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The Society of Biblical Literature is the oldest and largest international scholarly membership organization in the field of biblical studies. Founded in 1880, the Society has grown to over 8,500 international members including teachers, students, religious leaders and individuals from all walks of life who share a mutual interest in the critical investigation of the Bible.
Meeting Abstracts

2010 International Meeting

Tartu, Estonia

Meeting Begins: 7/25/2010
Meeting Ends: 7/29/2010

Call For Papers Opens: 10/1/2009
Call For Papers Closes: 2/3/2010
Requirements for Participation

  Meeting Abstracts


The Case of the Book of Samuel
Program Unit: Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)
Klaus-Peter Adam, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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Numbers beyond Source Theory: Reconstructing the Formation of Num 20-24
Program Unit: Methods and Models for Studying the Pentateuch (EABS)
Rainer Albertz, Universität Münster

Already Martin Noth (1966) has conceded that the Source Theory almost developed on the basis of the Book of Genesis does not really meet the literary shape of the Book of Numbers. While the Source Theory presupposed that the non-priestly strata (J, E) precede the priestly one, a fresh look at Num 20-24 reveals that the earliest priestly stratum of the Book of Numbers is not only preceded by one, but also followed by another non-priestly literary stratum. The first consequences of this observation for a new model for studying the Pentateuch will be drawn.


The Morning Gathering of Christians in the Context of the Graeco-Roman World
Program Unit: Greco-Roman World
Valeriy Alikin, St. Petersburg Christian University

During the first century Christians held communal suppers on Sunday evening. From the beginning of the second century Christians began to come together more frequently. In addition to their gatherings on Sunday evening, they began to meet early in the morning, first on one day, probably on Sunday, and later on more days of the week. The earliest evidence for Christian gatherings early in the morning comes from Pliny the Younger, who was the Roman governor of Bithynia-Pontus in ca. 110-112 CE. Scholarly opinions are divided with respect to the character of the morning gathering mentioned by Pliny and none of them provide a satisfactory explanation of this evidence. Moreover, there is no socio-historical explanation of the origins of the Christian gathering in the morning. Numerous evidence from Jewish, pagan, and Christian sources shows that coming together in the early morning for worship was a widespread phenomenon in the Graeco-Roman world. For Christians in Asia Minor about 100 CE, the idea of assembling by sunrise for worship was not something very difficult to conceive, therefore. This paper seeks to argue that the morning gathering formed the Christian counterpart of the meetings for prayer and worship which were held by many other religious groups in the Graeco-Roman world, including pagan and Jewish worshippers. Why the Christians in Bithynia placed their morning service on Sunday remains a matter for conjecture. Several possible reasons will also be presented in this paper.


The Influence of Abigail on David through an Intertextual Feminist Analysis
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Tehilla Altshuler, Harvard University

The encounter of David with Nabal from Carmel in 1Sam 25 is very well known, especially because of the involvement of Abigail, who not only prevented bloodshed but also, by the end of the story, connected herself to royalty. The aim of this paper is to explore the influence of Abigail on David using a reader oriented feminist intertextual methodology. My exploration uses a midrash which compares Nabal to Laban as a starting point. Truly, the 1 Sam scenario resembles the Jacob-Laban employer-employee relationship in the Book of Genesis. However, Reading the Genesis 31-33 and the 1Sam 25 texts in an intertextual fashion, leads one to an understanding that the 1Sam text supports a comparison not between David and Jacob, but rather between David and Esau, whereas Abigail represents the Jacobian characteristics. Consequently, I try to enhance the claim that the “Abigail philosophy” had a cooling effect on David’s impulsive perception of reality. An analysis of three other episodes which seem unrelated to Abigail but are nonetheless interconnected with her philosophy demonstrates this claim. The two enveloping stories of the Nabal-David incident (1Sam 24; 1Sam 26) are disturbingly similar, but a closer reading shows that David’s second reaction towards the possibility of killing Saul in 1Sam 26, echoes Abigail’s speech in 1Sam 25,25-32; David’s reaction to the murder of Abner son of Ner in 2Sam 3,33-37 is another example; and his refusal to kill Shimei son of Gera in 2Sam 16,5-12, mirrors another aspect of Abigail’s message to him. It seems that Abigail, the only woman in the bible who is described as both smart and beautiful, had an influence on David’s life that extended much further than the isolated episode in Carmel.


The Case of the Book of Judges
Program Unit: Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)
Yairah Amit, Tel Aviv University

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Deconstructing the Temple: 1 Corinthians 3 amid Agrippa II’s Renovations
Program Unit: Paul and Pauline Literature
Matthew R. Anderson, Concordia University

The paper proposes that the well-known building, foundation and temple references Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 3 are not variously-imagined and individual metaphors chosen for their specific usefulness, but expressions that operate within a larger rhetorical synecdoche. The reference Paul inherited is Jerusalem, the image of the Temple fantastical, and the context apocalyptic. Sometimes the part (the believer’s body, the Corinthian church) references the whole; in typical Pauline fashion more often the whole (the Temple) subsumes and informs each part. Specifically, mention in Josephus of Herod Agrippa II’s repair of the Temple foundations, taking place at roughly the same time as the writing of 1 Corinthians, offers the tantalizing possibility that in 1 Cor. 3:10ff, Paul, having inherited the New Temple ideology of the fledgling Christian movement, refines that metaphor in light of contemporary events to describe his apostolic mission, its problems, and its imminent testing.


The Parable of the Great Banquet in Early Christian Writers
Program Unit: The Biblical World and Its Reception (EABS)
Gavril Andreicut, Marquette University

This paper deals with the history of interpretation of Luke 14:16-23, particularly with verse 23. First, the paper shows how the passage was interpreted by the early Christian Fathers until Augustine. Second, since none of the Fathers before Augustine used it to support compulsion, we want to see the context in which Augustine was determined to use it as an argument for the use of force against the Donatists. Particularly, we want to see the unique interpretation of Augustine, and the fact that, although it is an important argument in Augustine's justification of the use of force in conversion, it is by no means the most important one. As one might expect, the Ante-Nicene writers found little use of the command "compel people to come in" in Luke 14:23 because before 311 Christians were the ones compelled to renounce their religion. Therefore, the references we find are rather to the Great Banquet generally than to Luke 14:23. We find references to the Great Banquet in Clement oof Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen, but none of these writers interpreted the passage as a way of supporting the use of force. After Nicea, we find references to the Great Banquet in Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, and Jerome. As before Nicea, none of these writers thought to see it as a support for the use of physical force against schismatics. This paper will show that the Parable of the Great Banquet was interpreted by the early Christian writers depending on the circumstances in which they found themselves.


Arthur Vööbus
Program Unit:
Amar Annus, University of Tartu

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Prophetic Discourse and the Johannine Words of Jesus
Program Unit: Johannine Literature
Mark Appold, Truman State University

Even a casual reading of the Gospel narratives reveals a striking disparity between the synoptic words of Jesus and the Johannine words of Jesus. While the Church has accorded the same authority to both, leaving the impression for the average lay person that all Scriptural words of Jesus are verbatims of the pre-Easter Jesus, the issues of origin and transmission become clouded. If it is true that the only Jesus available to us is Jesus as he was seen and heard by those who first encountered him and formulated the traditions we now have, it is then imperative to consider the nexus of these traditions to those who spoke them. This paper proposes to examine issues of memory, orality, prophetic utterance, and literary construction as they apply to the Spirit-driven prophetic community of the Fourth Gospel in whose midst the living post-Easter voice of the Good Shepherd continues to be heard not as a tradition but as a contemporary experience.


How Jewish Was Jesus? A Bethsaida Response
Program Unit: Archaeology
Mark Appold, Truman State University

A challenging and unresolved issue in contemporary historical Jesus studies is the question, “How Jewish was Jesus?” Using both textual and archaeological evidence, this paper addresses the question on two fronts in seeking a defensible definition of what it meant to be Jewish during the Second Temple period and, secondly, in interpreting both data from the Bethsaida archaeological site and exegetical conclusions from a study of the Bethsaida texts found in Q, John, and Josephus. Located in the Golan on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida has a diverse, millennium-long history. When its pivotal role in the NT Jesus narrative is viewed against the background of its history and in the light of material finds unearthed at the site, new perspectives emerge which aid in clarifying a response to the question, “How Jewish was Jesus?”


Order to an Accident? Encountering Deconstructionist and Cognitive Approaches towards Theories of Religion (Ancient and Modern)
Program Unit: Mind, Society, and Tradition
Jon Ma. Asgeirsson, University of Iceland

The means of reason have co-existed with religious believes whether applied against religion or adapted for promoting religious thought or doctrine perhaps for as long as human beings acquired such level of intelligence. Schools of thought and religious associations are social institutions with links to individuals who have chosen to develop and practice such ideological convictions alone. Neither Xeonophanes of Colophon in Ionia (560-478 BCE), who criticizes mythology on philosphical grounds nor the rationalists of the early modern age or the empiricism of Francis Bacon‘s (1561-1626) concept of science (based on observation over against deduction) and Edmund Husserl‘s (1859-1938) phenomenology (based on pure consciousness) have ostracized religion or religious instituions from the cultural mix of the Western world or anywhere else for that matter. This paper discusses deconstructionist approaches to religion in which religious activities are thought to originate by pure coincidence to form social relations or changes subsequently expressed in fabricated texts (such as myth) following models suggested by comparative analyst Jonathan Z. Smith. It proceeds to discuss modern cognitive contributions to explaining religion with empirical models based on such different ideas as mental causistry (e.g. Andy Clark) and emotion (e.g. Martha Nussbaum and Antonio R. Damasio). In a final section, the paper compares ancient philosophical contributions to understanding religion as a human product to the modern models already mentioned using Cicero‘s (106-43 BCE) definition of religion as a neurotic phase of repitition over against the hysteric apperance of superstition in prayer and sacrifice.


Diodore of Tarsus and the Book of Psalms
Program Unit: Bible in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions
Daniel Alberto Ayuch, University of Balamand

This article discusses some aspects of the commentary on Psalms that was written by Diodore of Tarsus, the founder of the Antiochian school of Biblical exegesis. The analysis focuses on two key questions: the exegetical skills developed by Diodore on the levels of text criticism, linguistic commentary and historiography, as well as a survey of his hermeneutical approach to the Bible. Is Diodore’s interpretation really literal? Why is it then considered to be opposed to the Alexandrian allegorical approach? How does Diodore read Biblical history and how does he understand Biblical theology? These are some of the questions dealt with in this article.


John Chrysostom and the Johannine "Jews"
Program Unit: Bible in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions
Michael G. Azar, Fordham University

John Chrysostom’s rhetoric against Jews, especially in his Adversus Judaeos, remains among the most infamous of patristic literature. Nevertheless, the function of the Jews in Chrysostom’s exegetical homilies has yet to be explored fully. Against the backdrop of fourth-century Antioch, in which Jews comprised a powerful and visible presence, this paper investigates the rhetorical function of the “Jews” in Chrysostom’s homilies on John – a gospel that ostensibly engendered the worst of patristic anti-Judaic trends. In order to shed light on his readings of Johannine Jews, this paper focuses on the role mimesis plays in Chrysostom’s homilies as well as the biblical text’s place within his vision of Christian education. Chrysostom, both implicitly and explicitly, casts himself in Christ’s role as the good but tough teacher, who seeks to shape his audience into Christ’s image. As such, there builds in these homilies a mimetic correspondence between, on the one hand, Christ and Chrysostom and, on the other, the Johannine Jews and Chrysostom’s contemporary Antiochene audience. Christ’s and Chrysostom’s virtuous and didactic goals are revealed to be one and the same, as are the faults and vices of the Johannine Jews and fourth-century Antiochene Christians. Contrary to modern assertions, Chrysostom does not wield the supposed hostility of the Fourth Gospel against contemporary Jews. Rather, Chrysostom, in keeping with his parenetic intentions, directs the gospel’s difficult words against contemporary Christians – despite the fact that he preached these homilies within a few years of his Adversus Judaeos. In this context of Chrysostom’s mimetic reading, this paper concludes with a consideration of the usefulness of the Alexandrian/Antiochene distinction, whose applicability begins to falter when the exegesis of the “spiritual gospel” takes center stage.


The Second Commandment: Origen’s Interpretation of Exodus 20:4-6
Program Unit: Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity
Stephen Bagby, Durham University

The Decalogue’s prohibition of idolatry in the second commandment resonates throughout Origen’s corpus, notably his exposition in the Homilies on Exodus. In the eighth homily, where the second commandment receives considerably more attention than the first, he provides the reader with rich interpretive exercises characteristic of his wider hermeneutical practice. Here in Exodus 20:4-6, Origen will condemn idolatry by offering three principle reading strategies, namely, the use of philology in exegesis, the incorporation of nuptial themes undergirding the Christian life, and the identification of sin through the person of the devil, in order to offer an exhortation of Christological and sacramental reminiscence for his listeners. In this homily the reader will see Origen’s practice of offering philological clarity between “gods”/”idols,” “idol”/“likeness,” and “adore”/“worship,” drawing distinctions derived from canonical readings, finding such exegetical perspicuity especially in Pauline language. Origen will then transition to his familiar nuptial themes in offering the reader an exposition of God’s jealousy by drawing the parallel to a bridegroom, who, naturally and rightfully, is jealous of his wife, in order to preserve the purity of marriage. This metaphor will receive further expression in understanding such fidelity through the mystical union of the human soul with Christ. Finally, Origen’s consistent hermeneutical strategy of identifying the devil with evil and death will help him confute heretical opposition to the seemingly problematic text of God’s punishing of iniquity on subsequent generations. His solution is to understand the devil as the father of sin and sinners, whose filial influence God seeks to contravene by bringing subsequent generations back to repentance. The inner, spiritual man’s need to remain faithful to the bridegroom Christ, despite innumerable temptations to acquiesce to idolatry, envelops the thought of his entire homily, bringing the reader to a greater understanding of Christ’s death and his sacraments.


Interpretation of the Bible in Soviet Latvia
Program Unit: Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact
Dace Balode, University of Latvia

The paper deals with the examples of interpretation of the Bible in the Soviet times in Latvia, when theology experienced oppression. It also deals with the impact these interpretations have on today's hermeneutical tendencies after the political changes.


Another look at The Golden Calf story (32; 1-6)
Program Unit: Pentateuch (Torah)
Chaya Ben Ayun, Levinsky College of Education

The story of the making of the golden calf arouses questions which yield various interpretations; both rabbinical and modern. My lecture attempts to shed some more light on these continuously debated issues. Two main questions are at stake. First, to begin with, is why the anxious people of Israel, who felt abandoned due to Moses' disappearance, demanded a god. After all, it was Moses who vanished, not God! It would seem more logical or natural to replace him with another leader. Secondly, why were the people satisfied with the golden calf? Could this object comfort them? Could it replace their leader? The narrator's point of view puts the blame on the rebellious ungrateful people of Israel. Our discussion leads to another conclusion, which puts the blame on Moses' leadership and his obscure God.


Moses and ‘the prophets’
Program Unit: Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)
Ehud Ben Zvi, University of Alberta

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Conversation and Coherence in Lamentations
Program Unit: Writings (including Psalms)
Miriam Bier, University of Otago

This paper will offer a dialogic reading of the book of Lamentations, drawing on the work of Mikhail Bakhtin and Martin Buber. An analysis of Lamentations' speaking voices will be undertaken in order to demonstrate the interplay of perspectives that takes place in the book. The paper will pay particular attention to the question of who each speaker accuses or blames for the destruction that has come upon Jerusalem. This question will be key in revealing how the perspectives of each speaker shift and change, due to dialogic interaction with Lamentations' other speaking voices, as the book proceeds. Despite these conflicting and changing theological perspectives, the paper will argue for the coherence of the book of Lamentations as a whole.


Lamentations as Resistant Conversation: A Hermeneutics of Participation
Program Unit: Methods in Hebrew Bible Studies
Miriam Bier, University of Otago

Approaching the Hebrew Bible as one who identifies as both an evangelical and a feminist can create tension between, on the one hand, wanting to affirm the text's ongoing authority and usefulness as “Word of God” to the church today; and on the other, wanting to recognise, resist, and reject texts that are so thoroughly steeped in their patriarchal world view as to be practically irredeemable. This cognitive dissonance and ambivalence towards the biblical text is recognised as an increasing issue for a growing number of evangelical feminists. The crux of the issue is determining what to make of the stated evangelical commitment to the authority of the text, when faced with texts that perpetuate the oppression of women. This paper explores the interplay of voices in the book of Lamentations, a book that includes the troubling metaphor of Israel as female Zion. That the book of Lamentations contains various voices and perspectives, including that of female Zion, is well established. Less clear, however, are the implications of Lamentations' multiple and resisting voices for contemporary hermeneutics and constructs of biblical authority. Based on the interplay and progression of voices and perspectives in Lamentations, this paper will advance an approach to the Hebrew Bible as Scripture that allows for a variety of voices to be heard, acknowledged, and – when appropriate – resisted. The paper will then demonstrate how this hermeneutic of conversation and participation might adequately address both feminist and evangelical concerns regarding the authority of the biblical text.


Ethical Christ: the Moral Imperatives of Early Modern New Testament Criticism
Program Unit:
Jonathan Birch, University of Glasgow

In modern times, the moral teachings of Jesus have attracted considerable attention from biblical scholars, theologians and philosophers. How did this fascination with the ethical dimension of Jesus and his mission arise? The reasons why Jesus' ethics are prioritised by some New Testament critics and historians today vary from scholar to scholar, but the early modern move towards moral readings of Jesus, and the Bible more generally, can be illuminated when seen within the context of how the Western philosophical tradition has responded to persistent problems posed by theological morality.


Lucian's Last Laugh: The Origins of "Sacred Prostitution" at Byblos
Program Unit: Greco-Roman World
Phyllis Bird, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

The oldest source for the “sacred prostitution” that biblical textbooks have made a characteristic feature of “Canaanite fertility religion” is a second century CE travelogue known as The Syrian Goddess (De Syria dea), attributed to the satirist and rhetorician Lucian of Samosata. Lucian prefaces his account of the cult of Hierapolis with a report on the other “Syrian” temples that he has visited or learned of in his travels, imitating Herodotus in tone and dialect. His most elaborate account is of the Adonis rites performed at the great sanctuary of Aphrodite in Byblos. As part of the mourning rituals, he reports, the Byblians shaved their heads. But the women who refused to shave were required to stand for a day offering themselves to strangers for payment that became an offering to Aphrodite. This sole reference from Byblos, and sole evidence for Phoenicia prior to Eusebius’ fourth century report on Heliopolis, established “sacred prostitution” in its assumed homeland--and provided its only link to the cult of a dying-and-rising-god, lacking in all other references. This paper sets Lucian’s account in the context of other accounts of Adonis rites, prostitution in honor of Aphrodite, and Lucian’s own report on the Ashtart temple of Sidon, to demonstrate how Lucian, in parody of Herodotus, made Byblos “Babylon West.”


Economies of Symbolic Goods? Pauline Epistles as Test Cases
Program Unit: Paul and Pauline Literature
Thomas R. Blanton, Luther College

This paper employs Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of “symbolic capital” to show that religious discourse functions as a type of capital in Apuleius of Madauros’ The Golden Ass (Book 11) and in Pauline epistles. “Capital” is defined as any cultural product which can be exchanged for another culturally recognized form of capital, such as material goods or services involving human labor. “Symbolic capital” is capital which exists in narrative form (e.g., religious discourse). Symbolic capital in The Golden Ass consists of the promise of a beatific afterlife, a longer lifespan, and a more fortunate state in life, all of which are said to be mediated by the power of the goddess Isis. In the Pauline epistles, symbolic capital consists of promised deliverance from eschatological judgment, as well as a future existence in a heavenly realm. In the writings of both Apuleius and Paul, promises of post-mortem bliss, etc. are viewed as exchangeable for material goods or services involving human labor. In the Golden Ass, the protagonist, Lucius, devotes both considerable human labor and economic expense in return for the divine benefaction of a more pleasant afterlife (11.6). In Romans 15:27, Paul makes an equation between “spiritual things” and “material things,” and asserts that a donation of the former type is adequately recompensed by a counter-gift of the latter type. In 2 Cor 9:6–15, Paul declares that God’s “indescribable gift” (i.e., that of salvation from the eschatological judgment and subsequent existence in a heavenly realm) obliges the Corinthians to respond with their own material gifts to Jerusalem. Their property of exchangeability for material goods or human labor marks religious promises such as that of post-mortem bliss as forms of symbolic capital, and indicates that religious discourse, in Apuleius and Paul, at least, may perform a function properly characterized as economic.


Economies of Symbolic Goods? Apuleius' The Golden Ass as Test Case
Program Unit: Sociology of the Bible (EABS)
Thomas R. Blanton, Luther College

This paper employs Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of “symbolic capital” to show that religious discourse functions as a type of capital in Apuleius of Madauros’ The Golden Ass (Book 11) and in Pauline epistles. “Capital” is defined as any cultural product which can be exchanged for another culturally recognized form of capital, such as material goods or services involving human labor. “Symbolic capital” is capital which exists in narrative form (e.g., religious discourse). Symbolic capital in The Golden Ass consists of the promise of a beatific afterlife, a longer lifespan, and a more fortunate state in life, all of which are said to be mediated by the power of the goddess Isis. In the Pauline epistles, symbolic capital consists of promised deliverance from eschatological judgment, as well as a future existence in a heavenly realm. In the writings of both Apuleius and Paul, promises of post-mortem bliss, etc. are viewed as exchangeable for material goods or services involving human labor. In the Golden Ass, the protagonist, Lucius, devotes both considerable human labor and economic expense in return for the divine benefaction of a more pleasant afterlife (11.6). In Romans 15:27, Paul makes an equation between “spiritual things” and “material things,” and asserts that a donation of the former type is adequately recompensed by a counter-gift of the latter type. In 2 Cor 9:6–15, Paul declares that God’s “indescribable gift” (i.e., that of salvation from the eschatological judgment and subsequent existence in a heavenly realm) obliges the Corinthians to respond with their own material gifts to Jerusalem. Their property of exchangeability for material goods or human labor marks religious promises such as that of post-mortem bliss as forms of symbolic capital, and indicates that religious discourse, in Apuleius and Paul, at least, may perform a function properly characterized as economic.


David's Rupture with God; Depression and Recovery
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Adrien Bledstein, Chicago, Illinois

Reading only narrative, commentators do not appreciate King David's depression following his crimes. When Psalms are integrated with narrative at every phase of his life, several insights emerge. From youth David's passion is to serve Y-WH. He knows the covenant, tries to live accordingly, despises the wicked. After he is anointed he envisions a temple where he will serve his Beloved. As a priest-king he brings the Ark to Jerusalem, the most ecstatic day of his life. His kingdom established, the country in relative peace, David determines to fulfill his dream. Instead, Y-WH appoints him founder of a dynasty. A son of his will build the temple. The latter news conflicts with David's high expectations as a royal priest in the ancient Near East. Sometime after this David stays at the palace while his heroes go to war, and he takes Bathsheba. When his efforts to cover her pregnancy fail he arranges the death of Uriah. From David's prayers and lack thereof it becomes clear he is deeply dispirited. In contrast to his hypergraphic anguish at the cave of Adullam when unjust circumstances drive him to despair, David is depressed following the rape of Tamar, death of Amnon, and exile of Absalom. This paper traces evidence of his depression and his recovery as he anticipates his penance is nearing an end.


Images of God in the book of Hosea in the light of contemporary miniature art on seals and seal impressions
Program Unit: Prophets
Willem Boshoff, University of South Africa

It is well known that different images of God abound in the book of Hosea. Metaphors were used that became well-known ways of thinking about God in the Old Testament, but others remained unique Hosea images, not found elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible. In the light of contemporary iconography, the issue I wish to pursue is the origin of the images of God in the book Hosea. Were these images innovative constructs of the prophet/author, or do they reflect images known from contemporary iconographic depictions in the miniature art of Iron Age II in Israel. The issue underlying these questions is the problem of finding new information to facilitate research on the history of theological concepts. How do we come to a better understanding of an ancient text and ancient concepts? Archaeological results are by far the most productive source of new information on ancient societies. Archaeologists are often not the scholars who “translate” their finds to useful snippets of information for the historian of the religion of ancient Israel. Seals and seal impressions are some of the more common objects found in the archaeological process that shed light on ideological and theological ideas of the owners and of the period. More often than not, the depictions are presented text-less and the question is whether these depictions can lead us to a better understanding of the biblical text.


“From heaven YHWH looks down” – the Theological Vantage Point of the Author of Psalm 33
Program Unit: Writings (including Psalms)
Phil J. Botha, University of Pretoria

This paper focuses on the intratextual connections between Psalm 33 and other late post-exilic texts such as the psalms of the Final Hallel (Psalms 146-150). It also investigates the structure and wisdom character of Psalm 33 in general. From these characteristics it is argued that the psalm displays the same theological view as is found in the conclusion of the Psalter. It was most probably composed by the chokmatic editors of the Psalter as a definitive call to the post-exilic believers to keep on praising YHWH and to wait patiently for his salvation in view of the power, omniscience, and trustworthiness which he displayed at creation and in the history of his people. The theological vantage point of the author is similar to that of YHWH in his description – an ability to see order in creation, futility in human attempts to thwart YHWH’s plans, and the wisdom of being part of his people.


The Development of Vicarious Sacrifice in Second Temple Judaism: The Appropriation of the Martyrdom Accounts of 2 Macc 6:18-7:42 in 4 Maccabees
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Arthur Boulet, Princeton Theological Seminary

The martyrdom accounts of Eleazar and the seven brothers found in 2 Macc 6:18-7:42 are found again within the book of 4 Maccabees. These accounts are not simply re-told, but are re-interpreted in order to fit the purposes of the author of 4 Maccabees. This paper will focus on comparing and contrasting the martyrdom accounts of Eleazar and the seven brothers found in 2 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees. Special attention will be given to the re-interpretation of the martyrdom accounts in 4 Maccabees and propose reasons for the changes the author makes based on both cognate literature and historical context. It will propose that the shifts in focus, purpose, and function of the martyrdom accounts in 4 Maccabees play an important role in the development of the idea of vicarious sacrifice in second Temple Judaism. The re-interpretation of the martyrdom accounts, it will be argued, both meets the needs of the original audience of 4 Maccabees and functions as an important part in the development of the doctrine of vicarious sacrifice.


