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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Scriptures Western Style 

Coping with Violence in the New Testament edited by Pieter G. R. de Villiers and Jan Willem van Henten (Studies in Theology and Religion (Star) Series: Brill) Violence is present in the very heart of religion and its sacred traditions – also of Christianity and the Bible. The problem, however, is not only that violence is ingrained in the mere existence of religions with their sacred traditions. It is equally problematic to realize that the icy grip of violence on the sacred has gone unnoticed and unchallenged for a very long time. Coping with Violence in the New Testament aims to contribute to the recent scholarly debate about the interconnections between violence and monotheistic religions by analyzing the role of violence in the New Testament as well as by offering some hermeneutical perspectives on violence as it is articulated in the earliest Christian writings. More

Imagery in the Book of Revelation by M. Labahn and O. Lehtipuu (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis & Theology: Peeters) Understanding the Book of Reveladon means understanding its , imagery. This puzzling book contains a fascinating world of pictures and images — every chapter and every page of it is filled with different kinds of images coming from different traditions and developing different sorts of meaning. The search for the origins of the seer's imagery, its cultural, social-historical, and religious meaning, the problem of Johannitie rhetoric, and reader responses to the text are important tasks that merit further discussion. The contributions of this collection explore different aspects of this intriguing field by discussing Selected issues of the wide range of materials. The contributors different methodological approaches and apply different tools adopted from a variety of disciplines, such as narrative criticism, intertextuality, social/historical criticism, history of religious comparison, gender studies.
The book contains contributions by David Barr, Johannes Beutler, Marco Frenschkowski, Steven Friesen, Lászlo Attila Hubbes, Konrad Huber, Michael Labahn, Kirsi Siitonen, Rebecca Skaggs, Thomas Doyle, Hanna Stenstrom and Robyn J. Whitaker. Most of the articles were presented and discussed at the seminar Early Christianity between Judaism and Hellenism at the international meeting of the SBL/EABS in Vienna, Austria, 2007.
This collection of essays brings new impulses and new methodological and hermeneutical approaches into the discussion on how to understand the imagery in Revelation. More

Snatched into Paradise (2 Cor 12:1-10): Paul's Heavenly Journey in the Context of Early Christian Experience by James Buchanan Wallace (Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift Fur Die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft: De Gruyter) In 2 Corinthians 12:1-10, Paul claims to have been snatched into paradise but then tells how he received a ""thorn in the flesh"". Many recent scholars contend that Paul belittles ecstatic experiences such as the ascent to paradise. This monograph places 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 in the contexts of ancient ascent traditions as well as other accounts of extraordinary religious experience in Paul's letters, and it engages premodern interpretation of the ascent. This study argues that for Paul, extraordinary experiences such as the ascent enable self-transcending love for God and neighbors. More

The Silent God by Marjo C. A. Korpel and Johannes C. De Moor (Brill Academic) The silence of God is a recurring theme in modern reflection. It is not only addressed in theology, religious studies and philosophy, but also in literary fiction, film and theatre. The authors show that the concept of a silent deity emerged in the ancient Near East (including Greece). What did the Ancients mean when they assumed that under circumstances their deities remained silent? What reasons are discernable for silence between human beings and their gods? For the first time the close interrelation between the divine and the human in the revelatory process is demonstrated here on the basis of a wealth of translated ancient texts. In an intriguing epilogue, the authors explore the theological consequences of what they have found. More

Marriage in the Book of Tobit  by Geoffrey David Miller(Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies: de Gruyter) This study examines marital elements in the Book of Tobit in light of the mores and beliefs of Ancient Israel and neighboring civilizations. After surveying key Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern texts, this monograph outlines what the Book of Tobit reveals about ancient marital practices as well as the values it seeks to inculcate in its Diaspora audience with regard to marriage. Four aspects are analyzed: 1) the qualities a man should seek in a bride, 2) the marital customs observed by ancient Jews, 3) the role of God in marriage, and 4) the nature of the marital relationship. More

Essays on John and Hebrews by Harold W. Attridge (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament: Mohr Siebeck) Harold W. Attridge has engaged in the interpretation of two of the most intriguing literary products of early Christianity, the Gospel according to John and the Epistle to the Hebrews. His essays explore the literary and cultural traditions at work in the text and its imaginative rhetoric aiming to deepen faith in Christ by giving new meaning to his death and exaltation. His essays on John focus on the literary artistry of the final version of the gospel, its playful approach to literary genres, its engaging rhetoric, its delight in visual imagery. He situates that literary analysis of both works within the context of the history of religion and culture in the first century, with careful attention to both Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds. Several essays, focusing on the phenomena connected with "Gnosticism", extend that reiligio-historical horizon into to the life of the early Church and contribute to the understanding of the reception of these two early Christian masterpieces. More

A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews by Albert Vanhoye (Convivium Press) The first part, which only examines one theme, «the Name of Christ», offers a lo general and contemporary Christology. The next two parts offer a priestly Christology, firstly more general and then more specific. Finally, the last two parts show the result of this for the Christian life, lived out in faith, hope and charity. The author of this work, has worked for many years on the Epistle to the Hebrews, and, notably, has taught it at the Biblical Institute and published a great number of specialist articles and Books on it, and now brings one of the most contemporary authoritative commentaries to a wider audience, contributing with the understanding of the unique Priesthood of Jesus Christ for the first Christian communities.

