The Old Testament as a Christian Bible Das Alte Testament als christliche Bibel in orthodoxer und westlicher Sicht edited by Herausgegeben von Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, James D.G. Dunn, Ulrich Luz und Ivan Dimitrov (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament: Mohr Siebeck)
This collection of German and English essays includes papers given at the
Second European Orthodox-Western Symposium of Biblical Scholars in
Contents: Das Alte Testament in der christlichen Tradition
Prosper Grech: Problems of O.T. Interpretation in the First Centuries - Christos Karakolis: Erwägungen zur Exegese des Alten Testaments bei den griechischen Kirchenvätern. Eine orthodoxe Sicht - Dmitri Bumazhnov: Zwei Fallstudien zur Exegese des Alten Testaments bei den Kirchenvätern:1. Die Auslegung der Jona-Geschichte in De resurrectione des hl. Methodius von Olympus - 2. Die Erschaffung des Menschen und ihre Implikationen in der koptischen Homilie des Ps.-Athanasius De anima et corpore - Anatoly Alexeev: The Old Testament Lections in Orthodox Worship - Vasile Mihoc: The Messianic Prophecies of the Old Testament. An Orthodox Perspective - Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr: Resümee der Diskussionen
Das Alte Testament im Neuen Testament und im antiken Judentum
Ivan Dimitrov: The Relationship Between the Old and the New Testament - Dieter Sänger: Das Alte Testament im Neuen Testament: Eine Problemskizze aus westlicher Sicht - Michael F. Mach: Der Tanach in der Rezeption des nachbiblischen Judentums - Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr: Resümee der Diskussionen
Der Kanon des Alten Testaments
R. W. L. Moberly: The Canon of the Old Testament: Some historical and hermeneutical Reflections from a Western Perspective - Petros Vassiliades: Canon and Authority of Scripture: An Orthodox Hermeneutical Perspective - Christoph Dohmen: Der Kanon des Alten Testaments. Eine westliche hermeneutische Perspektive - Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr: Resümee der Diskussionen
Messianische Texte und ihre christliche Interpretation
Frank-Lothar Hossfeld: Messianische Texte des Psalters. Ein Überblick mit hermeneutischen Konsequenzen - Dimitris Kaimakis: Der zweite Psalm. Eine orthodoxe Annäherung - Militiadis Konstantinou: Jesaja 11:1-9. Exegetische Einführung - Willem A. Beuken: The ‚Messianic' Character of Isaiah Ch. 11. East and West: Alien Perspectives? - Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr: Resümee der Diskussionen
Die Herausgeber: Das Alte Testament in der orthodoxen und der "westlichen" Bibelwissenschaft. Zum Stand und zu den Perspektiven des Gesprächs
The Storm-God in the Ancient Near East by Alberto R. W.Green (Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, 8.: Eisenbrauns) 1575060698. The appearance of Green's The Storm-God in the Ancient Near East is the latest offering in the Biblical and Judaic Studies series. This volume carries on the rigorous standards of scholarship for which the series is known. Offerings such as The Hebrew Bible and Its Interpreters, Studies in Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography, and Psalm 119. The Exaltation of Torah attest to the series' outstanding scholarship. The impetus for this work grew out of the conviction that materials related to the storm-god motif had not been properly integrated in their presentation. Green argues persuasively that prior to his work materials simply dealt with the mythic, iconographic, or literary evidence in a piecemeal fashion. Consequently, the author attempts both to survey and to integrate all relevant materials into a coherent presentation of the storm-god.
Green utilizes a critical methodology that exhibits a keen awareness of the sociocultural processes of ancient Near Eastern cultures. He attempts systematically to interpret the ideological and social significance of the storm-god motif. This interpretation follows a distinct two-stage process in each chapter. First, the author employs an integration of semidivine attendants of the storm-god utilizing both intercultural and intracultural analysis. This analysis is fundamental to Green's thesis of fluid and dynamic iconographic, textual, and mythic representation of the storm-god. It is through the amalgamation of attributes of the semidivine that the storm-god grows in the ancient Near East. Second, the author systematically surveys the storm-god utilizing a marked geographic pattern. The investigation progressively moves through Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Syria, and Canaan. In each venue the author explores both cultural and geographical aspects that influence the presentation of the storm-god.
