Biblical Studies is the collection of sub-fields that investigates the text of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek New Testament. It is also includes broader academic sub-fields that incorporate relevant disciplines such as literary criticism, theology, textual criticism, history, and liturgy. The Gorgias Biblical Studies series publishes monographs on the history, theology, redaction and literary criticism of the biblical texts. Perspectives on Hebrew Scriptures and its Contexts deals with the study of the Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew and cognate languages. BiblicalIntersections explores various topics beyond theological or exclusively historical exegetical studies, including the relationship of Hebrew and Christian scripture to philosophy, sociology, anthropology, economics, cultural studies, intertextuality and literary studies.
This monograph employs Toulmin’s model of argumentation analysis to examine how the Apocalypse of John motivates its hearers to respond to John’s prophetic apocalyptic exhortation. John’s visions of salvation and judgment provide the positive and negative grounds for motivational argumentation.
The present volume includes a poetic bibliographic narrative about Gregory Bar Hebraeus, the thirteenth century Syriac author whose various works are among the most important of the later Syriac tradition.
Lazarus compares and discusses comic elements used for didactic purposes in two separate literary traditions: Old Testament narrative and Aristophanic Comedies. Given that humour relies on taking people's ideas of what is normal and making them incongruous, this volume examines these very different texts to see how they use that comic incongruity to help define what it means to be human within the hierarchy of the universe.
The Martyrdom, and the later History, of Simeon bar Sabba’e narrate the death of the bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon who was killed around the year 340 C.E. at the beginning of King Shapur II’s “Great Persecution” of Christians in Sasanian Persia.
Collected essays on aspects of daily life at the Israelite site of Tell en-Nasbeh (biblical Mizpah of Benjamin). These include: trade and economy, death and burial, metals, cooking, water management, curation of the site’s materials, and a site bibliography.
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Although the book of Revelation is not part of the Peshitta, it was translated into Syriac at a later date and added to the Harqlean version.
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshiṭta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Childers has translated the Peshiṭta of John, while Kiraz has prepared the Syriac text in the west Syriac script, fully vocalized and pointed. The translation and the Syriac text are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. All readers are catered for: those wanting to read the text in English, those wanting to improve their grasp of Syriac by reading the original language along with a translation, and those wanting to focus on a fully vocalized Syriac text.
Severus of Antioch is by far the most prolific and well known theologian of the non-Chalcedonian churches. Although his life and writings came to our knowledge in Syriac, gaining him the title “Crown of the Syriac Literature,” many texts relating to his life and works survived in the Coptic and Copto-Arabic tradition, as well as a number of other texts that were traditionally attributed to him. This book provides an analysis of these texts as well as a discussion of the veneration of Severus of Antioch in the Coptic Church.
This book examines various rhetorical ways in which the motif of Yahweh’s Kingship functions in the Book of Ezekiel and explores what these arguments contribute to our understanding of the prophetic book as a whole.
This book provides the first major reinvestigation and reinterpretation of the history of centralization of worship in ancient Israel since de Wette and Wellhausen in the nineteenth century. Old Testament scholarship has thus far relied on the consensus that the book of Deuteronomy is the product of late monarchic Judah (7th century BC). Pitkänen places the biblical material in its archaeological and ancient Near Eastern context and pays special attention to rhetorical analysis. The author suggests that the book of Joshua, as well as its sources (such as Deuteronomy) may have originated as early as before the disaster of Aphek and the rejection of Shiloh.
A collection of ten original papers on the New Testament text, first presented in 2013, which reflect the diversity of current research. Examples of ancient engagement with the Bible include Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea and Augustine along with early translations.
This volume presents, with introduction and annotations, two metrical homilies (Bedjan nos. 82, 126) of Jacob of Sarug in which he reflects on the Temptation of Jesus as combat between Satan and Jesus, the latter emerging as the humble victor.
This book deals with the works of the anti-Chalcedonian hagiographer, John Rufus, and traces the basic motives behind the opposition against the council of Chalcedon in the fifth century through an attempt to reconstruct a specific anti-Chalcedonian culture. As part of the eastern monastic culture, it considered itself a counter-culture guarding purity of ascetic conduct and orthodoxy from being defiled by the perverseness of the majority. Reading John Rufus' hagiography, we find ourselves in the midst of a cosmological warfare between good and evil, where the great heroes of the anti-Chalcedonian movement enter into history as God's warriors against the rebellion of demons and heretics.
Ephrem, the most celebrated writer of the Syriac Church, presents a wide range of theological themes and images that are characteristic of fourth-century Syrian Christianity. A significant theme that no one has yet studied in Ephrem is the concept of sickness and healing. This book presents the significance of healing theology and the ways in which the healing of man - spiritually, mentally, and corporally - is highly valued by Ephrem. The main part of the book deals with the causes of spiritual sickness and the process of healing, and the way in which Ephrem places them in the divine history of salvation.
A fascinating study of the underlying reasons for the disagreement over the clause “and the Son” in the Western version of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan creed, which contributed to the schism between Eastern and Western Christians. Coetzee argues that there has been a great deal of misunderstanding of the positions of each tradition by the other, partly due to the fact that East and West imbue certain key words, such as ‘person’ and ‘unity’, with different meanings which Coetzee believes come from different understandings of Hellenic philosophy. Against this backdrop, Coetzee sets about clearing up some of the misunderstandings.
The suffering woman, Blandina, emerges as an archetypal figure of the martyrs of Lyon. This slave-woman ultimately arises to engage in battle with the powers of the Roman Empire. Through the application of Bowen Family Systems Theory and the writings of Michel Foucault the book explains the function of anxiety, and the dynamics at work in the system that result in the failure of Roman authority to use power to quell the rise of Christianity. The reactions of those who might appear to be the most powerful are essential in gifting power to this lowly slave.
This book examines the development of Augustine of Hippo’s theology of the Jewish people and Judaism. Formulating a typological association between the biblical figure of Cain and the Jews, he crafts a highly intricate theology that justifies and even demands the continuing presence of Jews and their religious practices in a Christian society. Such a theology emerges out of his highly original interpretation of Genesis 4:1–15 and yet mirrors and theologically justifies the reality of Jews and Judaism in the late Roman Empire.
Aphrahat the Persian Sage, (fl. 337-345 C.E.), was a Syriac Christian author who wrote twenty-three treatises entitled The Demonstrations. This book examines “temple” as a key image for Aphrahat’s theological anthropology. The temple is central for both Jews and Christians; it is the place of sacrifice, meeting, and communication with the Divine. For Aphrahat, the devout Christian person may be a micro-temple which then allows one to encounter the divine both within oneself and through a vision ascent to the heavenly temple.
This study portrays Cyril of Alexandria as exegete and theologian through an examination of his Commentary on the Gospel John. It begins with an attempt to place Cyril and his commentary within their context. This work argues that Cyril wrote his Commentary on the Gospel of John early in his writing career, almost a decade before becoming bishop. Cyril’s commentary on the Johannine Gospel reveals his exegetical method and his strong Trinitarian theology. The commentary also focuses on the nature and work of the Holy Spirit: the indwelling of the Spirit is the beginning of the newness of life.
Ephrem the Syrian is known as one of the greatest Christian poets and as a unique author whose mode of thought is usually described as “symbolic.” In this work, Kees den Biesen explores the literary, intellectual, and theological mechanisms at work in Ephrem’s writings with the specific aim of identifying the exact nature of his “symbolic thought” and evaluating its contemporary relevance. Den Biesen elaborates a comprehensive approach that integrates a variety of methods into a genuinely theological methodology. He then proposes his own comprehensive understanding of the nature and merits of Ephrem’s symbolic thought.
This book is a response to the popular counter-reading of Ecclesiastes in the 1980s and 90s as a book of “joy” (rather than a pessimistic book). It examines the seven “joy statements” of Qoheleth in the light of analogies with scepticism and the literary form of irony. Irony, like scepticism, has the function to induce doubt and questions. The joy statements of Qoheleth are likely analogous to expressions of complex irony—whereby what is said is both meant and not meant. This examination highlights the complexity of the biblical book—while demonstrating how unlikely the “joy reading” may be.
Buchan’s work is an examination of the theological use of the doctrine of Christ's descent to the dead in the works of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306-373 C.E.). Ephrem's conception of Christ's descent to Sheol provides us with an important and distinctive vision of the significance of this salvific event. Ephrem's use of Semitic and non-Western poetic forms and structures as a mode of theological discourse, coupled with his preference for imagery and symbolism rather than definition, resulted in a variety of vivid depictions of Christ's descent to Sheol. The doctrine is shown to be an integral and multifaceted component of Ephrem's theology.
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