In this work, a detailed analysis of the text known as the Epistle to the He-brews enables us to conclude without a shadow of a doubt that this is the full text of a splendid Christian preaching which constantly conforms to the rules of Semitic rhetoric, including various genres of parallelism, synonymis, antithesis and complementarity, and obeying a concentrically symmetrical schema. More

Studies in the Book of Wisdom by Geza G. Xeravits and Jozsef Zsengeller (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism: Brill) The volume publishes papers delivered at the International Conference on the Deuterocanonical Books (Papa, Hungary). This conference dealt with the Book of Wisdom. As such, this was one of the most extended discussions of the Book of Wisdom that has ever taken place at a scholarly meeting. The volume contains articles on the traditions and theology of the Book of Wisdom, and demonstrates its relationship with the contemporary literature of early Judaism and Middle Platonic thought. More

From Linguistics to Hermeneutics: A Functional and Cognitive Approach to Job 12-14 by Pierre Van Hecke (Studia Semitica Neerlandica: Brill Academic) Linguistics and hermeneutics are often regarded as two mutually exclusive scholarly disciplines. Recent decades, however, have witnessed the rise of linguistic approaches that take meaning back to the heart of their inquiry and can be fruitful for textual interpretation. This book applies the insights of two such approaches, i.e. functional grammar and cognitive semantics, to the study of Biblical Hebrew with a specific focus on Job 12-14. The result is two-fold. The study offers a, detailed linguistic analysis, providing many new insights in the linguistic peculiarities of the text and Biblical Hebrew in general. Moreover, it proposes a fresh exegetical reading of Job's longest and central speech in the book. More

Women & Gender in Ancient Religions: Interdisciplinary Approaches by Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament: Mohr Siebeck) Following a scholarly conference given in honor of Adela Yarbro Collins, this collection of essays offers focused studies on the wide range of ways that women and gender contribute to the religious landscape of the ancient world. Experts in Greek and Roman religions, Early Christianity, Ancient Judaism, and Ancient Christianity engage in literary, social, historical, and cultural analysis of various ancient texts, inscriptions, social phenomena, and cultic activity. These studies continue the welcomed trend in scholarship that expands the social location of women in ancient Mediterranean religion to include the public sphere and consciousness.
The result is an important and lively book that deepens the understanding of ancient religion as a whole. More

The Qur'an and Its Biblical Subtext  by Gabriel Said Reynolds (Routledge Studies in the Qur'an: Routledge) This book challenges the dominant scholarly notion that the Qur'an must be interpreted through the medieval commentaries shaped by the biography of the prophet Muhammad, proposing instead that the text is best read in light of Christian and Jewish scripture. The Qur'an, in its use of allusions, depends on the Biblical knowledge of its audience. However, medieval Muslim commentators, working in a context of religious rivalry, developed stories that separate Qur'an and Bible, which this book brings back together.
In a series of studies involving the devil, Adam, Abraham, Jonah, Mary, and Muhammad among others, Reynolds shows how modern translators of the Qur'an have followed medieval Muslim commentary and demonstrates how an appreciation of the Qur'an's Biblical subtext uncovers the richness of the Qur'an's discourse. Presenting unique interpretations of thirteen different sections of the Qur'an based on studies of earlier Jewish and Christian literature, the author substantially re-evaluates Muslim exegetical literature. Thus The Qur'an and Its Biblical Subtext, a work based on a profound regard for the Qur'an's literary structure and rhetorical strategy, poses a substantial challenge to the standard scholarship of Qur'anic Studies. With an approach that bridges early Christian history and Islamic origins, the book will appeal not only to students of the Qur'an but to students of the Bible, religious studies, and Islamic history. More 

New Perspectives on Old Texts: Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 9–11 January, 2005 Edited by Esther G. Chazon & Betsy Halpern-Amaru, in collaboration with Ruth A. Clements (STDJ: Studies on the Texts in the Desert of Judah, 88: Brill) This volume presents new perspectives on the ancient texts discovered at Qumran. The essays offer fresh insights into particular texts and genres, by applying methods and constructs drawn from other disciplines to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and by exploring new as well as long-standing issues raised by these works. The topics and approaches engaged include group identity, memory, ritual theory, sectarian sociology, philosophy of education, liturgical anthropology, Jewish law, history of religion, and mysticism. The articles in this volume were originally presented at the Tenth Annual International Orion Symposium sponsored in 2005 by the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. More

Isaiah in Context: Studies in Honour of Arie van der Kooij on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday Edited by Michael van der Meer, Percy van Keulen, Willem Th. van Peursen, Bas ter Haar Romeny (Vetus Testamentum, Supplements, 138: Brill Academic Publications) contains a collection of essays on the Book of Isaiah offered as a tribute to Arie van der Kooij on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday, which coincides with his retirement as Professor of Old Testament at Leiden University. The twenty-four contributions, written by leading scholars in the field of Old Testament studies, focus on the Book of Isaiah within the context of Hebrew and ancient near-eastern writings, particularly those from the Neo-Assyrian period, as well as on the book's reception history , particularly in its Greek and Syriac translations. Together these studies offer a rich and original contribution to the study of the Book of Isaiah in its Hebrew, Aramaic, Assyrian, Greek, Syriac, and Dutch contexts. All those interested in the study of the Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, particularly the Book of Isaiah, in ancient near-eastern studies, Septuagint and Peshitta studies, as well as classical philologists. More

Like an Everlasting Signet Ring: Generosity in the Book of Sirach by Bradley C. Gregory  (Deuterocanonical and Cognate Literature Studies: De Gruyter) This work explores the theological and social dimensions of generosity in the book of Sirach and contextualizes them within the culture and thought of Second Temple Judaism. Ben Sira's understanding of generosity is predicated on the tension between affirming the classic wisdom principle of retributive justice and recognizing its breakdown in the socio-economic circumstances of Seleucid Judea. He forges a new Wisdom-Torah ethic of mercy in which giving generously is an integral part of living ""the good life"".While loans and surety are essential practices, almsgiving is the preeminent act of generosity. The fundamental theological logic at work consists in viewing the poor as proxies for God and is based on the economic structure of Proverbs 19:17. Giving to the poor is, in reality, a deposit in a heavenly treasury and will pay future dividends. By situating Ben Sira's view of almsgiving within the wider framework of retributive justice and its breakdown, new light is shed on the practical tensions regarding the extent of almsgiving and its relationship to the support of the Jerusalem priesthood. The various dynamics of Ben Sira's thought on generosity are situated within the broader Hellenistic world and in their foundational role for later Jewish and Christian thought. More

Sacred Tropes: Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an As Literature and Culture  by Roberta Sterman Sabbath (Biblical Interpretation Series: Brill Academic) Contemporary sacred text scholarship has been stimulated by a number of intersecting trends: a surging interest in religion, sacred texts, and inspirational issues; burgeoning developments in and applications of literary theories; intensifying academic focus on diverse cultures whether for education or scholarship. Although much has been written individually about Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an, no collection combines an examination of all three. Sacred Tropes interweaves Tanakh, New Testament, and Qur'an essays. Contributors collectively and also often individually use mixed literary approaches instead of the older single theory strategy. Appropriate for classroom or research, the essays utilize a variety of literary theoretical lenses including environmental, cultural studies, gender, psychoanalytic, ideological, economic, historicism, law, and rhetorical criticisms through which to examine these sacred works. More

William Robertson Smith: His Life, His Work & His Times  by Bernhard Maier (Forschungen Zum Alten Testament: Mohr Siebeck) Bernhard Maier presents a new biography of William Robertson Smith (1846-1894), a champion of Old Testament criticism who is also regarded as a pioneer in social anthropology, the sociology of religions and the comparative study of religions.

William Robertson Smith (1846-1894) was successively the embattled champion of the emergent "higher criticism" as applied to the Old Testament, chief editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University. Today he is acknowledged to have been a pioneering figure in both social anthropology and the study of comparative religion, deeply influencing the thinking of J. G. Frazer, Emile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud. The first full-length biography of Robertson Smith to be published for almost a hundred years, this text makes use of hitherto unknown material preserved by the Smith family and draws upon the extensive range of correspondence between Smith and such scholars as Albrecht Ritschl, Paul de Lagarde, Julius Wellhausen, Abraham Kuenen and Theodor Nöldeke. Adopting an interdisciplinary and international approach, the biography locates and defines the place of this remarkable polymath within the context of Free Church Calvinism, the Scottish Enlightenment and 19th century German Protestant theology. More

Lectures on the Religion of the Semites: First Series The Fundamental Institutions by W. Robertson Smith (Kessinger Publishing) reprint of the 1894 edition: Smith studies the primitive religions of the Semitic peoples, viewed in relation to other ancient religions and to the spiritual religion of the Old Testament and of Christianity. Contents: Introduction: The Subject and the Method of Enquiry; The Nature of the Religious Community, and the Relation of the Gods to their Worshippers; The Relations of the Gods to Natural Things-Holy Places-The Jinn; Holy Places in their Relation to Man; Sanctuaries, Natural and Artificial-Holy Waters, Trees, Caves, and Stones; Sacrifice-Preliminary Survey; First-Fruits, Tithes, and Sacrificial Meals; The Original Significance of Animal Sacrifice; The Sacramental Efficacy of Animal Sacrifice, and Cognate Acts of Ritual-The Blood Covenant-Blood and Hair Offerings; The Development of Sacrificial Ritual-Fire-Sacrifices and Piacula; and Sacrificial Gifts and Piacular Sacrifices-The Special Ideas Involved in the Latter.

Lectures on the Religion of the Semites (Second and Third Series) by William Robertson Smith and John Day(The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies: Sheffield Academic Press) The outstanding nineteenth-century biblical scholar and Semitist William Robertson Smith gave three courses of Burnett Lectures on the Religion of the Semites at Aberdeen just over a century ago. The first series, published in 1889 (2nd edn, 1894), has long been a classic work. The second and third series were never published, owing to the author's ill health; however, the manuscript of them still exists in the Cambridge University Library and was recently discovered by John Day, who has produced this edited version of the work to commemorate the centenary of Smith's death. The Lectures, which constitute a work of considerable Semitic and Classical learning, are on the following subjects: Feasts, Priests and the Priestly Oracle, Prophecy and Divination, Semitic Polytheism and Cosmogony. Dr Day has written an Introduction, which evaluates the work and includes nineteenth-century press reports of the Lectures. More 

The Mystery of God: Early Jewish Mysticism and the New Testament by Christopher Rowl, Christopher R.A. Morray-Jones (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum, Volume 12: Brill Academic) This book brings together the perspectives of apocalypticism and early Jewish mysticism to illuminate aspects of New Testament theology. The first part begins with a consideration of the mystical character of apocalypticism and then uses the Book of Revelation and the development of views about the heavenly mediator figure of Enoch to explore the importance of apocalypticism in the Gospels and Acts, the Pauline Letters and finally the key theological themes in the later books of the New Testament. The second and third parts explore the character of early Jewish mysticism by taking important themes in the early Jewish mystical texts such as the Temple and the Divine Body to demonstrate the relevance of this material to New Testament interpretation. More

The Mystical Texts: Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice and Related Manuscripts by Philip S. Alexander(Library of Second Temple Studies: T&T Clark) This essay provides an overview of a position I have worked out at greater length in The Mystical Texts: Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice and Related Manuscripts (Companion to the Qumran Scrolls 7; London: T&T Clark International, 2005), to which the reader is referred for detailed documentation. The present article, however, is not just a summary of the book. The necessity of compressing and simplifying the case has led me, to some extent, to rethink and clarify my argument. A number of points (e.g., the anthropology behind Qumran mysticism, and the doctrine of predestination, which seems to be all over the relevant texts) now strike me as more important than I realised when I wrote the book. My purpose is to open a debate on what happens if we take certain Scrolls seriously as mysticism, and read them into the western mystical tradition. More

A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint by T. Muraoka (Peeters) This complete lexicon supercedes its two earlier editions (1993; 2002). - The entire Septuagint, including the apocrypha, is covered. - For the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and Judges the so-called Antiochene edition is fully covered in addition to the data as found in the standard edition by Rahlfs. - Also fully covered are the two versions of Tobit, Esther, and Daniel. - Based on the critically established Gottingen edition where it is available. If not, Rahlfs's edition is used. - For close to 60% of a total of 9,550 headwords all the passages occurring in the LXX are either quoted or mentioned. - A fully fledged lexicon, not a glossary merely listing translation equivalents in English. - Senses defined. - Important lexicographical data such as synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, distinction between literal and figurative, combinations with prepositions, noun cases, syntagmatic information such as what kind of direct or indirect objects a given verb takes, what kind of nouns a given adjective is used with, and much more information abundantly presented and illustrated with quotes, mostly translated. - High-frequency lexemes such as prepositions and conjunctions fully analysed. - Data on contemporary Koine and Jewish Greek including the New Testament taken into account. - Morphological information provided: various tenses of verbs, genitive forms of nouns etc. - Substantive references to the current scientific literature. An indispensable tool for students of the Septuagint, the New Testament, Hellenistic Judaism, and the Greek language.