Green is to be commended for clearly delineating the parameters of his research. For example, he shows marked attentiveness for not forcing epigraphic, iconographic, and textual materials to fit his presuppositions. When literary and iconographic materials are in agreement (such as in the Ur III period) the author provides comprehensive integration. However, when disunity exists within the sources (as in the Hittite literary and iconographic representations), plausible suggestions are given for the reader. The research is richly illustrated with seals and textual representation.
The first of four chapters is devoted to the representation of the storm-god within the region of Mesopotamia. Green begins his investigation by postulating the blending of Adad and Iskur. It is during the Ur III period that a subtle shift occurs between the fertilizing Iskur and the Semitic thunder-god Adad. This shift produces the mythic storm-god Iskur-Adad along with his attendant consorts: the bull and dragon. Green correctly postulates that both literary and iconographic evidence mirrors political and religious developments during the Ur III period. However, the gods Adad and Iskur continued to develop throughout the centuries in their respective cultures. For instance, the author notes that Adad continued to exhibit his benevolent side as a fertility god. It is only during the Old Babylonian period that his attendants (the bull and dragon) become permanently attached to his entourage. Likewise, the continual evolution of the mythic concept is seen in Green's description of Adad's embracement of fertility. The Old Babylonian period sees a complete blending of fertility concepts germane to Mesopotamia. The author argues that conceptual fertility (brought by showers) is blended with that of the animal kingdom—especially the association with the bull.
Significantly, the Mari material is briefly examined for its textual role in the representation of the storm-god. Green postulates that the deity Ilu-Mer/Itur-Mer functions as a storm-god alongside Addu/Adad as a patron deity. The three principal patron gods—Ilu-Mer/Itur-Mer, Adad, and Dagan—are representations of the storm-god motif at Mari. It is argued that, since all three gods had separate temples and various textual materials, indeed all three should be viewed as separate entities. Yet it is at this point that Green shows the brilliance of his work. Although one may postulate the separate storm-gods, the author correctly notes the blending of each god into a coherent discernible motif within the Mari context.
The second chapter deals with the storm-god motif within the context of Anatolia. At the outset one is plagued with a disunity of thought within the iconographic and textual sources. This disunity may be seen in the presentation of the storm-god's bull attendant, which Green correctly contrasts with the Mesopotamian accounts. Likewise, the Anatolian weather-god functions in a rather different context than Adad of Mesopotamia. In Mesopotamia the storm-god was identified with cloud riding and atmospheric disturbances. However, in the Hittite textual materials the storm-god is never identified with such celestial might. Rather, due to his early identification with the mother-goddess and her forms of fertility, he evolves in a different manner. The storm god of Hatti is often referred to as either dIM or with the Sumerian logogram dU. In either case, the Hittite storm-god is closely associated with the soil and earth. Green argues persuasively that the blending of Tam with Wurusemu cogently fused the terrestrial and sky gods for the Hittite pantheon.
In chapter 3 the author examines Hadad' s significance within the cultural sphere of Syria. According to Green, as early as the second millennium B.C.E. Hadad had already begun to assert himself as a potent atmospheric storm-god. One notes that while Hadad continually brought life-giving rains his role as a fertility god is rarely mentioned in either the literary or mythic contexts. In the Canaanite culture the Middle Bronze Age represents the time of blending for Hadad and Baal. At this point Green convincingly argues that physical elements, such as the lowering of the water table, help reshape the concept of deity. This factor leads to the fusing of Hadad's attributes with those of the latent Baal. Clearly, this ecological examination of the blending of deities is logically possible and even probable. The end of this chapter is devoted to the explanation of how El and Yam began to take subsidiary roles in the fertility myth. El is, in essence, pushed out of his role as chief fertility-god by the more aggressive Baal. Likewise, the attributes of Yam are subsumed by the newer storm-god in his effort to ensure Syrian fertility. Green subsequently probes the relationship between Baal and Mot in relation to the fertility cycle. He convincingly argues that Mot is the counterpart to a fertile Baal. It is postulated that without Mot, as a diametrical opposite, this theme would not have had a voice within the textual materials. Consequently, the reader is assured that fusion with Mot is not achieved due to his needed presence by Baal. If one may consider Baal's sphere equivalent to the wet season, Mot's sphere is to be understood as drought.
