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New Reviews in The Review of Biblical Literature – June 24, 2008

Posted by NT Wrong on June 24, 2008

There’s some interesting reviews in the latest Review of Biblical Literature:

Gregory W. Dawes, Introduction to the Bible, New Collegeville Bible Commentary (2007)

Do you ever get asked, by a general non-specialist reader of the Bible, for an introduction to the Bible that you would recommend to them? Faced with a choice of thrusting a lengthy JJ Collins Intro on them, or the like (which would be too long, and will drown their enthusiasm), or some shorter work (which they will read, but which you cringe about), the question can be a problem. But now Gregory Dawes’ 80-page introduction to the Bible provides a robust and thoroughly readable book that will stimulate beginners while not shirking the deeper issues involved. This book is perfect for its target audience! From the book’s own blurb: “To rescue Bible readers and students from turning their initial enthusiasm into boredom, Gregory Dawes gives us this Introduction to the Bible, the indispensable prologue to the entire series of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary. Dividing the contents into two parts, the author first describes how the Old and New Testaments came to be put together, and then explores how their stories have been interpreted over the centuries.”

Maria Gorea, Job: ses précurseurs et ses épigones ou comment faire du nouveau avec de l’ancien

Gorea explores the complex relationship between other ancient Near Eastern traditions about the just sufferer and the book of Job. Crenshaw likes it very much, considering it does a fine job of setting out the issues, engaging mainly with the primary texts rather than the secondary literature: “For me, this book was a pleasure to read. Every student of the biblical Job should keep it close at hand, for it beautifully traces a compelling philosophical theme through three millennia.”

Cheng, Jack and Marian Feldman, editors, Ancient Near Eastern Art in Context: Studies in Honor of Irene J. Winter by Her Students. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, 26 (2007)

Contains 21 essays from 20 authors, in honour of Irene Winter.
– Cheng and Feldman provide 3 introductory chapters
– I Ziffer on crowns from Nahal Mishmar
– Ö Harmansah on orthostats in MB, LB, IA
– S Reed on the depiction of enemies in Assyrian art, esp Ashurbanipal’s relief
– A Shaffer on the ideology of Assyrian royal monuments at the periphery
– T Ornan on the increasingly godlike imagery for Sennacherib
– E Denel on how IA Charchemesh reliefs reinforced the status of rulers
– T Tanyeri-Erdemir on the relation between Uraritian temple architecture and royal ideology
– J Aker on hierarchical portrayal of workers in Ashurbanipal’s lion hunt relief
– M Feldman on the Mesopotamian roots of Darius I’s ‘heroizing’ style
– M Atac on Akkadian ‘divine radiance’ (mellamu), with parallels from Greece
– C Suter on how to detect high priestesses in Mesopotamia
– T Sharlach on how to identify an archive of texts as belonging to a woman
– J Assante on Middle Assyrian pornographic depictions of foreigners
– A Cohen on barley in Mesopotamia
– A Winitzer on melilot (Deut 23.26) as “eating one’s fill”, not the usual “grain of wheat”
– J Cheng on objects (vases, etc) which depict themselves
– A Gansell on bridal adornments in ancient Mesopotamia and modern Syria
– B Studevent-Hickman on the 90-degree rotation of the cuneiform script

Maeir considers, all up, their quality is such that they provide a fitting tribute to Winter.

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