Alternative Families: From the Hebrew Bible to Early Judaisms
Program Unit: The Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics (EABS)
Athalya Brenner, Tel Aviv University

It has become a convention to define the bet ’ab, ‘house of the father’, in which blood kin and social others of two to three vertical generations function, usually within a limited territorial location (‘homestead’), under a dominant male figure—usually the father—as the smallest and most common family unit in the Hebrew Bible. Such units are defined as organized around two basic principles: production, for subsistence and further economical ends; and reproduction, for human perpetuation. This concept is undoubtedly influenced by biblical presentations of humanity as emanating from a single couple and developing into clearly patriarchal genealogies. The ‘patriarchal’ generalization may be valid; however, it does not cover all the structural or actual social formations that, in current terms, qualify as ‘families’. In this presentation I will explore several other formations, taking into account differences in ideologies, interest and aim that influence biblical and early Judaic descriptions of social relations, as well as differences of text chronology, class and geography. Among these formations, the bet ’em (‘House of the Mother’) will be explored anew, for the biblical periods and especially the late ones. Other social units to be examined are same-sex, non-heterosexual and non-productive formations, such as the Essenes and early rabbinic scholars in the late Hellenistic and early Roman times.


"Apotropaic Intercession" in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Program Unit: Magic and Divination in the Biblical World (EABS)
Marian Broida, Emory University

In Mesopotamia and Hatti, liturgists counteracted omens predicting misfortune by using apotropaic rituals, including the Neo-Assyrian namburbis and the rituals of the Hittite bird-augurs. In this paper I compare and contrast performative speech in these two groups of texts with what I call “apotropaic intercession” in the Hebrew Bible—acts of intercession, primarily by Moses and a few prophets, against foretold doom. Although the literary genres differ, the three bodies of texts all seek to overturn divine decrees communicated to humanity, answering the deity’s message with their own. The nature of the speech acts in these apotropaic texts illuminate aspects of the cultures’ implicit theology.


The Kittim and Hybridity in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Program Unit: Early Christianity between Judaism and Hellenism (EABS)
George Brooke, University of Manchester

This paper will explore the varied portrayals of the Romans in the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the sectarian ones. The notion of hybridity will be used to explain the mixture of attitudes to the Romans and their exercise of power in the Eastern Mediterranean. They can be viewed positively as divine agents, as military technicians of the first order, and as political arbiters providing opportunities for religious renewal-it is these characteristics that are adopted and adapted within the sectarian literature, often with a spiritual domestication of violence. But the Romans are also portrayed negatively as occupying forces and political suppressors, as the ethnic and religious 'other' and as such are the epitome of all that needs to be destroyed. The concept of hybridity permits some kind of explanation of the tensions arising from these various attitudes in ways which illuminate the similar diversity of Early Christian attitudes to Rome.


Weak or Sinful? A Body of Rhetoric
Program Unit: Nonbiblical Dead Sea Scrolls: Themes and Perspectives
George Brooke, University of Manchester

This paper will be a brief comparison of some of the body language in the Hodayot with the catena of body quotations used and quoted by Paul in Romans 3. Attention will be paid to the character of the language used and how it is placed within the structure and rhetorical argumentation of the two bodies of text. Particular consideration will be given to similarities in purpose and differences in genre.


Antichrist and the Docetic Masculinity
Program Unit: The Bible and the Visual Arts (EABS)
Gitte Buch-Hansen, University of Oslo

Trier’s film Antichrist has been criticized by feminists for its misogynic depiction of the female character: she is identified with the demonic powers of Antichrist: chaotic emotions, destructive sexuality. Yet, this interpretation doesn’t take the biblical figure of Antichrist into consideration. I argue that Trier passes the buck to the male character and that the film is a wakeup-call with regard to constructions of masculinity. First John states that the spirit of Antichrist denies that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh”. Traditionally, the Johannine secessionists have been seen as proponents of a docetic Christology. Due to its soteriology (only the spirit is saved), docetism was banned by the Fathers. Yet, history has revealed that the Greek gendering of the spirit-flesh dichotomy proved more powerful than soteriological considerations. Genesis 3 became the place where Greek thinking was imported into biblical interpretation. Filtered through the Johannine Prologue, God’s initial differentiation between light and darkness became a dichotomy between enlightened male reason and dark female powers. In spite of the Creeds, the Church’s body-politics identified salvation with male purity unaffected by fleshly female desires. The medieval processes against witches were a public liturgy celebrating docetic Christianity. In Antichrist, Trier depicts a couple who lose their child under tragic-erotic circumstances. The woman’s continuing depression sends the couple for a therapeutic holiday in their remote cottage, Eden. The stay at Eden becomes an invitation from Trier (and Bhabha) to re-enter the enunciatory place of original sin. Once more the gendered dichotomy is negotiated: to get rid of Her guilt, She must convinces Him that He, too, must identify with the body and the fruits of His fleshly life. If not, the therapy will turn out as yet another exorcism. A teaser: AntichrisT is spelled with the female symbol in place of T, the cross.


It’s Complicated: Feminist and Gender-Critical Considerations on the Biblical Ideology of Intermarriage
Program Unit:
Claudia Camp, Texas Christian University

Analysis of marriage practices usually takes for granted the primary objects of study as “male” and “female.” Connecting marriage practices with the construction of identity focuses attention on the ideological aspects of these practices, on the ways in which marriage practices fit into the symbol system of a society, enacting and rationalizing meanings and power relationships both in and beyond the kinship group. Full appreciation of this ideological dimension of marriage requires critical attention to gender: the constructed-ness of “male” and “female,” and how this construction constructs other aspects of identity. This paper begins with the fundamental feminist insight that, in an androcentric, patrilineal culture, Woman is Other, which means, on a deep level, all marriage is intermarriage, a relationship that men both require and resist in different measures in different circumstances. In the Bible this female Other can and does stand for a range of other Others. The particulars vary: some intermarriages are tolerable, even desirable, others are abhorrent, but the line is shifting, not stable. This gender-critical stance means that we have to compare and contrast “intermarriages” of all sorts, beginning with the null set—the unfulfillable patrilineal desire for female-free reproduction—and including as well the (usually prohibited) practice of incest. Although this point of departure may seem abstract, I shall argue in this paper that it actually offers some leverage in dealing with texts that both beckon us to ask the question about the social significance of intermarriage and also veil any direct answers in the folds of ideological literature.


“For Sinai is a Mountain in Arabia”: A Note on the Text of Galatians 4:25
Program Unit: Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)
Stephen C. Carlson, Duke University

Ever since Richard Bentley, textual critics and exegetes have been perplexed by the note in Galatians 4:25a that Sinai was a mountain in Arabia. Early and important witnesses are divided as to its reading, and this clause is problematic not only in terms of its grammar but also in its relation to Paul’s argumentative discourse. This paper revisits this textual problem and comes to the following conclusions. The external, transcriptional, and intrinsic considerations all suggest that v.25a should read "to gar Sina oros estin en têi Arabiai" (“for Sinai is a mountain in Arabia”), so this reading ought to be adopted in the critical text. Moreover, other evidence suggests that v.25a was originally a marginal note in the archetype of Galatians, so this clause ought to be enclosed in double brackets to indicate that it was not originally part of the autograph of Paul’s letter.


Joseph's Dreams and the Laws of Numbers 15
Program Unit: Pentateuch (Torah)
Calum Carmichael, Cornell University

Laws and narratives in the Pentateuch are integrated in that the laws take up issues from the narratives. A prime example is how the idolatrous character of Joseph’s dreams in Genesis 37 inspires the five laws in Numbers 15. In his first dream, Joseph’s brothers as sheaves of grain reverently bow down to his sheaf. The first two rules lay out the proper role of grain offerings in Israelite worship. The third deals with unintentional offenses and with a deliberate, high-handed offense against God. The rule recognizes that Joseph is not responsible for his dreams but nonetheless takes seriously his hubris. The fourth rule judges a man who gathers sticks on the Sabbath. The offense parallels how the stalks of grain in Joseph’s dream have been gathered for an idolatrous purpose. The rule’s focus is on someone competing with God as Creator. Joseph’s second dream dramatically illustrates such a phenomenon: the sun, moon, and stars bow down to him. The stick-gatherer provides another example because the offender intends an idolatrous act, probably involving fire. The fifth rule requires the placement of colored fringes on an Israelite’s garment so that he is alert to observing all the commandments. In focus is how Joseph’s special (colored?) garment provoked envy. Not only did it signify Joseph’s importance but was intimately tied to the immediately following dreams that brought out his overweening arrogance. A later son of Israel has to provide himself with a tangible reminder of how easy it is to offend. The narratives that precede (spies creating trouble) and appear after (infighting among the sons of Israel) Numbers 15 similarly link up with the Joseph narrative. The same integrating process applies to the presentation of both laws and narratives throughout the Pentateuch.


Sex and the City. City as education
Program Unit: Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis (EABS)
Pernille Carstens, University of Copenhagen

The main theme of this paper is the didactic elements of the book of Jonah related to the city of Nineveh. This learning is how to guarantee the divine presence. The divine presence is fundamental for the human survival and blessing, and as means to preserve the divine presence the didactic elements are about purification and fast. The ritual relationship to the Yom Kippur is stressed. The Anatolian myth of the disappearing storm God Telepinu is used as a parallel together with the tragedy of Sofokles, Oedipus Rex. Obvious this drama has a connection to the pharmakos-rite at the Thargalia festival. The paper also focusing on the aristotelian element of katharsis, a kind of identification between the audience and the tragedy and investigates this kind of education or paideia common both to the greek material and the Biblical. In Nineveh, the great city, more than hundred and twenty thousand people do not know their right hand from their left, just like Jerusalem in Ez 16 also have a didactic function.


Sociology and the City
Program Unit: Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis (EABS)
David Chalcraft, University of Derby

This paper will review recent developments in sociological approaches to the city, urban life, memory, and spatial mobility (contrasting with earlier classic and modernist sociological treatments), from the perpsective of their potential use for the analysis of ancient biblical social worlds.


The Sociology of Disaster and Trauma in Biblical Social Worlds
Program Unit: Sociology of the Bible (EABS)
David J. Chalcraft, University of Derby

This paper seeks to provide an introduction and overview of sociological approaches to disaster and trauma making use of recent contributions to the field. The paper will endeavour to differentiate sociological approaches from other social scientific perspectives and provide some guidance through the development of sociological interest in disaster and trauma. Specific attention will be paid to the recent work of the Yale sociologist Jeffrey Alexander which will enable some critical discussion of ways forward in using sociological ideas in the analysis of disaster and trauma in ancient biblical social worlds and, possibly (if time allows), providing some thoughts on how the biblical experience of disaster and trauma might inform reflection in late modernity.


Apocalypse of John in light of Ritual Studies
Program Unit: Mind, Society, and Tradition
Lung Pun Common Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Ritual studies can shed light on the social rhetoric of the Apocalypse of John. Apc 1:3,10 give hints about the earliest Christians' worship and lection. In light of Victor Turner's ritual criticism (as well as others' ritual theories), the presumed service of the earliest Christianity is analyzed. The Apocalypse signifies all three stages of any rite of passage: (1) "On the Lord's day" (1:10) implies the stage of separation; (2) the lectionary reading in the presence of the Christian communities (1:3a) leads to the liminal stage; and (3) the observance of the prophecy in the everyday life (1:3b) belongs to the phrase of "incorporation". Besides, the epistolary genre offers the participant, on the one hand, a threshold in Apc 1:1-8 to gradually enter the new Communitas, and on the other hand, an exit in Apc 22:6-21 to return to his/her everyday life. In between, the apocalyptic genre (1:9-22:5) serves as a process of liminality. A literary device of John, which is similar to Mise en abyme (I term it as Mise en apocalypse or "Story within a story"), is found in the structure of the Apocalypse that can strengthen the "Communitas". By means of the aforesaid device, Christ meets his followers (i.e. participants) in the ideological communitas in the course of the rite. Thus, they engage in the liminality, just as shown in the studies of cultural anthropology. Consciously or unconsciously, they experience status change in the rite, which functions as a social critique. Lastly, according to Gerd Theissen's analysis, a combination of aggression reduction and intensification characterizes in the rites of the earliest Christian communities, and the Apocalypse of John is no exception.


Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 2069 and the Enochic Corpus in the Fourth Century
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Randall Chesnutt, Pepperdine University

In the only published study of P.Oxy. 2069 since the editio princeps of 1927, J. T. Milik correctly discerned lines from two Enochic works—the Book of Dream Visions and the Astronomical Book—but erroneously concluded that the fragments of the respective works come from separate codices. This conclusion was driven by his larger thesis about the compositional history of 1 Enoch rather than by anything in the fragments themselves, which (by his own admission) he never examined. Milik theorized that the two-volume Enochic pentateuch that he is famous for postulating at Qumran, with the Astronomical Book copied separately from the other four Enochic works because of its inordinate length, persisted also in Greek tradition. P.Oxy. 2069 is consistent with this thesis if we accept Milik’s expansive reconstruction of fragment 3 and his case for assigning this fragment to a separate codex from fragments 1-2. However, these opinions—which have been assumed as the default position since Milik’s 1971 study—rest on circular and untenable arguments. Examination of the fragments (preserved at Oxford University) suggests that they do in fact belong to a single codex. Therefore, pace Milik, a Greek version of the Astronomical Book was copied together with the Book of Dream Visions at least once in the early fourth century C.E., providing our earliest evidence for the joining of the Astronomical Book with another of the works that comprise what is now called 1 Enoch. This combination dates one or two centuries before the Enochic corpus was produced in Ethiopic and a millennium before any actual Ethiopic manuscripts preserve such a compilation.


What Made Pharaoh Flattened?
Program Unit: Pentateuch (Torah)
Sik Ping Choi, Southeast Asia Graduate School of Theology

Was Pharaoh flattened by the last plague and thus let the Israelites go? I suppose that is hardly the reason. In fact, Pharaoh was getting angry and had showed no interest in hearing further from Moses even after the previous plagues. I suggest that Pharaoh did not know about the last plague until it happened. In Exodus 10:28-29, Pharaoh had commanded not to see Moses again. Therefore, Moses had declared the coming of the last plague in front of the officers and the people, but not the Pharaoh. Moreover, if the last plague is so threatening, it is hard to understand why Pharaoh chased the Israelites after they had left the land of Egypt. In order to resolve the ambiguity, we need to take a close look at Exodus 11. The Egyptians suffered a lot and were completely fed up with the plagues. However, Pharaoh was still reluctant to change. Therefore, I suggest that the saying “Pharaoh hardened his heart” means that Pharaoh was not only unwilling to listen to Moses, but also to his people. In addition, most of the Egyptians and the officers were afraid of the Israelites and their leader Moses after the plagues. That explains why they were willing to offer gifts to the Israelites. The increasing discontentments of the Egyptians would create the political instability in the land of Egypt. Hence, I suggest that it was the political instability in the land of Egypt that made Pharaoh flattened. After the Israelites left the land of Egypt, discontentment of the Eygptians and the threat of the political instability were lessened. Pharaoh decided to chase after the Israelites with his army.


Contrasting Views on Physicians in Tobit and Ben Sira
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Maria Chrysovergi, Durham University

The present paper deals with the attitude towards the medical profession found in Tobit 2:10 and Ben Sira 38:1-15. The authors of the books of Tobit and Ben Sira approached the problem of secular medicine from rather opposite sides. Although both were pious Jews and wrote in the same century - with Ben Sira following Tobit -, they present different views with respect to medicine. Whereas Tobit accuses the doctors for making his sight worse, Ben Sira legitimises the existence of the physicians, the pharmacists and the pharmaka by attributing to them a divine origin. Tobit regards medicine as something foreign and therefore outside the religious realm, while Ben Sira strives to legitimise secular medicine claiming that the physician and the pharmaka belong to God’s remarkable deeds. My main aim is to examine the inner relation between Tobit 2:10 and Ben Sira 38:1-15. More precisely, I intend to demonstrate that Ben Sira actually provides an answer to Tobit’s rejection of the usefulness of the physicians. I attempt to support my claim by examining the different milieu of each author and any issues that might have played a role in the formation of such beliefs. The question of the national identity of the physicians – whether they were Jews or gentiles – can shed much light on this matter.


Understanding the mixed-marriages of Ezra- Nehemiah in the light of Temple- building and the book’s concept of Jerusalem
Program Unit:
Jan Clauß, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

The treatment of so- called “mixed marriages” in the Ezra-Nehemiah narrative is to be considered as one of the most prominent and elaborated accounts on this topic in the Hebrew Bible. The dismissive attitude towards exogamous matrimonies contracted between groups of “Judean” men (cf. Ezra 9-10; Neh 13.23-28) among them prominent figures such as the High priest’s son (Neh 13.28) with women labelled alien is on the one hand conveyed by the use of specific terminology that creatively utilizes existing Pentateuchal law. On the other hand the relevant passages within Ezra- Nehemiah have been seen as one particular position in an ongoing inner biblical discourse on the question of legitimate access to the post- exilic community. Therefore the key- passages for the “mixed- marriage crisis” in Ezra- Nehemiah have been closely scrutinized with regard to their literary dependencies in order to elucidate a possible historical setting and to shed light on the operant logic leading to the condemnation of the exogamous marriages. Yet this has often been done by dissolving the relevant passages from their wider literary context as given by the narrative as a whole. This paper will deal with mixed marriages in Ezra-Nehemiah in a more “synthetic” approach arguing that concept and understanding of mixed marriages as Ezra-Neh unfolds it are essentially related to and influenced by the account on “Temple restoration” and the notion of Jerusalem as “Holy City” (e.g. Neh 11.2;18). For that matter Ezra-Neh is first of all to be taken as a literary unity where the comprehension of single sections is shaped by its textual embedment. For a profound understanding of mixed marriages a discussion of the other two parameters is therefore indispensable and can offer new insights into underlying concepts. The paper will discuss the rationale of Temple- building (Ezra 1-6) and the concept of the holy city with regard to the communicated community construction. Thereupon it aims at disclosing the interrelations with the mixed- marriages and implications for the book’s attitude towards them resulting from dynamics initiated by structure and representation of the respective topics.


A Martian Reads the Psalms, in Particular Psalm 19
Program Unit: Writings (including Psalms)
David J. A. Clines, University of Sheffield

A minor group among British poets of the 1970s and 1980s were known as the Martians; their ambition was to make the familiar strange, as in Craig Raine’s ‘A Martian Sends a Postcard Home’. Such defamiliarization of the over-familiar psalms is my project in this paper, focussing on Psalm 19. I ask two questions about it that do not seem to figure in commentaries or handbooks on the Psalms but that could be regarded, from a Martian standpoint, as quite important questions about any poem: (1) is it true?, and (2) is it beautiful? (1) Is it true? is a proper question for any statement that seeks to gain our assent. By what standard(s) could a poem such as Psalm 19 be “true”? (a) By its own standards, i.e., by being true to itself, self-consistent. (b) By the standards of its kind, in this case of the Book of Psalms or the Hebrew Bible. (c) By my standards or our standards, i.e. the standards of polite society today, which is against cruelty and oppression and so on, and in favour of tolerance, self-determination, gender equality and the like. (2) Is it beautiful? is a proper question for any written work that aims to be literary. There is no shame in not being beautiful, but poetry in most cultures aims at the beautiful, and I will ask how well this poem succeeds on this count. I will consider pointers to beauty such as a unity or harmony of conception and language, freshness of metaphor, originality, distinctiveness, concreteness, vividness, showing rather than telling. I imagine that such questions would be worth asking of all of the Psalms, and of many other parts of the Hebrew Bible, but I am starting here.


“Breaking faith with our God by marrying foreign women” (Neh 13.27): Marriage Policy and the Struggle for Identity in the Nehemiah Narrative
Program Unit:
Benedikt Conczorowski, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

The demarcation of postexilic boundaries is prevalent in the narratives regarding Nehemiah’s activities in the province of Yehûd. Within the debate on whom to include in and whom to exclude from the Jerusalem centered community the topic of marriage ties between “inside” and “outside” appears several times (cf. Neh 6.18; 13.23-27; 13.28). The thereby rejected or criticized spouses represent “the Other” with its ascribed negative and threatening influence to be held off, as it is also discussed with regards to other occasions within the narrative (cf. Neh 2.19-20; 4.1-3; 6.1-19; 13.4-9). At the same time the texts highlight the ideal picture of Judean identity drawn by the book of Nehemiah as a whole. Thus, at the critical point of marriage policy, boundaries are clarified politically as well as socially and religiously. According to its character as theologically shaped account on Judean history the narrative takes up and transforms earlier biblical traditions which reject “foreign” influence. Thus, the book of Nehemiah lends itself quite perfectly to investigate the relevance and function of the rejection of mixed marriages for self-definition at the beginning of Judaism. The paper will examine which kind of self-assessment of postexilic identity can be found in the texts on mixed marriage and, furthermore, how they can be related to the ideology expressed by the book of Ezra, the other half of the composition of Ezra-Nehemiah and prominent for its elaborated treatment of the topic. As will be shown, a clearly defined ideological picture of society after the Exile is drawn by the Nehemiah narrative. That has to be brought into discussion with other voices of Persian and Hellenistic Period identity discourse.


“In the beginning, Lord, You …” Hebrews Reads Gen 1 between Athens and Jerusalem
Program Unit: Hellenistic Judaism
Felix H. Cortez, Universidad de Montemorelos

It is often argued that the author of Hebrews shared the worldview of the specific stream of Greek philosophy associated with Plato. This paper will explore the relationship between Hebrews’ view of the creation of the world and Plato’s Timaeus on the one hand and Hellenistic Judaism views on the other. Is Hebrews’ creator God a divine craftsman who—like Plato’s Demiurge—worked with pre-existing matter or a more sovereign God who created ex nihilo as Hellenistic Judaism tended to believe? These relationships will be explored in the context of the reactions to Plato’s Timaeus by Aristotle, the stoics, and the atomists.


Judgment and Kingdom: Echoes of Daniel in Hebrews
Program Unit: Pastoral and Catholic Epistles
Felix H. Cortez, Universidad de Montemorelos

Hebrews 12:28 contains an allusion to Dan 7:14 and 18 where God promises that the saints will receive an everlasting kingdom. This is one of only three allusions to Daniel in the Letter to the Hebrews. A more careful look to the theology of Hebrews will reveal, however, that the relationship in Hebrews between the enthronement of the “Son”, the defeat or submission of the enemies, and judgment provide more points of contacts to Daniel 7. Furthermore, the sacrifice of the Son for the expiation of sin and the inauguration of a new covenant and a new sanctuary in Heb 9 resembles the theological argument of Dan 9:24–27 as well. These echoes of Daniel suggest a new perspective that will throw new light on the argument of the author of Hebrews who considered to be living in the “last days”.


Salvation in 3 Maccabees
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
J.R.C. Cousland, University of British Columbia

A close reading of 3 Maccabees reveals that the concept of salvation assumes considerable prominence throughout the work: in one form or another, it is referred to almost thirty times. Yet, despite its prominence, it has not been much studied. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to examine this concept in detail. It will first address the notion of deliverance within the work, and then move to a discussion of divine blessing. Finally, it will argue that the author’s focus upon salvation is meant to serve as a condemnation of “pagan” religion, specifically the cult of Dionysus. Dionysic religion was celebrated in the ancient world for its own forms of salvation, and the author of 3 Maccabees wants to demonstrate that the only authentic form of salvation is that offered by the God of Israel. It is the polemical context of 3 Maccabees, therefore, that helps to explain the prominence of the concept of salvation within the work.


The Greek Verb System: A Diachronic Analysis Using Computational Methods
Program Unit: Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics
Robert Crelin, University of Cambridge

In recent years there has been considerable controversy concerning the structure and nature of the Ancient Greek verb system. This has been the case particularly in the analysis of the Greek of the New Testament. Using a predominantly synchronic approach some, including Porter and Decker, have argued that tense is not encoded within the Greek indicative verb system. Rather they argue that the verb system encodes aspect alone, tense being expressed by implicature. In this paper I adopt computational methods to identify statistically significant patterns of collocation with particular temporal adverbs and clause types, focusing on the perfect, pluperfect and aorist indicative actives. I use for an ancient language a large corpus of approximately 1.5 million words stretching from the early first millennium BC through to the first century AD, including but not limited to the writers Polybius, Josephus and Plutarch as well as parts of the New Testament. By tracing the path of development of these verb forms over this period I show that the Greek verb system follows a cross-linguistically well attested path of development. By these means I intend both in general to demonstrate the necessity of diachronic study for understanding the verb system of a language at any given point in time, and specifically to set the current debate concerning the verb system in the New Testament in perspective.


Holy Russia meets Socialist Realism: a Hermeneutic for (Bible) Translation in a Post-communist Age
Program Unit:
Simon Crisp, United Bible Societies

The cultural context in Russia and many of the other post-Soviet states is heavily influenced by the heritage of Orthodox Christianity on the one hand, and the experience of communist dictatorship on the other. Both of these components play a key role in framing the environment in which translation (including Bible translation) is carried out. In addition, there is an extensive literature in Russian on translation issues which deserves to be better known. The paper will explore some of the implications of this unique set of historical circumstances for the task of Bible translation, while at the same time offering a "consumer's perspective" on how pragmatics in general and RT in particular might help to illuminate this task.


The Davidic System of Musical Notation
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
David Crookes, Belfast, UK

More than twenty years ago Lawrence Zalcmann observed in his article 'Death and the Calendar' [Hebrew University Studies in Literature and the Arts 16 (1988), 99], 'Italian Jewish poets of the early modern period wrote poems which could be read in both Hebrew and Italian.' That astonishing feat was regularly equalled by the musician-poets of ancient Israel, whose poems not only mean what they mean in Hebrew, but also contain their own musical notation. Every one of their compositions is 50% poetry and 50% music. The notes of a melody may be encrypted in the letters of consecutive words, in the first or last letters of consecutive words, or in the first and last letters of alternate words. In the basic system of notation the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet denote musical notes as follows: aleph = one-beat d, beth = one-beat e, gimel = one-beat f, daleth = one-beat g, he = one-beat a, wau = one-beat b, zayin = one-beat c'; cheth = two-beat d, teth = two-beat e, yodh = two-beat f, kaph = two-beat g, lamedh = two-beat a, mem = two-beat b, nun = two-beat c'; samekh = three-beat d, ayin = three-beat e, pe = three-beat f, tzaddi = three-beat g, qoph = three-beat a, resh = three-beat b, s[h]in = three-beat c', and tau = three-beat d'. We shall see how the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are married both to the pitches of the white-note scale of d (d, e, f, g, a, b, c', d'), and to different units of musical time. Then we shall observe how the melodies of Psalm 124 and The Song of the Bow are encrypted in particular verses of the Hebrew text. Finally, we shall explore the Davidic organum of Alamoth and Sheminith.