While Baal proved to be one of the most popular storm-gods in the ancient Near East, he was usurped by the warrior-god Yahweh. The third chapter deals with the emergence of the storm-god in the sphere of Canaanite culture. This portion of the book is quite remarkable in its presentation of both ancient Near Eastern and biblical materials. Green is both fair and sympathetic to the biblical materials yet does not eschew extrabiblical materials when they shed relevant light upon the subject. He hypothesizes that Baal and
Yahweh existed independently for some time and only later in the course of Israel's history became engaged in a titanic struggle. At the forefront of this struggle is 1 Kgs 18, with its martial depiction between Yahweh and Baal. One would expect the Deuteronomic Historian to cast Yahweh in a favorable light. However, Green clearly illustrates how the Historian began to fuse contemporary imagery and mythic language of the storm-god with Israel's national deity. Elements such as Yahweh's defeat of Yam-Suph, Leviathan, and Rahab all are illustrative of a blending of ideologies. Equally, traditional foes of Baal such as Mot and Reseph are dealt with decisively by Yahweh in a martial context. The biblical writers employ the divine habitation of Zion for Yahweh much like Baal's Zaphon. Green subsequently attempts to survey the Masoretic Text as well as toponyms to support the merging of Baal with Yahweh. While the Masoretic Text may have been purged of many "Baal" names, Canaanite geography tells a different story. The author argues that as early as the ninth century B.C.E. the division between Baal and Yahweh began to be emphasized by Israel's religious leaders. It is argued that Yahweh and Baal may be differentiated in three major ways. First, Yahweh was seen by his adherents as a historically evolving deity, unlike the cyclical Baal. Second, unlike the Canaanite Baal Yahweh was never understood as a dying and rising god. Yahweh appears throughout the biblical text as a historically anchored deity who moves through history with his people. Third, as the Creator of heaven and earth, Yahweh is seen as incomparably superior to Baal. This epithet is utilized by the biblical writers as a type of anti-Baal polemic in Israel's texts.
The final chapter synthesizes the storm-god and his associates within the Near Eastern context. Green proposes that the storm-god be understood in three principal areas of human concern. First, it is argued that the storm-god was an ever-present environmental force on which the peoples depended for their survival. Illustrative of this supposition is the dual image of the storm-god in the ancient Near East. Images of destruction (flood, lightning, and winds) are combined with the fertility of the storm. This dualism may be seen in the Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, and Canaanite pantheons. For example, Enlil may be seen as the archetype of the typical storm-god in the ancient Near East. He combines both the benevolent and malevolent characteristics of previous and subsequent storm-gods. At the core of the storm-god's characterization is the geography in which he is venerated. The geography played a major role in determining the way in which the storm-god was perceived. For instance, in the Middle and Upper Euphrates/Tigris region the storm-god was perceived as a fertilizing god sans violence. However, in Syria the god Hadad was understood in terms of lightning, peals of thunder, and destructive rainstorms. Second, Green argues that the storm-god provided the impetus for political stability in the ancient Near East. This idea may best be seen in the veneration of Adad from the Middle and Upper Euphrates. It was Adad who conceived the kings, established their thrones,
and armed them with his weapons. Clearly, the kings likened the roar of battle to that of the storm-god. Likewise, the storm-god functioned as the ideological underpinning of continued conquest and political domination. In contrast, Yahweh's power and political authority actually preceded his identification as a storm-god. Green aptly argues that Yahweh's power and authority was not embedded in the mythical framework but rather came from the historico-social action of the warrior band in southern Canaan. It is through a series of successful conquests that Yahweh becomes fused with the Canaanite god El. Gradually, according to Green, did the settlement bring synthesis to the adherent's conception of Yahweh. Lastly, the author argues that through the evolution of the storm-god's attendants we see the religious process. As an example one may look to Adad during the Old Babylonian period, noticing his associates. The bull, who had appeared only periodically, as well as the nude rain goddess now are seen as full-time companions. In the iconographic and textual materials