Scripture and application: the theology of each preaching text, i.e., what the author is doing with what he is saying. Genesis is thus divided into thirty-five narrative units and the theological focus of each is delineated. The overall theological trajectory/theme of the book--divine blessing: creating for blessing (Gen 1-11), moving towards blessing (Gen 12-24), experiencing the blessing (Gen 25-36), and being a blessing (Gen 37-50)--is thus progressively developed. The specificity of these theological ideas for their respective texts makes possible a sequential homiletical movement through each pericope of the book, enabling the expositor to discover valid application for sermons. While the primary goal of the commentary is to take the preacher from text to theology, it also provides two sermon outlines for each of the thirty-five units of Genesis. The unique approach of this work results in a theology-for-preaching commentary that promises to be useful for anyone teaching through Genesis with an emphasis on application.
First English-language edition, with revisions and additions by the author.This classic work by one of the world's most distinguished Egyptologists was first published in German in 1984. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt offers a distillation of Jan Assmann's views on ancient Egyptian religion, with special emphasis on theology and piety. Deeply rooted in the texts of ancient Egypt and thoroughly informed by comparative religion, theology, anthropology, and semiotic analysis, Assmann's interpretations reveal the complexity of Egyptian thought in a new way.Assmann takes special care to distinguish between the "implicit" theology of Egyptian polytheism and the "explicit" theology that is concerned with exploring the problem of the divine. His discussion of polytheism and mythology addresses aspects of ritual, the universe, and myth; his consideration of explicit theology deals with theodicy and the specifics of Amarna religion.
Release on 2009 | by C. C. Rowland,Christopher R. A. Morray-Jones
Early Jewish Mysticism and the New Testament
Author: C. C. Rowland,Christopher R. A. Morray-Jones
This book brings together the perspectives of apocalypticism and early Jewish mysticism to illuminate aspects of New Testament theology. The first part begins with a consideration of the mystical character of apocalypticism and then uses the Book of Revelation and the development of views about the heavenly mediator figure of Enoch to explore the importance of apocalypticism in the Gospels and Acts, the Pauline Letters and finally the key theological themes in the later books of the New Testament. The second and third parts explore the character of early Jewish mysticism by taking important themes in the early Jewish mystical texts such as the Temple and the Divine Body to demonstrate the relevance of this material to New Testament interpretation.