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Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Volume 5, pp 33-55; https://doi.org/10.1177/1476869006074935

Abstract:
From canonical and extra-canonical gospels to the modern phenomenon of the ‘Jesus novel’, people have been fictionalizing Jesus by filling in gaps in the historical and narrative record. This essay inaugurates a field of inquiry by contrasting two recent novels, Norman Mailer’s The Gospel According to the Son (1997) and Nino Ricci’s Testament (2002). In particular it examines how each of the novels depicts the role and character of Judas Iscariot, the question of Jesus’ performance of miracles, as well as how each novel depicts Jesus. In all, the remarkable historical plausibility of these novels, or parts of them, raises the very interesting issue of the relationship between story and history, between fiction and history.
Morten Jensen
Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Volume 5, pp 7-32; https://doi.org/10.1177/1476869006074934

Abstract:
The quest for the secrets of first-century Galilee has recently attracted much intense interest, fuelling not least the occasionally heated debate about the cultural and socio-economic setting of the historical Jesus. Interest centres in particular on Herod Antipas’ impact on the region’s socio-economic stability. Was he good or bad news for the ordinary rural peasant population, and did his urbanization pro-gramme critically impact on Jesus and his movement? No consensus has been reached regarding this and similar questions, and Antipas is presently promoted as the key figure in conflicting views of first-century Galilee as either enjoying good and stable conditions, or subject to heavy economic pressure aggravating indebt-edness and tenancy. Surprisingly, the reign of Antipas has only been treated cur-sorily, with Harold Hoehner’s dissertation from 1972 being the one exception, since when intense archaeological activity has produced much new insight on ancient Galilee. Building on a larger study, this article therefore explores the sources, both literary and archaeological, of Antipas’ reign with a view to deter-mining its socio-economic consequences. It will be argued that Antipas’ impact on early first-century Galilee was probably more moderate than often assumed by scholars of the historical Jesus.
Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Volume 5, pp 81-100; https://doi.org/10.1177/1476869006074937

Abstract:
This article examines the social status of the historical Jesus in relation to recent studies that place Jesus into the social category of an illegitimate child. After surveying the evidence with respect to the situation of such individuals in first-century Mediterranean and Jewish society, we shall proceed to examine whether Jesus’ implied social status (as evidenced by accounts of his adult social interactions) coheres with what one would expect in the case of someone who bore the stigma of that status. Our study suggests that the scandal caused by Jesus’ association with the marginalized clearly implies that he did not himself fall into that category.
Robert Webb
Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Volume 5, pp 5-6; https://doi.org/10.1177/1476869006074933

Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, Volume 5, pp 57-79; https://doi.org/10.1177/1476869006074936

Abstract:
Recent study of the priesthood in Second Temple life and thought invites a reconsideration of Jesus’ self- understanding. The appeal to Psalm 110 and Dan. 7.13 indicates that Jesus thought that, although not of priestly lineage, nevertheless he would ultimately be the nation’s king and priest after the order of Melchizedek. Mark 1-6 contains a programmatic statement of Jesus’ claim to a high priestly identity as the ‘holy one of God’ (1.24), with a high priestly contagious holiness (1.40-45; 5.25-34; 5.35-43), freedom to forgive sins (2.1-12) and the embodiment of divine presence in a Galilean cornfield (2.23-28). As true high priest he makes divine presence ‘draw near’ to God’s people (1.15), where before they had to ‘draw near’ to the Jerusalem temple. The hypothesis that Jesus thought he was Israel’s long awaited eschatological high priest resolves otherwise intractable problems in historical Jesus scholarship. This is Part 2 of a two-part essay.
Thomas Finley
Published: 1 July 2006
Aramaic Studies, Volume 4, pp 133-151; https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835106073790

Abstract:
In the Greek text of Mt. 16.18 Peter's name is Πέτρος, while the 'rock' is Πέτρα. Many have assumed an Aramaic substratum to the text whereby the same Aramaic term ﬤ'פּﬡ underlies both Greek words. An alternate view posits that while ﬤ'פּﬡ lies behind Πέτρα, a différent Aramaic term was most likely rendered by Πέτρα. This article examines the Aramaic and Syriac évidence afresh and at the same time proposes a methodology for studying such issues. It concludes that ﬤ'פּﬡ is a strong candidate for an original Aramaic background for Πέτρα. In the Greek text of Mt. 16.18 Peter's name is Πέτρος, while the 'rock' is Πέτρα. Many have assumed an Aramaic substratum to the text whereby the same Aramaic term ﬤ'פּﬡ underlies both Greek words. An alternate view posits that while ﬤ'פּﬡ lies behind Πέτρα, a différent Aramaic term was most likely rendered by Πέτρα. This article examines the Aramaic and Syriac évidence afresh and at the same time proposes a methodology for studying such issues. It concludes that ﬤ'פּﬡ is a strong candidate for an original Aramaic background for Πέτρα.
Jan-Wim Wesselius
Published: 1 July 2006
Aramaic Studies, Volume 4, pp 243-258; https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835106073795