the bull, dragon, and rain goddess each represent attributes of the storm-god in the religiohistorical process. Green argues persuasively that in addition to the anthropomorphic representations one should also consider cosmic elements such as wind, rain, flood, and lightning bolts as evolving symbols of the storm god. In comparison, Yahweh is presented in the biblical text as possessing elements of the storm-god, yet eschewing many facets of the nature deities. Yahweh's role is presented as not cyclical but within the historical and social sphere. In contrast to the divine attendants of the Near Eastern storm-gods, Yahweh is seen in his role as Creator, and thus the elements serve as his heavenly hosts. Green sums up Yahweh's threefold uniqueness as the Hebrew storm-god. First, he is seen as the only Creator god of all that is created. Second, Yahweh is portrayed as the god who acts in history rather than in a cyclical fashion. Third, Yahweh is the only god who is portrayed as a self-existing god, without the need of attendants.
Green's book is very well written, lucid in its comments and dynamic in its presentation. His methodology is to be commended for its ability to elucidate the reader via sociology, ideology, and geography. The approach combines divergent elements of the storm-god motif into a manageable coherent whole that is quite beneficial for the scholar. I am convinced that over time this work will take its place with notables such as Der Wettergott in Mesopotamien, Baal Zaphon, Zeus Kassios, and L 'iconographie du Dieu de l'orage. This work would make an excellent text for midlevel graduate studies in Near Eastern studies departments. From Joseph R Cathey, review of Alberto R. W. Green, The Storm-God in the Ancient Near East, Review of Biblical Literature http://www.bookreviews.org
Double Narratives in the Old Testament: The Foundations of Method in Biblical Criticism by Aulikki Nahkola (Beihefte Zur Zeitschrift Fur Die Alttestamentliche wissenschaft: Walter de Gruyter) Double narratives were first recognised as a potentially important phenomenon for the understanding of biblical composition in the seventeenth century. It was the observation that similar stories (such as David sparing Saul's life in 1 Sam. 24 and 26) were repeated in different books or different parts of the same book, or that there were differing reports of the same event (such as the two Creation accounts) that led early biblical critics, most prominently Spinoza, Simon and Astruc, to question the prevailing view of pentateuchal authorship and to formulate the rudiments of a documentary hypothesis of the Pentateuch. Since then double narratives have played a key role in the formation of every major approach to Old Testament criticism, and many of the minor ones. Double narratives remain as the single most controversial feature of the Old Testament text, yet one which to date has not been studied comprehensively as a phenomenon.
The purpose of this book is to investigate the role double narratives have had in the development of Old Testament criticism, especially in terms of how they have contributed to the formulation of critical methodology. What is of particular importance here is to identify the critical assumptions - mainly relating to how compositional processes are perceived - which have been attached to the doublets in the Old Testament, and to find a conceptual framework and a realm of scholarship within which these assumptions can be explored, even assessed to an extent for their validity. It will also be suggested here that crucial as double narratives have been for Old Testament criticism, the phenomenon remains inadequately defined, and therefore, I will argue, only partially understood. Establishing ways of comprehending the extent and complexity of the double narrative phenomenon is thus a priority for this present research.
These issues will be addressed in four chapters. Chapter 1 traces the role of double narratives in the rise and development of Old Testament criticism. As the nature and extent of the double narrative phenomenon in the Old Testament became better understood in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the theory of documents underlying the biblical traditions, first suggested by Astruc, was refined and elaborated on, until finally articulated by Graf and Wellhausen as the Four Document Hypothesis in the 1880's. In the ensuing attempt to establish the exact limits of the pentateuchal sources doublets came under intense scrutiny. This eventually led to a discovery of weakness in the use of duplication as a criterion for source division, stemming, at least with hindsight, from the lack of definition for the phenomenon: the more meticulously the criterion of duplication was enforced, the more the integrity of the four pentateuchal documents was undermined.
