Category Archives: Mohr

Essays on the Book of Isaiah

Essays on the Book of Isaiah, by Joseph Blenkinsopp

This volume of essays by Joseph Blenkinsopp on different aspects of the book of Isaiah is the product of three decades of close study of the most seminal and challenging texts of the Hebrew Bible. Some of the essays deal with major themes in Isaiah, for example, universalism, theology and politics, and the Suffering Servant of the Lord God. Five of them are published here for the first time.

I can’t think of a single living person who knows more about Isaiah than Joe Blenkinsopp.  And no one has done more to further our understanding of that book.  Here collected, then, are 20 essays by an excellent scholar, 15 of which have appeared over a number of years across a variety of platforms.  5 additional essays that have never appeared before are also included.

The table of contents is available here, along with the first essay (which has never been published before), and the biblical index.

The essays appearing here for the first time are as follows:

  • The Formation of the Hebrew Bible Canon: Isaiah as a Test Case
  • Isaiah and the Neo-Babylonian Background
  • The Sectarian Element in Early Judaism: The Isaian Contribution
  • Zion as Reality and Symbol in Psalms and Isaiah
  • The Suffering Servant, the book of Daniel, and Martyrdom

The remainder, as listed in the table of contents have, as suggested above, all appeared above in a variety of sources including journals and collections of essays.

Everyone who works in Isaiah studies knows the name of Joe Blenkinsopp and everyone who attends CBA or SOTS or SBL has seen him at one or more of those meetings.  Sleight of stature but powerful of intellect, hat wearing and mustachioed, he is a grave presence; an icon; a fixture.  His unflagging energy is inspiring and his intellectual vigor astonishing.

For those new on the scene of biblical studies, Joe was

Born in Durham, England. Taught at International Theological College, Romsey, U.K., Chicago Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt University and University of Notre Dame from 1970; Guest-Professor at Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, 1998.  Member of several learned societies including Society of Biblical Literature, Society for the Study of the Old Testament (U.K., President 1999-2000), Catholic Biblical Association (President 1988-1989), European Association of Biblical Studies.  ATS Research grant 1978, Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford 1982-1983 with NEH grant, Mellon Retiree Research Grant 2005-2006.  Excavated at Tel Dan, Israel 1977 and at Capernaum, Israel  with Notre Dame University support 1980-1987. Rector of Ecumenical Institute, Tantur, Israel, 1978.  

And more, frankly.  Were all his publications, lectures, conference papers, and assorted other academic achievements listed the ‘world could not contain all the books’ that it would take.

I mention all that not merely to appear fawning (though Joe has long been a hero of mine); but to place him on the stage where he belongs:  dead center.  And so does his little book of essays just published by Mohr.

When he writes, for example, in his explanation of the identity of the tsaddiq of Isaiah 57:2, that

… not everything in these chapters can be derived from one source or only reduced to one formula only, but this prophetic legacy, announced at the end of Deutero-Isaiah (54:17), is clearly a prominent theme and provides an important element of continuity in the post-disaster Isaian corpus…

we are brought to the cusp of Blenkinsopp’s genius:  a careful, measured, thoughtful, and provocative eye for the details and ability to express his insights with clarity and brevity.  That ability is on display throughout these essays.  Students of Isaiah will be greatly assisted in their own studies if they will take the time and make the effort to read through what Professor Blenkinsopp has written.

Johann Jakob Griesbach (1745–1812): Protestantische Dogmatik im populartheologischen Diskurs des 18. Jahrhunderts

Marco Stallmann, Johann Jakob Griesbach (1745–1812): Protestantische Dogmatik im populartheologischen Diskurs des 18. Jahrhunderts

Marco Stallmann offers the first monographic analysis of the general scholarly life of the Jena theologian Johann Jakob Griesbach, and of his »popular dogmatics« in particular, which represent a central yet till now little researched text category in the post-Enlightenment differentiation between theology and religion.

New From Mohr

Mareike Verena Blischke, Der Geist Gottes im Alten Testament

C. L. Crouch / Jeremy M. Hutton, Translating Empire: Tell Fekheriyeh, Deuteronomy, and the Akkadian Treaty Tradition

Kathy Ehrensperger, Searching Paul: Conversations with the Jewish Apostle to the Nations. Collected Essays

New Volumes from Mohr

Eduard Käfer, Die Rezeption der Sinaitradition im Evangelium nach Johannes

Eduard Käfer shows that in the Gospel of John the revelation of God at Sinai is highly valued, but interpreted through a »figural reading« (R. Hays) as a testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It helps to describe his identity, to elucidate his extraordinary claim and to point out the misunderstandings of his interlocutors.

