The Old Testament in Its World: Papers Read at the Winter Meeting, January 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and at the Joint Meeting, July 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and Het Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland En Belg Iee

The Old Testament in Its World: Papers Read at the Winter Meeting, January 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and at the Joint Meeting, July 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and Het Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland En Belg Iee

The Old Testament in Its World: Papers Read at the Winter Meeting, January 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and at the Joint Meeting, July 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and Het Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland En Belg Iee

The Old Testament in Its World: Papers Read at the Winter Meeting, January 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and at the Joint Meeting, July 2003, the Society for Old Testament Study and Het Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland En Belg Iee

Synopsis

Discoveries in sites revealing the ancient cultures of the Near East and Greece have contributed much to a better understanding of the Old Testament. As new finds constantly add new information, this precious evidence has to be (re)evaluated time and again. In this volume members of the Society for Old Testament Study in the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as members of the Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in the Netherlands and Belgium join forces to undertake this demanding task. Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Neo-Hittite, Aramaic and Greek texts are inspected in order to establish whether or not they are relevant to the understanding of the Hebrew Bible.

Excerpt

This volume brings together papers read at the Winter Meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study in Birmingham, 6–8 January, 2003, and at the joint meeting of the Society for Old Testament Study and the Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland en België, in Cambridge, 21–23 July, 2003. the latter meeting was organised in coordination with the Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting (20–25 July, 2003). the meetings had as their overarching theme 'The Hebrew Bible against its Ancient Near Eastern Background', and most of the papers presented in this volume have a Near Eastern as well as an Israelite-Old Testament dimension.

The benefits of drawing upon the linguistic stock of the neighbouring cognate languages for the illumination of obscure words and phrases in the biblical text have long been appreciated. in the opening essay, however, K.J. Cathcart argues the further point that it may on occasion be justifiable to emend the Hebrew text in the course of applying the insights of comparative philology to textual cruces. With the use of worked examples, he illustrates the ways in which Akkadian, Ugaritic and Old Aramaic may help to solve problem readings in the Hebrew.

M. Dijkstra is concerned with the content of texts of an historical complexion. He commends Hans-Gustav Güterbock's distinction between what kings in antiquity had recorded for their own glorification and truly historical writing in which posterity 'selected and wrote what it wanted to remember from the past'. It was the latter that gave rise to historiography in the ancient Near East, and Israelite historiography is to be seen within the context of this development. Israel did not have to wait for Herodotus to develop a view on its history.

The conceptions of history held in Israel and in the adjacent countries are one of several topics that engage R.P. Gordon as he considers the question of comparativism' and whether, and in what respects, it is possible to distinguish Israel from her neighbours. His conclusion is that the comparing and contrasting of intellectual and religious developments in Israel and among her neighbours is both legitimate and desirable.

The essay by A.C. Hagedorn reminds us that Israel also had neighbours to the west. While acknowledging the likelihood of . . .

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