Partly because of the methodological crisis that followed - one that biblical criticism still has not totally resolved - but also because of the changing intellectual climate in which biblical scholarship was pursued, a new way of understanding double narratives arose and was formulated by Gunkel at the turn of the twentieth century as the form-critical and traditionhistorical hypothesis of the oral origin and transmission of the early Israelite traditions. Without apparent conflict most Old Testament scholars now seemed to be able to support two critical premises which, this book will argue, are largely incompatible: namely that, on the one hand, duplication in the biblical narrative indicates the presence of literary documents, on the other oral composition and transmission.
The dominance of the heterogeneous compositional models that had monopolized biblical criticism since its beginnings only finally came under attack in a comprehensive and sustained way in the mid-twentieth century, as literary-critical methods developed in the study of secular literature were applied by scholars, such as Robert Alter, to the biblical narrative and doublets were interpreted as indicators of literary artistry, arguing that biblical compositions were more unified than previously thought. Besides this "new" literary approach to biblical criticism other homogeneous ways for the interpretation of the doublet phenomenon were suggested, if more sporadically, by Umberto Cassuto's "theological-intention" model and Samuel Sandmel's model of inner-biblical midrash.
Although the survey of double narrative scholarship in chapter 1 reveals a basic division between approaches that juxtapose the origins of the double narrative phenomenon as either heterogeneous or homogeneous, it is of some significance that none of the critical approaches in question advocate a totally unified concept of biblical composition, but assume, or admit to, at least some amount of heterogeneity of authorship in relation to the presence of doublets in the biblical record.
Chapter 2 approaches the issue of critical methodology from the point of view of the identification of the conceptual models which are attached to double narratives by the main critical approaches and which underline their compositional hypotheses. Three main models are suggested, namely the "nature" model, the "historian", and the "literary artist", formative for the scholarship of Spinoza, Wellhausen and Alter, respectively. The assessment that is attempted in this chapter will be in terms of evaluating how each of the models reflects its wider intellectual framework and contemporary background: the rationalistic philosophy of Spinoza and the dawning scientific consciousness of the early Enlightenment, the nineteenth-century German historiography and literary critical scholarship of the time of Wellhausen, and the "Bible as literature" approach and modem poetics in the case of Alter and the new literary criticism. An intermediate model, the "archivist-historian", is proposed for the groundbreaking biblical critical work of Simon and Astmc during the heyday of the Enlightenment. What emerges uppermost from this chapter is the indebtedness of biblical criticism in general, and the models for the interpretation of double narratives in particular, to the intellectual context of Old Testament scholarship, and consequently the possibilities offered by, and the need for, interdisciplinary research in the pursuit of a clearer understanding of critical method.
The question of whether - and if so how - it might be possible to evaluate the validity of any of the claims supporting the notion that double narratives are indicators of compositional origins of biblical narrative, will be addressed in Chapter 3. The critical tenet that comes under scrutiny here is that "duplication indicates oral origin and transmission of biblical narrative", central to both form-critical and tradition-historical approaches. I will argue that in his formulation of this thesis Gunkel was indebted to, as well as pioneering in, contemporary folklore research, in which the historicalgeographical method was beginning to dominate. As folkloristics has in the past century become a major field of scholarship, the concepts of narrative orality held by Gunkel and many of his contemporaries will be assessed in terms of more recent advances in folklore scholarship. Of particular interest here are the so called "epic laws", which were brought to the attention of Old Testament scholars by Gunkel and which have remained one of the most contentious aspects of form-critical and tradition-historical research, debated most prominently in recent decades by Klaus Koch and John Van Seters. Having traced the roots of these laws and the circumstances in which they originated I will argue for the limited benefit of the use of either the "epic", or other oral or literary, laws in the study of biblical double narratives, not necessarily because of any intrinsic unsoundness in the concept of such laws, but because of the relative paucity of variants in the Old Testament, which undermines any serious application of these laws.
One of the main difficulties in the study of double narratives, whether in terms of methodology or as part of Old Testament literature in need of interpretation, is the lack of adequate terminology to address the phenome non, or even to comprehend its extent. While the terms "double narrative", "doublet" and "variant" are easily recognizable to anyone in the field of Old Testament scholarship, there are no universal definitions for the terms or even consensus on what actually constitutes the duplication indicated by them: the terms have been used as rather broad and overlapping labels for varying accounts of the presumed same event (Creation), strikingly similar accounts of what are portrayed as separate events (David sparing Saul's life), or the conflation of similar accounts (Flood). The aim of Chapter 4 is to demonstrate the complexity of the double narrative phenomenon in the Old Testament and to find ways of describing it which would do justice to its multifarious nature, without sacrificing continuity with how doublets have been historically dealt with in Old Testament scholarship. I will attempt to do this first of all by proposing a double narrative "chart", which illustrates the wide spectrum of the kinds of duplications that have been perceived as doublets in Old Testament scholarship, and suggests more finely differentiated terminology for the treatment of the phenomenon than has previously been the case.
Another area of particular interest in Chapter 4 is the interface between what have traditionally been categorized as literary, as opposed to textual, variants: that is, the question of what is needed to constitute a variant of one type or the other. This area will be investigated particularly with reference to the textual-critical work of Shemaryahu Talmon, which, this thesis will argue, suggests that there is a previously little studied overlap between what literary critics regard as double narratives and what in textual criticism have been classified as textual variants.
This book is not aiming to propose a new theory for the presence of double narratives in the Old Testament - although it does strongly suggest that a more satisfactory solution to the problem of doublets might be found, not in the exclusion of any of the existing approaches, but in a synthesis of them. The phrase "foundations of method in biblical criticism" in the title underlines the analytical nature of the current research. The purpose of this research is to contribute to the discussion of how biblical methodology is formulated, both by providing what I hope is a deeper understanding of how Old Testament methodology has developed in the past, in particular in relation to one of its central features, the double narratives, but also by promoting new debate in the area of how biblical criticism is indebted to conceptual models and its intellectual context. The positive contribution this work aims to make is thus first of all to suggest possible ways of assessing some of the tenets that have been most formative in the development of biblical methodology, such as that in the biblical narrative "duplication indicates sources", by considering them from the point of view of their intellectual history. In the case of the concept of double narratives as oral variants and the use of epic, or other oral/literary, laws to determine their relative originality, detailed assessment is actually attempted with the help of folkloristics and its development as a discipline.
Perhaps most specifically this book aims to make a contribution by proposing, as a first attempt, a more precise way of identifying the character of the double narrative phenomenon than has so far been the case, by means of a double narrative chart and accompanying terminology, intended to inject some methodological rigour into the discussion of the phenomenon. Similarly the recourse to the work of Talmon aims at calling attention to a previously uninvestigated possibility of widening the remit of double narrative studies: a potential interface between textual and literary criticism.
The phenomenon of double narratives is not confined to the Old Testament
alone and variants to Old Testament stories can be found elsewhere in ancient
Near Eastern corpora, as well as in later extra-biblical literature. Similarly,
it is generally recognized in biblical scholarship that a parallel phenomenon
exists in the New Testament in the form of the Synoptic Problem. Furthermore,
literatures as diverse as the Homeric or Finno-Ugric epics, Icelandic sagas,
Koran and the English novel have at times been seen as "parallel enough" to the
Old Testament to be resorted to as models for the understanding of its
phenomenon of doublets. While it has not been possible to address these issues
within this book, I hope to pursue them in a separate work, thus widening the
discussion to take into consideration these wider dimensions of the double
narrative question. Similarly, I have tended to avoid examining within the Old
Testament the material provided by the synoptic relationship of the books of
Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, as this has already been the subject of some
insert content here
insert content here