Old Testament Essays - latest Issue
Volume 29, Issue 3, 2016
Source: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 401 –402 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a3More Less
It is a privilege to present the third issue of Old Testament Essays (New Series) for 2016. There are twelve essays with a variety of topics: three authors wrestle with Job, two essays focus on the Psalms, two studies on aspects of the Pentateuch, two studies on the prophets, one study on Maccabees, two essays dealing with biblical characters such as Naaman and Cain, four authors consciously bring into play their own interpretive contexts in their reading of the biblical text, such as ecology, postcoloniality, decoloniality, the ethics of translation theory.
Author Sidney K. BermanSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 403 –418 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a3More Less
This article analyses the dichotomy of greatness versus smallness in 2 Kgs 5. It argues that Naaman’s real disease was an unhealthy attitude towards greatness, and Elisha primarily cured it. From the discourse of the story, Aram’s and Naaman’s looting and oppression of the weaker nation and individuals is borne from this disease. The investigation of this article is also postcolonial, drawing parallels between attitudes and power imbalances in the narrative and those of colonial relationships. The above-named concepts are merged with the method of literary narrative criticism to trace the text’s reproof of imperialist ideology.
Author Eugene CoetzerSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 419 –433 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a4More Less
In recent years, scholarly contributions to the study of 2 Maccabees have shifted towards a focus on larger themes and rhetorical elements. This, in turn, allowed for a deeper understanding of the narrative aim and the persuasive nature of the text. This article builds on traditional rhetorical analysis and adds to the discussion by investigating a neglected aspect namely the communicative strategy. It further explores an otherwise unnoted concept: a contract of trust between the implicit reader and a group or individual within the text. The vindication and legitimisation of the group of heroes within the text is shown to be a fundamental element in a strategy which presents the heroes as fully authoritative and their actions as unquestionable. Such a communicative strategy proves to be ideal for moving the reader to adopt the main proposition: the fate of the Jews is intimately connected to the scale of God’s wrath and mercy.
Loyalty and liberation : Skopos theory’s ethic in dialogue with contextual Bible study’s commitmentsAuthor Nathan EsalaSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 434 –454 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a5More Less
This paper explores how Christiane Nord’s ethic of translator loyalty could be invigorated in African Bible translation by engaging the social commitments of Contextual Bible Study, a practice of Bible reading and action developed in South Africa. After describing Nord’s concept of loyalty and its prevalence in African Bible translation, the paper notes the challenge of practicing loyalty amidst complex power dynamics in the postcolonial context of Ghana. The paper then imagines how Christiane Nord’s four poles of translator loyalty could be reconfigured if they included the social commitments and interpretative practices of Contextual Bible Study. The goal is to situate translators so they can produce a translation that offers details from critical scholarship and from actual Contextual Bible Study experiences which marginalised groups in their audience may find liberating. An experimental English translation of Job 3 is included for reference.
Author Stuart J. FosterSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 455 –468 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a6More Less
In the context of the book of Job and in light of patterns of biblical Hebrew usage, Elihu’s uses of Job’s name in direct address are strongly marked and reveal him as sharply disrespectful to Job. This should influence interpretation of the Elihu chapters and be reflected in Bible translations, taking into account cultural patterns for using names. Examples from northern Mozambique provide contrast to English, French, and Portuguese patterns.
Les raisons de la violence de l’attaque des Asaphites contre les Coréites en Jr 9,1-7, ou l’exclusion des chantres Coréites comme contrepartie de l’intégration des Ezrahites par les AsaphitesAuthor Bernard GosseSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 469 –480 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a7More Less
The book of Jeremiah with respect to the Asaphite line in Jr 8,18-9,7 appears to be quite aggressive against the Korahite psalms, especially when one takes Ps 84,8 into consideration. It is an attack against the Korahite pilgrimages, unsupportable as alternative to the pilgrimage of Pss 120-134 according to the manner in which David transferred the ark. The approach of the Korahites is without a Davidic messiah.
Le livre de Jérémie de tendance asaphite, s’en prend violement en Jr 8,18-9,7, aux psaumes coréites et plus particulièrement Ps 84,8, et à travers eux aux pèlerinages coréites qui leurs apparaissent insupportables comme alternative à la démarche de pèlerinage des Ps 120-134 dans les pas de David lors du transfert de l’arche. La démarche coréite est-elle, conçue en l’absence de messie davidique.
Social disorder and the trauma of the Earth community : reading Hosea 4:1-3 in light of today’s crisesAuthor Kavusa Kivatsi JonathanSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 481 –501 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a8More Less
The world currently faces terrible issues of corruption, conflicts, political instabilities, violence and injustices causing traumatic experiences for humans and nature. Likewise, Hos 4:1-3 offers a link between the corruption of the Israelite society and the wounds of the Earth community. These three verses are generally read as a רִיב genre, in which Yahweh brings a lawsuit against the people of Israel. However, scholars mostly focus on the crimes and fate of humans, and ignore or silence the expression of trauma of the Earth as mourning and its non-human members as languishing. Using the framework of trauma studies, the insights of “Cosmic Covenant” from the book of Murray (1992) and the Earth Bible principles of interconnectedness and voice, this article aims to explore a unique aspect of Hosea’s rhetoric of trauma establishing the relationship between people’s misdeeds and the wounds of the natural world.
