Jewish Interpretation of the Bible: Ancient and Contemporary

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Only a few biblical texts are explicitly monotheistic Isa , and they date to the sixth century B. People are very similar in all cultures by virtue of their shared humanity. But each culture develops some distinctive features that make it unique. From a historical perspective, a more balanced approach that recognizes both its similarities to and its differences from neighboring cultures is the best recipe for understanding the Hebrew Bible. Alan Lenzi is associate professor of religious and classical studies at University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

He specializes in the study of first-millennium ancient Near Eastern religious traditions, including the Mesopotamian imperial context of the Hebrew Bible. The Assyrian empire based at Nineveh fundamentally shaped the history and literature of ancient Israel. The Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh share many points of contact, with common themes, motifs, messages, and imagery. This article discusses such matters as the ideology and symbolism of dynastic monarchy as institutionalized in the ancient Near East.

The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten may have been the first monotheist, but his espousal of the sun-god Aten was atypical of ancient Egyptian religion. The Ten Commandments fit into the structure of treaties and contracts common throughout the ancient Near East. The Ten Commandments are not really commandments, nor are they the foundation of western civil law. Despite the numerous Mesopotamian touches in the Tower of Babel story Gen , there is almost no Mesopotamian material relating to it.

Michael Chan on how the study of ancient images and artifacts can shed light on the biblical text. The word monotheism was coined in the 17th century and is often understood as the belief in one god with a denial of the existence of other deities.


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Carol Newsom on how biblical scribes likely were influenced by their neighbors in Egypt and Mesopotmia. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

General observations

A region notable for its early ancient civilizations, geographically encompassing the modern Middle East, Egypt, and modern Turkey. People from the region of northern Mesopotamia that includes modern-day Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. The set of Biblical books shared by Jews and Christians.

A more neutral alternative to "Old Testament. Having the attributes of henotheism, the recognition of the existence of multiple deities while worshipping only one, often a tribal or family deity.


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Of or related to a religious system characterized by belief in the existence of a single deity. The foundational document of the United States, which outlines the structure and powers of the government as well as the rights of US citizens. Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath 1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face o View more.

The Law concerning Slaves 1These are the ordinances that you shall set before them:2When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seven Pagan Shrines to Be Destroyed 1These are the statutes and ordinances that you must diligently observe in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has The Destruction of Jerusalem Reviewed 1Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

His mother's name was Ham Insurrection against Gedaliah 1In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, of the royal family, one of the chief officers of the king, came Zedekiah Reigns over Judah 18Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal daugh Saul's Unlawful Sacrifice 1Saul was. Events at Horeb Recalled 1These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan—in the wilderness, on the plain opposite Suph, between Paran and Blessings for Obedience 1If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God Warnings against Disobedience 15But if you will not obey the Lord your God by diligently observing all his commandments and decrees, which I am commanding you t Under his feet t The Absurdity of Idol Worship 9All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know.

And so they w You are undone, O people of Chemosh! He has made his sons fugitives, and his daughters captives, to an Amorite king, Sihon.


  1. Biblical hermeneutics - Wikipedia;
  2. The Bible and Interpretation - Jewish Interpretation of the Bible: Ancient and Contemporary.
  3. Biblical hermeneutics.
  4. And should we not be the ones to possess everything that the Lord our God has conquered for I arm you, though you do not know me,6so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and f Site HarperCollins Dictionary. Add this:. Scribalism: Who wrote texts and what does this tell us? Ask a Scholar.

    The Bible's concept of The Nose. Biblical Hebrew insight by Professor Lipnick

    Related Articles 13 Art and Archaeology of Nineveh The Assyrian empire based at Nineveh fundamentally shaped the history and literature of ancient Israel. Gilgamesh and the Bible The Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh share many points of contact, with common themes, motifs, messages, and imagery. Kingship in the Ancient Near East This article discusses such matters as the ideology and symbolism of dynastic monarchy as institutionalized in the ancient Near East.

    Monotheism of Akhenaten The Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten may have been the first monotheist, but his espousal of the sun-god Aten was atypical of ancient Egyptian religion. Proverbs Were biblical proverbs influenced by ancient Near Eastern literature? Ten Commandments Exod 20 The Ten Commandments are not really commandments, nor are they the foundation of western civil law.

    Tower of Babel and Mesopotamian Influence?

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    Bible and Iconography Michael Chan on how the study of ancient images and artifacts can shed light on the biblical text. Monotheism and the Bible The word monotheism was coined in the 17th century and is often understood as the belief in one god with a denial of the existence of other deities.

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    Why the Decalogue Matters The Decalogue is something radically new in cultural history. Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations This timeline tracks the history of the regional and imperial powers in antiquity. HarperCollins Dictionary Assyrian. Moab, Moabites. Psalms, The. Characteristic of a deity a god or goddess. Textual documents, usually handwritten.

    From Ancient Manuscripts to Modern Translations: The History of the Bible

    Collective ceremonies having a common focus on a god or gods. Having a qualitative basis or being influenced by point of view rather than objective. A line of officials holding a certain position over time. A subordinate, often a king who is subject to a more powerful king or emperor. Gen 1 Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath 1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face o Exod The Law concerning Slaves 1These are the ordinances that you shall set before them:2When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seven Deut Pagan Shrines to Be Destroyed 1These are the statutes and ordinances that you must diligently observe in the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has Jer 52 The Destruction of Jerusalem Reviewed 1Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.

    Jer 7When all the leaders of the forces in the open country and their troops heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam governor in the lan Jer Insurrection against Gedaliah 1In the seventh month, Ishmael son of Nethaniah son of Elishama, of the royal family, one of the chief officers of the king, came The book highlights not only the familiar dramatis personae of the Bible, but also two groups who have struggled mightily with biblical texts.

    Modern scholars have questioned the authenticity of many biblical episodes. View all New York Times newsletters. Fundamentalists try to discredit this scholarship.

    Hebrew Bible | Definition, Books, & History | smaslenewssiri.ga

    Apologists try to mold and squeeze it to fit traditional understandings of the Bible. Professor Kugel does neither. Instead, he explores exactly where those traditional understandings came from. Writing between about B. The names of most are unknown. Others, like the historian Josephus, Philo of Alexandria and the New Testament writers who were obviously reinterpreting Hebrew Scriptures are well known. Other ancient interpretations are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, many apocryphal books and rabbinic midrash. That was most obvious, of course, in the differences between Jews and Christians.

    But Professor Kugel argues that they all converged on four assumptions about the Bible. Is this conclusion as unavoidable as he makes it sound? Modern minds still seek deeper meanings and still want relevant instructions for living.

    Biblical Interpretation (Biblical Hermeneutics): Selected full-text books and articles

    As for the ancient worry about seamlessness, modern minds, sensitized to multiple perspectives, often find more coherence in contrasting accounts than perfectly harmonized ones. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles.