70 Years of Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls

On August 6, 2017, at the 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, the first plenary session celebrated “70 Years of Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls”. The four papers look at various ways in which the Dead Sea Scrolls enhance our knowledge of early Jewish literature.

Chairperson: Esther Chazon

Devorah Dimant: The Dead sea Scrolls and the Jewish Apocryphal Literature

Emmanuel Tov: The Exegesis of the Bible Enriched by the Dead Sea Scrolls

Hindy Najman: Rethinking the Contours of the Biblical Corpus through the Lens of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Michael Segal: On Writing and Rewriting in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls

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On January 28, 2011, Professor Hindy Najman delivered a lecture on Jewish responses to the destruction of the First and Second Temples, “Overcoming Destruction in Ancient Judaism”, at King’s University College at Western University, Canada.

In this lecture we will explore the struggles of ancient Jewish communities to redefine themselves in the aftermath of the destruction of the first and second temples.  What role did prayer and interpretation play in their literary witnesses from this period?  Was human-divine interaction still understood as imaginable when the Jewish community was bereft of its temple, land and independence?

Philosemitism and Antisemitism in Biblical Criticism

On November 22, 2017, Professor Hindy Najman (Oriel College, Oxford University) presented a paper on “Philosemitism and Antisemitism in Biblical Criticism” at Tel Aviv University. There was also a reply from Dr. Ofri Ilany (The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute) and a further response from Prof Najman.

Priests and Priesthood in the Near East

From March 19-21, 2018, the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University hosted the “Priests and Priesthood in the Near East: Social, Intellectual and Economic Aspects” conference. The papers from March 19 are available on TAU’s YouTube channel:

  • Dominique Charpin (Collège de France), Opening Address: Recent Discoveries from Ur / Tell Muqayyar, Priests of Ur in the Old Babylonian Period: A Reappraisal in the Light of the Discoveries at Ur / Tell Muqayyar in 2017
  • Walther Sallaberger (LMU, Munich), Keynote Session I: Origins of Near Eastern Priesthood, Close to the Ruler and to the Gods: The Cultic Duties of the Cupbearer and the Role of Priestesses and Priests in Early Dynastic Mesopotamia
  • Piotr Steinkeller (Harvard University), Babylonian Priesthood during the Third Millennium BCE: Between Sacred
    and Profane
  • Louise Quillien (EPHE, Paris), Identity Through Appearance: Babylonian Priestly Clothing
  • Aren Maeir (Bar Ilan University), “The priests, the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel” (Deut 18:1): Is There Archaeological Evidence of Priests and Priesthood in Iron Age Israel and Judah?
  • Yonatan Adler (Ariel University), “Is there a Priest in the House?”: Identifying Jewish Priests (Kohanim) in the Archaeology of Roman Judaea/Palaestina
  • Julietta Steinhauer (University College London), Near Eastern Priests: A Graeco-Roman perspective

 

 

John W. Rogerson: The Kingdom of God

Emeritus Professor John W. Rogerson (1935-2018) delivered the Lent Lectures 2014 on “The Kingdom of God” between 12 March and 9 April 2014, at Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield.

 

Wednesday 12th March

Lecture 1: What is the Kingdom of God?

Wednesday 19th March
Lecture 2: The Kingship of God in the Old Testament

Wednesday 26th March
Lecture 3: The Kingdom of God in the preaching of Jesus

Wednesday 2nd April
Lecture 4: The Kingdom of God in Paul and John

Wednesday 9th April
Lecture 5: The Kingdom of God and Today’s Church

John W. Rogerson: Poet Prophets of the Old Testament

Emeritus Professor John W. Rogerson (1935-2018) delivered the Beauchief Abbey Lectures 2017 on “Poet Prophets of the Old Testament” in 2017.

John Rogerson explains why far more attention should be paid to the poetic side of the Old Testament prophets, and to the implications of their poetic language for understanding God and for talking about God. Poets and poetry are needed, he says, not only in our everyday lives; we need them in our worship, in our theology, in our services, because without poetry these will become impoverished.