J.I. de Keijzer, Bonhoeffer’s Theology of the Cross: The Influence of Luther in »Act and Being«

Engaging Bonhoeffer’s dialogues with Barth and Heidegger in »Act and Being,« J.I. de Keijzer shows how Bonhoeffer both in his critical assessment of Barth’s dialectic and his appropriation of Heidegger’s ontology articulates a contemporary »theologia crucis« that proves to be deeply influenced by Luther.

New Titles from Mohr Siebeck

Essays on the Book of Isaiah, by Joseph Blenkinsopp

This volume of essays by Joseph Blenkinsopp on different aspects of the book of Isaiah is the product of three decades of close study of the most seminal and challenging texts of the Hebrew Bible. Some of the essays deal with major themes in Isaiah, for example, universalism, theology and politics, and the Suffering Servant of the Lord God. Five of them are published here for the first time.

Der Richter und seine Ankläger: Eine narratologische Untersuchung der Rechtsstreit- und Prozessmotivik im Johannesevangelium, by Benjamin Lange

The Gospel according to John is replete with legal terminology and motifs detailing the run-up to Jesus’ crucifixion – yet a formal process in front of the Jewish Sanhedrin is not part of the narrative. Benjamin Lange shows that reading the first half of the book as a metaphorical trial reveals a new perspective on the Gospel and its message. At the centre stands the paradox of Jesus as accused judge.

Glaube in fremder Zeit, by Dietz Lange

Biblical criticism and secularization mark neither the demise of Christianity nor the apex of Christian freedom. Dietz Lange shows that the loss of a cultural monopoly calls instead for a reappraisal of the certitude of faith in Jesus Christ as the »Word of God« and its non-apologetic assertion in both internal and interfaith dialogues.

A new Volume for the Luther-ans

Martin Luthers Gebrauch der Heiligen Schrift, by Alexander Kupsch

Untersuchungen zur Schriftautorität in Gottesdienst und gesellschaftlicher Öffentlichkeit

Protestant theology is traditionally founded on the authority of scripture. Alexander Kupsch analyzes how Martin Luther used it as the church’s liturgical authority and in public moral discourse. Luther’s use of scripture is then compared to modern concepts of scriptural authority. A final chapter outlines how scripture can be viewed and used as authority in religious life.

Scripture in Its Historical Contexts

Mohr sent review copies of these two volumes a while back.

Veröffentlicht auf Englisch: Vol 1- Diese wichtige Sammlung von Aufsätzen von James A. Sanders enthält seine bedeutsamsten Arbeiten zum Text und Kanon der hebräischen Bibel, zusammen mit bahnbrechenden Studien zu den Schriftrollen von Qumran. Er ist einer der führenden Forscher zur Entstehung des Kanons, der Geschichte seiner Deutung und Textkritik, und spezialisiert auf die Schriftrollen vom Toten Meer und der Verwendung des Alten Testaments im Neuen. Diese Studien dokumentieren die Vielfalt der Texttraditionen sowie ihre Verschiedenheit und den ungeklärten Zustand der Sammlung heiliger Literatur, die in der späten Zeit des Zweiten Tempels als maßgeblich oder kanonisch galt. Damit legten sie den Grundstein für die heutige Forschungsdebatte.

Vol 2- James A. Sanders ist ein Pionier in der Forschung zur Entstehung des Kanons, der Geschichte seiner Interpretation, Textkritik und Exegese im Kontext, speziell der Schriftrollen vom Toten Meer und der Verwendung des Alten Testaments im Neuen. Viele seiner Untersuchungen, die in diesem Band versammelt sind, werden als wegweisend angesehen und waren äußerst einflussreich.

Potential readers will want to click on the ‘contents’ (Inhaltsverzeichnis & Leseprobe) link on both volume web pages.  There, the front matter and the full table of contents are available.  The first volume contains 30 essays, all published by Prof. Sanders, one of the most important scholars of his generation.  The second volume is comprised of another 21 essays by the same scholar.  The two volumes, then, consist of 51 essays written over decades by James Sanders and here collected and edited by Craig Evans.

The only new material herein is the prologue, written by Prof. Sanders himself.  In it, Sanders provides an overview of his life and work, describing his various academic interests and positions.  For example, Sanders writes

Interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls (also known as the Judean Desert Scrolls) was piqued for the writer upon the first publication of them in the spring of 1950 when Vanderbilt University School of Religion (now Divinity School) Prof. James Philip Hyatt brought to our advanced Hebrew class Vol. 1 of The Dead Sea Scrolls of St. Mark’s Monastery, edited by Prof. Millar Burrows of Yale University Divinity School, under whom Hyatt had studied. Though Burrows had transcribed the text column by column into modern printed Hebrew, Hyatt opened the volume to the Plate XXXII photograph of the ancient scroll itself, set it in front of the three of us, pointed to the bottom line of the ancient column where Isaiah ch. 40 began, and said, “Read!” I was hooked!