Toward a Social History of the New Perspective on Paul
Program Unit:
James Crossley, University of Sheffield

Simultaneously a common touchstone in recent summaries of biblical scholarship and a diffuse arrangement of scholars and ideas, the New Perspective on Paul appears to be one of the most important interpretive shifts within Pauline studies for a century. This joint presentation will begin to unpack the social contexts and institutional effects of the joining of various agendas and approaches under the unifying name of a new perspective on Paul. We will pay special attention to implicit and explicit forms of ethical justification in those interpretations of Paul constituting the new perspective, using these as an indication of the ways in which New Testament scholars have aligned and allied themselves to conversations occurring outside this academic field.


Ištar and the Motif of the Cosmological Warrior
Program Unit: Israel in the Ancient Near East (EABS)
C. L. Crouch, University of Cambridge

Within the inscriptional tradition of a single Assyrian king, this paper examines the changing ideological landscape of military activity and theology, as Assurbanipal attempts and fails to divert traditional cosmological language away from the problematic Babylonian Marduk and onto his favourite, the prophetic Ištar. Both the problem of Marduk and the choice of Ištar arose and were influenced by the political circumstances of Assurbanipal’s reign – emphasising the importance of analysing divine attributes and theological concepts in close connection with their concrete historical background in mind. The convergence of Esarhaddon’s and Assurbanipal’s indebtedness to the Ištar tradition with the ongoing troubles of Babylonian governance converge to create a novel, though ultimately unsuccessful, theological and mythological exercise.


The Dynamics of Early Christian Mission: Insights from Computer Modeling
Program Unit: Mind, Society, and Tradition
Istvan Czachesz, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and University of Heidelberg

In this paper I will summarize the preliminary results gained from computer modeling experiments on the spread of early Christianity. The two agent-based models were created in the NetLogo environment and demonstrate the promise of such an approach for studying religious movements, in general, and early Christianity, in particular. The first model examines the conditions for the spread of new teachings in society, concentrating on the role of early Christian missionaries. The model shows how the work of Paul and other missionaries contributed to the success of the new religion. Whereas such a result can be intuitively expected, further experimentation with the model reveals unexpected features. Adding missionaries to the system beyond a certain number does not promote the success of the new religion any more. The second study focuses on a different aspect of early Christian mission. In the real world, people tend to forget information and learning involves rehearsal. Sharing a piece of information with others requires having a sufficiently vivid memory of it. It is a well-known principle of evangelical campaigns that new converts have to be contacted and connected to existing communities, lest they quickly relapse into their previous, unconverted state. After adding theses aspects to our model, we can see how religious innovation results in the formation of congregations at one place, but disappears without a lasting effect at other places. Both studies demonstrate the potential of computer modeling to find unexpected behaviors of a religious system. I will elaborate on the significance of these findings in the context of other evidence about the social structure of early Christianity.


The Biographical Uses of the Figure of Moses in the Writings of the Cappadocians with Special Focus on Gregory of Nazianzus’ Autobiographical Remarks
Program Unit: Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity
Finn Damgaard, University of Copenhagen

The Cappadocians’ use of the figure of Moses has recently been explored by scholars such as Andrea Sterk (Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church, Cambridge 2004) and Claudia Rapp (Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity, Berkeley 2005). In continuation of two articles by Marguerite Harl, they have argued that the Cappadocians used the figure of Moses to advocate a particular monk-bishop ideal. In my paper I shall re-examine the Cappadocians’ use of the figure of Moses. I will argue that they employed the figure of Moses much more differently than argued in recent scholarship: while Basil compared the figure of Moses not only to bishops, but also to holy men, and Gregory of Nyssa set forth the figure of Moses as a ‘possible self’ for all Christians, Gregory of Nazianzus rather reserved the figure to himself and his closest kin. Rather than promoting a certain episcopal ideology, the figure of Moses and the book of Exodus were creatively rewritten and adapted to highly different contexts by each of the Cappadocians. I shall especially focus on the way Gregory of Nazianzus in his orations and his autobiographical poems took the figure of Moses as an exclusive figure in order to construct his own character and personal authority.


The Interpretation and Translation of Verbs of "Giving" in the New Testament
Program Unit: Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics
Paul Danove, Villanova University

This paper resolves the occurrences of the thirteen NT verbs of "giving" into seven usages and considers the interpretation and translation of the verbs with each usage. The introductory discussion develops the semantic and syntactic criteria for identifying verbal usages and the distinguishing characteristics of verbs of "giving". The study identifies the semantic, syntactic, and lexical properties of all occurrences of each verb with each usage, clarifies potential difficulties for interpretation, and proposes procedures for translation that accommodate the interpretive constraints with each usage. The concluding discussion distinguishes the function of complements with the same lexical realizations in different usages.


Whose Bible is It Anyway?
Program Unit:
Philip Davies, Sheffield University

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A god of the mountains? An iconographic perspective on 1 Kings 20:23MT
Program Unit: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible
Izaak J. de Hulster, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

After the Aramaeans lose a battle against Israel (1 Kings 20MT; 1 Kings 21LXX), the servants of Ben-Hadad explain the defeat by pointing out that the god (or gods) of the Israelites is a ‘god of the mountains’. An iconographic exploration helps to understand the Aramaean side of the argument: what kind of god(s) did the Aramaeans of Damascus serve? What does ‘god of the mountains’ mean? Was the Aramaeans’ god not a ‘god of the mountains’ or in any way associated with mountains? In order to answer these questions, various types of deities will be discussed: different mountain gods, weather gods, and moon gods.


An introduction to the "BIBEL + ORIENT Database Online“ (BODO)
Program Unit: Biblical Studies and Technology
Izaak J. de Hulster, Georg-August Universitaet-Goettingen

The BIBLE+ORIENT Museum Database Online of the BIBEL+ORIENT Museum in Fribourg (Switzerland) is a web based database created for the electronic management of ancient Near Eastern image and object data. The numerous data fields enable not only a precise cataloging of the museum inventory but also systematic searches for purposes of scientific research. The consultation of digitalized catalogs of the collections is of special help for scholars interested in different applications of ancient Near Eastern pictorial material. This introduction will access the database online and thus present the different possibilities and applications of the database. An survey of some other databases and some practical advices for employing images in Biblical Studies will round of the presentation.


Preaching the Imprecatory Psalms
Program Unit: Writings (including Psalms)
Nancy L. deClaisse-Walford, McAfee School of Theology

The book of Psalms contains a number of psalms (Pss 12, 58, 83, 94, 109, 129, and 137) known as "imprecatory psalms." In these, the psalmists invoke God's wrath upon their enemies and foes. Their language is harsh and graphic; a cruel judgment is to be meted out on their foes. The psalmists ask God to take vengeance on others: others who have harmed them, who have deprived them of freedom, who have sought to destroy them physically, mentally, or spiritually. How do twenty-first-century believers read, understand, embrace, and then preach such harsh words? Or should we? We think of church, and most especially Sunday morning worship, as a place of uplifting, where we give praise to God for God's good abundance to us. But, what about those times when the world cannot be shut out? What if the world is screaming in dissonance with the world we attempt to create on Sunday mornings? Should we read the imprecatory psalms--the psalms of vengeance? In church? Should we pray these psalms? In church? Should we preach these psalms? The psalms that ask God to lash out at others on our behalf? Or do we, should we, maintain that our corporate worship is too sacred, too other-worldly, too much outside the realm of everyday life, or too politically correct to use such language? We gather, after all, to worship and praise God. But what if praise is not what we feel? The imprecatory psalms remind us of the basic human desire for revenge when we or those we love have been wronged. Such words in the biblical text indicate to us that God does not ask us to suppress those emotions, but rather to speak about them in plain and heartfelt terms The imprecatory psalms are heartfelt, raw, angry, difficult. Do they need to be heard? Yes. Do they need to be preached? Yes. This paper will provide some basic guidelines for interpreting and appropriating these psalms in our twenty-first-century environment.


Euphony in the Septuagint
Program Unit: Hellenistic Judaism
Andrei Desnitsky, Institute for Bible Translation

This paper aims at adding one more aspect, so far mainly neglected, that may have influenced the choice of the LXX translators; namely, euphony. Some non-standard renderings, especially in poetic passages, create more regularity in rhythm and more alliterations than standard equivalents would do. For instance, in Exodus 15:1 the Hebrew "ashira lYHWH ki ga'o ga'a" was translated as "aswmen tw kyriw endoxws gar dedoxasqai". This line contains a few unusual renderings, and the best explanation for them seems to be the quest for a better rhythmic structure (cf. a more standard rendering "asw tw kyriw hoti doxasqai dedoxasqai"). The same we see in the next line where LXX has a highly unusual word order ("houtos mou qeos" instead of "houtos ho qeos mou") and in many other places. The paper will propose a number of examples from Genesis 49 and Exodus 15.


The Christian Library from Turfan, China: an Eastern Outpost of the Antiochian Tradition
Program Unit: Bible in Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Traditions
Mark Dickens, School of Oriental and African Studies

Through the missionary expansion of the Church of the East, the Antiochian exegetical and hermeneutical tradition was carried into much of Asia, including Central Asia, China and Mongolia. However, reconstructing the history of this tradition in these areas is particularly difficult, due to the scattered nature of textual and archaeological witnesses. Thus, the presence of over 1100 fragments of Christian manuscripts amongst the 40,000 manuscript fragments in 20 scripts and 22 languages brought back to Berlin by the Second and Third Prussian Turfan Expeditions (1904-1907) is crucial for documenting the Antiochian tradition in Central Asia. This corpus constitutes the easternmost extant library of a Christian community in this tradition, with manuscript fragments in Syriac, Middle Persian, Sogdian, New Persian and Old Turkic representing a broad spectrum of genres, including biblical and liturgical texts, ascetic and hagiographical works, and prayer booklets, all indicative of the monastic nature of the community from which they originated. Although some of the Christian fragments have been published over the past century, many remain unpublished and none have been catalogued. To rectify this, a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (United Kingdom) is now in the process of cataloguing all the Christian fragments (Syriac, Sogdian, New Persian and Old Turkic) in Syriac script from Turfan. This presentation will give an overview of project findings thus far, with a focus on biblical fragments, including the many Psalter portions found in the corpus.


"May he last with the sun." Psalm 72 in its Northern Syrian Context
Program Unit: Israel in the Ancient Near East (EABS)
Jan Dietrich, University of Leipzig

The Hebrew ideology of the kingdom as presented in Psalm 72 has customarily been interpreted as being influenced by the traditions of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Mesopotamia. In most cases, scholars focused on the traditions of enthronement, as well as on the everlasting idea of justice (Ma'at; kittum and misarum) to interpret Psalm 72 in the light of Egyptian and Mesopotamian sources. Without doubt, the idea of fertility is connected with these traditions: When the king is enthroned by god resp. the gods, he has to ensure both justice and fertility in the land. Nevertheless, the tradition of the king's responsibility for fertility seems to have strong similarities, not only with Egypt and Mesopotamia, but also especially with Ancient Syrian traditions. In this paper, the speaker will follow the Syro-Palestinian images and texts concerning the king's responsibility for fertility to interpret Psalm 72 in its Ancient Syrian context. At the end of the paper, the difficult Verse 5 is interpreted in the light of Mesopotamian as well as North-West Semitic inscriptions.


Amos and the ivory beds and houses of Samaria
Program Unit: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Bible
Meindert Dijkstra, Universiteit Utrecht

The prophet Amos mentions at several occasions ivory furnishment and adornment of houses and palaces (Amos 3:12, 15, 6:4) as an example of the exuberant luxury of the Samarian elite. This paper will discuss some aspects of the technics, image and themes of ivory carvings. It will ask the question whether or not also religious criticism of the used images is involved en finally come with a proposal for a new rendering and interpretation of Amos 3:12.


Manga Bibles and Their Treatment of Female Characters in the Book of Judges
Program Unit: Bible and Visual Culture
Amanda Dillon, Dublin, Ireland

2007 saw something of a phenomenon in bible publishing when three separate publishers each produced a “Manga Bible”. These bibles are promoted as graphic, illustrated bibles employing the Japanese, comic illustration style known as ‘manga’. Manga is hugely popular with teenage and young adult readers. It is also controversial and known in some quarters for its darker, adult content. The treatment of female characters both visually and in storylines has been problematic for many readers and, indeed, artists. This paper explores the visual characterisation of the female characters in the Book of Judges across the three manga bibles. Judges presents us with a great diversity of female characters, including: Deborah and Jael; the mothers of Abimelech, Gideon and Samson; Delilah, Jephthath’s daughter and the so-called ‘levite’s concubine’ to mention but a few. As a very current, contemporary visual interpretation of these characters, in a popular and controversial graphic idiom, do these bibles offer us new insight into these characters? Or do they repeat previous interpretations found in traditional art forms and commentary? How have the female characters of Judges been interpreted and drawn in manga style? What is the relationship between the text and the manga? How has the violence in the text been dealt with in these manga bibles? This paper offers a critique from a feminist perspective.


The Fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets in the Gospel of Matthew
Program Unit: Synoptic Gospels
Paul H. Dimmock, King's College London

In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus states “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to destroy but to fulfil. For truly I say to you, until the heaven and the earth has passed away, not one iota or one apex of a letter will pass away from the Law until all has been accomplished” (5.17-18). While it has been hypothesized by John P. Meier among others, that through the death and resurrection of Jesus the heaven and earth have indeed passed away, and the old creation was superseded by new, does Matthew himself view the death and resurrection of Jesus as fulfilling either the Law or prophecy? I wish to argue that the fulfilment of the Law and the Prophets cannot take place until after the gentile mission as commanded in Matthew 28.19-20 has been completed. This involves the judgement of the nations as found in the prophecies of Isaiah (2.2-4; 42.1-4; 66.18-22) and is alluded to in Matthew (13.39-42, 47-49) a judgement with Jesus, the Son of Man as judge (12.18; 25.31-46).


The Witch of Endor
Program Unit: Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact
Siobhan Dowling Long, Waterford Institute of Technology

In 1693, the English composer Henry Purcell (1659-95) composed his only sacred Dramatic Dialogue 'In Guilty Night' (Z 134), based upon the biblical story of Saul and the Witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28: 8-20). The reception of this text in music retells the story of Saul's visit to the Witch of Endor, and her summons of the ghost of Samuel to foretell Saul's fate. The reception of this biblical text in music enjoyed considerable popularity in the Seventeenth Century by numerous composers, and later in the Twentieth Century by Benjamin Britten (1947). Purcell retold this story in music by employing the techniques of the Italian seconda prattica, and setting the composition for three voices: Saul (counter-tenor), the Witch of Endor (Soprano), Samuel (Bass), and an ensemble. This paper will examine the reception of 1 Sam. 28: 8-20 in the text and music of Henry Purcell's 'In Guilty Night' (Z 134).


David
Program Unit: Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)
Diana V. Edelman, University of Sheffield

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The Good Teacher
Program Unit: Professional Issues
Martin Ehrensvård, Aarhus Universitet

A good teacher in the old days was something quite different from a good teacher nowadays. The paper will explore what it means to be a good teacher today, arguing that the good teacher today must integrate many more perspectives and functions in order to meaningfully interact with today's students. This is in line with some theories of psychological development, like that of Clare W. Graves (2005), who argues that humans are growing and maturing in precisely the ability to reconcile more perspectives (not just our own) and that we grow in our ability to care for larger and larger circles of people. The paper will apply this theory to the role as teacher.


Samson and Delilah: Biblical Narrative and Artistic Interpretation
Program Unit: Bible and Visual Culture
Carl S. Ehrlich, York University

The aim of this presentation is to examine how visual art may serve as a form of midrash, both interpreting the biblical text and filling in perceived lacunae in the biblical narrative. Through an examination of selected images from the western artistic tradition, the use of art as a form of midrash will be demonstrated. Placing the selected artwork in a historical framework reaching from ca. the 14th to the 21st centuries will illustrate how interpretations are oftentimes tied to the dominant Zeitgeist, as may be seen in the progression from the depictions of Samson and Delilah as fully clothed (e.g., Cranach in the early 16th century) to them as completely naked (e.g., Liebermann in the early 20th). In addition, particular emphasis will be placed on the varying artistic answers to questions concerning Delilah's occupation, feelings for Samson and ultimate fate, the cutting of Samson's hair, and Samson's age, among others.


A Shift in Time: Parallels between events depicted in the New Testament and later events depicted in the writings of Josephus
Program Unit: Synoptic Gospels
Lena Einhorn, Stockholm, Sweden

One of the limitations facing historical Jesus studies has been his virtual absence from contemporary historical accounts, outside of the New Testament. Considering the fact that other first century records, primarily the works of Josephus, depict in detail the Jewish political and messianic movements of the time, the most common conclusion has been that Jesus probably was less important in his own time than the gospel narratives suggest. However, in a comparison between the New Testament and the works of Josephus, a number of hitherto neglected parallel events were found, that in Josephus’ writings occur with a consistent delay of fifteen to twenty years. The parallel events are presented, as well as a hypothesis for why a time shift could have taken place.


Herkunft und Verwendung der philistäischen Masken während der Eisenzeit (Origin and Use of Masks in Iron Age Philistia)
Program Unit: The Philistines (EABS)
Dominik Elkowitz, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

A large number of cultic items were found in Philistia. Among them were many types of masks. Masks are known in ancient Palestine since the Neolithic period and were found not only in Philistia, but also at sites in Judah, Phoenicia and Cyprus. The article endeavours to present and analyze anthropomorphic and zoomorphic masks with some suggestions regarding their use. It is suggested here that they were used in cult practices. Alternatively, masks could also serve as votive objects (this lecture is in German).


David as the Son of Man
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
J. Harold Ellens, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

This paper develops the relationship between David as mythic literary character, the life of David in Kings and Chronicles, the Psalms of exaltation and enthronement, and the enthronement notions in the Son of Man traditions of Second Temple Judaism (Ezekiel, Daniel 7-9, I Enoch 37-71, 11Q13Mel, The War Scroll, and the Hoyadot, IV Ezra, The Testimony of Abraham, and The Synoptic Gospels). David is a mythic character in that it is clear from the Hebrew Bible presentation of him that the tensions in his story indicate heroic mythicization. For example, he is graphically depicted as an adulterer and premeditating murderer, on the one hand, and yet a Man after God's own heart, on the other; a guerilla warrior constantly acting to undermine the very effective and divinely anointed king Saul and kingdom of Israel, on the one hand, and yet the heroic savior of Israel on the other; the philanderer with Abigail and others, and the abuser or neglecter of his wife Michael on the one hand, and the establisher of a divinely appointed dynasty, on the other; the disciplinarian, on the one hand, and the indulgent father, on the other, resulting in the rape of his daughter, and the rebellion and death of his prized son; he is the man God judges negatively as having bloody hands, on the one hand, and yet the man commended for his spiritual vision of bringing the ark of the covenant to the "Holy City - Zion" and anticipating the Solomonic Temple, on the other. In the life of David in Kings and Chronicles we can discern from the shape and contrasts of the two narratives that his story is manipulated to devalue Saul and even Samuel, and enhance David. He is, on the one hand, a reprehensible character, and on the other hand, Superhuman caricature. The interesting thing for this paper, however, is the relationship between this man of myth and manipulated history, on the one hand, and the exaltation and enthronement Psalms that may refer to him as the Idealized Man, on the other. There is significant reason to believe that Psalm 2, 8, 80, 110, and perhaps Proverbs 30 are related to this Idealized Man tradition. Such a tradition dominated Second Temple Judaisms after the Exile in the form of the Son of Man myth. We know when that started. The Son of Man in Ezekiel is merely human and the title means just that: "mere mortal". Ezekiel's Son of Man is not a Davidic Superman, nor an Idealized Man, nor an exalted enthroned heavenly figure. In Daniel the Son of Man, however, is an exalted idealized heavenly figure but not an enthroned man nor the heavenly judge. He is simply another "man after God's own heart," who must carry out, through his field forces on earth (The People of the Holy Ones of the Most High) the destruction of evil powers and institutions and the establishment of the reign of God on earth. In I Enoch and the Synoptic Gospels the Son of Man starts as an Ezekiel-like human but becomes through suffering and ordeal the exalted heavenly man appointed to be the Eschatological Judge, exterminating the wicked, collecting the righteous into God's kingdom, and ending, cataclysmically, history as we know it. In the DSS the virtual Son of Man is an exalted Heavenly Man and Savior (11Q13Mel). In the War Scroll and Hodayot he is king, priest, suffering servant and savior. In John's Gospel the Son of Man starts out as the divine Logos who is the Eschatological Judge; but he sets aside that function (5:27-47) to exercise instead his function as the suffering servant and savior of the whole world, who then returns to his exalted status as God. This paper draws the lines of force in David's life through the Psalms (and Prov.) of exaltation, to the Son of Man as Exalted Eschatological Judge, and on to the alternative image of Savior, to discern whether the David myths and the Psalms shaped the early Second Temple Judaisms' Son of Man, and whether John got his alternative vision from the Psalms as well.


Psychotheology: Key Issues
Program Unit: Psychological Hermeneutics of Biblical Themes and Texts
Dr. J. Harold Ellens, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

This paper addresses the key theological issues in congregational ministry and pastoral counseling that require crucial formative influence from the psychological sciences. It attempts to develop a psychotheological paradigm for ministry in an exegetically informed biblical perspective viewed throug a specifically psychological hermeneutic.


Political Antipathy in the Apocalypse of John
Program Unit: Early Christianity between Judaism and Hellenism (EABS)
Ted M. Erho, Durham University

Research on the Apocalypse of John in general, and over the past two decades in particular, has brought forth a plethora of ideas regarding the political orientation of the apocalyptist as revealed in his work, with major points of view dubbing the author 1) anti-Roman or 2) anti-empire, or calling the book a product of 3) anti-imperialism. However, collectively and individually these terms are both misleading and, to a considerable extent, erroneous. First, while Revelation undeniably possesses an anti-Roman tint, there are many images and ideas that can also, or better, be described as anti-Parthian, an expansion which invalidates the former classification. Second, John never takes issue with the political entity of empire, and in certain instances even portrays such a structure in a positive light: this is evidenced most clearly in the inclusion of the “kings of the earth” in the New Jerusalem vision (21:24), whose obeisance (21:26; cf. 22:2-4) casts the governance of the utopian city in a de facto imperial manner with God as emperor. Indeed, the focus of the authorial attacks is not the empire, but the person of the emperor and those who assist him in conducting despotic imperial actions. Third, while the use of "anti-imperialism" to describe the Apocalypse is not entirely fallacious as with the preceding duo of terms, the modern meaning of this word is inextricably intertwined with various unwanted associations, such as territorial jingoism and colonization, that are either historically inappropriate or inaccurate, thereby rendering it a problematic nomenclatorial choice. Consequently, as it is the matter of despotic tyranny which underlies John’s antipathy to political power, either "anti-Caesarism" or "anti-autocratism" would serve as more suitable terminological alternatives.


Cain, Abel and Israel
Program Unit: Judaica
Johanna Erzberger, German Conference of Bishops

The lecture focuses on the reading of Gen 4:1–16 by aggadic Midrashim. By asking after the Midrashim’s reception of Gen 4:1–16 I am asking after the Midrashim’s way of interpreting that biblical story, and after that interpretation’s content. Within those Midrashim, that do interpret the story of Cain and Able, a certain amount of traditional material, fixed intertextual links and traditional pieces of interpretation are constantly repeated. The intertextually linked biblical verses call up and also link the verses’ original contexts. Fixed intertextual links and traditional pieces are used by their different midrshic contexts to present those Midrashim’s individual message. After comparing different rabbinic readings of one biblical text, and asking for differences and similarities it is possible to develop a general picture.


Circumstantial Phrases and Clauses in Biblical Hebrew
Program Unit: Biblical Hebrew and Linguistics (EABS)
Mats Eskhult, Uppsala University

Driver, Treatise on the Use of Tenses in Hebrew, states that: circumstantial is any phrase or clause used to qualify the main action by assigning the concomitant conditions under which it takes place. Driver is hesitant to name a number of backgrounded constructions circumstantial: the circumstance at hand should be descriptive of an actant at the time of the action featured by the principal verb. In a diachronic perspective and with reference to inscriptional Hebrew and versiones, this paper discusses phrases and clauses that are circumstantial by indicating what the subject or object is or was at the time of the action performed, as well as the circumstantial character of inter alia, statements made on two subjects, of which the second highlights the contrast to the preceding, and clauses introduced by wehinne after verbs of perception.


Evolution Toward the Concept of Holy War in the Ancient Near East
Program Unit: Ancient Near East
Peeter Espak, University of Tartu

It is hard to determine a certain period in history where we can already speak about the terms “holy war” or “theology of war”. Major military conflicts certainly took place already in the 4th millennium BC and before the invention of cuneiform 3300-3000 BC in the Ancient Near East. It is reasonable to believe that the archaic city gods were considered to be “fertility gods” or “gods of vegetation” providing their subjects with the daily livelihood. They were probably not understood as mighty warlords as Enlil or Ningirsu in later Sumerian royal inscriptions and myths. When to analyse the first available longer Sumerian royal inscriptions from the period of the king Ur-Nanše (ca. 2520) of the state of Lagaš, it is noticeable that warfare is described to have taken place between the “men of Lagaš” and their enemies who are described to be the “men of Ur and Umma” (Urn. 51). No divine force or god is ever mentioned ordering the war or helping the king and his army to achieve its objectives. Next preserved Sumerian royal inscriptions describing the war between the states of Lagaš and Umma come from the rule of the king Eanatum (ca. 2470), grandson of Ur-Nanše. Eanatum’s inscriptions are clearly expressing that all the military campaigns started by the king are undertaken following divine orders from the gods. Eanatum acts as the messenger of the gods or simply follows an order from the higher powers to restore the divine justice (Ean. 1). It seems that a certain concept of warfare as a theological matter has evolved in the royal ideology of the state of Lagaš not present only some decades earlier. The inscriptions of the king Eanatum can be considered to be the first recorded evidence about the “holy war” or “theology of war” in human history.


Genesis 4, 1b in Light of Ancient Near Eastern Mythology
Program Unit: Pentateuch (Torah)
Peeter Espak, University of Tartu

The paper discusses some parallels detectable in the concepts of creation myths of the Old Testament and wider context of Ancient Near Eastern mythology. In the Sumerian "Enki and Ninmah" myth and in the Akkadian "Atrahasis" epic, the first man is created in the presence of the creator god Enki/Ea and possibly inseminated by that divine figure himself. A parallel leading to the conclusion that a divine figure somehow takes part in the process of impregnating the first female in the context of the Ancient Near East is found in Genesis 4, 1b where the first female Eve states that she had given birth to a man with the help of YHWH. The statement by Eve ???????? ????? ???-???? seems to refer to the fact that she expresses gratefulness to the Lord who has somehow helped or made possible the birth of the first child. If to consider the larger Ancient Near Eastern mythological context, the passage might point to the Sumero-Akkadian idea that the first woman was impregnated by the creator god himself. The idea was probably used indirectly: the motive is similar (borrowed) but the religious meaning is already totally different in Hebrew perception. The similarities between different anthropogonies in the Ancient Near Eastern and Old Testament mythologies were clearly pointed out by I. M. Kikawada in his paper “The Double Creation of Mankind in Enki and Ninmah, Atrahasis I 1-351, and Genesis 1-2” (Iraq 45, 1983) where it is shown that in those three myths, the mankind is created in similar terms and in two different phases. Literary dependence of the myths seems indisputable in comparative perspective which also points to the possibility that at least Genesis 1-11 was composed by a single author(s) trying to fit the Hebrew world view into the previous Ancient Near Eastern mythological corpus.


