Not in God's Name
Confronting Religious Violence
‘Religiously motivated violence must be fought religiously as well as militarily, and with passionate intensity.’ So writes the former Chief Rabbi in this powerful exploration of the roots of religious extremism. By analysing stories of sibling rivalry in the biblical texts shared by the Abrahamic faiths, he shows how centuries of misreadings have led to the ‘altruistic evil’ by which murder is seen as a moral act – an idea against which those of all faiths and none must stand together. Off-mint.
Self-Deification in Early Jewish and Christian Mythmaking
M David Litwa tells the stories of six self-deifiers in their historical, social and ideological contexts: the cosmic rebels Adam, Lucifer and Yaldaboath; and the heroes, Jesus (in John’s Gospel), Simon of Samaria and Allogenes (in Nag Hammadi library).
The Cities That Built the Bible
This lively but always scholarly book forms a tour of 14 ancient cities, from Nineveh and Babylon to Alexandria and Rome, which played a significant role in the ‘construction’ of the Bible. Blending archaeology, biblical history and accounts of his own travels in the Holy Land, the author identifies how some of the locations connect with Bible stories, and explains how others contributed to the long process of selection, translation and compilation behind the texts we know today. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Strong as Death is Love
The Song of Songs, Ruth, Esther, Jonah, and Daniel
As distant in time from the Pentateuch of Moses as Updike is from Shakespeare, these later books of the Old Testament are innovative and entertaining works of literature, in which women are often centre stage. The Song of Songs is a sensuous celebration of young love, Queen Esther’s shrewd triumph is a sly sexual comedy, while the story of Ruth celebrates loyalty, charity and love. Robert Alter’s award-winning translation from the Hebrew captures all their freshness and immediacy.
Jesus the Wicked Priest
How Christianity Was Born of an Essene Schism
This book’s provocative thesis is that the Dead Sea Scrolls refer directly to Jesus, as the ‘wicked priest’ who opposed the rigid, militant views of the Essene movement. Revealing how Jesus’ message is presented in the Scrolls’ coded language, Vining explores the possibility that Christianity arose out of a schism resulting from the refusal of this ‘ultimate Reform Jew’ to follow Essene orthodoxy; his research also reopens doctrinal questions about reincarnation and the virgin birth.
The Bible for Grown-Ups
A New Look at the Good Book
Why do the creation stories in Genesis contradict each other? Did the Exodus really happen? In a discussion which ‘neither requires, nor rejects, belief’, Loveday brings a literary critic’s eye to the Biblical authors. Presenting insights from modern scholarship, he shows how to read their texts ‘with our brains in gear’, by viewing the Bible as a structure of the imagination rather than through modern concepts of ‘history’ and ‘truth’.
Abraham and his Son
The Story of a Story
The book of Genesis tells how Abraham obeyed God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac, a brief story that has profoundly influenced the theology and rituals of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as art, music and literature down the ages. In his history of this enigmatic tale, Goodman explores its many versions, from Syriac hymns to Sartre and Bob Dylan, showing how each rewriting has addressed worries about Abraham’s unquestioning faith and God’s reasons for requiring the sacrifice.
The Old Testament Apocrypha
Including historical and prophetic texts as well as psalms and two wisdom books, the Jewish documents known collectively as the ‘Old Testament Apocrypha’ originated between the third century BCE and first century CE. In his succinct survey of their contents and structure, Kaiser explains the historical background to each text, traces the development of Jewish theological ideas and provides information on modern commentaries, articles and other scholarly works. (Previously published in German.)
The Harper Collins Visual Guide to the New Testament
What Archaeology Reveals About the First Christians
Jonathan L Reed, who has excavated in Galilee since 1987, discusses the archaeological treasures of the ancient Mediterranean world of Jesus, Paul, early Christian communities and Jewish revolutionaries. Illustrated with photographs, maps and floor plans, this visual guide introduces the different types of evidence – from pottery fragments to Nero's Golden House – showing how new light is shed on early Christian texts and the communities who produced them, by what we have learned from archaeological artefacts.
Philippi: How Christianity Began in Europe
The Epistle to the Philippians and the Excavations at Philippi
The Macedonian town of Philippi was one of the most important sites in early Christianity, with a congregation who received advice and assistance from St Paul himself. Verhoef uses the evidence of biblical texts and archaeological discoveries, especially the inscriptions found in the town and its territory, to build up a picture of the Christian community there from the time of Paul's first visit in the middle of the first century CE to the sixth century.
The Lutterworth Dictionary of the Bible
With 1,450 articles written by scholars from the USA's National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, but including a broad range of opinion and approach, this dictionary aims to provide the student with accurate, relevant and interesting information about the history, traditions and literature of the Bible. The well-illustrated A–Z includes outlines of each canonical book and articles on key people, places and terms, non-canonical books and Biblical scholarship.
The Psalms of the Return
Book V, Psalms 107-150
This is the fourth volume of Goulder's Studies in the Psalter in which he argues that the psalms should be interpreted in line with their place in the Psalter. Here, he deals with Book V (Psalms 107-150), reordering its three sub-divisions as: the Songs of the Ascents and Nehemiah (120-134); Psalms 107-119 and the reconstruction of the Temple; and Psalms 135-150 and Ezra. Translations are given in the Revised Version margin (1881). Journal for the Study of the New Testament
Lazarus, Mary and Martha
A Social-Scientific and Theological reading of John
The narrative of Jesus' raising of the dead Lazarus has been a particular inspiration to theologians, artists and writers, with this relatively minor character becoming a commonplace in discussions of various forms of rebirth. Examining the text of the story within its Joannine context and alongside Lazarus' representation in early Christian art, Esler and Piper investigate how his revivification helped first-century readers to develop their faith and identity, and what it still has to say to 21st century theology.
Images of an Apostolic Interpreter
Although the 'historical' life and personality of Mark is irretrievable, Clifton Black argues that 'the figure of Mark is marvellously intricate and potentially informative for our understanding of some early Christian traditions'. His highly acclaimed study probes early Christian images of Mark and why the patristic church identified Mark as the author of the Second Gospel.