His prologue is very engaging and shows him to be a scholar of wide interests and pursuits.  The essays themselves have been available in other places – some for decades, some more recently.  The benefit of having them all here, ‘under one roof’ (as it were) is that now the great range and profound knowledge of Prof Sanders is easily accessible to any and all who wish to access it.  All of the essays include full bibliographies and some of them also include updated bibliographic material in a second bibliography.  There are indices of modern authors and of ancient sources.

I had read several of the chapters in Grad school and several others since and am exceptionally happy to have the chance to see them again; as the experience is rather like walking into the study of an old friend and sitting down and having a chat about a subject we have chatted about before.  It’s a delight to be reminded of things we had known before and it’s also a delight to be introduced to new ideas from an old and trusted thinker.

I am, accordingly, grateful for Craig’s work and for James’s thoughts.  I think you will be too when you have the opportunity to give these two books a read through.  You will be stimulated, informed, and enlightened.

Anthropologie des Alten Testaments: Grundfragen – Kontexte – Themenfelder

Seit der klassischen Darstellung H.W. Wolffs von 1973 gibt es keinen Gesamtentwurf einer alttestamentlichen Anthropologie mehr. Diese Lücke versucht Bernd Janowski mit seinem Lehr- und Studienbuch zu schließen, das sich von Wolffs Lehrbuch nicht nur durch einen anderen Ansatz, sondern auch durch die Berücksichtigung der altorientalischen Religionsgeschichte und der neueren Kulturwissenschaft unterscheidet. Die vorliegende Darstellung, in deren Zentrum die anthropologische Grundfrage »Was ist der Mensch?« (Psalm 8,5) und ihre spezifisch biblischen, auf die Leiblichkeit, Gerechtigkeit und Endlichkeit bezogenen Antworten stehen, gliedert sich in sieben Abschnitte:

Inhaltsübersicht

  • I. Was ist der Mensch? Einführung (Grundfragen alttestamentlicher Anthropologie)
  • II. Von der Wiege bis zur Bahre. Phasen des Lebens (Biographische Aspekte, Genderfragen)
  • III. Mit Leib und ,Seele’. Elemente des Personbegriffs (Leib- und Sozialsphäre)
  • IV. Vom tätigen Leben. Formen des sozialen Handelns (Arbeit, Wirtschaft, Kommunikation)
  • V. Räume und Zeiten. Aspekte der Welterfahrung (Ordnung des Raums, Rhythmus der Zeit)
  • VI. Bilder vom Menschen. Anthropologien des ATs (Urgeschichte, Priesterliche Texte, Königsideologie, Prophetie, Psalmen, Weisheit)
  • VII. Der ganze Mensch. Resümee (Grundzüge alttestamentlicher Anthropologie).

Ein umfangreicher Anhang veranschaulicht darüber hinaus das Eigenprofil der Anthropologie des Alten Testaments im Vergleich zu den Anthropologien seiner Umwelt anhand ausgewählter Texte und Bilder von Mesopotamien bis zum Antiken Judentum.

Janowski’s 2019 volume features the investigation of questions which have arisen in recent years about the Old Testament’s view of what it means to be a human being.  In particular, and of particular interest to many, will be section 3 of the Second Division, which deals with Gender and sexuality.  Everything from the creation of woman, an excursus on ‘helpmeet’, a very important treatment of eroticism and sexuality, marriage and family, and the place genealogical thinking has in Old Testament texts are brought into focus.

The present work is an encyclopedic treatment of the issue which begins with asking the central question, ‘what is man?’ and through such issues as birth, naming, death, gender and gender roles, marriage, children, body and soul, society, work and play, law and culture, law and righteousness, community, holiness, sacred and secular spaces, the rhythm of life and time, and feasts and celebrations.  And all of that in the first 5 chapters.

In chapter six begins even more specific treatments of the image of man in the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings.  And in chapter seven the whole is summarized and ends with the same question with which it begins: what is man?  Each small section also includes its own bibliography.  The chapters are rich in scriptural citations and helpful exegesis.

A series of appendices drawing materials from ancient societies around Israel showing similarities and differences between Ancient Israel and its neighbors is followed by a list of abbreviation and citations, various bibliographies, a listing of illustrations, and a source and subject index (each).

A book like this comes along once in a generation.  Its predecessor, by H.W. Wolff, appeared in 1973.  It was a justifiably well renowned volume and exceedingly well regarded and served for many decades the important task of helping readers of the Bible understand how ‘man’ was viewed in the Old Testament.  This book is better, more thorough, and will serve many, many generations of biblical scholars and students.

It is, without doubt, the best book I have read on an Old Testament subject this year.  I cannot recommend it more highly.