How does that make you feel? Emotions and the strength of assumptions
Program Unit: Relevance Theory and Biblical Interpretation
Barrie Evans, SIL International

Cognitive scientists have expressed interest in what can be termed 'hot' thoughts (e.g., Paul Thagard, 2006, 'Hot Thoughts: Mechanisms and Applications of Emotional Cognition') and their role in persuasion and religion. In Relevance Theory the strength of an assumption is said to only reflect the felt likelihood of it being true by a person. This presentation will reflect on the role of emotion in communication and the way this might be handled in Relevance Theory.


Whatever Happened to Feminist Biblical Interpretation?
Program Unit:
J. Cheryl Exum, University of Sheffield

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A Situated Learning Approach to Biblical Studies
Program Unit: Professional Issues
John P. Falcone, Boston College

Biblical scholars need a model of learning to complement our overworked (and often under-analyzed) models of teaching. Students can learn what is covered in a syllabus, but they also learn much more – professional mores and hierarchies, styles of academic survival, modes of collegial interaction (both democratic and otherwise). A “situated learning model” locates learning within a particular “community of practice,” in this case, the Biblical Studies classroom. It helps illuminate all the goals and trajectories that our classrooms actually embody. Some trajectories are designed for deeper and deeper entry into the heart of a practice; others conspire to keep students at the periphery. This model also makes explicit the different identities and communities that intersect within the Biblical Studies classroom: the places where students live, and where they will eventually work. A situated learning model suggests that the processes and tools of effective learning should be “transparent:” they should work equally well for production, interaction, and apprehension. The “products” of learning should demonstrate the logic of the tasks and the whole; they should affect a community beyond the audience of one (typically, the instructor). Facilitators should foster and respect the “informal networks” that generate reflection and learning. They should initiate learners into the “discourse” of the field (currently a strength); they should also help students develop and clarify their own “identities” as practitioners or users of Biblical scholarship (currently a point of weakness). Situated learning can ground pedagogies such as service learning and TCI (Theme Centered Interaction) in a rigorous diagnostic model for effective learning facilitation. What skills do we really hone? We will analyze our classrooms as communities of practice and discuss.


Arthur Vööbus: Refugee, Adventurer, and Researcher
Program Unit:
Terry Falla, University of Melbourne

Arthur Vööbus: Refugee, Adventurer, and Researcher


Horvat Me'ar in the Lower Galilee – A Settlement of a Priestly Course
Program Unit: Archaeology
Nurit Feig, Israel Antiquities Authority

Excavations at Horvat Me'ar in the Lower Galilee 9 km. northwest of Yodfat, uncovered the remains of a settlement established towards the end of the Persian Period. The ruins revealed a residential quarter from the Hellenistic period and several buildings from the Roman period. These include: A- A Hellenistic quarter which consists of two main multi-roomed structures divided by a path. Many imported vessels as well as figurines and coins were found in situ. B – An early Roman farmhouse. The structure includes rooms surrounded by courtyards. A variety of ceramic vessels as well as chalk stone vessels uncovered on the floors and date to the 1st century BCE -1st century CE. Both areas were reoccupied in the Roman period 2nd-3rd century C.E. Evidence was observed for the raising of floors and reconstructing of walls in the farmhouse. The pagan Hellenistic settlement at M'ar ended with the arrival of Hasmoneans to the site. They settled in the old houses and constructed new dwellings. The clear sequence of settlement activity at the site during the Roman period is notable, particularly regarding the central structure which apparently was a farmhouse. It appears that the Roman conquest of Yodfat in Great Revolt had little influence on Horvat Me'ar. The architectural evidence and the ceramic assemblages in the buildings show that the site was continuously occupied until the fourth century CE. During the second century C.E. following the Second Jewish Revolt, the Galilee was a district where Jewish settlement and institutions were reinstated. For example the renewal of the leadership institution at Usha contemporaneously with the transfer of the priestly courses from Judah to villages in the Galilee. The list of priestly courses is important for the distribution of their settlements in the Galilee. The results of the excavation, the chalk stone vessel industry and the preservation of the name M'ar from the Roman period down to the 16th century support the identification of the site of Horvat Me'ar as one of the villages of the Priestly Course.


The Genesis Narratives as Reflection of the Mixed Marriage Debate
Program Unit:
Irmtraud Fischer, University of Graz

The Genesis´ narratives about Israel´s matriarchs and patriarchs reflect the different views on adequate marriages within post-exilic community: from a plea for strictly endogamous marriage (Gen 27.46-28.9), a moderate position preferring marriage within extended families (Gen 24), the possibility to marry a converted foreigner (Gen 34), to the position of ethics alone as criteria for the right spouse (Gen 38; and in the same line Ruth). The whole range of arguments can be found here. In spite of the absolutely agnatic genealogies constituting the affiliation to the temple community, the texts shed light on the importance of women, their origins and conduct of life in the Persian Period.


King David in Jewish Music
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Gila Flam, National Library, Israel

King David inspired several composers of art music and song to compose musical pieces from Opera to folk song. The various composers were inspired by the rich character of Biblical David. At the same time they wanted to communicate with their audience and create music that will be understood in their times, mainly the 20th century. In this paper I will look into several pieces of music that tell about David in Israeli art music, popular song and Yiddish song and analyze the music. The question is whether the musical language chosen for pieces about David is different in style, melody and rhythm within one composer’s style and within the style of the genre. This paper will present the source material and methodology for approaching the subject, rather than drawing definite conclusions on the topic.


A New Comparative Edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch
Program Unit: Samaritan Studies (EABS)
Moshe Florentin, Tel Aviv University

Since the groundbreaking work of Wilhelm Gesenius the study of the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch, and especially research involving textual criticism of that version, has progressed considerably. An important step forward was achieved with the publication (by Z. Ben-H?ayyim) of the recitation of the Samaritan Pentateuch in its entirety by the members of that community in their synagogues; however, until the present we have not possessed a fully detailed picture of the Samaritan version in all its uniqueness. A new comparative diplomatic edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch aims to remedy this situation by presenting, for the first time, all the instances in which the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch differs from the Masoretic text. Essential differences visibly reflected in the written text are indicated by us in bold face type, while those that cannot be seen on the printed page but are expressed only through the traditional pronunciation are both marked and discussed. Over five hundred such cases (not including grammatical differences) are adduced in this new edition. To give one illustration: ??????????? ?????????? ??? ???????? ???? ??????? ????????? MV (Num. 22:5) And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor ????? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ???? ???? SV Analysis of the Samaritan pronunciation combined with examination of other Samaritan sources leads to the conclusion that the two versions do not differ from each other merely in terms of plene / defective writing. In point of fact, the meaning of this excerpt from the Samaritan Pentateuch is actually as follows: And he sent messengers unto Balaam the son of Beor the interpreter. Note that the Vulgate takes a similar tack in translating ariolum.


Reconsidering the Significance of YASKIL through the Figure of David in 1 Sam 18
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Tova Forti, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

The root s-k-l occurs 3 times in I Samuel 18 in a variety of forms: yaskîl, maskîl, and sakal. This repetition within the narrative concerning David's rivalry with the reigning king Saul, invites a reconsideration of the term maskîl, which is otherwise attested as a highly technical term in biblical wisdom literature, in Psalms and especially in the Book of Deuteronomy. Our analysis suggests a more comprehensive understanding of the term maskîl, which is usually understood to denote intelligence or success obtained by wisdom. My analysis, if correct, suggests that the references to the various forms of the root s-k-l in 1 Sam. 18 should be assigned to Dtr. If so, the three references to forms of this root in that chapter all refer to King David as the embodiment of the Deuteronomic concept of king as spelled out in Deut. 17


The Form, Purpose, and Origin of the Chambered City Gates of the Iron II Period
Program Unit: Archaeology
Daniel A. Frese, University of California, San Diego

The general floor plan of Iron II gatehouses is well known to Levantine archaeologists. The building, with its characteristic “piers” and “guard chambers,” has turned up at dozens of excavations in the past century. A full understanding of the gatehouse, however, is complicated by the fact that usually not much of the building’s superstructure – only a few courses of masonry, in most cases – is preserved in the archaeological record. The actual purpose of the piers and chambers, for instance, is not often discussed, and there is some dissent among those who have raised the topic. Another point of interest is the broad and rapid proliferation of this architectural style in the Levant beginning ca. 1000 B.C.E. The sudden popularity raises many questions, one of which is the gatehouse’s origin. In this paper I will use archaeological data, pictorial data from Egyptian and Assyrian reliefs, and biblical descriptions of gates in order to give the most probable reconstruction of the gate’s superstructure, determine the architectural purpose of its distinctive floor plans, and discuss the first attestation of this gate type and possible sources of its origin.


Clay Messengers: Understanding Iron Age Cult Stands as Media
Program Unit: The Philistines (EABS)
Christian Frevel, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Many Iron Age cult stands are painted or decorated with reliefs and appliques. Some of them are in a human shaped form, as for example in Horvat Qitmit and Hirbet el-Mudeyine. The iconographic program of these stands can be treated as a source of information for the cult, its purposes and its intentions. By interpreting the iconography of cult stands as symbolic communication, cult stands are conceived as “media”. Some of the cult stands represent a sanctuary symbolically; others – esp. the anthropomorphic human body shaped stands – represent the votant (offerer) as well as the offering and are used as votives. The paper will ask about the function and iconography of Iron Age cult stands.


Magical Healing and Calendar in Qumran
Program Unit: Magic and Divination in the Biblical World (EABS)
Ida Fröhlich, Pázmány Péter Catholic University

The fragmentary text of 11Q11 was identified by E. Puech as that of the four songs of David „for the stricken”, i.e. for the demon-possessed (mentioned in 11QPsAp/a =11Q5 a Psalm scroll, col. 27.4-10). The paper aims to deal with Qumran demonology, the idea of the relationship of impurity and demonic activity; the effort to maintain purity in the community in order to avoid harmful demonic effects; the question of prohibition and practice of magic and magical healing in Qumran; the purpose of the text of 11Q11, and its possible use and calendrical setting.


Blessings and Worldview in Tobit and Qumran
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Ida Fröhlich, Pázmány Péter Catholic University

Blessing is a recurrent prayer form in Second Temple literature, and has a core role in Qumran writings. The source of the blessings is God, recipients being the elect. Divine blessing given in a ceremonial form has a strenghtening power for the recipients (Berakhot). Blessings may also be addressed by humans to God. These are hymnic enumerations of the acts of God’s deliverance in the past, which serve as a basis for the hope of future help and salvation. This form is represented in Qumran by hymnic compositions of praise to the Lord (Barki nafshi), and blessings included in the thanksgiving compositions of Hodayot (1QHª). Qumran texts know also human blessings addressed to heavenly creatures as it is witnessed by the angelic liturgy when angels are blessing God, in the company of humans (Shirot Olat ha-Shabbat). The narrative of Tobit includes several short blessings uttered by humans, and addressed to God, and His holy angels. Addressees of certain blessings are humans. The paper aims to examine the questions of the Sitz im Leben of the blessings in Tobit: occasions of uttering blessings, addressees of the blessings, titles and terminology used in the blessings, similarities in terminology with Qumran blessings, and the question of a possible common worldview behind blessings in Tobit and Qumran.


Drawing Our Fish in the Sand: U2’s hidden biblical allusions and their diverse reception
Program Unit: The Biblical World and Its Reception (EABS)
Deane Galbraith, University of Otago

Many listeners and critics have openly acclaimed Anglo-Irish rock band U2 as a "Christian band." In support of such acclamations, they have perceived, listed and analyzed biblical and theological themes, motifs and allusions within the band's lyrics, performances and media engagements. By contrast, other listeners and critics have doubted, dismissed or simply even failed to notice U2's Christianity and biblical references. One reason for this dichotomous audience response lies in the deliberately vague, ambiguous or allusive nature of U2's music and media statements. U2 frontman, Bono has occasionally admitted a strategy of secretly playing to two separate audiences - believers and non-believers - via musical and media manipulation he describes as "sort of draw[ing] our fish in the sand." The attention paid to the role of the reader in recent studies on allusion provides insight into this strategy, by highlighting the manner in which an author "makes possible the allusion" without controlling or determining its interpretation, thus opening up a space for a "full-knowing reader ... to recognize and to make coherent what is formerly hidden" (Joseph Pucci, 1998: xi). This paper argues that, while such a reader-oriented theory of allusion goes some way to explain the different and even opposing receptions of U2, it fails to adequately account for their diversity. The paper then supplements the analysis by drawing on a recent body of work within media and cultural studies which argues for an appreciation of the embeddedness of various groups of musical consumers within particular social, cultural and ideological frameworks, and which shifts the focus of analysis from deciphering musical meaning to analyzing concrete ways in which music is used. Such an approach both offers a more complex understanding of the diverse reception of U2's biblical allusions and problematizes any attempt to delimit the meaning of biblical allusion.


Reconstructing Ancient Borders: Archaeology’s Vital Role as Partner in Contemporary Matthean Scholarship
Program Unit: Archaeology
Aaron M. Gale, West Virginia University

In this paper I will argue that recent archaeological discoveries in Galilee can shed much light on the nature of early Jewish Christianity, specifically as it relates to Matthew’s Gospel. In fact, archaeology is often under-utilized and in some cases ignored as a valid tool alongside scholars’ literary and textual analyses of the Gospels, particularly as it relates to historical and socio-economic reconstructions of the various communities associated with these biblical texts. Using Matthew’s Gospel as a test case (and presuming that the text was written from Galilee), I will fuse literary and historical methods with relevant archaeological evidence in order to try and produce a clearer picture of this Gospel community. I will focus on two aspects of Matthean studies: the community’s economic status and religious inclination. First, utilizing historical and archaeological methodologies, I will briefly sketch the economic and religious environments present in first century Galilee. Second, I will examine Matthew’s usage of terms such as “rich” and “poor” as well as other references to wealth (see 2:11; 5: 3; 6:19-21; 11:5; 19:16-22; 22:9, etc.) present in the Gospel. I will then compare the results of my literary analysis with recent archaeological discoveries from the region in order to see what the latter findings can contribute to an economic study of the Matthean community. Third, I will conduct a similar literary and archaeological study regarding passages in the Gospel relating to Judaism (see 5:17-19; 10:5-6; 12:1-9; 15; 10:21-28; 23, etc.) in order to ascertain how loyal the community remained to the Torah. I contend that both textual and archaeological evidence will reveal that the Matthean community was wealthy and remained a conservative Jewish group. Ultimately, I hope to prove that archaeology remains a vital partner in the relationship between scholar and biblical text.


Refuge in the Ancient Near East and the Bible
Program Unit: Sociology of the Bible (EABS)
Garrett Galvin, Franciscan School of Theology

The purpose of the paper is to delimit and explain the concept of refuge in ANE literature, especially the Bible. In the first section, I will begin by examining the semantic field of “refuge” and distinguish it from concepts of “permanent exile,” “diaspora,” and “criminal asylum.” The second section will survey refuge as a topos in ANE literature outside the Bible and examine figures who seek refuge in the ANE. In the third section, I will narrow my focus to the Bible and examine refuge as a topos within its literature. I will pay careful attention to figures who flee hostile situations since in biblical literature, refuge and flight go together. Finally, I will consider the idea of liminality that we see in ANE and biblical figures such as Moses and Joseph (Genesis). While all these figures have an ambiguous relationship with their own cultures, they remain important figures within those cultures. I will explore many different examples of flight in this paper. Major figures from Sinuhe to David all share the characteristic of fleeing from a position of centrality and finding themselves in a liminal position. Unlike low-status refugees, these high-status refugees are not content to stay in a liminal position. Many of these stories (e.g. Idrimi, Jacob) tell of a successful return to centrality. We also have stories of doomed refugees like Absalom, Adonijah, Urhi-Teshub, and the Philistine princes. The flight stories studied here thus do not have a consistent ending. I will briefly explore how refuge becomes a more abstract, spiritual idea of relying on God alone in the Psalms, whereas refuge appears as a concrete reality, involving literal flight in all the above stories.


Formulaic Language in Revelation: Oral Background and Didactic Ends
Program Unit: Johannine Literature
Lourdes García Ureña, Universidad CEU-San Pablo

It has been claimed by scholars such as Vanni, Harrington, and Mounce that the Book of Revelation was intended to be read aloud during meetings of Christians. The expression ? ??a????s??? ?a? ?? ??????te? which appears in Rev 1:3, is a clear sign of this. However it isn’t the only one; the author of Revelation also resorts to repetition, constant use of the conjunction ?a? employment of formulaic language, etc., all examples of devices specific to oral composition, designed to help an audience follow the argumentation being pursued. However, there are also some peculiarities in this use of formulaic language, with the same formula sometimes applied both to God and to Jesus. The impression conveyed is that the author of Revelation employs formulaic language not only to facilitate audience comprehension in general, but also to establish in the listening Christian community some of the basic theological principles of its emerging faith. In other words, one might say that the author of Revelation takes advantage of formulaic language in order to instruct the faithful in Christian doctrine.


The Embodiment of Shame in Ben Sira and in the Thanksgiving Psalms from Qumran
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Joel Gereboff, Arizona State University

The study of the emotions has become a topic of much interdisciplinary focus in the past decade. Among recent trends in scholarship on the emotions constructivist approaches have examined the differing cultural views of the nature of the emotions and their conceptions of the appropriateness of exhibiting or occasioning of certain emotions. These diverse cultural specific views interconnect with broader positions of the particular social-cultural group on their identity in its various dimensions, bodily, religious and social. The concept of identity also has been the topic of much recent theorization which raises questions about what exactly the term covers. My own recent writings have explored early rabbinic views on the nature of emotions in general and on two "emotions" that have often been seen in modern times as inappropriate emotions, hatred and shame. In my work until now I have largely compared rabbinic views with biblical ones. The session on Embodiment and Identity is a perfect location for beginning to explore how certain apocryphal and other works from the Second Temple period understand embodied emotions. In my paper for this conference I seek to examine how two works, Ben Sira and the Thanksgiving Hymns from Qurman employ and represent the notion of shame. Among questions that I would examine are whether they see shame as an appropriate or inappropriate character trait and emotion to exhibit and occasion, what they see as the causes of shame, and how shame is occasioned in interpersonal and divine-human relationships. Sorting out these documents views on these questions in turn clarifies a component of their anthropological assumptions, their understanding of what it means to be a human, including the contribution of the divine-human interconnection to "human identity." My paper would grow out of my own analyses of texts in Ben Sira and the Thanksgiving Hymns and draw upon recent scholarship on these matters.


The transfer of food provisions in the books of Samuel: literary function and meaning
Program Unit: Comparative Studies of Literature from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods
Rachelle Gilmour, University of Sydney

This paper proposes that lists of food and their quantities are not irrelevant trivia within the narrative of Samuel but important expressions of meaning which contribute to their literary context. The importance of small details for conveying meaning in the narrative of the historical books has become widely recognized in Biblical scholarship, but the frequent occurrence of lists has received little attention. For modern readers, lists of items are often implausible as historical detail and their contents are incidental to the plot from a literary point of view. We will limit this study to instances of the transfer of food between characters in the book of Samuel where the precise details of the food are given. The level of detail in the lists varies from one item, for example ‘a loaf of bread’, to extensive, almost formulaic catalogues of foodstuffs and their quantities. Firstly, we will see that these lists act as a motif, that is, they draw on a common cultural convention to express meaning. Secondly, all of these occurrences represent an expression of loyalty from a weaker to a stronger party. This meaning draws support from analogy to Assyrian tribute lists and other studies of food in the Biblical narrative which draw on sociological methods. By examining each of the instances within Samuel, we show how the precise foodstuff and quantity conveys significant information about the expression of loyalty. The paper will conclude with reflection about why this particular motif is not found outside of the book of Samuel – is it due to the book’s style, textual history, subject matter or accident? Are there other lists or apparently irrelevant details in the historical books which similarly draw on cultural conventions to communicate meaning?


From the Defensive to the Offensive: The Correlation Between Military Activity and Theological Concepts in the Book of Samuel
Program Unit: Concept Analysis and the Hebrew Bible
Rachelle Gilmour, University of Sydney

This paper explores the correspondence between military activity and theological themes in the book of Samuel, particularly II Sam 7. The battle accounts and lists of military victories in the book usually receive attention for their historical and political interest. However, some level of intersection between these accounts and the theological themes are also evident: as Saul wanes in God’s favour, so does his level of military success, culminating in his death in battle in I Sam 31. Similarly, David’s reign is characterized by a shift from external to internal military conflict, coinciding with his rise as God’s anointed, then ‘shadow’ reign under God’s punishment. In light of this interplay, attention to the nature of military activity in the chapters surrounding II Sam 7 offers insight into the interpretation of the theological concept of ‘rest’ in this chapter. We will observe that ‘rest,’ as an aspect of the establishment of David’s kingdom, is an important motivation for David’s scheme for a temple, and God’s rejection of the proposal. The contradictory messages about ‘rest from enemies’ in II Sam 7-8 can be illuminated by observation of the shift from defensive to offensive military activity in this section of the narrative, which demonstrates that there is partial but incomplete rest. David’s kingdom is therefore not fully established, and recognition of this theme provides an important link between the issue of the temple and God’s subsequent promises for a dynasty.


Samaria in LXX-Amos
Program Unit: Samaritan Studies (EABS)
W. Edward Glenny, St. Paul, Minnesota

This paper is a study of the translation technique employed in LXX-Amos in order to analyze the translator's attitude toward Samaria. It will be argued that where the references to Samaria in LXX-Amos differ from the Masoretic Text they demonstrate that the translator of LXX-Amos had an anti-Samaritan bias. First, the context and date of the translation of LXX-Twelve will be discussed, and the technique of the translator of LXX-Twelve will be summarized. Next, before looking at possible anti-Samaritan polemic in LXX-Amos it will be helpful to review some of the suggested anti-Samaritan traditions reflected elsewhere in the LXX. Then the references to Samaria in LXX-Amos will be examined. Since passages referring to Samaria in LXX-Amos often also relate to Syria, the connection between the two will also be explored.


Another Look at Adultery: Matthew 5.27-28 and the Tenth Commandment
Program Unit: Synoptic Gospels
Thomas Goud, University of New Brunswick

The interpretation of Jesus’ teaching on adultery in Matthew 5.27-28 has a very long history. Luz identifies two strands: “the tendency to expand and sharpen the text in a dualistic aversion to sexuality and a different tendency to weaken this antithesis…in order to be able to live with it.” There is, nonetheless, consensus that the focus of the teaching is on the psychology of erotic love, as is clear not only in the commentaries, but also in translations of the phrase pros to epithumesai auten as “to lust after her” (NKJV), “with lust” (NRSV, NASB, NLT), “with lustful intent” (ESV), or simply with the adverb “lustfully” (NIV). The focus is misplaced. The key is to see that pros to epithumesai auten points to the tenth commandment (ouk epithumeseis ten gunaika tou plesion sou…), the commandment on coveting. The sermon on the mount cannot be understood unless due attention is paid to the explicit and implicit referencing of the OT. The echo of the tenth commandment in Matthew 5.28 is ignored in popular commentaries; in scholarly works, although noted, its full importance is neglected. Three lines of inquiry are relevant: i) the language of coveting and desire in the OT, LXX, and NT; ii) the meaning and nature of adultery in the context of OT texts and in the setting of the first century; and iii) the relationship between the second exegesis and the other five in Matthew 5.21-48. Putting the tenth commandment at the centre of the interpretation of the second exegesis reveals that: it is not about a general erotic psychology, nor is it simply a matter of internal thoughts and feelings; rather, as with the other five exegeses, it entails real and external matters of conduct vis-à-vis others.


Is Kinyan (Purchase) of a Woman Only a Metaphor?
Program Unit: Feminist Interpretations
Naomi Graetz, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

Biblical metaphors having to do with male control, sanctity of family, women having to "take it" for the future of the group find concrete expression in halakha [Jewish law]. The basic halakhic concept applying to marriage is kinyan [acquisition], an act in which a person obtains rights of ownership or use in exchange for monetary (or other) payment. This concept is central in the Ketubah, the marriage contract. These concepts are biblical in origin: In Exodus 20:13 we are told not to covet our neighbor's wife or anything else that belongs to him. A price of virginity is paid to the father of the "bride" in Gen. 34:12 and Ex. 22:15-16. The word for husband, ba'al, implies ownership as well as lordship (Ex. 21:28). The husband is not only owner of his wife, he is also the owner of her pregnancy (Ex. 21:22). In the Mishnah, the husband's right to perform sexual intercourse, is called liv'ol [to take what is one's property] and the wife's status of "married woman" is referred to as be'ulat ba'al [i.e., she belongs to the owner]. When she marries, the father's property rights are transferred to the husband. When she is divorced, the husband renounces his right to his (sexual) use of the property and announces that she is "now permitted to any man. In Deut. 24:1 the verbs describing this act are lakach [to acquire] and ba'al [to possess]. Male God-language is not innocuous; metaphors matter. Religious symbols are chosen carefully to communicate to society its values and help the community to understand itself and its conception of the world. When God is perceived as a father or a husband ruling and controlling "his" people, then the "nature of things" and the "divine plan," and even the "order of the universe," will be understood to be male dominated as well. This is seen very clearly in the story of Hosea 2 and the midrash which refers to Israel as "one of four possessions [kinyanim]” that God purchased in this world (B. Pesachim 87b).


"This I Suffered in the Short Space of My Life": The Epitaph on Lucius Minicius Anthimianus
Program Unit: Families and Children in the Ancient World
Lutz Alexander Graumann, Philipps Universität, Marburg

The famous, very emotional child-epitaph of Lucius Minicius Anthimianus from 3rd century CE (CIG 3272; Peek GVI 1166) has often been medically discussed over the last century (Zingerle 1928; Meinecke 1940; Klitsch 1976) and was throughout interpreted as classical clinical picture of tuberculosis in childhood. Today, this single medical interpretation appears simplistic. We present here together an alternative new careful and interdisciplinary approach to this epitaph in its own context. Retrospective diagnosis still is feasible, but has to be regarded only as relative, self-reflecting thought experiment with its own historicity.


Putting on Harnack's Spectacles: A Look at Marcion and the Formation of the New Testament Canon
Program Unit: Biblical Interpretation in Early Christianity
Katharina Greschat, Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet-Jena

This paper will focus on Harnack's conception of the great crisis in the second century and will concentrate on Marcion as a main figure of the reform and as a catalyst for the process of canonization.


Christian Community Life beyond the Eschaton in the Shepherd of Hermas
Program Unit: Apocalyptic Literature
Mark R.C. Grundeken, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

This paper examines the views of the Shepherd of Hermas on the life of the Christian community beyond the eschaton. After reassessing some of the major positions in the literature on the apocalyptic character of Hermas, it is argued that the common idea that Hermas lacks or avoids apocalyptic speculation (see, e.g., Dibelius 1923:419; Vielhauer-Strecker 1989:538, 546; Brox 1991:36; Osiek 1999:11, 189; but cf. A. Collins 1979:74-75) needs to be modified. In fact, various passages throughout the text implicitly contain revelations about the life of the Christian community in the world to come (see esp. Vis. 2.2.7; 3.2.6; 5.5; 6.1; 7.2, 5-6; 8.8; Sim. 8.2.5; 6.6; 7.3, 5; 8.2-3; 9.7.5; 8.7; 9.7; 13.5; 17.4; 18.2, 3-5; 25.2 (all related to the metaphor of the tower); and also Sim. 1; 4; 5.6.5-6; 7.1-2; 9.15.2-3; 29.2). Especially the metaphor of the building of the tower incorporates ideas about reward and punishment in the afterlife. Several questions will be addressed. First, what does Hermas imply about the life of the eschatological community? Second, to what extent is the life of the eschatological community regarded as a continuation of that of the historical community? Third, what are Hermas’ views on the place(s) where the people will dwell? Finally, what is the aim and function of the use of the apocalyptic discourse in the text? An inquiry into these questions will attempt to show that Hermas is not so much averse of apocalyptic speculations, but that its views on the life of the community in the world beyond follow naturally from its ‘realistic’ views on the earthly community and serve as a powerful aid to its call to conversion.


Anti-Imperialism in the Shepherd of Hermas
Program Unit: Early Christianity between Judaism and Hellenism (EABS)
Mark R.C. Grundeken, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

The question that will be addressed is to what extent it can be assumed that the implied Christian community of Hermas, living within the framework of the Roman imperial world, saw connections and tensions between the narrative of the text and the claims of Roman imperial ideology. After reassessing the major positions in the literature on Hermas, the following will be argued. Hermas is not explicitly anti-imperialistic. In fact, it states that the government rightly expects its Christian citizens to obey to the laws of the country in which they live (Sim. 1.4). Yet, the author’s opinion on the relation of the Church to the secular authorities was probably less positive than it appears to be. Its reticence may well have to do with the fear of persecutions. Although the time of severe persecutions probably belonged to the past (Vis. 3.2.1), the community was well aware of the fact that the threat of persecutions was still present (Vis. 2.2.7; 3.4; 4.1.1; 2.4-5; 3.6). Granted that Hermas’ attitude towards the government is nowhere explicitly hostile, its direct addressees probably saw clear tensions between the story world of the text and the ideals and ambitions of the imperial world in which they lived. Hermas' alternative views on authority, power and status, which imply a humble attitude and a natural readiness to place oneself in the service of the weak and vulnerable (Vis. 3.9); its orientation towards “the East” as the source of divine manifestation (Vis. 1.4.1, 3); and its expectation of an eschatological triumph of the almighty God over imperial powers (Vis. 1.3.4), all implicitly challenge the claims of Roman imperial ideology. Hermas' implicit resistance to imperial Rome will be compared with similar positions in contemporary early Christian literature.


“For Good Remembrance before God in this Place”: Tracing the Concept of ’Good Remembrance’ in Semitic Inscriptions from the Late Persian and Hellenistic Period and in the Hebrew Bible
Program Unit: Epigraphical and Paleological Studies Pertaining to the Biblical World
Anne Katrine Gudme, University of Copenhagen

During the Mount Gerizim excavations which were carried out between 1983 and 2006 under the direction of Yitzhak Magen a Yahwistic sanctuary and a Hellenistic city were uncovered at the site of Mount Gerizim. Some four hundred inscriptions were found in and around the temple precinct, presumably belonging to the second building phase, i.e. the early second century BCE. The majority of the inscriptions are written in Aramaic using either lapidary Aramaic or Proto-Jewish script. The remaining inscriptions are written in Neo-Hebrew (Paleo-Hebrew) and Samaritan. The Aramaic, Hebrew and Samaritan inscriptions were published by the excavators in 2004. The largest group of the Mt. Gerizim inscriptions is votive inscriptions and they follow either a long or short version of a dedicatory formula. The short formula is ‘That which offered PN son of PN (from GN) for himself, his wife and his sons’. The long formula begins in the same way but adds the ending ‘for good remembrance before God in this place’. The phrase “for good remembrance” and the more common “may he be remembered for good” and variations of these appear frequently in both inscriptions and graffiti from Egypt, Nabataea, Palmyra, Dura Europos, Hatra and Palestine. This paper offers a presentation of the occurrences of ‘good remembrance’ formulae in Semitic inscriptions from the late Persian and Hellenistic period and traces the concept of remembrance in connection with cultic acts in the Hebrew Bible. It is suggested that the key to understanding the concept of ‘good remembrance’ is to be found within the larger framework of gift-giving theories.


The Biblical Vow as Barter Deal or Lasting Relation: A reconsideration of the vow of the sailors in Jonah 1:16
Program Unit: Mind, Society, and Tradition
Anne Katrine Gudme, University of Copenhagen

In Jonah 1:16, one of the few narrative passages in the Hebrew Bible to mention vow-making, it says that, after the dying down of the storm, “the men feared Yahweh greatly, they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh and made vows.” The sailors’ reaction to the natural wonder they have just witnessed has caused Biblical scholars some difficulties and has resulted in varied attempts at explanations; are the sailors giving thanks or begging for their lives? Are they actually paying vows rather than making them? Why are the sailors asking for something, i.e. making vows, after having been saved? Are the sailors greedy or merely impolite? The majority of these difficulties stem from a mistaken understanding of the vow as a kind of barter. One makes a vow to a deity, because one wants something, an object or a service. By insisting on an economistic interpretation of vow-making and gift-giving scholars fail to grasp the logic of the sailors’ vow. On the basis of an understanding of ritual actions as mirroring social actions, voiced by among others E. Thomas Lawson and Justin L. Barrett, and using insights from sociology and anthropology on gift-giving, this paper argues that the crucial outcome of vow-making is the relationship established between the involved parties and not the exchanged objects or services. Therefore, the sailors’ reaction is neither awkward nor misplaced, but a perfectly intelligible attempt at establishing a lasting relationship with a deity who has proven to be very powerful.


Aaron
Program Unit: Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)
Philippe Guillaume, University of Berne

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Understanding Multicultural Society from the Perspective of the Old Testament
Program Unit: Sociology of the Bible (EABS)
Kyung-Taek Ha, Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary

The economic integration and interdependence of national economies have increased through a rapid augmentation in cross-border movement of goods, services, technology, and capital. The effects of Globalization exert intense influence on the social, political and economic condition of a given nation. Specifically, globalization tends to give birth to multicultural societies in countries who participate in the world market. Korea, for instance, is heading toward being a multicultural society. Due in part to the growing number of foreign brides, migrant workers and expats, the number of foreign residents exceeded the 1 million mark as of August 2007, according to immigration office data. The ‘multicultural society’ provides opportunities as well as risks. The coexisting heterogeneous elements of the multicultural society could cause social conflicts and disputes. However, they could also contribute to the diversity and creativity typical of many multicultural societies. This paper, through the study of narratives and laws about immigration in the Old Testament, will show how the unique perspective of the Old Testament might shed light on the nature of modern multicultural societies.


The Associated Child: Adam, Eve and the Devil as a Family-Planning Consultant
Program Unit: Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective
Zohar Hadromi-Allouche, Ben Gurion University of the Negev

According to an Islamic Prophetic report, that is often related to Qur'an 7:190, after the Fall from Paradise, Adam and Eve had a number of children. However, all of these children were born dead, or died short after their birth. The Devil therefore suggested that Adam and Eve should name their next child 'Abd al-Harith (servant of al-Harith), al-Harith being one of the names of the Devil. The protoplasts took the Devil's advice, and indeed the child lived. Although this narrative is widespread in Islamic sources, so far it has received little notice by modern scholarship. Nevertheless, this narrative evokes many diverse questions, relating to various aspects of the text itself. My discussion will focus on a textual analysis of the different versions of the Abd al-Harith narrative, combined with a comparative study of the relevant literary parallels from the Quran, the Bible, the Apocrypha and folk literature.


Jerusalem as Holy City in Ezra/Nehemiah
Program Unit: Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Maria Haeusl, Institut für Katholische Theologie, TU-Dresden

The book of Ezra/Nehemiah concerns with the building of Israel´s identity in the postexilic period. The construction of identity is based on the observation of the torah, the ritual practices at the temple and the delimination of Israel from ethno-social groups. Most scholars consider the city of Jerusalem not to be a central moment of identity in Ezra/Nehemiah, though the re-building of the city wall is told in Neh 1-7 as detailed as the building of the temple in Ezr 3-6. Jerusalem is even called Holy City in Neh 11,1.18. There are three additional themes which are connected with Jerusalem in Ezra/Nehemiah. Jerusalem is the place where people are going to from the gola / diaspora. Jerusalem is the place where the temple is located and Jerusalem is the place which is re-settled. These topics show that Jerusalem is as important as the temple and as the torah in Ezra/Nehemiah. It is a central symbol in the process of building identity. The relation of the city to the torah, to the temple and to the people can also be explained by these topics. The city of Jerusalem is a symbol of identity not only as the place of the temple. Jerusalem rather works as a symbol of identity because of its urbanity. Urbanity however means protected live for the people and a public space for (religious) practices. It also means that Jerusalem is a geographic point of orientation in the great Persian empire.


The Mystery of Monarchy
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Herbert Hain, Santa Monica, California

I was initially tempted to title my presentation "Why Are We Being Strung Along?" Because that's the impression I got from reading about David. According to the biblical text, he is one of the great men in Hebrew History, but he is also a man without scruples. He is only the second in the line of kings, an institution God is not happy about. Both hi predecessor (Saul) and hi successor (Solomon) were initially favored by God but later incurred his wrath. The there is the Temple. God never asked for one, only consented to have it built, with the caveat that obeying His laws was more important that any edifice. Solomon builds the Temple, then immediately sacrifices to other deities. I note a certain element of uncertainty and confusion here, some of it attributable to God. What did He expect when he transformed a band of roving sheepherders into a sedentary nation ruled by clerical hierarchy and hundreds of do's and don't laws? How could He possibly expect the Hebrews to not intermingle and intermarry with the nations around them when they were situated at the commercial and military crossroads of the Near East? I will try to come up with some answers to all these questions.


"Blessed Are You Poor": An Intercontextual View of the Poverty Texts in the Synoptic Gospels
Program Unit: Synoptic Gospels
Sakari Häkkinen, Diocese of Kuopio, Finland

Why did Jesus say that the poor were blessed? What did he mean with "the poor"? How does a village community consisting of the poor react to these words? Traditionally, biblical studies have concentrated on texts. These texts were written by a literal elite and represent the view of a privileged few. The history of early Jesus movement – that later developed into the religion called Christianity – is usually written based on these texts composed by the elite. I have another view. Most of the people in the nascent "Christian" communities were ordinary people struggling with questions of living under harsh conditions in a country that was occupied by an enemy force. Their history needs to be written. This paper focuses on the poor, who represent the majority of people in the Roman Empire of the first century. The paper is a part of my forthcoming monograph that aims to come to new understandings and fresh interpretations of the texts in the synoptic Gospels that deal with poverty and the poor. In addition to the exegetical research to be undertaken, these same texts will also be investigated from a contextual standpoint – that is – from the perspectives of the materially poor. Findings from my field research among the poor living in villages in Tanzania and the West Bank (spring 2010) will be studies and then compared to current biblical hermeneutical scholarly investigations concerning the poverty texts. In this paper the texts under examination will be limited to a few examples.


More Traditions about the Angel Gabriel in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Program Unit: Apocalyptic Literature
David Hamidovic, Université Catholique de l'Ouest (France)

A new text from the Dead Sea shores has been published in 2007. Ada Yardeni and Binjamin Elitzur named it: Hazon Gabriel in Hebrew or Vision of Gabriel. The angel Gabriel speaks at the first person and he describes probably a vision of the eschatological war. The function of Gabriel like the revealer is well known in the Book of Daniel and the Gospel of Luke. Gabriel has also a militant role in the Jewish literature like in 1 Enoch, the Qumran War Scroll and probably Daniel 10. We propose to examine two Aramaic texts from the Qumran library: 4Q529 and 4Q557. The manuscripts are fragmentary but they may add to the assigned functions of Gabriel in the Jewish literature around CE.


Is the Testament of Job a Midrash?
Program Unit: Judaica
Maria Haralambakis, University of Manchester

Discussion about the genre of the Testament of Job is yet to move beyond the labels of “Testament” and “Midrash.” This paper will focus on the question of validity of the label Midrash for the Testament of Job. The first studies on this composition, by M.R. James and Kaufman Kohler in 1897, both identified the Testament of Job as such. Kohler titled his work: “The Testament of Job, an Essene Midrash on the Book of Job,” but did not specify how exactly he understood Midrash. James briefly mentioned his definition of this term: “a haggadic commentary upon a canonical book.” In spite of a lack of precision in their understanding and application of the term, their impressions had a lasting impact. Throughout the history of scholarship the Testament of Job has been understood as a Midrash in most studies devoted to this composition. Usually this is done in passing, without clarifying how the term is defined. The loose description of the Testament of Job as a Midrash is exactly where the problem lies. Most applications of the term seem to hint at little more than that the Testament of Job is somehow related to the book of Job, retelling or explaining it. This paper will engage with different understandings of the term Midrash and will attempt to find a definition which may suit the Testament of Job. A crucial question is whether the Testament of Job explains, comments upon or retells the Book of Job at all. Moving beyond the identification of the Testament of Job as Midrash is important, since it seems to have prevented more extensive and creative debate about the genre (or genres) of this composition.


Anti-Imperial Polemic in Paul? A Critical Assessment of a Recent Trend
Program Unit: Early Christianity between Judaism and Hellenism (EABS)
Justin Hardin, University of Oxford

The past decade of New Testament research has enjoyed a flurry of scholarly activity on the early Christians in their Roman imperial context. By means of a cross-disciplinary conversation between classics and New Testament studies, a growing number of scholars have made the case that the Apostle Paul's gospel carried with it a polemical challenge to the claims of the emperors. At present, however, these conclusions are being hotly debated in the guild, and there seems to be no agreed upon method to tracing such anti-Roman rhetoric in Paul's letters. As a contribution to this debate, the aim of this paper is to evaluate this recent trend in interpretation.


David and Jonathan through the Looking Glass
Program Unit: The Biblical World and Its Reception (EABS)
James Harding, University of Otago

Modern scholars have often fixated on the possible sexual dimensions of the relationship between David and Jonathan in 1&2 Samuel. This overlaps to a certain extent with scholarship focusing on the similarities between David and Jonathan, Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and Achilles and Patroclus (Halperin 1990; Ackerman 2005; Nardelli 2007). The purpose of this paper is to determine what made it possible not only to read the David and Jonathan narrative in relation to the Epic of Gilgamesh and Homer’s Iliad but also to read these sources in relation to conceptual categories drawn from the modern discourse of sexuality. The answer is not to be sought in the historical plausibility of a traceable connection between these works (or their antecedents), but in the particularities of the reception of the Bible, Homer, and Plato in the late nineteenth century, especially in the work of John Addington Symonds. Symonds read David and Jonathan in relation to Achilles and Patroclus in vol. 2 of his Studies of the Greek Poets (1879) and in his study of Walt Whitman (1893). In the former work, he also discusses the way the Iliad was read anachronistically by Aeschylus and Plato, as pointing to a paederastic and thus sexual relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. As Halperin (1990) was later to do, Symonds highlighted the extent to which ancient authoritative texts tend to be read anachronistically in light of later social conventions. At the same time, Symonds was himself using ancient texts to valorise a particular construal of male comradeship, as Edward Carpenter (1908) would later do. He was also using the Iliad as an intertext to enable a particular disambiguation of the David and Jonathan narrative. Henceforth it would be difficult not to see the ghosts of Achilles and Patroclus rising up between the lines of 1&2 Samuel.


John and Paul: A Study in Discontinuity
Program Unit: Johannine Literature
Mark Harding, Australian College Of Theology

This paper explores the relationship between the interpretation of the Christ-event in the Fourth Gospel and Paul. Over the last century scholars have posed various degrees of continuity between John and Paul. Early in the twentieth century Bousset and Wrede, and later Bultmann, claimed the decisive influence of the Hellenistic religious thought world on John and Paul, especially on their convergent Christologies, and posed a decisive discontinuity between Paul and John on the one hand and the earliest Palestinian community of believers with their links to the historical Jesus on the other. More recently Martin Hengel has argued that both Paul and John are indebted to the Palestinian community, thus opening up the possibility of greater coherence between them and Jesus. Literary connections between John and Paul were claimed by A. E. Barnett in his Paul Becomes a Literary Influence (1941), a study applying the theory of Edgar Goodspeed that an early Pauline letter corpus exercised a substantial influence on the formation of the NT, John included. Other scholars, such as Larry R. Helyer (2008), have argued for theological unity between Jesus, Paul and John that is the result of the work of the one Holy Spirit in which contradictions and diversity of theological viewpoint only appear to be the case. With scholars such as William Sanday, Hans Conzelmann, and J. Christiaan Beker, I will argue that there is a preponderance of discontinuous elements between John and Paul, basing this contention on Paul’s futuristic apocalyptic worldview that was confirmed in the revelation (apocalypse) of Christ to which he refers in Galatians 1. However, Ephesians and Colossians may well reflect indebtedness to the thought of the Fourth Gospel, precisely at junctures that are most redolent of their post-Pauline authorship.


The Hodayot Author Anthropologizes Images of Terror
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Angela Kim Harkins, Fairfield University

The beginning of the hodayah in 11:6-19 begins with the speaker stating, "They have made [my] soul like a ship in the depths of the sea, like a fortified city before its [enemies]. And I was in distress like a woman laboring for her firstborn" (1QH 11:7-8). The vivid images of a ship tossed on the sea, a city under siege and a woman writhing in labor are all stock images that seek to draw out specific emotional responses from the reader-fear and terror. These images are clearly external to the hodayot speaker, but come to be appropriated by him and claimed as his own. In the next column of the scroll, the speaker uses the language of cosmic seismic tremors from Micah 1 to describe his own bodily experience (1QH 12:34-35). In all of these examples, the author(s) of the hodayot anthropologizes experiences external to him. By anthropologizing, I refer to the practice of taking imagery from outside his body and making them his own. This study will examine how the hodayot speaker appropriates terrifying images of physical pain or psychological torment and will seek to understand his rationale for doing so. This paper is part of a larger inquiry into the relationship between the visual imagery that appears in the Qumran Hodayot and the range of emotions that they generate.


Images of the Body in the Hodayot: Real or Rhetorical?
Program Unit: Nonbiblical Dead Sea Scrolls: Themes and Perspectives
Angela Kim Harkins, Fairfield University

Images of the body figure prominently in the Qumran Hodayot, particularly in the texts known popularly as the Teacher Hymns. Language about the body includes references to specific body parts and their sensory experiences, as well as descriptions of physical locomotion. Such references appear in both the laments and also the accounts of exaltation in the TH. This paper will explore the possibility that the language about the body in these compositions functions to flesh out an authorial persona-a rhetorical construction of a fictional self. While these references to the body evoke strong and vivid imagery of an individual and his experiences, they may not point to an actual historical figure's experiences.


Cognitive and Pragmatic Dimensions of Intertextuality
Program Unit: Relevance Theory and Biblical Interpretation
Bryan Harmelink, SIL International

The phenomenon of intertextuality, frequently discussed in biblical studies literature, is often traced to the literary studies of scholars such as Bakhtin and Kristeva. The first part of this paper will briefly review this development and the impact it has had on biblical studies and hermeneutics, citing key publications such as Boyarin’s Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash and Hays’ Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. But is intertextuality, as some claim, a "property of texts," a "reading between texts," or "echoes" of one text in another? This paper proposes answers to these questions based on principles of Relevance Theory, indicating that intertextuality is a cognitive and pragmatic phenomenon, grounded not in texts themselves, but in the interpretive and metarepresentational uses of language. Specific biblical examples are discussed in the concluding section, illustrating how the cognitive and pragmatic dimensions of intertextuality enhance our understanding of this phenomenon.


Marriage and Family in Early Christianity and Late Antiquity: What Did Christianity Change?
Program Unit: Families and Children in the Ancient World
Kyle Harper, University of Oklahoma

No proposal. This is an invited speaker


The Desecration of Holy Seed in Ezra-Nehemiah
Program Unit:
Hannah Harrington, Patten University

Why is exclusivism in Ezra-Nehemiah expressed in terms of holy seed and what are the implications for later Judaism? Tracing concepts of purity and impurity in the Bible, several commentators have noticed a new element in the impurity-holiness chemistry which has to do with the corruption of “holy seed” (Ezra 9:2). Some call this “seed impurity” (Fishbane 1985) or “genealogical impurity,” (Hayes 2002) “lineage pollution,”(Olyan 2004) or simply “moral impurity” (Lange 2009). What is meant by “holy seed” and how did it originate? To my mind, the issue is less about purity, which is a status, and more about the containment of holiness, the divine force, within the human sanctuary of Israel. This paper looks beyond sociological explanations for this polemic and, rather, to a new theological paradigm caused by the exile (cf. Blenkinsopp 2009). During this period there is a change in the locus of holiness. Without the Temple, the only available sanctuaries for God’s holiness were the physical bodies of Israelites. Thus, the legitimacy to be containers of this holiness becomes the issue. While the notion that Israel is holy predates the Exile, the notion takes on new dimensions as a cultic term in Ezra-Nehemiah. Although the temple is rebuilt by this time, the notion had already gained strength that the bodies of Jews were also sancta and Israelite offspring could be desecrated as a result of intermarriage. The concept of Israel’s cultic holiness gains momentum and takes on new ramifications in several forms of Second Temple Judaism. Especially noteworthy is the emergence of the twin concepts of polluting the sanctuary and intermarriage which are intertwined in several Second Temple texts.


1QS IX 12-XI as Interpretative Key to Some 1QHa So-called Community Hymns
Program Unit: Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Trine B. Hasselbalch, University of Copenhagen

Although significant similarities between 1QHa VI 19-33 and XX 7-XXII, on the one hand, and the concluding hymn of 1QS, on the other, are generally recognized this has not made much impact on the understanding of the social milieu behind any of the texts. The Hodayot texts are generally regarded as “community hymns” whereas the 1QS hymn is rather linked to the leadership of the maskil. In this presentation, I will argue that all of these texts stem from the same intellectual milieu and reflect a common elitist self-understanding. Using the socio-cognitive concept of mental contexts, I will discuss how perspectives held in independent parts of heterogeneous corpuses like 1QS and 1QHa could help to explain their overriding editorial logic.


Dead Sea covenanters on the edge of the city: Reflections of Jerusalem in some sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls
Program Unit: Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis (EABS)
Trine Bjørnung Hasselbalch, Københavns Universitet

Jerusalem is repeatedly mentioned in the sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls – mostly in connection with descriptions of the city as the ideal Jerusalem, as the city chosen by God as his dwelling place and the place of the correctly performed cult in the eschatological future. However, the Dead Sea Scroll covenanters relationship to their present day Jerusalem was not ideal, but rather problematic, and references the contemporary city and what it represented to the covenanters is generally expressed much more indirectly. It is as if the city, as perceived by the covenanters, was not worth mentioning because of its negative connotations. I am going to survey some central and for the most part explicit statements about the ideal Jerusalem, and then look at a few examples of how contemporary Jerusalem, and what it stood for in the eyes of the covenanters, is exposed implicitly in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following recent suggestions by scholars like Gudrun Holz and Alison Schofield I will argue that the covenatners approach to Jerusalem, the centre of the Jewish religion and community, is less isolationistic than often assumed; to some extent it involves efforts to take over functions of the Jerusalem priesthood not only to the benefit of the covenanters, but to the benefit of Israel as such.


Is there a possibility to describe the literary history of Gen 1-3 in other ways than the Documentary Hypothesis or the more recent models of "Fortschreibung" have done it?
Program Unit: Methods and Models for Studying the Pentateuch (EABS)
Raik Heckl, Universität Leipzig

Starting from a model of text formation which primarily presumes literary revisions or transformations if changes have taken place in the history of religion I would like to suggest another hypothesis of the literary relationship of Gen 1:1-2:4a and 2:4b-3:24. While the classical explanation was to suppose that two parallel documents from different sources (J and P) were connected by a redaction, recently some attempts have been made to explain the succession of the texts by supplementation „Fortschreibung“. They understand the paradise story (Gen 2f.) as an appendix to Gen 1. But in my opinion this option is inappropriate to explain the discernible differences in style and structure between both texts. A solution is however possible on the basis of a broader examination of the tradition history. From there this paper can show that the priestly story of the creation may be seen as a revised (transformed) text but part of a larger creation story from which Gen 2f. has also been taken. This way it is possible to explain the connections between both texts but also the significant differences. In my opinion this clarifies the use of the tetragrammaton in Gen 2f. as opposed to the use in Gen 4 and helps to solve the problems of understanding Gen 1:1f. as well.


The Mesopotamian City as Memory Traces
Program Unit: Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis (EABS)
Bo Dahl Hermansen, University of Copenhagen

In this contribution, the Mesopotamian city is viewed as an indexical field, a complex of traces from events, practices and processes in the past. This is how contemporary archaeology approaches a Mesopotamian ‘tell’, but it is argued here, that so did the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia themselves. Since the emergence of Mesopotamian cities, their inhabitants devised a set of strategies, some implicit, some explicit, to materially incorporate remains of the past in their present. In that way they were able to forge a direct connection with a deep mythological past as well as with a lived past. This provided the inhabitants of a Mesopotamian city with a sense of connectedness, to creation itself and the city’s mythological origin, as well as to the memory of the glorious past of their city; hence also with a deep sense of belonging. Thus, the city became central to the formation of identities in ancient Mesopotamia. This contribution, then, offers an attempt to trace such memory work in the archaeological record of selected Mesopotamian cities.


The Hezekiah/Josiah Cult Reform Debate: An Archaeological Perspective
Program Unit: Archaeology
Zeev Herzog, Tel Aviv University

The cultic remains at Arad and Tel Beer-Sheba offer an illuminating backdrop for garnering insight into the relationship between biblical and archaeological data. The exposure of a temple at Arad and parts of a large horned altar at Beer-Sheba have generated much debate regarding the authenticity of the Bible's account of Hezekiah and/or Josiah's drastic reforms. The issue has been complicated by disagreement between biblical scholars and historians on the correct interpretation of the biblical documentation, and by controversy among archaeologists regarding the stratigraphic relationship of the cultic remains at these sites. The current paper surveys the various opinions that correlate the biblical and archaeological data. The opinions covered include: 1. There was only one cult reform, conducted by Josiah (Na’aman, Edelman). 2. Neither of the reforms was a historical event but rather later theological reconstructions (Fried) 3. The reform was a lengthy process that started with Hezekiah and was then carried on by Manasseh and Josiah (Uehlinger). 4. An early reform was carried out by Manasseh and not Hezekiah (Knauf) 5. There were two reforms by both Hezekiah and Josiah (Aharoni, Rainey, Borowski, Finkelstein). The article maintains that the archaeological data has facts in its favor and points to the presence of a single act of cult reform, dated to the late 8th century BCE. The reform is thus plausibly attributed to the time of Hezekiah. No archaeological evidence supports a reform in the days of Josiah.


Six years after Currents: What’s New in Samaritan Studies?
Program Unit: Samaritan Studies (EABS)
Ingrid Hjelm, University of Copenhagen

In 2004, I wrote a status quaestonis article for Currents in Biblical Research vol. 3.1. In addition to giving information on recent achievements in the field, I also hoped to inspire scholars to a greater awareness of its necessity for biblical studies in general, hence the title: “What do Jews and Samaritans have in Common: Recent Trends in Samaritan Studies”. That the time was ripe for a new updating was clear from the fact that “the last two decades had nearly doubled the number of articles and books on Samaritan matters”. Thus the 3rd edition of A Samaritan Bibliography by Alan Crown and Reinhard Pummer that came in 2005 lists about two thousand more entries than Crown’s first edition of the book from 1984. Some of these entries refer to congress volumes and articles that have been published from congresses held by Société D’Etudes Samaritaines. From a very ambitious 1st volume, The Samaritans, edited by Allan Crown in 1989, which brilliantly covered most fields of Samaritan Studies and still offers a good starting point for new comers in the field, succeeding volumes have continued discussions raised therein. Two major new achievements have considerably added to these discussions. One is the renewed excavation on Mt. Gerizim conducted by the Israeli archaeologist Yitzhaq Magen since 1984. The excavation uncovered hitherto unknown Hellenistic period structures of the ancient temple city of Luzah consisting of about 10.000 inhabitants around a huge temple complex. This complex, however, rested on the foundations of a smaller temple, which Magen dated to the fifth century BCE. Among the finds were many coins and about 500 marble inscriptions from the Hellenistic period. The second achievement that affects our understanding of Samaritan history is the re-evaluation of Judah and Judaeans in the neo-Babylonian, Persian and Fourth century BCE, published by Eisenbrauns in three congress volumes (2003, 2006 and 2007) with Oded Lipschits as the main editor. Many more publications have appeared in the last decade, which supply scholars with tools for textual, linguistic and historical studies. Some of these will be presented in greater detail during the session.


The Identity of the King in Micah 2:13
Program Unit: Prophets
Yair Hoffman, Tel Aviv University

The short prophecy Micah 3:12-13 is one of the most enigmatic and disputed passages in this book. Scholars are disputed about its unity, authenticity, and even about the question whether it is a salvation or a doom prophecy. These questions are discussed in the paper very shortly in order to create the necessary point of departure for the main discussion, which is: Who is the king referred to by the words ????? ???? ?????? ("and their king will pass before them", v. 13). Is this king God himself or a human king? I approve the latter option, and hence the question is, who is this human king? The answer depends on the date of the prophecy. Scholars usually date it either to the 8th Century B.C.E time of Micah, or the post 586 B.C.E destruction of the Jerusalem temple. These views are examined and rejected. My claim is that dating the prophecy as well as the identification of "their king" in v. 13 should be derived from an understanding of the pattern upon which the salvation promise in the prophecy is based. This understanding and a close reading of the main metaphor in the prophecy could solve the enigma of the identity of "their king" and its historical background.


Temple and proto-temple: holy and profane space in Eden
Program Unit: Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Mathias Hohls, Concordia Theological Seminary

What does it mean to understand a biblical text in spatial terms? Though a spatial understanding of biblical texts is not completely foreign to the exegetical sciences, it is nonetheless a relatively new field compared to other more established exegetical methods. In moving towards a spatial understanding of biblical and other ancient texts, there is need of a coherent and structured method of spatial analysis that will at the same time help us understand how the space of a text influences the recipient. At hand of the Eden narrative in Genesis 2:4-3:24, this paper will show how a structured method of analysis was developed to expose the holy and profane space inherent in the text and how these spaces related to the community in which the text was received. The sacred and profane spaces that are inherent in the Eden narrative construct a proto-temple that, through interplay with an Urberg motif, shows striking similarities to the sacred spaces of the Israelite tabernacle and temple.


Restoring a Broken Creation during Times of Apocalypse
Program Unit: Whence and Whither?: Methodology and the Future of Biblical Studies
László-Attila Hubbes, 'Sapientia' University Cluj, Miercurea Ciuc Faculty, Romania

Béla Hamvas (1897 – 1968) was one of the greatest Hungarian metaphysical thinkers of the past century. Author of dozens of volumes – most of which never edited during his lifetime – he studied philosophy, cultural history, cultural anthropology, arts and literature, ancient and oriental languages on an endless quest to find and realize the lost normality of the human soul. Analyzing the social and material crisis before the Second World War, he set out for a spiritual archaeology and tried to reach the origins of man’s turbulent decay which he named apocalypse. He dug deeper and wider in the history of culture only to discover that the roots of foul are omnipresent from the earliest to the farthest civilizations of the world, but fortunately the cures for that are there everywhere in the great sacral books of humanity, and in the many myths, oral traditions, holy scriptures, mysticisms he recognized – just as other traditionalists, like René Guénon, Giulio Evola or Leopold Ziegler (but without their political ideology) – one single universal metaphysical tradition of humanity. His main preoccupation was to understand and actualize the message of the Eden, the status absolutus of Adam Kadmon, the unspoiled man of the original creation observed in all narratives of origin. In his major treatises like the Scientia Sacra, Magia Sutra, Tabula Smaragdina or his commentaries to Enoch, the Pert Em Heru, the Zohar, on Jakob Böhme, San Juan de la Cruz, or the Sufi mystics he worked always to (re)integrate the Judeo-Christian wisdom about the primordial perfection of Creation into the conscience of modern man. My paper will try to perform an analysis of the Hamvasian ideas on the Genesis story of Eden and Fall in the light of the metaphysical tradition.


Apocalyptic Demonizing: Dehumanizing Images of the “Other” on the Web
Program Unit: The Bible and the Visual Arts (EABS)
László Attila Hubbes, Sapientia University Cluj - Miercurea CIUC Faculty, Romania

Religious and/or ethnic communities have always perceived otherness as not only “differing from us” but rather threatening, especially in times of crisis. Beneficial or malevolent spirits as well as any human worldly forces, such as certain individuals or outsider, inimical groups, oppressing or just foreign authorities were often represented in symbolic practice as animals, demons and monsters. Apocalypses – Jewish, Christian or Muslim – products of crisis-communities used monster iconography for encrypted representation of the Foe: feared and powerful entities often appeared as terrible monsters, while surrounding infidel communities were depicted in inferior, unclean, repelling, loathsome animal imagery. Scorpions, dragons, fish, snakes, birds of pray, swine, canines, lions or even horses, just as almost unimaginable chimerical beasts of sea, land and underworld are only some well-known elements of this apocalyptic bestiary. Stressed, desperate, frightened religious eschatological communities have always reproduced this imagery by the means of every new medium: printing, photographic reproduction, motion picture, radio, television offered just as many technical possibilities for apocalyptic propaganda. Most recently the computer-based media, such as PC-games, internet or web2-applications assure prolific ground for countless fundamentalist or extremist religious (or secular) groups in propagating their apocalyptic visions, making use of the notorious ancient bestiary or involving and inventing newer iconographic elements. This paper will try to enlist a short inventory of the apocalyptic creatures appearing on the internet, as it rounds off with a comparison between this modern bestiary and biblical apocalyptics, offering some contrastive semiotic exegesis of this iconography, both diachronically and synchronically.


The Exclusivity of Divine Communication in Ancient Israel
Program Unit: Israel in the Ancient Near East (EABS)
Herbert B. Huffmon, Drew University

A peculiar aspect of divine communication in ancient Israel is the normative understanding, labeled the “Yahweh Alone” perspective by Morton Smith, that the only genuine divine communication was communication with the one God. This kind of communication has its experiential analog in the conception of the Great King, the one and only suzerain to whom the king’s subjects could give allegiance, the one and only king whom the subjects could acknowledge as having power over themselves. As such the style of interaction by the vassals with the Great King provided a model for the exclusive recognition of God. The issue for the political person in the ancient Near East, as for the pious Israelite, was not whether or not other kings had power elsewhere or with others, but whether the Great King’s, i.e., God’s, people could recognize any other king/deity. To this end, the paper studies the limitations on communication with any other king in international treaties and similar texts from Israel’s world as providing an active and well-articulated experiential model for demanding that divine communication in ancient Israel must be exclusively with God—not with any other divine power. This is not a model for a development from polytheism to monolatry to monotheism but for the practical reality of the life of the (political or) religious person as assuming that divine communication is exclusively with the God of Israel.


Sacred Space and Sacred Objects in the Priestly Texts: A Reappraisal
Program Unit: The Bible and Sacred Space (EABS)
Michael B. Hundley, University of Cambridge

Scholars have traditionally divided the Priestly tabernacle complex into three spheres of graded holiness: the most holy inner sanctuary, the holy outer sanctuary, and the court. However, this convenient division is not always borne out by the textual description, which is more varied and complex than has often been assumed. For example, the entire complex is referred to as the holy place (hammiqdaš) (Lev 12:4), while everything within that sphere that is anointed with oil is labeled most holy (Ex 30:29), including the bronze altar in the court (29:37; 40:10). Although it is never anointed with oil, the court is nonetheless referred to as a holy place (maqôm qadoš) (Lev 6:9 [16)]. Whereas the inner sanctuary is often referred to as most holy, it is labeled the holy place (haqqodeš) in Leviticus 16, the same term elsewhere used to describe the tent (Ex 26:33). Regarding holy objects, offerings that the priests alone may consume are called most holy, while offerings that enter the tent, and thus are presumably of a higher degree of sanctity than most holy, are not labeled at all. They are simply burned (Lev 6:23 [30]). Most holy objects also appear to be contagiously holy, such as the most holy bronze altar and the most holy 'purification' offering (Ex 29:37; Lev 6:20 [27]). Although Milgrom in particular has recognized the complexity of the textual representation and offered some preliminary remarks, much work remains to be done. My presentation will more fully examine the textual descriptions both synchronically and diachronically in order to arrive at a more precise definition of holy space and holy objects in the Priestly tabernacle.


Lex Talionis: Polyphonic Interpretation after the Finnish Civil War 1918
Program Unit: Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact
Niko Huttunen, University of Helsinki

The Russian revolution in 1917 made it possible for border districts of the empire to declare their independence. This happened also in Estonia and in its northern neighbor Finland. The unstable political situation led to violent crises in many areas. Short but exceedingly bloody civil war in Finland left moral problems which were hotly debated for decades, also with reference to the Bible. Lex talionis was the biblical principle which was widely used in public debates. In a way, it expressed a central moral conviction of the people. Church and state authorities had taught the principle since 17th century. This tradition, however, led to polyphonic interpretation after the civil war: lex talionis was used to justify punishments and vengeance, but also to blot out the moral responsibility; it gave reasons to violence and non-violence; it created impressions of the crimes committed by the executed persons. A story of its own is the influence of the rising democratic ideas on the interpretation of lex talionis. The reason for polyphonic interpretation is, first, the Bible itself, where lex talionis occurs in many contexts and has different functions. Second, moral and political needs also had an impact to the interpretation. It is a difficult matter to decide what is of biblical origin in the interpretations and what is not. However, one thing is clear: ”The Bible says...” means always more or less ”The Bible, as I (like to) understand it, says...”


Women at the Tomb in the Gospel of Peter
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Mika Hynninen, University of Helsinki

This paper examines the empty tomb story in the Gospel of Peter and especially the key role women play in it. In the canonical gospels various lists of names are given of the women who visited the tomb. Why does the Gospel of Peter present yet another variation? Why has the author placed the fear of the Jews theme into the empty tomb narrative? The canonical gospels demonstrate that the evangelists struggled with the reason for the women to return to the tomb on Sunday. How has the author of the Gospel of Peter handled this difficult issue? What can be learned from the Gospel of Peter about the role of women as witnesses to the empty tomb and to the resurrection during the second century? Were Christians criticized for this fact and by whom? How did they react to this criticism? In this paper it is argued that some Jews criticized the role the women play in the events at the empty tomb. As a response to this criticism the author of the Gospel of Peter presented detailed apologetic against these charges and in turn accused the Jews who put them forth. These same redactional features appear throughout the surviving fragment. This strongly supports the unity of the gospel and its composition in a polemical context. This analysis also helps to explain the relationship between the Gospel of Peter and the canonical gospels. The independent form of the guard at the tomb, empty tomb and appearance stories in the Gospel of Peter does not indicate their early provenance, but is the result of separating the women's testimony from the resurrection appearance to the disciples. It is argued that the author followed Mark closely in this section, because this canonical gospel excludes women from reporting their testimony to the disciples.


Psychotheological Understanding of Personally Experienced Brutal Evil and Spiritual Transformation
Program Unit: Psychological Hermeneutics of Biblical Themes and Texts
Virginia Ingram, Anglican Seminary

In this paper the author presents a personal testimony of the brutality of evil, and the part it played in her own conversion. Seeking to find meaning she examines the process of graced transformation by psychological and theological reflection, with reference to historical and Biblical motifs. The conclusions from her findings are expressed with allusions to her current circumstance as an aspirant for ordination in the Anglican Church; with an aim to create a trajectory of hope.


The Historical Jesus and the Poor
Program Unit: Synoptic Gospels
Glenna S. Jackson, Otterbein College

The parables comprise the bulk of the gospel texts that are deemed to be part of the historical Jesus corpus. This paper will look at the historically-reliable parables and argue that their composite is very definitely on the side of the poor. The hermeneutical question then is, do we take those teachings of Jesus as prescriptive or descriptive?


The Significance of Instrumental Talion in Deutoronomic Law
Program Unit: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law
Sandra Jacobs, University of Manchester

Deuteronomy 25:11-12 has attracted an intriguing range of explanations in recent years, where the law prescribes the removal of a wife’s palm for seizing her husband’s opponent’s genitals in a brawl. The more sensational of these include Lyle Eslinger’s proposal, that this punishment was conceived as a form of female circumcision, and also that of Jerome Walsh, who argues, rather, that genital shaving of the offending wife was intended. An increasing number of scholars, however, view this prescription in relation to the talionic formulation in Exodus 21:23b-24: “the penalty shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot”. In this paper, I further suggest that Deuteronomy 25:11-12 was conceived not as finite, or strict sense talion, but instead as a form of instrumental talion, where it constitutes what Yael Shemesh defines as “a punishment of the offending organ”. A comparison of the available scholarly reconstructions of Middle Assyrian law (MAL A8-9), together with case law from Nuzi, will provide substantial support for this interpretation.


The Zodiac Calendar in the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q318) in Relation to Babylonian Horoscopes
Program Unit: Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls
Helen R. Jacobus, University of Manchester

The Aramaic zodiac calendar in the Dead Sea Scrolls, contained in 4Q318 Zodiac Calendar and Brontologion ar, is a functioning calendar of a different kind to the so-called “Qumran Calendar.” This paper will show how 4QZodiac Calendar works both in relation to the Jewish calendar and to the Babylonian calendar. Using data from Francesca Rochberg’s Babylonian Horoscopes (Philadelphia, 1998), it will demonstrate that the Qumran zodiac calendar is a revised version of the Babylonian calendar found in cuneiform horoscopes.


A Magic Calendar in the Book of Esther
Program Unit: Magic and Divination in the Biblical World (EABS)
Helen Jacobus, University of Manchester

The paper suggests that the data was woven into the Book of Esther to add a layer of narrative concerning calendar manipulation. The presentation will include a discussion of an Achaemenid astronomical artefact that may be relevant to this theory. I will also look at the chronological information in the Book of Esther to show that the text contains didactic references to different calendars in Second Temple Judaism that were known about at the time of final editing.


A Samaritan Pentateuch Fragment From the Institute of Oriental Studies (LO IVAN ) of St.Petersburg
Program Unit: Samaritan Studies (EABS)
Harotoun Jamgotchian, Institute Of Oriental Studies, Armenia

This fragment was registered in the former Asian Museum present Leningrad Branch Institute of Oriental Studies Academy of Sciences in 1837 from a collection of the famous diplomat and at the same time an general of the Russian army Sukhtelen P.(1765-1836). It contains of 9 big folios 31.5 x 26 cm. pergament of excellent quality. The date of origin not later than XVc. Each page consists of 25-30 lines. More details about this MS will be given in my paper.


Coping with Death in 1 Corinthians
Program Unit: Psychological Hermeneutics of Biblical Themes and Texts
Linda Joelsson, Åbo Academy University

The Pauline letters reveal different attitudes towards death. This paper is part of a project in which I investigate death in the authentic Pauline letters within the frame of psychological coping. Which strategies are suggested by Paul to the adressees, and which are adopted by Paul in the letters? Does the attitude towards death actually change, or do different situations of the adressees call for different approaches? Is it the same concept of death that is discussed in every letter or are different aspects of death in focus (e.g. psychological, biological, social or spiritual)? How is death appraised? Is it a threat or an opportunity? This particular paper will focus on 1 Corinthians. In this letter matters about death are brought up, on Paul's initiative, with a strong emphasis on the resurrection (1 Cor 15). The death of Jesus seems impossible to handle without the notion of the resurrection. In other parts of the letter death is spelled out as an enemy, but a well-balanced enemy who does not strike without reason (1 Cor 10). According to chapter 10, it was the members of Israel who had lust for evil things that died in the desert. Death becomes attached to the divine order. One of the overall purposes of 1 Corinthians is to confirm order and continuity and this concept of death is not in opposition to that order. Still, when it comes to Paul's personal experience, this picture of a well-advised death is not so easy to maintain. In experiences of weakness and fear, it is the crucified Christ, not the resurrected one, who sustains Paul's faith (1 Cor 2:2-3). How is this death of Jesus to be understood?


"Proskunew" in Luke-Acts: Reverence or Worship?
Program Unit: Synoptic Gospels
Daniel Johansson, University of Edinburgh

It is often difficult to assess the significance of instances where the verb "proskunew" is used to describe reverence given to Jesus in the early Christian literature. The primary meaning of the term is “to bow down, to prostrate oneself”, but its usage ranges from descriptions of a reverential gesture toward a superior figure to worship of a deity. Where on this scale does the evidence from Luke-Acts fit? This paper argues that Luke’s usage is consistent: in six of seven passages the context clearly indicates that "proskunew" is employed in its full religious sense. It is therefore likely that it should be taken in this same sense also in the seventh instance, Luke 24:52, where the term is used to describe the disciples’ reverence of the risen Jesus. Two implications follow. First, Luke’s usage of "proskunew" implies a view of Christ that moves beyond the prophetic Christology commonly associated with Luke. Second, in contrast to Matthew, Luke seems to have been careful to distinguish between the reverence shown to Jesus in his ministry, for which he uses other terminology, and a more exalted reverence given in the post-Easter period.


The Greco-Roman Significance of Walking on the Water
Program Unit: Greco-Roman World
Daniel Johansson, University of Edinburgh

In an often cited article, “Rulers, Divine Men, and Walking on the Water (Mark 6:45-52)” (in Religious Propaganda and Missionary Competition in the New Testament World; ed. Bormann, Del Tredici, and Standhartinger; Leiden: Brill, 1994), Adela Yarbro Collins discusses Jewish and Greco-Roman evidence to determine how early Christians would have understood Mark 6:45-52. While noting that the image is associated with deities in both traditions, she nevertheless argues that the point for a fusion of these traditions would be the messianic character of Jesus. In support of this argument she refers on the one hand to Jewish traditions in which the messiah took on some divine prerogatives, on the other to that the power of walking on water sometimes was associated with rulers in Greco-Roman traditions. The significance of Jesus walking on the water should thus mainly be messianic. This paper argues that this conclusion needs some reassessment. While Collins correctly notes that walking on water is regarded as humanly impossible and that kings who claimed divinity or to whom it was attributed usually were associated with this ability, she does not pay due attention to the latter fact. Rather than being a power generally associated with rulers, it serves to highlight the divine status of rulers such as Xerxes, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and Gaius Caligula. Walking on water is accordingly regarded as a divine prerogative in both Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions and the story of Jesus walking on water would present Jesus as a divine figure to Mark’s audience, whether of Jewish or Gentile background.


Of Jebus, Jerusalem and Benjamin: The Chronicler's Sondergut in 1 Chronicles 21 against the background of the late Persian Era in Yehud
Program Unit: Comparative Studies of Literature from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods
Louis Jonker, University of Stellenbosch

1 Chronicles 21 has been scrutinized by biblical scholars for many reasons – one of which is the addition of verse 6 in the census narrative, indicating that Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering. There is still no consensus among scholars on why the Chronicler mentioned these exclusions. Particularly, the exclusion of Benjamin generates different theories: some relate it to the fact that the ark was in Jerusalem; others to the fact that the tabernacle was in Gibeon; and still others to the fact that Joab was actually accused of not completing the counting of the people. In my paper I will investigate how this addition of the Chronicler relates to another piece of Sondergut at the end of that chapter (21:28-22:1) in which the place of temple-building is aetiologically related to the threshing floor of Ornan, the Jebusite. The interrelationship of Jebus, Jerusalem and Benjamin will be evaluated against the socio-political backdrop of the late Persian period – particularly from the perspective of the province Yehud. Recent work on the tribe of Benjamin (such as, for example, the essay by Philip Davies, "The trouble with Benjamin" [2007]) will be taken into account in this investigation.


Overview of the Quantitative-Structural Analysis of the Verbal Clause in the BH
Program Unit: Biblical Hebrew and Linguistics (EABS)
Wonjun Joo, Sogang University

This study, based on the well-defined linguistic concepts of Richter using the clausal demarcation of the BHt5, tries the new methodological framework of the Quantitative Structure of the Biblical Hebrew (BH) clause to offer one more formal constraint for its better understanding. The psycholinguistic interpretation that the human languages have the strong tendency to be structured according to the PIC(Principle of Increasing Parts) for the more efficient cognition of the hearer, inspires the re-examination of the BH texts if it is also structured for the advantage of the hearer or not; and if not, why and what is going on. The PIC-keeping clause, that is, the smaller starting constituent with the huge ending one, is called Crescendo, which is unmarked and statistically absolute majority in the Hebrew Bible. Crescendo takes more than 70% of the verbal clauses in the prose of Gen-2King, whereas more than half of the verbal clauses in certain law text in Lev are formulated to Decrescendo, the marked one. This stark contrast between two genres correlate their different cognitive advantages, which leads to the most careful speculation of their different ‘ancient reading practice': The predominant structure in prose, which is suitable for the easy understanding of the hearers, could have been achieved through the innumerable oral performances of the religious assembly in ancient Israel. But the quantitative-structural distinctiveness of some law text is not ideal for the rapid understanding in the public reading and could refer to the different ancient praxis.


Philo’s Joseph is an Antihero
Program Unit: Judaica
Ljubica Jovanovic, Cornell University

This paper argues that Philo’s ambiguous representations of biblical Joseph reflect the struggle of Philo and many Alexandrian Jews to establish their cultural identity. The abhorrent undertone in the depiction of Joseph in On Dreams as vainglorious, spoiled, arrogant, and proud, seems to stand in sharp contrast with virtuous Joseph who embodies the type of the ideal statesman of On Joseph. The scholarly opinion that Philo wrote two contradictory accounts (Nikiprowetsky) about Joseph, and the opposite view that argues for a coherent Philonic image of Joseph (Sandmel, Bassler) are challenged by F. Frazier’s proposition that the contradictions and inconsistencies are an integral part of Philo’s characterization of Joseph in On Joseph. Through examination of both On Dreams and On Joseph, I endeavor to show that though these representations are seemingly contrastive, they essentially display Philo’s complex understanding of Joseph, that is impregnated with mixed sentiments which surface through his exegetical methods. Joseph of the Greek Genesis (Gen 37-50) is the most important of Jacob’s sons for Egyptian Jews, because he brought Jews to Egypt. His rise to pharaoh’s prime minister appealed to the pride of Alexandrian Jews. No wonder that Philo uses him as the type of the ideal statesman. However, many Jews born in Egypt questioned the quality of their success in Diaspora. In spite of their affluence and privileges they were second rate citizens directly ruled by a foreign power, in contrast to the relative independence and prosperity of the Jews of the homeland in pre 70 CE Judea. Feeling betrayed by their ancestors who, following Joseph's example as an ideal, established themselves in Egypt, they blamed Joseph's character for their fate, turning his image into one of an antihero.


English Bible Translations in the Tudor Era
Program Unit: The Biblical World and Its Reception (EABS)
Gergely Juhász, Catholic University of Leuven-Belgium

“And I doute not but there be, & shal come aftir vs, that canne & shall correcke our workes and translacions in many places & make them miche more perfayt & better for the reader to vnderstande” (George Joye, An Apologye, Antwerp, 1535, sig. D5v) One year before the 500th anniversary of the King James Bible, 2010 marks the 450th anniversary of the publication of the Geneva Bible. For this occasion my paper will study how the Antwerp bible translations of William Tyndale, George Joye and Myles Coverdale made their way into the Geneva Bible and the King James Bible, two of the most important versions in the history of the English Bible. I argue that the King James Bible’s majestic language is the result of the contrasting translation strategies of prior Tudor Bible translations of ‘modernizing’ and ‘naturalizing’ on the one hand, and the ‘historicizing’ and ‘exoticizing’ on the other, as these terms are defined by James S. Holmes’s literary theory of translation. As such, the King James Version incorporated the very best of all prior English Biblical scholarship on its way from Antwerp to London through Geneva.


