In Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit Jodi Magness unearths “footprints” buried in both archaeological and literary evidence to shed new light on Jewish daily life in Palestine from the mid-first century b.c.e. to 70 c.e. — the time and place of Jesus’ life and ministry. Magness analyzes recent archaeological discoveries from such sites as Qumran and Masada together with a host of period texts, including the New Testament, the works of Josephus, and rabbinic teachings. Layering all these sources together, she reconstructs in detail a fascinating variety of everyday activities — dining customs, Sabbath observance, fasting, toilet habits, burial customs, and more.
A new account of the famous site and story of the last stand of a group of Jewish rebels who held out against the Roman Empire Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children—the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple—reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. The first extensive archaeological excavations of Masada began in the 1960s, and today the site draws visitors from around the world. And yet, because the mass suicide was recorded by only one ancient author—the Jewish historian Josephus—some scholars question if the event ever took place. Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who has excavated at Masada, explains what happened there, how we know it, and how recent developments might change understandings of the story. Incorporating the latest findings, she integrates literary and historical sources to show what life was like for Jews under Roman rule during an era that witnessed the reign of Herod and Jesus’s ministry and death. Featuring numerous illustrations, this is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.
In Rabbinic Body Language Catherine Hezser examines the literary representation of non-verbal communication within rabbinic circles and in encounters with others in Palestinian rabbinic documents of late antiquity.
"In the heart of the ancient Near East (modern Middle East) and at a crossroads between once mighty powers such as Assyria to the east and Egypt to the south is a tiny piece of land -- roughly the size of New Jersey -- that is as contested as it is sacred. One cannot even name this territory without sparking controversy. Originally called Canaan after its early inhabitants (the Canaanites), it has since been known by various names. To Jews this is Eretz-Israel (the Land of Israel), the Promised Land described by the Hebrew Bible as flowing with milk and honey. To Christians it is the Holy Land where Jesus Christ -- the messiah or anointed one -- was born, preached, and offered himself as the ultimate sacrifice. Under the Greeks and Romans, it was the province of Judea, a name which hearkened back to the biblical kingdom of Judah. After the Bar-Kokhba revolt ended in 135 C.E., Hadrian renamed the province Syria-Palestina, reviving the memory of the long-vanished kingdom of Philistia. Under early Islamic rule the military district (jund) of Filastin was part of the province of Greater Syria (Arabic Bilad al-Sham). In this book, the term Palestine is used to denote the area encompassing the modern state of Israel, the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan, and the Palestinian territories"--
Each volume in the Insights series discusses discoveries and insights gained into biblical texts from a particular approach or perspective in current scholarship. Accessible and appealing to today's students, each Insight volume discusses: -how this method, approach, or strategy was first developed and how its application has changed over time; -what current questions arise from its use; -what enduring insights it has produced; and -what questions remain for future scholarship. In this volume, Karl Allen Kuhn provides a description of what cultural anthropology is and how the discipline has impacted biblical studies. Looking at Scripture through the lens of cultural anthropology is related to social-scientific criticism, which refers to that phase of the exegetical task that analyzes the social and cultural dimensions of the text and its environmental context through the utilization of the perspectives, theories, models, and research of the social sciences. Kuhn discusses general matters garnered from cultural-anthropology interpretation that would be relevant for the study of biblical texts. He analyzes several biblical specific texts from a cultural-anthropology perspective and provides conclusions, challenges, and considerations for the future of cultural anthropology and biblical interpretation.
Worship Leader magazine has named From Tablet to Table one of the five best books of 2015! What if the Bible were seen less as a tablet of ink than as a table of food? From Tablet to Table invites readers to explore the importance of The Table in biblical theology, and what it might mean for us to bring back the table to our homes, our churches, and our neighborhoods. The table pictures the grace of God’s provision for all aspects of our lives, a place of safe gathering, of finding identity in shared stories, of imparting food and faith, of playing host and finding satisfaction as a guest. Sweet explores how our failure to understand and appreciate “the most sacred item of furniture in every home” has created such a deficit in our fast-food, take-what-you-like-smorgasbord, together-but-separate society.
This completely revised and updated second edition of The New Testament in Antiquity skillfully develops how Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman cultures formed the essential environment in which the New Testament authors wrote their books and letters. Understanding of the land, history, and culture of the ancient world brings remarkable new insights into how we read the New Testament itself. Throughout the book, numerous features provide windows into the first-century world. Nearly 500 full color photos, charts, maps, and drawings have been carefully selected. Additional features include sidebars that integrate the book's material with issues of interpretation, discussion questions, and bibliographies.
Those who study the Bible are becoming increasingly attentive to the significance of economics when examining ancient texts and the cultures that produced them. This book looks at the socioeconomic landscape of Second Temple Judea, from the end of the Babylonian exile to the destruction of the temple by the Romans (532 BCE to 70 CE). Adams carefully examines key themes, paying special attention to family life, the status of women, and children, while engaging relevant textual and archaeological evidence. He looks at borrowing and lending and the burdensome taxation policies under a succession of colonial powers. In this pursuit, Adams offers an innovative analysis of economic life with fresh insights from biblical texts. No other study has specifically analyzed economics for this lengthy timeframe, especially in relation to these key themes. This important book provides readers with a helpful context for understanding religious beliefs and practices in the time of early Judaism and emerging Christianity.
This collection of essays by Thomas Kazen focuses on issues of purity and purification in early Judaism and the Jesus tradition. During the late Second Temple period, Jewish purity practices became more prominent than before and underwent substantial developments. These essays advance the ongoing conversation and debate about a number of key issues in the field, such as the relationship between ritual and morality, the role and function of metaphor, and the use of evolutionary and embodied perspectives. Kazen's research stands in constant dialogue with the major currents and main figures in purity research, including both historical (origin, development, practice) and cognitive (evolutionary, emotional, conceptual) approaches.
In order to provide an up-to-date report and analysis of the economic conditions of first-century C.E. Galilee, this collection surveys recent archaeological excavations (Sepphoris, Yodefat, Magdala, and Khirbet Qana) and reviews results from older excavations (Capernaum). It also offers both interpretation of the excavations for economic questions and lays out the parameters of the current debate on the standard of living of the ancient Galileans. The essays included, by archaeologists as well as biblical scholars, have been drawn from the perspective of archaeology or the social sciences. The volume thus represents a broad spectrum of views on this timely and often hotly debated issue. The contributors are Mordechai Aviam, David A. Fiensy, Ralph K. Hawkins, Sharon Lea Mattila, Tom McCollough, and Douglas Oakman.
Inner-biblical studies is a blossoming field. Within this growing specialization, Reverberations of the Exodus in Scripture is a unique and refreshing contribution. Unlike most studies in this area focusing either solely on how Old Testament passages interact with other Old Testament texts or on the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, this volume examines how a central and paradigmatic biblical event--the exodus from Egypt--resurfaces time and again in both testaments. Furthermore, the collaborative nature of this project has allowed specialists to construct each chapter. Readers of Reverberations of the Exodus in Scripture will gain a better understanding of the role of the exodus throughout the biblical canon and a deeper appreciation for its place in biblical theology.