Septuagint and Reception by Johann Cook (Supplements to Vetus Testamentum: Brill Academic) A new association for the study of the Septuagint was formed in South Africa recently. The present collection is a compilation of papers delivered at the first conference of this association, as well as other contributions. The volume addresses issues touching on the Septuagint in the broad sense of the word. This includes the Old Greek text (Daniel, Proverbs, Psalms and Lamentations) as well as the reception of the LXX (NT, Augustine and Jerome, etc.). A few contributions that may be regarded as miscellanea are nevertheless related to matters Septuagintal (Aristeas, Peshitta, Eunochos). All those interested in the Septuagint, its reception history and later reception, the ancient versions (Peshitta), hermeneutics, as well as philologists and theologians.

Translating Religion by Benjamin H. Hary (Etudes Sur Le Judaisme Medieval: brill Academic) Jews employed not only their sacred texts in Hebrew and Aramaic but also in translation into their local variety. Therefore, the genre of translating sacred texts into Jewish languages, religiolects, and varieties has been widespread throughout the Jewish world. This volume is a study of the translation of sacred texts, known as the shar, into Judeo-Arabic in Egypt in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The study places Judeo-Arabic on the Jewish linguistic spectrum, traces its history, and offers insights to the spoken variety of Egyptian Judeo-Arabic, which set it apart from other Arabic dialects. The book also provides a linguistic model of the translation of the sacred texts. Rather than viewing the translation as only verbatim, the study traces in great detail the literal/interpretive linguistic tension with which the translators struggled in their work. More

Expectations of the End: A Comparative Traditio-Historical Study of Eschatological, Apocalyptic and Messianic Ideas in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament by Albert L. A. Hogeterpon (Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah: Brill Academic Publishers)  Since a fuller range of Qumran sectarian and not clearly sectarian texts and recensions has recently become available to us, its implications for the comparative study of eschatological, apocalyptic and messianic ideas in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the New Testament need to be explored anew. 'This book situates eschatological ideas in Qumran literature between biblical tradition and developments in late Second Temple Judaism and examines how the Qumran evidence on eschatology, resurrection, apocalypticism, and messianism illuminates Palestinian, Jewish settings of emerging Christianity. The present study challenges previous dichotomies between realized and futuristic eschatology, wisdom and apocalypticism and provides many new insights into intra-Jewish dimensions to eschatological ideas in Palestinian Judaism and in the early Jesus-movement. More

Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions: To 1700 (Brill's Series in Church History) by Scott H. Mandelbrote and Jitse M. Van Der Meer (Brill Academic)

Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions: 1700-present (Brill's Series in Church History) by Scott H. Mandelbrote and Jitse M. Van Der Meer (Brill Academic) 

The four companion volumes of Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions contribute to a contextual evaluation of the mutual influences between scriptural exegesis and hermeneutics on the one hand and practices or techniques of interpretation in natural philosophy and the natural sciences on the other. We seek to raise the low profile this theme has had both in the history of science and in the history of biblical interpretation. Furthermore, questions about the interpretation of scripture continue to be provoked by current theological reflection on scientific theories. We also seek to provide a historical context for renewed reflection on the role of the hermeneutics of scripture in the development of theological doctrines that interact with the natural sciences.

Contributors are Peter Barker, Paul M. Blowers, James J. Bono, Pamela Bright, William E. Carroll, Kathleen M. Crowther, Maurice A. Finocchiaro, Carlos Fraenkel, Miguel A. Granada, Peter Harrison, Kenneth J. Howell, Eric Jorink, Kerry V. Magruder, Scott Mandelbrote, Charlotte Methuen, Robert G. Morrison, Richard J. Oosterhoff, Volker R. Remmert, T.M. Rudaysky, Stephen D. Snobelen, Jitse M. van der Meer, and Rienk H. Vermij. More

New Testament & Christian Apocrypha: Collected Studies II  by Francois Bovon and edited by Glenn E. Snyder (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Nuen Testament: Moher Siebeck) This volume of collected studies reflects François Bovon's two major fields of research: Luke-Acts on the one hand, and early Christian Apocrypha on the other. He insists on the ethical and missionary practices of the early Christian communities. The apostle Paul's ethical concern is presented not as an opposition between good and evil, but as a crescendo from the good to the best. The authority of John, the author of the Book of Revelation, is described in a nonhierarchical way as the care of a brother for his brothers and sisters rather than of a father. Women's ministry is attested in recently discovered portions of the Acts of Philip. This collection of essays shows also how doctrinal positions were reached in the middle of strong tensions. Such is the witness of the Fragment Oxyrhynchus 840 in favor of a spiritual purification. François Bovon is also attentive to the reception of the earliest Christian documents in Late Antiquity. As a whole he describes aspects of early Christianity in its variety but also in its unity.  More

Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies edited by Roland Boer (Society of Biblical Literature Semeia Studies: Brill Academic Publishers) offers a meeting between genre theory in biblical studies and the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, who continues to be immensely influential in literary criticism. Here Bakhtin comes face to face with a central area of biblical studies: the question of genre. The essays range from general discussions of genre through the reading of specific biblical texts to an engagement with Toni Morrison and the Bible. The contributors are John Anderson, Roland Boer, Martin J. Buss, Judy Fentress-Williams, Christopher Fuller, Barbara Green, Bula Maddison, Carleen Mandolfo, Christine Mitchell, Carol A. Newsom, David M. Valeta, and Michael Vines. More

Right Chorale: Studies in Biblical Law & Interpretation (Forschungen Zum Alten Testament) by Bernard M. Levinson(Mohr Siebeck) The twelve essays in this volume make a sustained statement about the nature of textuality in ancient Israel. Bernard Levinson draws upon the literary forbears of biblical law in cuneiform literature, as well as its reception and reinterpretation in the Second Temple period, to provide the horizon of
ancient Israelite legal hermeneutics. Investigating both law and narrative, these studies are essential for an understanding of the formation of the Pentateuch and the Bible's contribution to later western intellectual history.

This book presents twelve selected investigations of textual composition, interpretation, revision, and transmission. With these studies, Bernard Levinson draws upon the literary forebears of biblical law in cuneiform literature and its reinterpretation in the Second Temple period to provide the horizon of ancient Israelite legal exegesis. The volume makes a sustained argument about the nature of textuality in ancient Israel: Israelite scribes were sophisticated readers, authors, and thinkers who were conscious of their place in literary and intellectual history, even as they sought to renew and transform their cultural patrimony in significant ways. The studies explore the connections between law and narrative, show the close connections between Deuteronomy and the Neo-Assyrian loyalty oath tradition, address the literary relationship of Deuteronomy and the Covenant Code, reflect upon important questions of methodology, and explore the contributions of the Bible to later western intellectual history. The volume offers essential reading for an understanding of the Pentateuch and biblical law. More

"My Words Are Lovely": Studies in the Rhetoric of the Psalms by Robert L. Foster and David M.  Howard Jr. (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies: T & T Clark) As the authors of The Postmodern Bible end their chapter on rhetorical criticism, they write, "The jury is still out, therefore, on just how successful and profitable the application of rhetorical theory has become in the rebirth of rhetorical criticism in biblical interpretation."' Part of their concern is the seemingly uncritical adaptation of various rhetorical theories without the interpreters' awareness of their own rhetorical situation and aims and how these influence the use of rhetorical theories. More

Orientalism, Aramaic and Kabbalah in the Catholic Reformation by Robert J. Wilkinson (Studies in the History of Christian Thought: Brill) shows how the first edition of the Syriac New Testament illustrates how Syriac and other Oriental languages were received in the West by Catholic Kabbalistic scholars. The contribution of Egidio da Viterbo and Guillaume Postel is emphasised.
Focusing upon the extraordinary circumstances of the production of the editio princeps of the Syriac New Testament in 1555 and establishing a reliable history of that edition, this book offers an new account of the origin of Syriac studies in Europe and a fresh evaluation of Catholic Orientalism in the sixteenth century. The reception of Syriac into the West is shown to have been characterised, under the influence of Egidio da Viterbo and Postel, by a Christian Kabbalistic worldview which also determined the reception of other Oriental languages. More
The companion volume The Kabbalistic Scholars of the Antwerp Polyglot Bible by Robert J. Wilkinson (Studies in the History of Christian Thought: Brill) places the Syriac New Testament in the Antwerp Polyglot within a new appreciation of sixteenth century Catholic Syriac and Oriental scholarship. The Spanish antecedents of the Polyglot and the role of Montano in its production are evaluated before the focus is turned upon the Northern Scholars who prepared the Syriac edition. Their motivation is shown, particularly in the case of Guillaume Postel, to derive from both Christian kabbalah and an insistent eschatological timetable. The principles of Christian kabbalah found in the Polyglot are then shown to be characteristic also of Guy Lefevre de la Boderie's 1584 Paris edition of the Syriac New Testament dedicated to Henri III.
The Antwerp Polyglot Bible is one of the great monuments of sixteenth-century typographic and scholarly achievement. It is surprising then that it lacks a worthy treatment in depth in any language, though there are several important works and articles that provide essential orientation. Predictably much of the secondary literature has been produced either around the Plantin Museum in Antwerp or in Spain. With significant exceptions the earlier Spanish work tended to be celebratory and patriotic as Spanish scholars have in the past shown themselves eager to claim the Antwerp Polyglot, or the Biblia Regia, as the culmination of the great Spanish tradition begun at Alcalá, and to see Montano, the Spanish king's project director, very much as the channel through which the tradition was transmitted to Antwerp. Things look somewhat different from Belgium where the magnificent resources of the Plantin Museum and specifically Plantin's correspondence have enabled scholars to produce fundamental works of scholarship and to emphasise the contribution of North European scholars to the project. More 

Deliver Us from Evil: Interpreting the Redemption from the Power of Satan in New Testament Theology (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament 216) by Richard H. Bell (Mohr Siebeck)

Richard H. Bell develops a theory of myth which does justice not only to the world of 'narrative' but also to the mysteries of the 'physical world'. He does this by building on the phenomenal distinction as introduced by Kant and further developed by Schopenhauer. He then applies the resulting theory of myth to two seemingly disparate examples of redemption from Satan found in the New Testament: first, the exorcisms of Jesus; secondly, the redemption of the human being from the power of Satan through the cross and resurrection of Christ as found in the Pauline tradition and in the letter to the Hebrews. Then the author makes an attempt to relate these two forms of redemption to each other and to draw some conclusions as to how these myths of deliverance from Satan can be considered true. This can lead not only to an enrichment of New Testament Theology but also to a greater understanding of the world in which we live.

The fundamental question addressed in this book is how the redemption of the human being from Satan in New Testament theology is to be interpreted. I now wish to make a number of concluding comments, first of a "theological and scientific" nature and then of a "pastoral" nature. More

Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews: A Social Identity Approach by Matthew J. Marohl (Princeton Theological Monograph Series: Pickwick Publications) Why was Hebrews written? What was the purpose of the text? The discussion of the purpose of Hebrews is traditionally connected to the discussion of the identity and social context of the addressees. In other words, it is often assumed that to answer why Hebrews was written, it must first be established to whom Hebrews was written. Herein lies a problem for modern readers of the text. There is little, if any, consensus regarding the identity of the addressees. And there is little, if any, consensus re­garding the purpose of Hebrews. While most still hold to the ‘traditional view,’ that the addressees were ‘Jewish Christians’ in danger of falling back into ‘Judaism,’ a growing number of interpreters have concluded that nothing can be known regarding the identity of the addressees.
The aim of Faithfulness and the Purpose of Hebrews is to provide answers to these questions by employing that branch of social psychology known as social identity theory. More

New Testament and Early Christian Literature in Greco-Roman Context: Studies in Honor of David E. Aune edited by John Fotopoulos (Supplements to Novum Testamentum, Vol. 122: Brill Academic) is a collection of scholarly studies honoring Prof.Dr. David. E. Aune on his 65th birthday. Its title, The New Testament and Early Christian Literature in Greco-Roman Context: Studies in Honor of David E. Aune, reflects Prof. Aune's academic training, interests, and extensive publications. The volume's studies investigate a range of topics within the Pauline correspondence, Gospels, Apocalypse of John, and other early Christian writings with insights drawn from Greco-Roman culture and Hellenistic Judaism. Thus, the studies make use of Greco-Roman literature, rhetoric, magic, medicine, moral philosophy, iconography, archaeology, religious cults, and social conventions while also utilizing social-historical, social-scientific, literary-critical, and rhetorical-critical methodologies, thereby adding an interdisciplinary dimension to the volume. These groundbreaking studies have been written by prominent international scholars and are published here for the first time.

The Song of Songs: A Philological Analysis of the Hebrew Book by P. W. T. Stoop-van Paridon (Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Peeters) Since time immemorial the Song of Songs (SofS) has been a source of amazement and inspiration. The countless translations and interpretations of this book differ strongly from each other. Does the Hebrew text indeed justify this? To answer this question, an unprejudiced philological analysis is necessary that keeps strictly to the text, which does justice to the context, and approaches the book intrinsically as rationally as possible. More

Reading the Bible in Wesleyan Ways: Some Constructive Proposals by Barry L. Callen, Richard P. Thompson (Beacon Hill Press) Reading the Bible in Wesleyan Ways is comprised of significant essays by outstanding scholars. They represent and address the Wesleyan theological tradition and convey insights vital for today's Bible readers regardless of their denomination or tradition. The twelve essays of this collection are grouped under two categories, "Foundations for Interpretation" and "Frontiers for Interpretation." More

Prophets, Prophecy, And Prophetic Texts in Second Temple Judaism edited by Michael H. Floyd, Robert D. Haak (Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies: T. & T. Clark Publishers) This volume grew out of the program of the "Prophetic Texts and Their Ancient Contexts" (PTAC) group at the 2003 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta. Yairah Amit, Matthias Henze, Armin Lange, Christoph Levin, Martti Nissinen, and I presented essays on that occasion that became the core of the collection. Pancratius Beentjes, George Brooke, Naomi Cohen, Lester Grabbe, John Kessler, John Levison, and Joachim Schaper were invited to contribute essays, so that the stated theme of prophets, prophecy, and prophetic texts in Second Temple Judaism would be more comprehensively covered. We were kindly given permission to reprint Louis Feldman's article, which helpfully lays out the evidence regarding prophecy in Josephus's works. This book is one of several that have been generated by the ongoing work of the PTAC group. More

Handbook on the Wisdom Books And Psalms: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiates, Song of Songs by Daniel J. Estes   (Baker Academic)  The Old Testament wisdom literature contains beautiful songs of worship and praise (Psalms), pithy and moralistic aphorisms (Proverbs), lyrical erotic poems (Song of Songs), world-weary philosophical reflections (Ecclesiastes) and probing poetry about the nature of evil (Job). In this engaging and helpful survey of the types and themes of wisdom literature, Estes, who teaches at Cedarville College in Cedarville, Ohio, provides a generous introduction for readers interested in the interpretation of these books. Each chapter examines the authorship and date of a particular book and proceeds to discuss its structure, style and major themes. Estes then provides an illuminating exposition of the writing and an invaluable bibliography that students of wisdom literature can use to enhance their understanding. Estes's survey represents all major positions on introductory matters in judicious fashion. Thus, while Solomon is traditionally thought to be the author of Proverbs, Estes concludes that Solomon cannot be the final compiler of the collection even though he might have played a role in the beginning of the process. Estes's book joins the other volumes in this series in providing significant introductions to the literature of the Old Testament. More

Judges by David Gunn (Blackwell Bible Commentaries: Blackwell Publishers) (Paperback) The commentary is constructed around the biblical book's main constituent stories and characters. The first chapter deals with the entry into the land and includes the cameo stories of Adoni-bezek who lost thumbs and big toes, Achsah who asked for water, and Othniel the first "judge" (Judg 1:1–3:11); the second chapter is on Ehud's assassination of Ehud (Judg 3:12–31); the third chapter covers Deborah and Barak defeating Sisera, and Jael putting a spike through his head (Judges 4–5); the fourth chapter discusses Gideon testing God and defeating the Ammonites (Judges 6–8), and the next its sequel, Abimelech's abortive kingship (Judges 9); the sixth chapter examines Jephthah, his vow, and his daughter's sacrifice (Judges 10–12); the seventh chapter deals with Samson the Nazirite, from annunciation to self-immolation, and, of course, his Timnite bride, the prostitute of Gaza, and Delilah (Judges 13–16); the eighth chapter treats Micah, his Levite, and the rampaging Danites (Judges 17–18); and the ninth chapter closes with a story of rape writ large, the Levite's woman and the Benjamite war (Judges 19–21). More

Slaves in the New Testament: Literary, Social, And Moral Dimensions by J. Albert Harrill (Fortress Press) (Hardcover) In this exciting new analysis of slaves and slavery in the New Testament, Harrill breaks new ground with his extensive use of Greco-Roman evidence, discussion of hermeneutics, and treatment of the use of the New Testament in antebellum U.S. slavery debates. He examines in detail Philemon, 1 Corinthians, Romans, Luke-Acts, and the household codes. More

The New Testament and Literature: A Guide to Literary Patterns by Stephen Cox (Open Court) acts as a guide, focusing on the underlying patterns that combine ideas with literary devices. The book identifies the literary formulas in the New Testament and shows how these elements have shaped English and American literature.  More

Rhetoric at the Boundaries: The Art And Theology of New Testament Chain-link Transitions by Bruce W. Longenecker (Baylor University Press) In the first section of his book, Longenecker actually takes the time to explain some different sorts of transitions that one comes across in Greek text of the New Testament period. He examines excerpts of Quintillian and of Lucian of Samosata, showing that the "chain-link" transition is something that was accepted rhetorical style of this period. He examines other non-canonical sources to establish that this transition style was used in different genres and by different writers. More

Interpretation of the Gospel of Luke: From Apostolic Times Through the 19th Century by Sean P. Kealy (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity: Edwin Mellen Press) The Interpretation of the Gospel of Luke In The 20th Century by Sean P. Kealy (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity: Edwin Mellen Press) is a long and-thorough compilation of various approaches of interpretation to the Gospel of Luke.  Kealy is liberal in his quotations of scholars in this field but light on drawing definitive conclusions of his own. More

Acts by Jaroslav Pelikan (Brazos Theological Commentary of the Bible: Brazos Press) This significant commentary kicks off the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series, which will eventually grow to a library of 40 volumes. Unlike other commentaries that are written mostly by biblical scholars, these books will be penned by theologians interested in what the Bible has to say about enduring theological questions; as series editor R.R. Reno puts it, the series "was born out of the conviction that dogma clarifies rather than obscures." Pelikan's contribution, for example, is less about the socioeconomic conditions that informed Paul's missionary journeys than it is about systematic theology, Christian doctrine and the formation of the early church. Pelikan asks big questions: what is sin? what were the earliest creeds? what is the nature of apostleship? He is sensitive to nuances of Greek but not obsessed by them. As such, this book will be helpful to preachers and, to a lesser extent, general readers who are sometimes flummoxed by more specialized and technical biblical commentaries. More

John by Gail R. O'Day, Susan E. Hylen (Westminster Bible Companion Westminster John Knox Press) The Gospel of John is one of the most beloved books in the Christian canon. Its stories and images have long captured the imaginations of Christians. Not only is it one of the most popular writings of the New Testament, but many aspects of its style and outlook are distinctive. In this clear, thorough, and accessible commentary on the Gospel of John, scholars Gail O’Day and Susan Hylen explore and explain the Gospel’s distinctive qualities. This accessible study of the Gospel of John is written for clergy and laypeople who wish to deepen their understanding of the Fourth Gospel. It is informed by the best contemporary scholarship on John but is free of obscure details and jargon.  More

The Gospel of John by Francis J. Moloney (Sacra Pagina: Liturgical Press) (Hardcover) The expression Sacra Pagina ("Sacred Page") originally referred to the text of Scripture. In the Middle Ages it also described the study of Scripture to which the interpreter brought the tools of grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, and philosophy. More

The Riddles of Jesus in John: A Study in Tradition and Folklore by Tom Thatcher (Society of Biblical Literature) At the end of his exhaustive study of Gospel Of John's tradition, C. H. Dodd confessed, “I do not at present see any way of identifying further traditional material in the Fourth Gospel, where comparison with the other gospels fails us, without giving undue weight to subjective impressions.” More

Revelation of St. John: The Path to Soul Initiation by Zachary F. Lansdowne (Red Wheel/Weiser) is a verse-by-verse guide toward unlocking the divine wisdom that is hidden within the pregnant symbolical language of the last book in the Christian Bible. The author, a Theosophist who is well read in the classics of Theosophy and the Alice Bailey Arcane School, as well as some of the best of metaphysical interpretations of a revelation, by Charles Fillmore, Joel Goldsmith,Yogananada, Krishnamuriti, Mabel Collins, Edgar Cayce, Frits Perls, Carl Jung, Charles Leadbeater, Helena Blavatsky, Rudolph Stiener, Sir Aurobindo and even seldom cited esoteric writers like James Pryse. It offers a synthetic and psychologically scintillating commentary into the levels of Soul Initiation represented by this universal dream of the Christian epoch. More

Ugaritic Narrative Poetry edited by Mark S. Smith, Edward L. Greenstein, Theodore J. Lewis, David Marcus, Simon B. Parker (Society of Biblical Literature) (Paperback) The Ugaritic narrative poems all come from the ancient city of Ugarit, which lies half a mile inland from the Syrian coast opposite the eastern tip of Cyprus. The city was discovered after a farmer's accidental exposure of an ancient tomb nearby in 1928 and has been excavated almost annually since 1929. The excavators have uncovered a large palace; an acropolis with two temples, the house of the high priest, and the house of a divination priest; and numerous other large and small buildings, both sacred and secu­lar. These all date from the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries B.C.E. The levels from this period lie closest to the surface, have been most extensively excavated, and have yielded several archives and libraries. The uninscribed and inscribed remains together disclose many aspects of the city's culture during the Late Bronze Age. More

The New Testament and Its Modern Interpreters edited by Eldon Jay Epp, George W. MacRae (Scholars Press) (Hardcover) This volume has been designed both to survey and to evaluate New Testament scholarship since World War II. In several respects this period of about forty years comprises one of several eras in NT studies that were extraordinarily productive both in quantity and quality of work and also in significance of results. Similarly productive periods surely are to be identi­fied around 1835-1840, when David Friedrich Strauss stirred up a world-wide debate on the historical Jesus and when the priority of Mark seemed secure; or around 1865, when the basic Two-Source theory of Synoptic origins seemed assured and C. Tischendorf was discovering or publishing some of the most important NT manuscripts; or around 1900, when the impressive scholarship of Adolf Harnack and the other learned "Old Lib­erals" set the modern standard for excellence in critical scholarship and at the same time misled two generations on the kingdom of God and the histor­ical Jesus, and when Johannes Weiss and Albert Schweitzer effected a revolution in NT scholarship on the latter issues; or around 1920, when Karl Barth's Epistle to the Romans (1918) had appeared and when the stage was set by Martin Dibelius and Rudolf Bultmann for the form-critical analyses of the NT, but especially by Barth and Bultmann for new theological/ hermeneutical approaches that were to have far-reaching influence in the post-World War II period and down to our own times; or, finally, around the mid-1930s—just before the war — when Rudolf Otto and C. H. Dodd em­phasized (and Dodd overemphasized) the reality of the present kingdom in the ministry of Jesus, and when the Chester Beatty papyri were published and brought new life to textual criticism. More