Comparative Study of the Bible and the Qur'an since 9/11
Program Unit: Quran and Islamic Tradition in Comparative Perspective
John Kaltner, Rhodes College

This paper presents an overview of books published in English since 9/11 that discuss the relationship between the Bible and the Qur'an. Approximately twenty such titles have appeared, and a dozen of them will be discussed under three categories: works that denigrate, works that divert, and works that dialogue. Particular attention is paid to the authors' methodologies and the implications for interfaith relations.


Striking Family Hierarchies: Luke 12:35-48, Gender, and Slavery
Program Unit: The Bible in the Twenty-First Century: Politization of Bibles and Biblization of Politics (EABS)
Marianne Kartzow, University of Oslo

In a slave-holding culture, family values are only for free persons. Slaves are only footnotes in great men’s biographies. Our interest in “family as strategy” in antiquity has much to benefit from taking into account how roles and functions in the family were determined by class, age, and gender, and how slaves belonged to a different discursive reality in the households than free persons. In the parable in Luke 12:35-48 hierarchical reasoning contributes to the construction of early Christian identity and theology: One trusted slave misuses his privileged position and starts to beat his subordinate in the household. The language used opens up a variety of scenarios: Either he strikes his fellow slaves, both male and female, or he strikes boys and girls. Such physical punishment was probably common in ancient families, where slave bodies were part of their owner’s property, and where children had to obey adults. Interpreters are confronted with several challenges when New Testament texts are used as models for family life or religious practice, without considering seriously how various power structures intersect and reinforce each other in the ancient world and today.


Reconsidering the Early History of "God": On the Biblical Transformation of a Concept
Program Unit: Concept Analysis and the Hebrew Bible
Robert Kawashima, University of Florida

The "concept" plays an important, if often overlooked role in the thought of certain French philosophers (Canguilhem, Lacan, et al.). For these thinkers, it cannot be reduced to a superficial "term," a semantic content in the imaginary. Rather, its significance derives from its symbolic function within an underlying epistemic configuration or formation. It follows, then, that multiple occurrences of the same word or term, when these derive from different configurations, will be mere homonyms, referring to distinct underlying concepts. This notion of the concept found its broadest and most famous use in the work of Michel Foucault. His "archaeology," for example, proposed to analyze knowledge, not as a content expressed in language -- words and sentences -- but in terms of an underlying epistemic ground he called "discourse" -- concepts and statements. His histories of knowledge thus traced the transformations of concepts and the reconfigurations of knowledge from one discrete discursive formation or "episteme" to the next. "God" is just such a concept. For example, in spite of the undeniable historical relation connecting Enuma Elish and Genesis 1, their analogous terms, Marduk and Elohim, Tiamat and Tehom, are mere homonyms. I will adduce various biblical and extra-biblical passages touching on certain crucial aspects of ancient conceptualizations of the divine, in order to trace the biblical transformation of the god concept. This particular use of the "concept" thus groups together multiple texts, sources, and traditions, referring them to a common discursive formation, namely, the biblical episteme. To isolate and analyze this episteme is in no way to argue for the superiority of the biblical concept of God. It is merely to understand better that event in the history of ancient religion, which is commonly, if inadequately designated the "monotheistic revolution."


Emotional Fear in Pentateuchal Law
Program Unit: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law
Thomas Kazen, Stockholm School of Theology

This study is part of a larger project, employing insights from cognitive sciences for interpreting biblical texts dealing with moral and ritual issues. Special attention is paid to the role of emotions and emotional development. Fear is a primary emotion that has evolved to protect living organisms from damage and death. Four general categories are usually acknowledged: interpersonal fear, fear of death and injury/illness, animal fear, and agoraphobic fears). The present paper examines the role of fear in three areas that are displayed in various Pentateuchal law codes: the Covenant code, the Deuteronomic Code, the Holiness Code, and various purity and sacrificial laws. The areas are 1) attitudes to strangers, 2) apotropaic rites, 3) obedience and divine punishment. Xenophobia is found with a number of social species and is reasonable from an evolutionary perspective. Ethnocentric tendencies serve to protect the integrity of the group. Purity rules have sometimes been taken to display traits of disease-avoidance. Some purification rites suggest a fear of demonic powers. Fear of divine punishment can be utilized both for motivating obedience to certain humanitarian laws, and for enforcing strict laws of holiness and separation. The paper attempts to trace various types or categories of fear, and asks how fear interacts with, or counteracts other crucial emotions, such as disgust or empathy.


Emotions in biblical law
Program Unit: Mind, Society, and Tradition
Thomas Kazen, Stockholm School of Theology

Human behaviour is to a large degree governed by emotions that are biologically evolved and culturally shaped. Biblical law deals with a number of such behaviours, whether understood as “moral” or “ritual” according to modern categorization. This paper introduces a forthcoming monograph in which I study four important emotions – disgust, empathy, fear, and a sense of justice – that can be traced in Pentateuchal legal material relating to humanitarian behaviour, the treatment of outsiders, compensation and ransom, bloodshed, impurity and sacrifice. The study utilizes tools from the cognitive sciences – in particular evolutionary biology, neurobiology, ethology and developmental psychology – together with comparative religion, in order to analyze the role of these emotions in a number of legal texts. How do they influence a particular legal tradition? Which level or category of a given emotion is being displayed? How do various emotions interact or, at times, counteract each other? The texts in focus come from the Covenant code, the Deuteronomic code and the Holiness code, as well as certain purity laws and sacrificial laws. At the end, the question is asked whether observations about emotional stages can somehow contribute to the vexed question of the historical context and redaction of Pentateuchal material.


The Shadow of Ruth Over the Life of David
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Min Suc Kee, Korea Baptist Theological Seminary/University

Whether the ‘the genealogy of David’ in the book of Ruth (4.13-22) is a later addition to the narrative or not, the story of Ruth has been living its life encompassing the Davidic genealogy within. Consequently the story of Ruth has inevitably interfered with the reading of the life of David. Since Tamar, mentioned at 4.12, clearly relates her life with that of Ruth, we may legitimately see into the strings of Ruth in the life of David. Specifically I am going to pay attention to the ‘loyalty between a couple’, evidently enjoyed between ‘Ruth and Naomi’, and examined it in the relations between ‘David and Jonathan’. As the controversial move of Ruth to Boaz seems to shadow Bathsheba’s move to David, it will be argued that the former could be understood as a propaganda that supports Bathsheba’s move toward David.


Shaping the Story about the Destruction of Jerusalem and the End of the Dynasty: Editing in Jer 52:7-16
Program Unit: Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)
Hanna Kilkkinen, University of Helsinki

This presentation investigates the transmission and the editorial changes witnessed by the differences between the parallel texts in Jer 52:7-16 and 2 Kgs that describe the conquest and destruction of Jerusalem as well as the final days of its last king. The aim is to categorize and describe the changes made in the text. There are many differences between the parallells such as a chiastic change in word order, various additions, and a change in number that completes some very short and “elliptical” expressions of 2 Kgs. There are also additions and changes that seem to be prompted by the larger context. One addition creates an antithesis between the stories of two kings of Jerusalem. Besides the very notion that here is concrete evidence of deliberate editing of the Biblical text, it is important to note that in a very short text, just a few verses, the number of these changes is quite high. One should also find it interesting that the changes reported here belong to the earlier LXX forms of the text. There are many opportunities to study the editing of LXX-Jer towards the longer MT, but here the LXX-Jer text itself reveals intensive editing.


Genesis 37-50: The Story of Jacob and His Sons in Light of the Primary History-Narrative (Genesis ~ 2 Kings)
Program Unit: Pentateuch (Torah)
Dohyung Kim, University of Sheffield

Genesis 37 to 50 is traditionally known as the story of Joseph, or sometimes referred to as the story of Israel (Jacob)-Joseph. It seems that these two fathers are considered as the main characters, and their influence is predominant in various ways within the storyline of the novella. In this paper, I challenge the titles traditionally given to the story because they do not fit into the wider context of the Primary History-Narrative (Genesis ~ 2 Kings). Chapters 37-50 do not merely focus on Joseph or Jacob, but also have an interest in other characters and a wider perspective. This is the reason, for instance, why a chapter such as Genesis 38, and the characters Judah and Tamar exist in the present form in their stories. These considerations lead me to propose a more suitable title for this section of narrative, that is, The Story of Jacob and His Sons. Reframing these chapters in this way assists the reader in understanding how the multiple threads of the subsequent narratives are to be combined.


The Impact of the Ten Commandment’s Injunction against Idolatry on the Hindu Renaissance of Rammohan Roy (1772-1833) and Brahmo Samaj
Program Unit: Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact
Heerak Christian Kim, Asia Evangelical College and Seminary

Brahmo Samaj, founded by the father of modern Hinduism, Rammohan Roy ((1772-1833), in 1828 represents Hindu Renaissance in modern India, whose impact is being felt even today. Brahmo Samaj and its successive leaders played a critical role in the direction of modern Hinduism and the direction of India’s national and international politics in the modern era. The leaders of the Hindu Renaissance tried to instill modern values, such as the rights of women and the lower castes, into the very fabric of their Hindu reform program. And Rammohan Roy, the father of Hindu Renaissance, took an aggressive position against idolatry. Roy even condemned the traditional Hindu establishment for their emphasis on using icons (or “idols”) for worship. Roy states: “Many learned Brahmans are perfectly aware of the absurdity of idolatry, and are well informed of the nature of the pure mode of divine worship; but as in the rites, ceremonies, and festivals of idolatry, they find the source of their comforts and fortune, they not only never fail to protect idol-worship from all attacks, but even advance and encourage it to the utmost of their power, by keeping the knowledge of their scriptures concealed from the rest of the people.” Rammohan Roy was influenced by the Ten Commandments in the Bible in condemning a religious tradition and practices that had been in place for centuries in India. Rammohan Roy’s condemnation of “idolatry” was continued by his successor, Devendranath Tagore (1817-1905) and other leaders of the modern Hindu reform movement.


The Apocalypse and the Gospel according to St. John
Program Unit: Johannine Literature
Moon-Geung Kim, Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary

I' d like to present a study of the relationship between The Apocalypse and the Gospel according to St. John. The first question is: “Can we read the concept of the Apocalypse in the Fourth Gospel.” If the answer is yes, the second question is “What is the relationship between the Apocalypse and the Fourth Gospel and how does the apocalyptic concept function. This research methodically concentrates on the synchronic dimension of the text. The Fourth Gospel includes, not only implicit ‘quasi-apocalyptic’ expression, but also explicit ‘apocalyptic’ motifs and structures. In addition to anonymity, visional and auditory experiences of the Redeemer’s self revelation, the Fourth Gospel includes a survey of history in future form, a metaphorical story and the dualistic motifs on the surface. Through these apocalyptic elements, the author attempts to allow the readers to understand the World of the faith. In the Fourth Gospel we read about the cosmic drama of the Redeemer’s earthly and heavenly journeys. , He comes to earth to seek his place and departs to heaven to prepare the place of the believers who follow him, and find the true way, because he is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).


Triple Chiastic Structures in Rom 6
Program Unit: Paul and Pauline Literature
Sang-Hoon Kim, Chongshin University

Any literary or linguistic characteristic of authorial style in the text can affect its textual meanings. Meanings are generated both in contents (thematic messages) and form (stylistic expression). Thus, as much attention needs to be paid to the style of the author as to the themes of the text. Stylistics can also be used to determine the connections between the form and effects. In Rom 6, there are three chiastic structures: vv. 1-11, vv. 12-14, and vv. 15-23. Each chiasm provides the reader calculable repetitive effect with emphasis on certain ideas and expressions. Pauline style or his chiastic design in writing needs to be discovered and shown in terms of how this type of chiasm could effectively persuade the first readers to understand and accept what Paul had tried to tell them in Romans, particularly in Rom 6. If Paul designed such style of inverted parallels, deliberately and with certain goal for the reader to be hearable, it is quietly requisite for us to find out the stylistic way of authorial writing on the interpretive process of the Pauline text. Not much attention has been paid to this type of study in Pauline epistles. What are the differences, on the process of interpreting the text, between paying proper attention to the stylistic way of writing and simply ignoring it without attention? If there are certain differences between them, what will happen to the readers in their actual understanding of the text, by carefully considering the stylistic design and its structure that is a network of the stylistic relations?


Double Parallel Structures of John 8:12-52
Program Unit: Johannine Literature
Sang-Hoon Kim, Chongshin University

Repetition is typical of stylistic phenomenon in John and John's letters. Repetitive expressions in John show how John's ideas and phrasal expressions are connectively related to themselves or among themselves, demanding to study these features in terms of how they are related so as to produce certain Johannine meanings. Meanings are not laid only in thematic contents but also in stylistic form. On the process of interpretation of the text, careful research on the textual style appearing in the text is so much helpful and even necessary, if we wish to understand the text better and correctively. John 8:12-52 is consisted of two parts: vv. 12-36 and 37-52. Each parallels in both structures provide the reader calculable repetitive effect with emphasis on certain ideas and expressions. Johannine style such as parallel design here needs to be researched in terms of how this type of meaning-network could lead the readers to repetitively be impressed, in the Johannine way, by ideas that the text tells about. In John, repetitions are not the matter of producing literary repetition that simply emphasizes certain idea or expression twice or thrice, but rather they are the typical Johannine style of parallelisms or chiasms causing specific, relational meaning-network. This type of combined, repetitive phenomenon in John is so unique that may distinguish the author from others. What are the difference, in interpreting the text, between paying a proper attention to the authorial way of style and ignoring it without attention? If there are certain differences between them, what kinds of differences are in there? Can this distinction in interpretation cause somehow distinct understanding of the text?


Sinner or Redeemer? - David and the Pestilence in 2Sam 24 and 1Chr 21
Program Unit: Biblical Characters in the Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam)
Sara Kipfer, University of Bern

The reception history of 2 Sam 24 and 1 Chr 21 could not be more manifold: on the one hand, David is seen as king who commits a momentous misdeed and, on the other hand, he is depicted as rescuer from the pestilence and healer of the sick. In the Mekilta de-Rabbi Ishmael, from the period of the Tannaim, it is written that David identified with the people’s sin and took it upon himself. The interpretation of David as sovereign who liberated his people with his own confession is still found in the 17th century, where the scene occurs in the seven Acts of Mercy (cf. the etching Visit the Sick, David praying for the Plague Sufferers, 1668-1671 by Sébastien Bourdon). Not only the end but also the origins of the pestilence, namely the census that David ordered to be conducted, are foregrounded in the Spaniard Benito Arias Montano’s (1527-1598) work “David”. In this spirit, Gad’s proclamation of calamity, which led David to say “I am in a great strait” (2 Sam 24:14), was conventionalized to a proper threat towards David in 17th century paintings (cf. Luca Giordano, The Prophet Offering King David the Choice of Three Punishments: Famine, Civil War, or Plague). With the help of the narratives of the census and the plague, the diversity of the Wirkungsgeschichte of the texts about King David shall be exemplarily demonstrated.


An Oddly Ominous Sort of Distribution Narrative: the Ideology of the Narratives of Dividing Up the Promised Land in the Book of Joshua
Program Unit: Comparative Studies of Literature from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods
Paul J. Kissling, TCMI Institute

Abstract: While the narratives of the distribution of the land of Canaan in the book of Joshua undoubtedly have a complex tradition history, the ideology of the final redactors is expressed both by what they retained from the tradition handed down to them as well as by how they modified it and what they added. This essay examines the ideology of the final redactors and their purposes in presenting the distribution narratives which we have. Focus in particular is drawn to the accounts of those tribes which in some sense or another are dissatisfied with the allotment which falls to them, whether that be expressed by refusal even initially to settle in the Cisjordan, or only partially settle there, or by expression of initial dissatisfaction, or by later abandonment of an allotment. The essay argues that these narratives are retained and shaped for a variety of ideological reasons among which is to suggest that the seeds for the eventual break-up and dissolution were sown in the earliest days of the nation, no matter how ”successful” the entrance into the land may have been in other ways.


The Yavneh Project - The Treasure of Cult Stands
Program Unit: The Philistines (EABS)
Raz Kletter, University of Helsinki

An unprecedented amount of c. 120 Cult Stands, mostly restorable or whole and many carrying figurative art, was discovered at Yavneh (Israel). They were found in a repositroy pit ('Genizah') of a Philistine Iron II period Temple. The pit held also thousands of other cultic vessels - bowls and chalices with traces of burning of incense; fire pans ('shovels'); stone and clay altars; and other 'goodies'. This lecture is an overview of the ongoing study and publication project of this major discovery. It focuses on the enigmatic 'cult stands' (often called also 'architectural/shrine models'). We also celebrate in this occasion the publication of the first Final Excavation Volume on Yavneh (Yavneh I; OBO Archaeological Series 30, 2010, Fribourg).


The Conception of Divine Intervention in War: A Comparison of Joshua 3-11 and Sargonid Inscriptions
Program Unit: Ancient Near East
Delia Klingler, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

As there is no such thing as “secular” warfare in the ANE, or at least in ANE literature, this paper compares the conception of divine intervention in war in Joshua 3-11 and Neo-Assyrian inscriptions concerning the campaigns of Sargon II, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. In my opinion a core, of Josh 3-11 can be dated into the last third of the 7th century BC which implies a possible reference to Assyrian war ideology. The study of the texts reveals a range of similarities in the conceptions of divine intervention and of double causality of divine and human action, e.g. encouragement of and instructions to the human military leader, psychological warfare or direct intervention in the battle. Differences concern e.g. the more prominent role of the human military leader (i.e. the king) and the reference to the enemy’s deities in the Sargonid inscriptions, as well as the more frequent occurrence of divine instructions in direct speech or the ??? in Joshua. The differences can be explained by the different genres, intentions and Sitze im Leben of the texts as well as by the varying theological and ideological conceptions of warfare. While the Book of Joshua narrates how in the past Jhwh fulfilled his promise of land through Joshua’s campaigns, the Sargonid inscriptions tell how the Assyrian kings achieved the extension of the Assyrian power sphere by (more or less) contemporary campaigns. As it is not clear how far Joshua and the Sargonid inscriptions participate in a common ANE tradition of warfare theology and ideology and how far the book of Joshua relates to and re-interprets Assyrian war theology and propaganda, the exact relation of the similarities cannot be satisfyingly clarified.


Embodiment and Cosmology in The Ascension of Isaiah
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Jonathan Knight, Katie Wheeler Research Trust & York St John University

This paper examines the eschatology of the Ascension of Isaiah in relation to the work's distinctive cosmology and the wider tradition of early Christian eschatology. I explain how a particular cosmological view undergirds the apocalypse, relating this to the notion of the "out of body experience" and hopes for the consummation of eschatology. The last third of the paper relates this to early Christianity more generally, especially the Pauline notion of the "body from heaven" and the significance of this view for early Christian eschatology.


The Social Function of Apocalypticism in Matthew's Gospel
Program Unit: Apocalyptic Literature
Jonathan Knight, Katie Wheeler Research Trust & York St John University

Much has been wrtitten on the role of apocalyptic eschatology in Matthew's Gospel, but considerably less on the social function of apocalypticism as such. Working from the hypothesis that apocalypticism is broader than apocalyptic eschatology alone, this paper investigates the origin and significance of the strong emphasis on apocalyptic knowledge in Matthew. Following a review of such key passages as 11.25-27 and 18.18, I relate the question both to wider issue of apocalypticism and the historical Jesus and the role of apocalypticism in early Christianity more generally, including the matter of Gnostic origins.


1 Kor 11,17-34: Soziale und ethische Aspekte beim Abendmahl
Program Unit: Paul and Pauline Literature
Ralfs Kokins, Latvijas Universitate

Ich werde das Verstaendnis der Gemeinden im postkommunistischen Raum analisieren - was genau sind die Voraussetzungen fuer den Abendmahl? Suendenbekenntnis, Beichte, gesteigerte Spiritualitaet - oder doch die zwischenmenschliche Ethik - Statusverzicht, die ueberwindung der sozialen und ethnischen Grenzen usw.? Wass will uns der Text vermitteln und ob wir wirklich diesen Text in seinem Kontext kennen?


Pornography or theology? The legal background, psychological reality, and theological import of Ezekiel 16
Program Unit: Prophets
Aaron Koller, Yeshiva University

Ezekiel 16 has been studied productively from a number of different perspectives in the past decade. Some scholars have detected echoes of Ancient Near Eastern legal practices in the text; others have focused on the sexuality described therein. This paper argues that no "adoption" is described, and that this is critical for understanding the depiction of God in the narrative: he is not a nurturing parent at all. His behavior in fact raises serious moral (i.e., theological) problems, especially in light of many modern psychological studies which show a link between childhood sexual abuse and later sexual desires and activities. All of this is background, however: the real question is how Ezekiel uses this complex narrative to further the theological goals of his book. It will be argued that the very problems the text raise support the radical theological platform propounded by Ezekiel throughout.


Sex or Power? The Crime of the Single Girl and the Punishment(s) of Her Groom in Deuteronomy 22
Program Unit: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law
Aaron Koller, Yeshiva University

The law of the slandered bride has received much attention in the past decade, and our understanding of the ancient Near Eastern background, cultural context, and literary presentation has been much advanced by these studies. There are still two of points which deserve attention, however. The first is the nature of the crime of the bride if the groom is determined to be telling the truth, a point debated by Fleishman and Malul recently. This paper will argue that the best understanding of the law lies in between the positions of these two scholars: like Fleishman, I understand the primary victim to be the girl's parents, not her husband, but like Malul, the real problem is seen to be that the fabric of society is being threatened. Biblical and cross-cultural evidence is used to support this reading of the law, which, I propose, also extends an insight into the law made by the late Tikva Frymer-Kensky. Second, the precise nature of the punishment(s) meted out to the groom if he is found to be lying requires fuller discussion. Evidence of varying interpretations of the punishment clause in the biblical text is seen to be forthcoming from a Qumran text, which reflects an approach different from that found in rabbinic literature.


Who is like the wise man? – Qohelet´s instructions on behavior and decorum in diverse interpersonal settings
Program Unit: Wisdom Literature
Gabriella Kopas, Bratislava, Slovakia

This paper intends to explore how the book of Qohelet introduces the Sage as a Teacher in his instructions on behavior. In my opinion it is clearly the author’s intention to instruct the readers and give them wise counsels on many topics related to real life situations. This apparently creates his role as a teacher – one who explains, instructs, and challenges. One of the arenas of the life situations dealt with by the author is that of social interactions. In his book Qohelet introduces several interpersonal settings in which one should conduct himself like a wise man. These include for instance, interaction with God (in Qoh 5), interaction with public officials (in Qoh 5), dealing with women (in Qoh 7), facing the king (in Qoh 8), and living among the wicked (in Qoh 8). In my paper I will attempt to explore the Sage’s instructions for these specific interpersonal settings with a special focus on the character of the Teacher these instructions reflect. For this purpose I will use tools of didactic theories, as well as rhetorical approaches in order to fully explore the methods Qohelet uses to instruct his readers. Secondly, I will look at the settings of the above mentioned interpersonal dynamics and how they relate to Qohelet’s teachings on wise conduct, as well as his character as a teacher.


New Testament Conjectural Emendation: Recent Developments
Program Unit: Working with Biblical Manuscripts (Textual Criticism)
JLH Krans, Vrije University

As in previous centuries, many scholars today use conjectural emendation as a tool within the textual criticism of the New Testament. Yet many others neglect or even reject conjectural criticism altogether. This paper will take stock of these conflicting tendencies, and explore the current developments in the field. In the end, the paper will defend the legitimate and natural place conjectural emendation has in New Testament textual criticism.


Athens and Alexandria as Place: An Experiential Tale of Two Cities in the Classical through Hellenistic Periods
Program Unit: Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis (EABS)
Jens Krasilnikoff, Aarhus Universitet

In this paper, Jens A. Krasilnikoff discusses and explores the potentials of humanistic geography as a theoretical and methodological tools and approach for the study of the Classical Greek city of Athens and the earliest Alexandrine history. Thus, by comparison to Archaic city founding and Classical Athens, it is argued that the city of Alexander differed fundamentally form the majority of classical cities. The evidence suggests that the rulers of Alexandria were soon to create their own standards of urbanism, conspicuous consumption and cultural amalgamation in close resonance with a profound exclusiveness of its royal ideology. Undoubtedly, the heirs of Alexander exercised great impact upon the religions and cultural amalgams of the city. Concurrently, however, they also subscribed to the institutions and traditions of the classical Greek polis, a dominant feature in the ancient literary tradition on and about Alexandria. Paradoxically, the acute need of the first Ptolemaic rulers to create Alexandria into a distinct, unique and self-preserving urban entity in its own right demanded that the city of Alexander was made exactly that by the creation of Alexandria as a distinct Greek place. This was achieved partially by exploitation of the logics of earlier Greek colony foundations, a process which allows for the newly founded city to become its own, to win its independence. Secondly, the Ptolemies, by claim of ancestry to Alexander’s project and by exploitation of the relationship between the oikist, Alexander and his city, created a place for royal ideology, which was not dependent on either a Graeco-Macedonian or an Egyptian political of cultural-religious dependency but uniquely Ptolemaic.


When Does Human Life Begin? Perspectives of the Hebrew Bible
Program Unit: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law
Andreas Kunz-Lübcke, Universität Leipzig

When life begins is a modern question. In the ancient world of Biblical Israel and the surrounding area biological processes like ovulation and implantation were unknown. One of the striking differences between modern and older thinking is the ancient idea that procreation is comparable to the process of sowing seed. According to the concepts of the Hebrew Bible and the literary sources from the Israel area, the child exists in the body of his father who brings it into the womb of the mother through sexual intercourse. The paper will discuss the different positions in the Hebrew Bible towards the question regarding which date after the beginning of pregnancy the foetus is considered to be a human being. In this context, it is important to discuss the question whether in the case of an abortion of the foetus as a result of a external force such as in Ex 21, 22 f., only the death of the mother is the subject of discussion or if the death of the child has also been seen as a legal problem. Other voices within the Hebrew Bible have given different answers to the question of when life begins. Contrastingly in the book of Psalms, one often encounters the point of view that the relationship between JHWH and an individual human being begins with birth; other literary sources argue that JHWH begins to act on human beings at the time of procreation.