Abstract:
The scribe of the Aramaic family correspondence of the fifth century BCE, which was found in Hermopolis in Egypt in 1945, as a kind of language play deliberately presented the same information in these letters in different words, in effect creating parallelisms between the letters and sometimes even within individual letters. In some cases, this observation helps us to find new interpretations of difficult passages in the Hermopolis letters. Such language play is, albeit in different forms, very common in ancient West Semitic texts, both when dealing with mundane and with highly important political and religious subjects. The scribe of the Aramaic family correspondence of the fifth century BCE, which was found in Hermopolis in Egypt in 1945, as a kind of language play deliberately presented the same information in these letters in different words, in effect creating parallelisms between the letters and sometimes even within individual letters. In some cases, this observation helps us to find new interpretations of difficult passages in the Hermopolis letters. Such language play is, albeit in different forms, very common in ancient West Semitic texts, both when dealing with mundane and with highly important political and religious subjects.
Edward M. Cook
Published: 1 July 2006
Aramaic Studies, Volume 4, pp 123-132; https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835106073785

Abstract:
S.A. Kaufman has recently enunciated a rule of textual criticism that he has applied to certain targum texts-namely, that a frequently copied work will have more changes due to copyist interference at the beginning than at the end. Therefore the best evidence for the original readings and language of such a text is in its latter portions. An examination of certain orthographical, grammatical, and lexical elements in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan confirms the presence of this 'Kaufman Effect' in that targum; archaic or 'classical' elements tend to cluster in Genesis and Exodus, but are much less frequent in the later books. This has implications for the understanding of Pseudo-Jonathan's grammar and textual development. S.A. Kaufman has recently enunciated a rule of textual criticism that he has applied to certain targum texts-namely, that a frequently copied work will have more changes due to copyist interference at the beginning than at the end. Therefore the best evidence for the original readings and language of such a text is in its latter portions. An examination of certain orthographical, grammatical, and lexical elements in Targum Pseudo-Jonathan confirms the presence of this 'Kaufman Effect' in that targum; archaic or 'classical' elements tend to cluster in Genesis and Exodus, but are much less frequent in the later books. This has implications for the understanding of Pseudo-Jonathan's grammar and textual development.
Peter J. Gentry
Published: 1 July 2006
Aramaic Studies, Volume 4, pp 153-192; https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835106073788

Abstract:
This study elucidates corruption and influence from the versions of the Three Jewish Revisors (Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion) on the textual transmission of the Greek Ecclesiastes and its congeners, especially the Old Latin, as well as corruption of the textual transmission of the Three from the LXX. In some cases, the incestuous relationship between the LXX and the Three cannot be sorted out. The Syro-Hexapla, the Syriac translation of the hexaplaric text, is one of the most important and reliable witnesses to the hexaplaric group and to the Three. The analysis clarifies considerably the text history of the LXX Ecclesiastes. This study elucidates corruption and influence from the versions of the Three Jewish Revisors (Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion) on the textual transmission of the Greek Ecclesiastes and its congeners, especially the Old Latin, as well as corruption of the textual transmission of the Three from the LXX. In some cases, the incestuous relationship between the LXX and the Three cannot be sorted out. The Syro-Hexapla, the Syriac translation of the hexaplaric text, is one of the most important and reliable witnesses to the hexaplaric group and to the Three. The analysis clarifies considerably the text history of the LXX Ecclesiastes.
D. J.D. Kroeze, E. Van Staalduine-Sulman
Published: 1 July 2006
Aramaic Studies, Volume 4, pp 193-205; https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835106073786