Source: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 502 –512 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a9More Less
Although D is generally regarded as older than H, it has often been observed that H also seems to have affected D. While this impact of H on D usually has been explained as a late redaction of D, it is argued in this paper by a few examples based on my dissertation that the impact of H on D rather should be seen as an impact on an early stage of the redaction of D. This short paper, which was first presented at the IOSOT Conference in Stellenbosch, is expanded by a postscript with a brief response to some points of the discussion.
Author Arie C. LederSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 513 –534 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a10More Less
This essay argues that the post-Sinai itinerary narratives depicted in Numbers are organized into two clusters (Num 10:11-36 and 20:22-22:1), both of which depict the first generation of Israelites of the exodus, and that the first of these functions as the conclusion to Num 1:1-10:10. The first narrative depicts a generation fully instructed and compliant with divine instruction (Num 1:1-10:10) that resumes the march that began on Passover night, upon the Lord’s command given through Moses (10:13). The goal of the first itinerary cluster is the ark finding rest for the people ( מנוחה , Num 10:33). Furthermore, this essay argues that the syntactical function of the itinerary verbs in Num 11:35 and 12:16 subordinate them to the theme of complaint and rebellion against authority, which begins in 11:1, and that therefore they do not depict the continuation of the journey that began in Num 10:12. It is within this narrative of complaint that the second itinerary cluster emerges, beginning in Num 20:22 and ending in 22:1, to depict the same generation as non-compliant and rebellious.
Author Funlola OlojedeSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 535 –549 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a11More Less
Most studies of angelic beings in the Bible do not attempt to interrogate their gender presumably because of Jesus’ statement in Matt 22:30 that angels do not marry neither are they given in marriage. Therefore, this article offers a textual review of biblical women’s encounter with angelic beings and of instances in Scriptures in which angelic beings appear in what appear to be gendered forms which call into question the assumption that angels are sexless or genderless. It is argued that some form of degenderization is discernible in the depiction of these celestial beings in the Bible which could have significant implications for feminist biblical discourse of the ancient texts.
Author Aron PinkerSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 550 –580 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a12More Less
Commentators found the unit Job 34:26-30, in Elihu’s second speech, difficult to interpret and translate because of its thematic incoherence, abrupt style, and use of ambiguous terms. It has been generally assumed that the unit underwent some corruption in the historical transmission process. This paper attempts to restore a sound thematic flow to vv. 26-30 using standard text-critical methods. It is being shown that relatively few minor text-critical emendations allow to obtain a simple and coherent text, having a typical (for the Book of Job) 3:3 meter. The resolution of the difficulties in the unit is premised on the notion that the unit is focused on potentates that have lost their moral compass and God’s reaction to their deeds. From this perspective, vv. 26-30 fit contextually the larger unit in which it is embedded (vv. 16-30), which deals with God’s righteous management of nations and people. Job’s personal problem is addressed only indirectly. Job can deduce from Elihu’s words that: his punishments indicate that he sinned; he is ignorant of God’s ways and abandoned moral behavior; he has caused anguish to the destitute, which reached heaven; he cannot compel God to confront him; and, God works in mysterious ways. Elihu’s message to Job is hard hitting, but it is not devoid of hope.
An overview of the study of imprecatory Psalms : reformed and evangelical approaches to the interpretation of imprecatory PsalmsSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 581 –600 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a13More Less
This article looks at some interpretive issues regarding the so-called imprecatory psalms, focusing on the debate within reformed and evangelical circles. Introductory issues regarding these psalms abound, such as their definition and scope and the question whether they constitute a specific genre or subgenre within the Psalter. More important are hermeneutical issues regarding the rationale or motivation behind these psalms, namely the reasons why they were written in the first place. These issues also inform the relevance for the present day reader, specifically the New Testament reader, or vice versa: the perceived relevance informs the interpreter's stance on the rationale of these psalms. The article argues that reformed and evangelical scholars’ interpretations of imprecation Psalms are largely led by their presuppositions about the relation between the Old and New Testament. The article concludes by suggesting that the deadlock in approaches could be resolved by an in-depth exegesis of the specific psalms taking into account the divergent presuppositions of contemporary interpreters.
