Biblical and Rabbinic Literature

Article excerpt

Biblical and Rabbinic Literature

Das Auge Gottes: Textstrategie im Hiobbuch, by Melanie Köhlmoos. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999. 400pp. ISBN 3-16-147140-7.

Which methods are employed to encourage the reader to interpret the Book of Job, and what part do dramaturgy and content play in this? Melanie Köhlmoos outlines the basic "textual strategy" of the Book of Job from the point of view of God's presence. Her interpretation is based on the interaction between the text, its readers, and other texts. The persons who appear, the questions on content, and the formal structures are all elements in the text which enable it to make a pact with its readers and to suggest to the reader a certain way of reading and interpreting it. (German)

Christliche Adversus-dudaeos-Bilder: Das Alte und Neue Testament im Spiegel der christlichen Kunst. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main, 1999. 469 pp., 411 illustrations. ISBN 3-631-33989-5.

This volume of anti-Jewish images culled from Christian Bibles complements the three volumes of Christian Adversus-Judaeos texts previously published. In addition to the images themselves, the book examines the theological motivations of Christian representations of Jews, their intended audience and their effect, and the social-historical and polemical context of the images. (German) (D.B.)

The Great Poems of the Bible: A Reader's Companion with New Translations, by James L. Kugel. New York: Free Press, 1999. 352 pp. ISBN 0-684-85774-X.

James Kugel offers a personal collection of poems in the Bible, including psalms like "The Lord is My Shepherd" and "By the Rivers of Babylon," Ecclesiastes' famous depiction of old age, Isaiah's "Arise, shine, for thy light has come!," Job's "Hymn to Wisdom," Deborah's victory song, David's lament on the death of Saul and Jonathan, and others, each with an accompanying essay.

Die großen rabbinischen Sammelwerke Palästinas: Zur literarischen Genese von Talmud Yerushalmi und Midrash Bereshit Rabba, by Hans-Jürgen Becker. Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1999. 218 pp. ISBN 3-16-146867-8.

An analytical overview that examines the origin, redaction, and relationship between the major collected Palestinian rabbinic works, Talmud Yerushalmi and Midrash Bereshit Rabba. Becker argues that the concept of an "Urtext" and of the final redaction in these volumes is not applicable. Instead, the literary genesis of these works was a much longer and dynamic process of transformation, integration or selection from a number of previously edited sources. (German) (D.B.)

"Heiligkeitsgesetz" und "Priesterschrift": Literaturgeschichtliche und rechtssystematische Untersuchungen zu Leviticus 17:1-26:2, by Andrews Ruwe. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1999. 400 pp. ISBN 3-16-147130-X.

In his study, the author presents a complete analysis of the so-called "Holiness Code" (Lev. 17-26). Andreas Ruwe shows that the sequence of rules and legal regulations combined in this text possesses a systematic consistency. In addition, he demonstrates that the Holiness Code is an integral part of the Priestly Code and the priestly role in the forming of the Pentateuch, since two of the commands contained in it, observing the Sabbath and revering the sanctuary, not only form the conceptional basis for the structure of Lev. …