Lecture 1: The Rediscovery of Hebrew Poetry in the 18th Century

Lecture 2: The Poet Prophets of the Old Testament

Lecture 3: The Forms of Old Testament Prophecy

Lecture 4: The Servant Songs of Isaiah 42-53

Lecture 5: What do the Poet Prophets of the Old Testament have to say to us today?

John W. Rogerson: The Forgiveness of Sins

Emeritus Professor John W. Rogerson (1935-2018) delivered the Lent Lectures 2018 on “The Forgiveness of Sin” between 21 February and 21 March 2018, at Beauchief Abbey, Sheffield.

Wednesday 21 February

Lecture 1  What it’s all about: Defining Sin and Forgiveness

Wednesday 28 February

Lecture 2  Sin and forgiveness in the Old Testament

Wednesday 7 March

Lecture 3 Sin and forgiveness in the teaching of Jesus

Wednesday 14 March

Lecture 4 Sin and forgiveness in Paul

Wednesday 21 March

Lecture 5. Sin and forgiveness: adjusting our theology and reinterpreting our liturgy

Dictionary of Nature Imagery of the Bible

The Dictionary of Nature Imagery of the Bible is a new online resource which will provide information on the natural, ecological context of nature imagery found in the Hebrew Bible.

In this video, Project Leader, Professor Dalit Rom-Shiloni (Tel Aviv University) discusses the approach and structure of the dictionary.

 

David M. Carr: Beyond Original Sin: Genesis on the Emergence of True Adulthood

On April 5, 2018, Professor David M. Carr (Union Theological Seminary) delivered the final lecture in the 2017-18 Killeen Chair of Theology and Philosophy lecture series, at St. Norbert College.

David M. Carr, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary, invites us to consider the transformative possibilities in the story of God’s creation of male and female humans in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3. Carr’s lecture will offer a new reading of Genesis 2-3 as a subtle account of what it means to be a fully adult human, neither all good nor all bad.

The lecture begins at 3:15.

Social-Scientific Criticism and Christian Origins: Past, Present and Future

On May 25, 2018, The Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible at St Mary’s University, Twickenham held a one-day seminar, “Social-Scientific Criticism and Christian Origins: Past, Present and Future”.

‘Social-Scientific Criticism’ now serves in New Testament studies as an umbrella term for a variety of critical approaches to early Christianity, which include cultural anthropology, social identity theory, social history, ancient and modern media studies, memory theories, human geography, ancient and modern politics, race theory, trauma studies, and others. This conference gathers leading scholars to answer that question and track the progress of the scholarly discourse from initial applications to the current state of the discussion, as well as offer thoughts about the future.

9.10-9.20am Introduction to the Conference
Chris Keith

Session 1 Theoretical Origins and Texts
9.20-9.50am ‘From Honour and Shame to Theorizing Christian Origins’
John Kloppenborg

9.50-10.20am ‘Competitive Textualisation in the Jesus Tradition’
Chris Keith

10.20-10.50am ‘The Letter to Titus as a Site of Memory’
Michael Scott Robertson

Session 2 Violence and Identity
11.20am-12.10pm ‘Violence as Social Currency in Early Christianity’
Sarah Rollens

12.10-12.40pm ‘The Death of John the Baptist and the Sociology of Beheading in the Ancient World’
Nathan Shedd

Session 3 Space and Language
2-2.40pm ‘Diverse Futures of Social-Scientific Criticism of the New Testament: Affective, Spatial, Cognitive and Digital Turns’
Louise J. Lawrence

2.40-3.20pm ‘Apocalyptic Language in the New Testament: Can Cognitive Linguistics Help?’
Jamie Davies

Session 4 Ethnicity, Race and Ideology
3.40-4.10pm ‘Whose Race Needs to be Noted? Further Reflections on Whiteness and Biblical Studies’
David Horrell

4.40-5.10pm ‘Social-Scientific Criticism and the Bible: Investigating Ideological Trends’
Taylor Weaver
CENSORED

Session 5 Politics and Social-Scientific Criticism
5.30-6pm Keynote Address: ‘Cults, Martyrs, and Good Samaritans’
James Crossley

6-6.20pm Respondent: Hannah Strømmen

6.20-6.40pm Respondent: Yvonne Sherwood

Beverly Roberts Gaventa: We, They and All in Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Professor Beverly Roberts Gaventa (Baylor University) presented the 2018 Fretheim lecture at Luther Seminary on April 10, 2018. The lecture commences at 9:10.