Magic in the Biblical World: From the Rod of Aaron to the Ring of Solomon edited by Todd Klutz (Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series: T. & T. Clark Publishers) (Hardcover) The category `magic', long used to signify an allegedly substantive type of activity distinguishable from `religion', has nearly been dismantled by recent theoretical developments in religious studies. While recognizing and at times reinforcing those developments, the essays in this collection show that there is still much to be learned about the cultural context of early Judaism and Christianity by analyzing ancient sources which either use `magic' as a label for deviant religiosity or valorize behavior of a broadly magicoreligious variety. Through sustained engagement with texts ranging from Exodus 7-9 and 18 to the Testament of Solomon and Sefer ha-Razim, this volume focuses on materials that challenge the familiar boundaries between miracle, magic and medicine; yet it also heightens awareness of the way unsuspecting use of a sick sign (e.g. `magic') can impede critical understanding of texts and their respective contexts of reception. More

Admonition And Curse: The Ancient Near Eastern Treaty/Covenant Form as a Problem in Inter-Cultural Relationships by Noel Weeks (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series: T. & T. Clark Publishers) In the history of scholarship focus changes from decade to decade. Topics become popular: topics fade from popularity. The reasons for such changes are complex and outside of the main interests of this work. What is significant is that they may fade from view before there has been a definitive resolution, or the resolution reached may be faulty. Yet who wants to return to an old, tired and exhausted topic? More

S/He Created Them: Feminist Retellings of Biblical Stories by Naomi Graetz (Gorgias Press) is a feminist retelling of biblical tales, the purpose of which is to make the Bible contemporaneous, relevant and religiously meaningful. The tales look at the intimate lives and thoughts of the characters who populate the Bible by retelling each story in contemporary language, sometimes adding dialogue and description, and at other times recovering and reinventing tales. Some of the stories deal with the typical feminine concerns of motherhood, barrenness, resentment about polygamy, the after-effects of being raped, the joys of shared gossip, the tribulations of the aging process, and the unique relationship of siblings. The stories also dwell on the tensions between relatives such as Isaac and Ishmael, Rachel and Leah, Sarah and Mrs. Lot, Miriam and her mother Yocheved.., The characters being portrayed are complete persons without being idealized, often petty and troublesome. More

Bible and Midrash: The Story of "the Wooing of Rebekah" (Gen. 24) by Lieve M. Teugels (Contributions to Biblical Exegesis and Theology, 35: Peeters) This two-part book traces the literary and historic study of the story of the 'Wooing of Rebekah' in the Hebrew Bible and its creative interpretations in Rabbinic Midrash. Part 1 treats such issues as the characterization of the narrative agents in the biblical story, the use of repetition as a narrative structuring device, and the question as to the roles of Rebekah and Isaac in this story as well as in the broader Isaac-Rebekah narratives. Part 2 follows several rabbinic interpretations of this story, dealing with, among other topics, the development of the motif of Rebekah's virginity in rabbinic «aggadah» and «halakha» as well as the reception of this theme in modern feminist studies of midrash. While treating these topics, this is at the same time a methodological inquiry into the dynamics of midrashic interpretation, treating rabbinic techniques such as 'gap-filling' and 'linkage', and its differences from modern biblical exegesis. More

The Saint John’s Bible (SJB) is a contemporary illustrated and calligraphic New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) Translation in seven large volumes. In addition there is an introduction to the project called Illuminating The Word: The Making of the Saint John's Bible by Christopher Calderhead, designed by Jerry Kelly (Liturgical Press) More

The MacArthur Bible Handbook: A Book-by-Book Exploration of God’s Word by John MacArthur (Nelson Reference) is the ultimate book-by-book survey of the Bible, including charts, graphs, and illustrations from today's leading expository teacher. It is a unique evangelical reference tool that is committed to quality and biblical teaching -- will help you easily understand each book of the Bible, its historical context, and its place in Scripture. More

The MacArthur Scripture Memory System by John MacArthur, (3 Audio CDs; CD-ROM. Booklet and Cards) (Nelson Reference) 52 of the Bible's greatest verses - and each one can be recalled just when you need it! More

Resurrection in the New Testament: Festschrift J. Lambrecht edited by Jan Lambrecht (Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium, 165: Peeters Publishing) In 1990 Professor Jan Lambrecht received the status of professor emeritus from the K.U. Leuven after having served as a member of the Department of Biblical Studies of the Faculty of Theology since 1969 and Dean of the Faculty since 1985. In 1991 he celebrated his 65th birth-day. To mark these two occasions, we invited his former and then cur-rent students to contribute to a modest Schiilerfestschrift in his honor. Their very positive response resulted in the publication in 1992 of "Sharper than a two-edged sword". Essays in Honor of Professor Dr. Jan Lambrecht S.J. in a special double issue of Louvain Studies. More

The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible edited by Bruce M. Metzger, and Michael D. Coogan (Oxford University Press) provides more than 300 authoritative articles that cover everyone from Adam and Eve to Jesus Christ and everywhere from the Garden of Eden to Golgotha and Gethsemane. The essays are concise and informative for a historically literate context for Bible reading. More

THE CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION edited by John Barton ($59.95, hardcover, Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 0521481449) PAPERBACK This book provides the first complete guide for students and pastors to the present state of biblical studies. It shows that there is no end to the varieties meanings being extracted from the traditional texts as new issues arise in Church and culture. The twenty-one specially commissioned chapters are written by established scholars from North America and Britain, and represent both traditional and contemporary points of view. More

The Critical Edition of Q: A Synopsis Including the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and Thomas With English, German, and French Translations of Q and Thomas edited by James McConkey Robinson, Paul Hoffmann, and John S. Kloppenborg (Fortress Press) represents an immense labor of scholarly conjectore and source criticism. For anyone who needs to consider the history of gospel texts a close reading of this reference is essential. More


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