You are trying to destroy a mother and a city in Israel: Deliberations on the Theme Female Wisdom and Male Violence in the David Stories
Program Unit: Comparative Studies of Literature from the Persian and Hellenistic Periods
Andreas Kunz-Lübcke, Universität Leipzig

In the stories of King David the reader encounters several women who are dominated by men, specifically through acts of male violence. Michal, Bathsheba, Tamar, the so-called concubines of David – all of these woman share the same fate: they are victims of violent male acts. In contrast to these female characters, there is Abigail who appears in 1 Sam 25 and also there is the nameless wise woman of Abel Beth Maachah in 2 Sam 20. They present a counter-image. These wise women are successful in minimising male violence; although a so-called “worthless man” must die, a great number of human lives are saved. Both women speak on behalf of JHWH, they place themselves in a dangerous situation and face a combat-ready man and they both use dialogue as a means of fighting back and avoiding war and violence. The theme of male violence being minimised by female acts will also be compared with how it is portrayed in classical Greek lyric poetry. Within the paper it will be demonstrated that a close literary relationship exists between the two stories 1 Sam 25 and 2 Sam 20. Both stories are not simple anti-war or anti-violence narratives. Instead they advocate speech as an efficient tool and better instrument than war and violence for the advancement of interests. The fact that the superiority of human speech is presented by wise women should be understood as an opinion against the victimisation of female characters in the David Stories. The last part of the paper will show that the story of Abigail in 1 Sam 25 should be seen as a counter to the narrative of David and Bathsheba in 2 Sam 11. In both stories the reader encounters a significant use of similar motifs such as the marriage of married women, the death of a former husband and the negative portrayal of an rich owner of sheep.


Disabled Children in the Ancient World: Disability History and Late Antiquity Narrative
Program Unit: Families and Children in the Ancient World
Christian Laes, University of Antwerp and Free University of Brussels

In this paper, I will highlight the vast potential of late antique-early medieval hagiography for disability history. This will be done by taking into account the different layers such stories possess: references to the Gospels, literary embellishment, concepts on the purpose of miracles. However, such narratives undoubtedly contain references to every day life. They are as it were our main sources for disabled children and family life in the ancient world. So far, these fascinating stories have hardly been studied.


"Who Are These With You?": The Subjectivity of Children in Genesis and Exodus
Program Unit: Families and Children in the Ancient World
Mikael Larsson, Dep Church and Society, Church of Sweden

The concept of “childhood” is a modern phenomenon and the perceptions of children vary with time, language and culture. This circumstance raises a serious methodological question for the study of children in the bible. How does one delineate the object of study in these texts? Assuming that reality is constructed through language, this paper begins with a brief presentation of the semantic field of the “child” in classical Hebrew. From that point of departure, the paper proceeds with an exploration of the child as a literary subject in the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus. To what extent do children see, speak and act in these texts? How do the subjectivity of for example sons and daughter, boys and girls differ? What are the tensions and continuities between the concrete children of Genesis and Israel as YHWHs metaphorical son in Exodus? It will be shown that children feature as complex subjects and that the position of the child in these books is a precarious one. It will also be argued that “the child” is a problematical category to use in relation the Hebrew bible, a category that needs to be qualified and nuanced.


Dispairing Grace: A Close Viewing of Lars von Trier’s Manderlay
Program Unit: Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact
Mikael Larsson, Dep Church and Society, Church of Sweden

In the films of Lars von Trier, the issues of guilt, goodness, freedom and power occupy the centre stage. Breaking the waves (1996) and Dancer in the Dark (2000) were applauded and criticized for their portrayal of women sacrificing their lives for others. Some critics thought that von Trier reproduced an antiquated Old Testament view of women as objects, whereas others interpreted these female characters as subversive Christ figures. The two following films, Dogville (2003) and Manderlay (2005), also feature altruistic women in the leading role. Yet these films give expression to radically different theological positions. The self-sacrificing woman Grace appears as an avenger in Dogville and as a failed philanthropist in Manderlay. In this paper, I propose to offer a close viewing of Manderlay, focusing on the usage of the biblical motif of sacrifice. Does the film relate to biblical tradition through reiteration, irony, criticism or in some other way and how is this shown cinematographically? How can an analysis of the usage of biblical motifs contribute to the understanding of the film and what challenges, if any, does the film raise for biblical scholars?


"Diakonia" as Health Care? Reception and Reinterpretation of Acts 6
Program Unit: Bible and Its Influence: History and Impact
Kari Latvus, University of Helsinki

The current debate about the meaning of Biblical "diakonia"-words (J. N. Collins 1990, 2002; A. Hentschel 2007) has strongly challenged the traditional interpretation process. The essential element of the traditional interpretation was the German 19th century context: diakonia words were connected to health care or care of the poor and were seen as acts by deacons/deaconesses. The whole modern diaconia movement and the practice of many churches are still based on this assumption. In this paper, the analysis of the reception of the text aims to clarify the historical steps of this process: how has Acts 6:1-6 been understood and interpreted during the different historical periods? As a summary of the analysis, the following steps or stages can be noticed. The first stage was the identification of the seven men as deacons (diakonoi) by Irenaeus and others. The second stage of the development was the identification of deacons as caritative functionaries in the texts of Martin Luther. The third stage of development was the establishment of the permanent caritative ministry of deacons by John Calvin. Finally during the 19th century T. Fliedner interpreted Acts 6 in the context of poverty and health care. Among other locations the deaconess institute was established also in Tallinn (in 1867). The whole reception process is cumulative and, thus, it is not possible to understand these stages without a conception of the previous steps. During the process, the understanding of Acts 6 changed in a remarkable way and showed how deeply the interpretation was affected by each historical context.


Liberators or Colonialists? The Pioneers of Modern Biblical Studies and European Colonialism
Program Unit:
Hans Leander, University of Gothenburg

In his ground breaking work, Orientalism, Edward Said briefly pointed at the revolution in biblical studies in the eighteenth century as one of the important impulses toward the study of the Orient, thereby making an interesting invitation to present day biblical scholars to engage critically in the history of their own field. Responding in a limited way to Said’s invitation, I will study two of the founders of modern biblical scholarship: Johann David Michaelis and David Friedrich Strauss. Generally, these scholars are seen as liberating biblical studies from Church authority and dogma. Such a story of liberation, I will argue, needs to be modified. In this paper Michaelis is connected to his initiative to organize a scientifically motivated travel expedition to what was called “Arabia felix”, part of a wider development of allegedly disinterested travel narratives that Mary Louise Pratt has called “anti-conquest” literature which helped to establish a sense of innocence for European expansion. As for Strauss, the presentation builds on (and partly criticizes) Shawn Kelley's work Racializing Jesus, which includes an important analysis of Ferdinand Christian Baur. I will look at Strauss, one of Baur’s students who perhaps could be seen as going further than his teacher in taking a Hegelian grip on the Gospels. Strauss’ emphasis on the mythic character of the Gospels, on the one hand, challenges an older kind of colonial identity but, on the other hand, helps to form a new one.


Mark and the Rhetoric of Empire
Program Unit: Early Christianity between Judaism and Hellenism (EABS)
Hans Leander, University of Gothenburg

As is generally agreed, the New Testament writings use several expressions, terms and titles that were part of Roman imperial discourses, many of which one can find in the Gospel of Mark, i.e. Gospel (euangelion), Son of God (huios tou theou), kingdom of God (basileia tou theou), Lord (kurios), Legion (legion) and others. There is considerably less agreement, however, regarding how to interpret such usage of imperial language. Usually, there are two or three suggestions of how to read them: pro-Roman, anti-Roman, and a-Roman (indifference). In this paper it is argued that additional categories are needed in order to conceptualize a more complex meaning in Mark's language of Empire. With a special focus on the title Son of God, I will try to show how postcolonial studies — with concepts such as mimicry, colonial ambivalence, hybridity and catachresis — can help understand how Mark relates to imperial discourses.


Reconsidering Job's Wife
Program Unit: Feminist Interpretations
Icksang Lee, Methodist Theological University in Seoul

Judging Job’s wife as: 1) A woman who has abandoned God because of the sufferings in life, or 2) Satan’s servant who tempts Job, based solely on the two verses of Job 2:9-10, is not right. We must let go of our prejudiced way of reading the Book of Job by categorizing the characters into two groups: Job as the righteous one, and the rest as unrighteous people, because interpreting the bible with the perspective of Job’s wife, Job’s wife was an advisor who encouraged Job, who was experiencing confusion in the middle of the sudden trials and sufferings, to hold firm to his faith. I will explain and prove that Job’s wife that the Hebrew Bible seeks to portray is 1) As Job’s advisor, or 2) Understood as the righteous partner who endured the sufferings with Job, by focusing on the passages from the Hebrew Bible itself. Moreover, I will show that Job’s wife, unlike Job whose faith was shaken during the sufferings, was the only one who never let go of her faith toward God until the end.


Olivier Messiaen’s Eternal Faith in Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum—The Musically Displayed Scenes in the Joyful Easter Mass
Program Unit: The Bible and the Visual Arts (EABS)
Martin Lee, University at Buffalo, SUNY

Commissioned by André Malraux, the French composer Olivier Messiaen wrote Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum for the dead of two World Wars in 1964. He revisited Christ’s resurrection and ascension as the theme again after his earlier work L’Ascension. To focus on the belief of the eternal life and the commemoratory context, Messiaen sought inspiration from St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica on resurrection. Inscriptions from the Bible are quoted before every movement. These create a narrative for the music: the dead will live again through Christ’s resurrection and ascension, and share God’s glory in heaven. In the first part of this paper—biblical narrative—I review the discussions in “Of the Resurrection” in the Summa Theologica. I explain the relationship between Christ’s resurrection and the dead: His resurrection is the cause of the resurrection of all others. This illustrates Messiaen’s careful choice of the inscriptions by adapting and reordering the related scriptures, which enhance his faith in God and the eternal life: the promise for those who overcome and be faithful to enter the heavenly Jerusalem, share the eschatological banquet and praise God loudly. The fourth movement is the climax where Messiaen presented two chromatically altered plainchants—Easter Introit and Alleluia, “the theme of the depths”, and the Simhavikrama rhythm by superimposition. These layers are interpolated by the birdsong of Alouette Calandre. The second part—semiotic reading—demonstrates how Messiaen transformed the Easter Mass into his musical setting to reflect his Catholic faith and the commemoratory context. Thus, Messiaen displayed the joyful moment: Christ is risen—Easter proclamation. Christ’s sacrifice has merited for us (and the dead) the eternal life in God. This is Messiaen’s faith through the celebration of the “Mass”: the glory of the raised Christ foreshadows the eternal banquet and the praise of the joyful concert in heaven.


Toledo: Once a Haven for Christians, Muslims, and Jews
Program Unit: The Bible in the Iberian World: Fundaments of a Religious Melting Pot (EABS)
Hee Sook Lee-Niinioja, Helsinki, Finland

Al-Andalus refers to a period (711-1492) between the Umayyad Governors initiated by the Caliph Al-Walid I (711–756), the Umayyad Emirate (756–929), the Umayyad Caliphate (929–1031), the Taifa kingdoms, the Almoravids and Almohads (1088-1232) and the Emirate of Granada (1492). The city of Cordoba became one of the leading cultural and economic centres both in the Mediterranean basin and the Islamic world. Abd al-Rahman I made Cordoba his capital and unified al-Andalus, establishing diplomacy with the northern Christian kingdoms, North Africa, and the Byzantine Empire, as well as maintaining cultural contact with the Abbasids in Baghdad. His initial construction of the Great Mosque of Cordoba was the crowning achievement of Islamic architecture. Moreover, Christians and Jews adapted themselves to the new situation without major problems, due to the Muslim rulers’ tolerance. The most apparent tolerance is found in Toldeo after Alfonso VI’s capture of the city (1085). Christians and Jews were offered privileges by him. Mudejar architecture is not exceptional. For example, Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue (1250) has vegetal ornament of pine cones on the capitals, showing how ornamental strategies in Islamic buildings can also beautify Jewish temple without conflicting ideological boundaries. Muslim artisans (‘mudejar’) served a vibrant Jewish community as a worship place, in accordance with their functional and ornamental program. The paper discusses of ornamentation as a mediator between Christians/Muslims/Jews by examining capitals in churches/mosques/synagogues through periods. It also hopes to enhance dialogues between different religions at current conflicted society through the common cultural heritages.


Continuous Writing, Divider, and Space: Some Neglected Devices in Early Northwest-Semitic Alphabetic Text Design
Program Unit: Biblical Hebrew and Linguistics (EABS)
Reinhard G. Lehmann, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

On the basis of some mostly Phoenician inscriptions the paper will demonstrate how a refined method of palaeographic analysis may reveal structures of unconscious text design by a scribe using spaces or dividers not regularly and consequently. In many cases, this so-called ‘space syntax’ is nothing less than the impact and ‘background radiation’ of the oral process in which the text was modelled, and its aural environment. This is important not only for oral poetry in general, but also for Northwest Semitic phonology and for the quest for an appropriate model of Northwest Semitic ‘prose’ metrics in particular. A wider perspective also for Hebrew inscriptions and for Biblical Hebrew will be included.


Does the idea of the Old Testament as a Hellenistic Book prevent source criticism in the Pentateuch?
Program Unit: Methods and Models for Studying the Pentateuch (EABS)
Niels Peter Lemche, University of Copenhagen

It is sometimes maintaned that the dating of the Old Testament to the Hellenistic Period precludes any serious critical analysis of, in this case the Pentateuchal narrative. It is my intent in this lecture to state that this is not the case. On the contrary, the idea of the "Endprodukt" comes from a special period, of course, say little about the date of its individual parts. The lecture will provide examples to show how the Pentateuchal stories relies on tradtions (some will today say "memories") with a very old history of its own.


"If I forget you Jerusalem!"
Program Unit: Cultural Memory in Biblical Exegesis (EABS)
Niels Peter Lemche, University of Copenhagen

The memory of Jerusalem has been a dominant part of the cultural memory of three religions. In Judaism they sing about the golden Jerusalem, the wonderful Lebanese singer Farouz sang about the streets of Jerusalem (al-Quds, of course). Since Antiquity Jerusalem has thus had a special position in the mind of western civilization, not really based on the actual remains of Jerusalem, but on all kind of religious ideas and sentiments. Thus Hezekiel is moved by the angel to Jerusalem, Jesus is cruxified in Jerusalem, even Muhammed is in tradition related to this place. An old collegue once answered when asked why he had never been to Jerusalem: Jerusalem is in my heart. Physical Jerusalem and memorized Jerusalem are two very different things, and the memory hardly needs the physical Jerusalem to create a memory of Jersualem, on the earth or in heaven.


Using the Concept of Ethnicity in Defining Philistine Identity in the Iron Age
Program Unit: The Philistines (EABS)
Niels Peter Lemche, University of Copenhagen

Normally the discussion about Philistine identity vis-à-vis Israelite identity moves on a macro basis: On one side the Philistines, and on the other the Israelites. Little attention has been paid to the related concept of “scale and social organization.” If we try to find a background for the macro definitions: Israelites, Philistines, we move on an imaginary level. It is a kind of literary concept nourished among the elite – never more than a few percent of any ancient society. The realities of ancient Palestine in the Iron Age were different. First of all nationality was an unknown concept, and any idea of ethnicity related to the issue of nationality (as in Avraham Faust’s recent book on Israelite origins) is irrelevant. Second, there were as argued by, among others Mario Liverani, no national borders in Antiquity. Borders were fiscal delimitations: Who paid tax to whom? Third, ethnicity follows the group, and a certain person may change identity as he moves through different groups. In a society of such small extension as ancient Palestine, each villager would have an identity defined by his village as against the members of the neighbouring community – ethnicity cannot be separated from identity – and villages living in one area will have a distinct consciousness of being different from those who live “on the other side of the river.” “National” identity, when the idea of ethnicity includes all people living within the fiscal borders of an ancient state would hardly ever be called upon, except when the elite wanted to defend its privileges – its right to extol tax – against intruders. Thus the concept of a Philistine – Israelite controversy based on different ideas about ethnicity is no more than a projection of modern ideas about the national state which came into being two hundred years ago.


Ascetic and monastic studies at Tartu (Dorpat) University before and at the time of Arthur Vööbus
Program Unit:
Marju Lepajõe, University of Tartu

For the international academic auditory the best known alumnus of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Tartu (Dorpat) is probably the syrologist Arthur Võõbus (1909–1988; later the professor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago) – if to consider the period after 1919, when the University of Tartu became the Estonian national university. As it is not unusual in the history of scholarship, the academic career of Võõbus was not anything what we define nowadays as ‘normal academic career’. It is hard to take as natural in the 1st half of the 20th c. that the most splendid fruit of a Lutheran theological faculty was a syrologist. In the traditional Lutheran context the Syriac studies should remain within the limits of Biblical exegesis. Võõbus certainly crossed the limits of the prevailing scholarly ‘paradigm’. Although the biographical writings on Võõbus stress the uniqueness of his research interests at that time in Tartu, yet in this paper the question will be posed: how much the earlier academic traditions and ‘the common theological attitude’ of the Theological Faculty of that time supported or not the forming of the specific profile of Võõbus’ interests. What was ‘normal’ in this institution? To find an answer (1) an overview of permanent and intensive language studies (incl. Syriac) at the Faculty of Theology during the 19th c. will be given; (2) the whole set of postgraduate unprinted research works on Christian asceticism and monasticism from the time of Võõbus’ studies will be characterized; (3) it can be concluded that Võõbus’ interests were not exceptional, but his remarkable achievement was a creation of fruitful new connection of two separated academic disciplines.


Were There Early Jewish Women Mystics?
Program Unit: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Rebecca Lesses, Ithaca College

The Egyptian Jewish philosopher Philo reports on the Therapeutics, a first-century C.E. Jewish monastic group with both male and female members, who engaged in allegorical interpretation of the Scriptures and ecstatic ritual celebrations. The Testament of Job, a retelling in Greek of the book of Job, describes Job’s three daughters as hymning God in the languages of the angels, and Joseph and Aseneth, an expansion in Greek of the biblical story of Joseph’s marriage to Aseneth, describes how Aseneth’s prayers invoke the angelic captain of the heavenly host. Why could these works depict the contact between women and angels in a positive fashion? What factors made it possible for the Testament of Job and Joseph and Aseneth to portray a mystical ideal for women as well as for men? Do these works offer any evidence that real women engaged in mystical contemplation, or do they simply explore the exegetical possibilities through literary depictions? Does Philo’s account of the Therapeutics provide any guidance towards the social setting of composition of the Testament of Job or Joseph and Aseneth, or hint towards the type of woman likely to be involved in mystical contemplation?


A Second Case for the Book of Deuteronomy
Program Unit: Israel and the Production and Reception of Authoritative Books in the Persian and Hellenistic Period (EABS)
Christoph Levin, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München

A Second Case for the Book of Deuteronomy


’ak and raq: Limiting and Countering
Program Unit: Biblical Hebrew and Linguistics (EABS)
Stephen H. Levinsohn, SIL International

This paper uses principles from Relevance Theory to distinguish the functions of the limiters ’ak and raq. It argues that raq always constrains a countering interpretation on the material that it introduces. Consequently, even in the five examples that van der Merwe and Naudé (forthcoming) classify as expressing ‘conviction as to the correctness of an observation or evaluation’, the presence of raq indicates that an existing assumption is to be contradicted or eliminated. In Judg 14:16, for example, the words of Samson’s wife (‘Surely [raq] You hate me!’) are intended to eliminate the existing assumption that he loved her. In contrast, the constraint on interpretation imposed by ’ak is simply that of limitation, without countering overtones (an effect often conveyed by English ‘just’). Consquently, when introducing a countering proposition, ’ak does not emphasise the contrast, as BDB and others claim. Rather, it limits or minimises the contrast. Thus, in Gen 20:12, Abraham’s intention is not to emphasise the fact that Sarah is not the daughter of his mother, but to minimise it, thus allowing him to continue to assert, ‘She is my sister’. By minimising a contrast with ’ak, another assumption is often strengthened. In Gen 7:23, ‘Every living thing was wiped from the earth’ is strengthened by limiting the exceptions to ‘just [’ak] Noah and those with him in the ark’. Translating ’ak ‘Surely’ or ‘Indeed’ (e.g. in 1 Kgs 22:32) is also consisent with this cognitive effect. Applying the above constraints to Num 12:2, where the limiters are used together, means that raq introduces the question that counters the existing assumption that the LORD has spoken only through Moses, while ’ak functions as a simple limiter (‘through just Moses’).


Aspect and Prominence in the Synoptic Accounts of Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem
Program Unit: Hellenistic Greek Language and Linguistics
Stephen H. Levinsohn, SIL International

This paper considers three approaches to prominence in Koiné Greek. It begins by reviewing and evaluating Stanley Porter’s analysis of the prominence conveyed by the aorist (‘background’), imperfect (‘foreground, remote in staging’) and present (‘foreground’) in Mark 11.1-11. The OED defines ‘background’ as ‘explanatory or contributory information or circumstances’, which makes it an unfortunate term for a tense-form that ‘characterizes the mainline or storyline of narrative discourse’, ‘unmarked’ (for prominence) being a more appropriate designation for the aorist. The paper then outlines Robert Longacre’s claims about the same tense-forms, and argues that both men are wrong in EQUATING respectively ‘foreground’ (Porter) and ‘background’ (Longacre) with the imperfect. A better approach to prominence is found in Relevance Theory, which claims that a variety of cognitive effects may be achieved by the use of a non-default form or construction. This explains both the CORRELATION between imperfect and background that many linguists have observed, as well as the foregrounding effect of the imperfect that is sometimes found. It also explains why some relative clauses convey supportive material, while others can present foreground events. Such an approach also allows for the accomodation of additional non-default tense forms such as the inchoative aorist (‘began’) in Luke 19:37, which corresponds to the imperfect of Mark 11:9, and of structures such as the combination of aorist egeneto and a temporal expression in Luke 19:29, which corresponds to the historical presents of Mark 11:1-2. The paper concludes by reaffirming that, when a non-default form or structure is used, prominence is often given not to the event concerned, but to the following event(s).


Social Justice in Israelite Legal Practice: Ex. 22:21-27, Lev. 25:8-17, and Dt. 15:1-18
Program Unit: Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law
W. Bradford Littlejohn, University of Edinburgh

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to invoke the humanitarian provisions and concerns for distributive justice that we see in the law codes of Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy as a basis for analogous welfare provisions or other legal protections of the poor in our own societies. However, two major pitfalls appear in this undertaking. On the one hand, some carelessly blur the line between law and morality so that every moral aspiration in the Pentateuch is to be made the basis for state-enforced welfare legislation in our own day. On the other hand, some posit an anachronistic chasm between law and morality, suggesting that many economic provisions in the Pentateuch apply only to private morality, and should not take a public form for social ethics. In this paper, I will attempt to provide a careful analysis of the distinct yet closely cooperative roles of law and morality in Israelite economic laws, showing that the editors of the law codes understood both the importance and the limits of strong social justice legislation. I will also give particular attention to the forms which law enforcement most likely took within Israelite society. To these ends, this paper offers a close reading of sample economic and social justice laws from each of the three main codes (specifically Ex. 22:21-27, Lev. 25:8-17, and Dt. 15:1-18), with insights from literature on Israelite and Ancient Near Eastern law, to offer a nuanced account of how the editors of these respective codes would have envisioned their role within the social and political life of Israel.


Jesus Meets Moses: Metalepsis and Typology in Mark 3:1-6
Program Unit: Synoptic Gospels
W. Bradford Littlejohn, University of Edinburgh

Influenced by the work of Richard Hays in Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, New Testament scholars have found the notion of “echo” or metalepsis useful for uncovering subtle invocations of Old Testament context and typology in New Testament passages, whereby an author uses key words and phrases from the original passage to trigger his reader’s memories and make them aware of connections between the two narratives. I use this paper to explore the echoes from Exodus that Mark evokes in his account of the healing of the man with the withered hand in Mark 3:1-6. Mark’s strategic use of the phrases “he went in,” “into the midst,” “stretch out your hand,” “hardness of heart,” and “was restored,” along with broader narrative context, compellingly link this healing narrative with various episodes in the Exodus narrative. This link, however, leaves some nagging questions about the purpose of certain unique elements in this passage, such as Jesus’ summoning the man to be healed without prompting. Closer attention to the use of metalepsis in this passage resolves these ambiguities by showing that Mark’s evocation of the Exodus context does not place Jesus as the typological fulfillment of Moses, as other typological uses of Moses in Mark and the other Synoptics might suggest. Rather, the man with the withered hand is being cast in the role of Moses, with Jesus perhaps filling the role of Yahweh who summons Moses. After demonstrating these apparent typological connections, my paper seeks to provide some tentative answers as to what broader narrative and theological purposes Mark might have for giving the narrative this startling twist.


Really No Apocalyptic Discourse in Galatians? Rethinking "the Jerusalem above" (Gal 4:26)
Program Unit: Apocalyptic Literature
Tsui Yuk Louise Liu, Chinese University of Hong Kong

This paper attempts to investigate the scholarly-ignored apocalyptic discourse in Galatians. The focus is the term "the Jerusalem above" (Gal 4:26). In Galatians the word "Jerusalem" appears altogether five times. From the first three usages, Jerusalem is generally recognized as the spiritual centre of Judaism (including Urchristentum). For the first use, Paul emphasizes: after his calling, Paul did not go up to Jerusalem to contact any of the disciples there (1:17). His testimony denies any relationship with his Christian leading contemporaries. Nevertheless, he claims his gospel has a divine origin. For the second use, in fact the next verse (1:18), Paul admits he has visited Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. In comparison with Gal 1:12, this Jerusalem visit should not be considered as his learning tour. For the third use (2:1), it happens after fourteen years that Paul goes up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with him. As Paul explains, he goes up "according to a revelation [or apocalypse]" (2:2), where he laid before them, probably the leaders, the gospel that he preached among the Gentiles. Most importantly, the fourth and fifth uses are a contrast of "the present Jerusalem" (4:25) and "the Jerusalem above" (4:26). Although Galatians does not mention any vision or dream, it uses the word "apocalypse" and its verb for four times (apokalypseos [1:12], apokalypsai [1:16], apokalypsin [2:2] and apocalyphthenai [3:23]). Besides, the apocalyptic discourse (4:22-31) is full of symbolism. Among those symbols, attention should be particularly made to the term "the Jerusalem above" (ano Ierousalem) (Gal 4:26) instead of any terms like "heavenly Jerusalem" (cf. Heb 12:22) or "new Jerusalem … out of heaven" (Rev 3:12; 21:2, 10). Regarding the primitiveness of the term, Galatians can be perceived as the earliest apocalyptic discourse about Jerusalem in the New Testament literature.


Chinese Mnemonics and Greek Memorization
Program Unit: Professional Issues
Tsui Yuk Louise Liu, Chinese University of Hong Kong

This paper attempts to share my experience in teaching biblical Greek to Chinese students. Different from European languages, a Chinese word is not compiled of letters, but strokes. Phonetics, which is rather simple for even a little European child, is a difficult task for a Chinese. From the very beginning, even the pronunciation of Greek alphabets is difficult for memorizing. Although students can use some modern technologies like CD-rom, recording or visual aids to revise their lessons, their difficulties in learning persist, especially their difficulties in memorizing. Therefore, an effective t