The deepening fractures in North America around a host of issues trouble many people, within and beyond traditional religious institutions. Words like “we” and “they” dot the landscape of Paul’s letter to the Romans, but students of the letter seldom reflect on the work they do. This talk will reflect on that language in Romans and show how Paul’s most famous letter may be surprisingly helpful in our polarized context.

Gerald West: The Bible as a Site of Struggle

Professor Gerald West (University of KwaZulu-Natal) presented the 2018 De Carle Lecture Series on the topic, “The Bible as a Site of Struggle”.

“The Bible as a site of struggle” allows me to bring my biblical scholarship work and my community-based activist work together. The Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research, established in the late 1980s as part of the struggle against apartheid, is the site of much of my work, intersecting the academy and the community. After nearly thirty years of work with the Ujamaa Centre I have recognised more clearly what it is that our work with the Bible offers to local communities of the poor and marginalised. Central to what we offer is a participatory praxis in which we work with the Bible as ‘a site of struggle’ – of multiple, often contending ideo-theological voices. Working with a Bible that is ‘a site of struggle’ offers forms of interpretive resilience to poor and marginalised communities who are often stigmatised and victimised by dominant monovocal appropriations of the Bible. In this lecture series I will reflect on both the academic and community dimensions of this work.

Wednesday 28 February – ‘Site of struggle’ in South African Liberation Theologies

Wednesday 07 March – The Bible as a Site of Struggle in South African Black Theology

Wednesday 14 March – Recovering a Co-opted Bible in Post-apartheid South Africa

Wednesday 21 March – Working with the Bible as a Site of Struggle in Local Communities

 

 

Stanley Porter on Metaphor in the New Testament

On June 21, 2018, Dr. Stanley Porter delivered a lecture at the University of Otago on “Metaphor in the New Testament: Expressing the Inexpressible through Language.”

Much New Testament studies has been shackled by a limiting and constraining literalism—or at least what purports to be literalism. This has resulted in an emphasis upon the “thingness” of the ancient world and its texts, rather than on the “howness,” that is, how language is used to reflect upon and even create the world in which the ancients existed. The result of such a narrow view of human experience and use of language is the failure to appreciate the nature and complexity of language itself, in particular metaphor. Fundamental to interpretation is recognition of the role that language plays in human experience, and from that grow all of the other helpful means by which we analyze texts. In this paper, I wish to confine myself to the use of metaphor in the New Testament, and its relationship to Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). I will examine theories of metaphor briefly to see what they help us to understand about language. Then I will treat metaphor from a SFL standpoint as it functions within the New Testament. In this section, I think that I can make some new observations regarding metaphor and how it functions in the New Testament.

Biblical Exegesis in Second Temple Literature (Bar Ilan)

Below are videos of the papers from the “Biblical Exegesis in Second Temple Literature” section of the conference “Biblical Exegesis through the Ages” at Bar-Ilan University on May 9, 2018.

דבורה דימנט (אוניברסיטת חיפה) ‘כתוב בספר’: ספרים ולוחות בספרות ארמית יהודית מימי הבית השני

Moshe J. Bernstein (Yeshiva University), “Reading the Genesis Apocryphon as Biblical Commentary”

 

Michael Segal (Hebrew University), “Early Biblical Exegesis in the Septuagint”

 

אסתי אשל (אוניברסיטת בר-אילן), “ושאלו להון ספרא וחכמתא וקושטא” :לימוד והעברת ידע במגילה החיצונית ובספרות קרובה

Lawrence H. Schiffman (New York University), “Biblical Exegesis in the Temple Scroll”

James Kugel (Bar-Ilan University), “The Legendization of Midrash in Second Temple Time”

 

Sidnie White Crawford, “The History of Qumran and its Library: A New Synthesis”

Professor Sidnie White Crawford (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) summarises the latest scholarship on the Qumran library of 800-900 fragmentary manuscripts from the mid-third century BCE to the late first century CE, and the history of the sect responsible for the collection and its scribal/learned characteristics. Her public lecture was delivered on January 25, 2018, on the occasion of receiving a D.Theol honoris causa from the University of Uppsala.