18
Nov
09

New from SBL: Five More Titles…

… including the first two volumes of History of Biblical Interpretation, from the writers of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament to John Wyclif:

The “Mysteries” of Qumran: Mystery, Secrecy, and Esotericism in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Samuel I. Thomas

This volume provides a new interpretation of the functions of “mystery” language and secrecy in the Qumran scrolls. The texts preserved and composed at Qumran by the apocalyptic group known as the Yaad display an interest in revelation, interpretation, and ritual practice, and attest to the active cultivation of esoteric arts such as astrology and astronomy, physiognomy, and therapeutic “magic.” Much like its Babylonian priestly-scribal counterparts, the Yaad fostered and guarded its “mysteries”—its store of special knowledge available only to the elect—and used “mystery” terminology (especially raz) to claim authority and to erect social boundaries around themselves as the “men of the vision” and the “house of holiness.” The “Mysteries” of Qumran offers an in-depth semantic analysis of relevant terminology and integrates social-scientific and intellectual-history approaches in focusing on an important motif in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Philodemus, On Death
W. Benjamin Henry, translator

On Death, by the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus of Gadara, is among the most significant philosophical treatments of the theme surviving from the Greco-Roman world. The author was an influential figure in first-century B.C.E. Roman society, associated with poets such as Virgil and politicians such as the father-in-law of Julius Caesar. The surviving copies of his treatises were carbonized following the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E. This edition contains the Greek text, newly reconstituted with the help of the infrared imaging technology that has revolutionized the study of Philodemus’s works in the twenty-first century, and completely translated into English for the first time. An extensive introduction provides background on Philodemus and his writings, accompanying notes enrich the text, and forty-four pages of photographs illustrate the papyrus manuscript from which the translation is drawn.l

Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and Their Children
Cheryl Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin, editors

Who are the mothers in the biblical text? What do they do? What kinds of power do they have? Issues of identity, authority, violence, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, sexual exploitation and rape-marriage, murder, and relation to God have haunted the characters and representations of motherhood from Eve to Mary and beyond. For better or for worse, these images speak potent messages even today. To explore biblical mothers and their relationships with their daughters and sons, the contributors to this volume participate in a comparative analysis between biblical mothers and mothers in popular media, history, literature, and the arts. The diversity of methods they employ prompts a rich discussion on the deconstruction of motherhood, offering new ways of envisioning both biblical and contemporary motherhood. The contributors are Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan and Tina Pippin, Madeline McClenney-Sadler, Wil Gafney, Brian Britt, Frank M. Yamada, Mignon R. Jacobs, Linda S. Schering, Mark Roncace and Deborah Whitehead, Andrew M. Mbuvi, Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Brenda Wallace, Margaret Aymer, Tat-siong Benny Liew, and Alison Jasper.

History of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 1: From the Old Testament to Origen
Henning Graf Reventlow, translated by Leo G. Perdue

From the very beginning, Holy Scripture has always been interpreted Scripture, and its interpretation determined the development and the history of both early Judaism and the first centuries of the Christian church. In this volume, the first of four on the History of Biblical Interpretation, readers will discover how the earliest interpreters of the Bible made the Scriptures come alive for their times—within the contexts and under the influences of Hellenism, Stoicism, and Platonism, as well as the interpretive methods developed in Alexandria. Particular attention is paid to innerbiblical interpretation (within the Hebrew Bible itself and in the New Testament’s reading of the Hebrew Bible), as well as to the interpretive practices reflected in the translation of the Septuagint and the writings of Qumran, Philo, the early rabbis, the apostolic fathers Barnabas and Clement, and early Christian leaders such as Justin Martyr, Marcion, Irenaeus, and Origen.

History of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 2: From Late Antiquity to the End of the Middle Ages
Henning Graf Reventlow, translated by James O. Duke

Volume 2 of History of Biblical Interpretation deals with the most extensive period under examination in this four-volume set. It begins in Asia Minor in the late fourth century with Bishop Theodore of Mopsuestia, the founder of a school of interpretation that sought to accentuate the literal meaning of the Bible and thereby stood apart from ancient tradition. It ends with another outsider, a thousand years later in England, who in terms of the presuppositions of his thought stood at the end of an era: John Wyclif. In between these two interpreters, this volume presents the history of biblical interpretation from late antiquity until the end of the Middle Ages by examining the lives, works, and interpretive practices of Didymus the Blind, Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory the Great, Isidore of Seville, the Venerable Bede, Alcuin, John Scotus Eriugena, Abelard, Rupert of Deutz, Hugo of St. Victor, Joachim of Fiore, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, Rashi, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Nicolas of Lyra.

 

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