Abstract:
This article provides a description of MS 'Erfurt 1', now classified as Cod. Or. Fol. 1210-1211 at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. This manuscript is a huge Hebrew and Aramaic Bible, rooted in the tradition of the giant Bibles. The creation of this Bible was finished in 1343, most probably in or in the neighbourhood of Erfurt. The consonantal text is Ashkenazi, related to MS El. f.6 at the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek of Jena. It also contains the text of an Ashkenazi tosefta-targum to 1 Sam. 17.8. The manuscript was severely damaged during the World War II. Restoration of the first volume is already underway. This article provides a description of MS 'Erfurt 1', now classified as Cod. Or. Fol. 1210-1211 at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. This manuscript is a huge Hebrew and Aramaic Bible, rooted in the tradition of the giant Bibles. The creation of this Bible was finished in 1343, most probably in or in the neighbourhood of Erfurt. The consonantal text is Ashkenazi, related to MS El. f.6 at the Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek of Jena. It also contains the text of an Ashkenazi tosefta-targum to 1 Sam. 17.8. The manuscript was severely damaged during the World War II. Restoration of the first volume is already underway.
Jerome A. Lund
Published: 1 July 2006
Aramaic Studies, Volume 4, pp 207-220; https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835106073791

Abstract:
The biblical citations recorded by Ephrem in section VI of his Commentary on Genesis (Gen. 5.32-9.16) support the Peshitta textual stream represented by MS 5bl = 8/5bl as over against that represented by MS 7al. Ephrem's approach of weaving the biblical text into the fabric of his retelling ofthe story of Genesis affects the evaluation of potential variant readings. Stylistic improvement, compression, abbreviation, and lexical substitution for the purpose of drawing together large stretches of text characterize his biblical citations. The biblical citations recorded by Ephrem in section VI of his Commentary on Genesis (Gen. 5.32-9.16) support the Peshitta textual stream represented by MS 5bl = 8/5bl as over against that represented by MS 7al. Ephrem's approach of weaving the biblical text into the fabric of his retelling ofthe story of Genesis affects the evaluation of potential variant readings. Stylistic improvement, compression, abbreviation, and lexical substitution for the purpose of drawing together large stretches of text characterize his biblical citations.
David C. Mitchell
Published: 1 July 2006
Aramaic Studies, Volume 4, pp 221-241; https://doi.org/10.1177/1477835106073793

Abstract:
This article examines the references to Messiah bar Ephraim in the Targums, and concludes that the Targumic Tosefta to Zech. 12.1 0, where Messiah bar Ephraim is vanquished, and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Exod. 40.9-11, where he is the vanquisher, both predate the Christian period. The apparent conflict between his suffering and conquering roles may indicate a belief that bar Ephraim's death effects the final redemption. References in the Targum to the Song of Songs are also considered. This article examines the references to Messiah bar Ephraim in the Targums, and concludes that the Targumic Tosefta to Zech. 12.1 0, where Messiah bar Ephraim is vanquished, and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Exod. 40.9-11, where he is the vanquisher, both predate the Christian period. The apparent conflict between his suffering and conquering roles may indicate a belief that bar Ephraim's death effects the final redemption. References in the Targum to the Song of Songs are also considered.
Lisa Fuller
Journal of Moral Philosophy, Volume 2, pp 285-297; https://doi.org/10.1177/1740468105058156

Abstract:
Thomas Pogge and Andrew Kuper suggest that we should promote an ‘institutional’ solution to global poverty. They advocate the institutional solution because they think that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can never be the primary agents of justice in the long run. They provide several standard criticisms of NGO aid in support of this claim. However, there is a more serious problem for institutional solutions: how to generate enough goodwill among rich nation-states that they would be willing to commit themselves to supranational institutional reforms. In the current international political climate, the implementation of such institutional reforms introduces several intractable problems, including difficulties of global coordination and enforcement. I defend the solution of NGO aid from the criticisms presented by Pogge and Kuper, and propose how it might be reformed. My main suggestion is that all practising NGOs should be required to be ‘accountable for reasonableness’ in the sense that Norman Daniels and James Sabin have outlined.
Jens Timmermann
Journal of Moral Philosophy, Volume 2, pp 9-27; https://doi.org/10.1177/1740468105052581

Abstract:
There seems to be a strong sentiment in pre-philosophical moral thought that actions can be morally valuable without at the same time being morally required. Yet Kant, who takes great pride in developing an ethical system .rmly grounded in common moral thought, makes no provision for any such extraordinary acts of virtue. Rather, he supports a classi.cation of actions as either obligatory, permissible or prohibited, which in the eyes of his critics makes it totally inadequate to the facts of morality. The related idea of uncommonly grand and noble deeds is frequently dismissed by Kant as high-.own emotional nonsense. Such considerations give rise to the fear that actions intuitively classed as morally commendable but not required must be re-classi.ed as commands of duty by Kant, making his ethical theory as unbearably demanding as direct utilitarianism. The paper divides into three sections: (1) an examination of the nature of moral goodness from a meta-ethical angle that introduces some passages from Kant's writings presenting strong theoretical evidence against the case for supererogatory action; (2) a critique of Thomas Hill's suggestion that within the category of wide duty we can accommodate some of the main features of actions classi.ed as supererogatory in other ethical systems; concluding that,contraHill, there are no actions of wide duty that can be so characterized in any signi.cant sense; and (3) a .nal discussion of the problem of how demanding the requirements of Kantian ethical theory really are.
Yona Sabar
Published: 1 January 2003
Aramaic Studies, Volume 1, pp 55-65; https://doi.org/10.1177/147783510300100104