30% Off Mohr Siebeck Titles Published Before 2017

Through ISD-

IN ASSOCIATION WITH MOHR SIEBECK, we are delighted to offer all Mohr Siebeck titles published in 2017 or earlier at a discount of 30%. This unique offer is available exclusively from ISD through the end of 2019 or while stocks last.

Take a look at their catalog. There may be something you would like to pick up. Or your library may be interested too.

An Offer from Mohr on the Anniversary of Bultmann’s Death

Mohr is offering two very important works on Bultmann for an extremely low price.

Bultmann-Paket
Konrad Hammann: Rudolf Bultmann – Eine Biographie. – Christof Landmesser: Bultmann Handbuch

Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976) was instrumental in shaping the 20th century exegetical, theological and church discourses with his hermeneutics. As one of form criticism’s founders and a representative of dialectical theology, he took a critical stance towards liberal theological views in the 1920s and made the hermeneutic question on the conditions for comprehending biblical texts the focus of his scholarly work.

This set contains the Guide to Bultmann and Rudolf Bultmann – A Biography. As well as providing an excellent first introduction to understanding Bultmann, both volumes are also a reference work for experts and authorities on Bultmann.

Get it while you can.

Several New Books From Mohr of Potential Interest to You Dear People

Frauen im antiken Judentum und frühen Christentum, Hrsg. v. Jörg Frey u. Nicole Rupschus

Andrew J. Niggemann, Martin Luther’s Hebrew in Mid-Career: The Minor Prophets Translation

Martin Hengel / Anna Maria Schwemer, Geschichte des frühen Christentums: Band II: Die Urgemeinde und das Judenchristentum

A New Volume by Frey (And Edited by Cerone)

Many of you may be interested in this.

New From Mohr

Here

 

Dualismus, Dämonologie und diabolische Figuren

Published in German.  Dualistic worldviews and demonic or devilish figures make frequent and varied appearances in both early Jewish and early Christian texts. By setting out the background and charting the development of these notions in Second Temple Judaism, this volume explains New Testament traditions within early Jewish contexts, focusing on issues of the origins of evil and its eschatological removal, the role of eschatological opponents and the function of demons. Textually, the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Second Temple texts are highlighted alongside the Jesus tradition. Four concluding contributions reflect the place of demonological ideas in present theological thought and problems of handling them in church practice.

The link above also directs readers to the TOC and a reading sample.  Accordingly, readers here are asked to visit that link in order to get an appreciation for the origin, aim, and contents of the work.

The four divisions of the work follow a chronological sequence of sorts, beginning with the historical and theological problems inherent in any dualistic system.  These two introductory essays are followed by 7 essays related to the subject of dualism in early Judaism (or in ‘ancient’ Judaism).  And these 7 essays are followed in the third major division by 5 essays related to demonic and diabolical figures in early Christianity.

The fourth major division (wrongly numbered as section VI- which means the typesetter simply reversed two Roman numerals) attempts to offer, in 3 essays, a few theological reflections on the topics of dualism and demonology.  Various indices conclude the volume.

The essays all began life as contributions to a conference on the Qumran texts in 2013.  That of Frey is a wonderful summary of the New Testament’s ‘reception’ of dualistic notions.  And Popkes’ a very engaging examination of the exorcist (and Jesus as such).

Beyerle, Tigchelaar, and Heilig offer helpful insights into aspects of dualism in Judaism in general and in the Dead Sea Scrolls in particular.  Becker’s work on the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and demonology is particularly interesting.  Meanwhile, Dochhorn and Collins focus our attention on Daniel.  In particular, they both offer perspectives on the ‘fall of Satan’, with Collins responding to Dochhorn’s interpretation of Dan 12.  Götte’s work serves as something of a bridge between the second and third divisions and is very well researched and presented.

Evans’ focus on the resurrection of Jesus, Grappe’s discussion of Jesus’ baptism and temptation, Hogeterp’s on the temptation narrative, Joas on Luke, and Balzer on the Apocryphon of John all move us forward in our understanding of these texts and their intricate connections with the communities from which they sprang.

Finally in section 4 (wrongly VI), we are treated to a discussion of Paul Tillich’s demonology (by Rosenau), a discussion of Protestant Dogmatics and demonology by David, and the significance of demonic power in dreams and their interpretation by Schult.

The sum and substance of this volume is the fascinating topic of demons and demonology and the dualism from which a system of thought which includes such beings must originate.  As such it is a wonderful collection of thought provoking papers sure to engage and stimulate even the most skeptical reader.  I recommend it as happily as I recommend ‘Lucifer’ with Tom Ellis on Fox Television.  And that particular series I recommend with great joy.

Indeed, my suspicion is that if another conference is organized which discusses such dark and dank and dreadful demonic creatures, then ‘Lucifer’ as pop-culture representation of the demonic surely must be included.

Until that happens, enjoy this volume.

New Volumes From Mohr

Visit the Mohr website and search for the volumes of interest to you.