Cain and vulnerability : the reception of Cain in Genesis Rabbah 22 and Targum Onkelos, Targum Neofiti and Targum Pseudo-JonathanSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 601 –632 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a14More Less
This essay enquires into the reception of the story of Cain and Abel (Gen 4) in late ancient Judaism (Genesis Rabbah, Targum Onkelos, Targum Neofiti, and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan) with regard to the way Cain is portrayed differently from how he is depicted in the Hebrew text. The perspective from which his portrayal in the Jewish literature of late antiquity will be viewed is that of vulnerability or fragility, asking the question whether the reception of Cain in Jewish antiquity allow for such vulnerability in the interpretation of the story, or does he remain a villainous character who refused to be redeemed. The question of the redemption of Cain is formulated within a hermeneutic of vulnerability as a framework to deal with the perpetration of apartheid. The following aspects of the story are discussed: the birth of Cain, his occupation, the sacrifice, Cain’s reaction to the sacrifice, the deity’s questioning of Cain, the conversation in the field, the murder, the blood of Abel, Cain’s curse, his response, and his punishment. The study concludes that although the reception portrays Cain as a villain par excellence, there are aspects in the representations that provide glimpses of redemption for Cain, implying a particular vulnerability.
Source: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 633 –636 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a15More Less
Since Julius Wellhausen has argued that Ezek 44 is a connecting link between D, where all Levites are priests (in his interpretation), and P, where the Levites are the minor clergy, this chapter received a lot of attention in biblical scholarship. Nathan MacDonald adds another monograph to this difficult text. As the subtitle suggests, a main focus is on biblical interpretation in Ezek 44. After the introduction, the study is divided in three parts: The first part deals with the “rule of priests” (Ezek 44:6-16), the second part deals with the “rules for priests” (Ezek 44:17-31), and the third part deals with “Zadok and the Sons of Zadok in Second Temple Judaism.”
At the Altar of Wall Street: The Rituals, Myths, Theologies, Sacraments, and Mission of the Religion Known as the Modern Global Economy, Scott W. GustafsonAuthor Izak J.J. SpangenbergSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 636 –642 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a16More Less
Soon after my appointment as OT lecturer at the University of South Africa in 1987 my colleagues and I decided to rewrite the first year course for OT studies at the University of South Africa. We wanted to develop a course which was different from similar university courses. We decided to introduce our students to the field of OT studies by means of a theme that would reflect something of the world in which they live. We focused on wealth and poverty and how it manifested in the ancient Israelite society and how it manifests in our modern South African society. We hoped that our students would not only gain knowledge about the OT books and the ancient Israelite society but also about our own society. We also hoped that this information would encourage them to reflect critically on what is transpiring in our world. We eventually published a text book with the title Plutocrats and Paupers: Wealth and Poverty in the Old Testament (Pretoria, 1991).
Handbuch der Geschichte der Sklaverei: Eine Globalgeschichte von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Michael ZeuskeAuthor Christoph StenschkeSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 642 –644 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a17More Less
Biblical scholars have studied the references to “slaves” in the Bible in detail. They appear right from the Patriarchal narratives onwards in legal, narrative and prophetic texts (indictments of selling fellow Israelites into slavery or the large scale human trafficking of neighbouring nations) and probably played a much more pervasive role than becomes apparent from the biblical texts. In the context of various conquests and the exile, many ancient Israelites themselves experienced deportation and enslavement. Also, for the sake of comparison, scholars have examined slavery in the ANE, in particular legal stipulations in various codices. In the NT the focus has been on slaves and masters in the parables of Jesus, on the so-called household codes of the letters, metaphorical uses of slaves and slavery (see, e.g., John Byron, Slavery Metaphors in Early Judaism and Pauline Christianity: A Traditio-Historical and Exegetical Examination, WUNT II.162 [Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2003]), on studies of the identity and social make-up of the early Christian communities and the indictments of human trafficking directed against “Babylon” in Revelation 18:10-13.
“The end from the beginning / El fin desde el principio”: Festschrift honoring Merling Alomía / Festschrift en honor a Merling Alomía, Benjamin Rojas, Teófilo Correa, Lael Caesar & Joel Turpo (Eds.)Author Pieter van der ZwanSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 644 –646 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a18More Less
The Roman-numbered pages cover a table of contents, a preface, a biography of Merling Alomía, a list of his publications, the contact details of the contributors (of whom only three have not explicitly associated with the Seventh-day Adventist theology) and a list of abbreviations used (all in Spanish) in the collection of 31 (unnumbered) essays of which 6 are in Spanish and the rest in English. The book concludes with a list of the Biblical references used (in Spanish) and a subject index (in English). Of the 39 OT books, 34, and of the 27 NT books, 23 have been referred to in this wide range of topics.
I Turned Back my Feet to Your Decrees (Psalm 119,59): Torah in the Fifth Book of the Psalter, Michael Kodzo MensahAuthor Beat WeberSource: Old Testament Essays 29, pp 646 –648 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2312-3621/2016/v29n3a19More Less
Bei der vorliegenden Studie handelt es sich um die überarbeitete Fassung einer unter dem Mentorat von Gianni Barbiero gefertigten Dissertation, mit der der Vf. aus Ghana am Päpstlichen Bibelinstitut in Rom promoviert wurde. Sie enthält vier Hauptkapitel und bearbeitet zur im Untertitel angegebenen Thematik die Psalmen 111; 147 und 119 einzeln und in ihrem Setting innerhalb des letzten Teilbuchs (Ps 107-150).