Abstract:
Jewish Neo-Aamaic translations of the Bible were orally transmitted from generation to generation by local teachers to disciples. The translations were adjusted for the various dialects (Zakho, Urmia, etc.), and even from one teacher to another according to their memory and knowledge, but certain principles remain more or less prevalent. Thus, the translations are normally quite rigid, reflecting the Hebrew syntax almost word forword. However, insome cases they deviate from this principle for euphemistic and other reasons, often following in the steps of the ancient Aramaic Targums. This may be a direct continuous tradition reflected in the translations of other Jewish languagesas well, but could be also via popular commentaries such as Rashi's. Jewish Neo-Aamaic translations of the Bible were orally transmitted from generation to generation by local teachers to disciples. The translations were adjusted for the various dialects (Zakho, Urmia, etc.), and even from one teacher to another according to their memory and knowledge, but certain principles remain more or less prevalent. Thus, the translations are normally quite rigid, reflecting the Hebrew syntax almost word forword. However, insome cases they deviate from this principle for euphemistic and other reasons, often following in the steps of the ancient Aramaic Targums. This may be a direct continuous tradition reflected in the translations of other Jewish languagesas well, but could be also via popular commentaries such as Rashi's.
Michael Sokoloff
Published: 1 January 2003
Aramaic Studies, Volume 1, pp 67-107; https://doi.org/10.1177/147783510300100105

Abstract:
Samaritan Aramaic was the spoken and literary language of the Samaritan community in Eretz Israel in the first millennium C.E. until it was replaced by Arabic. The major literary remains of the dialect are a Targum to the Pentateuch, liturgical poetry, and a collection of midrashim. Tal's dictionary is the first attempt to organize the vocabulary of these texts, and his work should be commended. Unfortunately, in spite of the long period during which it was written, the dictionary suffers from a variety of defects which make its use difficult for the reader: Order of entries by roots; only partial use of English as target language along side Hebrew; inconsistencies in translation of quotations in parallel entries; inordinate number of errors in orthography; insufficient use of existing dictionaries of other Aramaic dialects. Samaritan Aramaic was the spoken and literary language of the Samaritan community in Eretz Israel in the first millennium C.E. until it was replaced by Arabic. The major literary remains of the dialect are a Targum to the Pentateuch, liturgical poetry, and a collection of midrashim. Tal's dictionary is the first attempt to organize the vocabulary of these texts, and his work should be commended. Unfortunately, in spite of the long period during which it was written, the dictionary suffers from a variety of defects which make its use difficult for the reader: Order of entries by roots; only partial use of English as target language along side Hebrew; inconsistencies in translation of quotations in parallel entries; inordinate number of errors in orthography; insufficient use of existing dictionaries of other Aramaic dialects.
A. Tal
Published: 1 January 2003
Aramaic Studies, Volume 1, pp 109-129; https://doi.org/10.1177/147783510300100106

Abstract:
The Samaritan Aramaic version of the Pentateuch in general, and its later manuscripts in particular, are replete with euphemistic expressions of all kinds, seeking to 'purify' the language from embarrassing utterances, especially where the original was too candid in expressing matters in which discreetness is required, according to contemporary standards. This study focuses on four fields in which euphemism is common in the Samaritan Targum: 1. the dignity of the ancestors, 2. taboo expressions, 3. fear of death, 4. abomination and disgust. The means by which euphemism is achieved is also scrutinized. The Samaritan Aramaic version of the Pentateuch in general, and its later manuscripts in particular, are replete with euphemistic expressions of all kinds, seeking to 'purify' the language from embarrassing utterances, especially where the original was too candid in expressing matters in which discreetness is required, according to contemporary standards. This study focuses on four fields in which euphemism is common in the Samaritan Targum: 1. the dignity of the ancestors, 2. taboo expressions, 3. fear of death, 4. abomination and disgust. The means by which euphemism is achieved is also scrutinized.
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