Latest in the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

Some new articles and book reviews have been uploaded to the Journal of Hebrew Scriptures. The following article has been added:

William K. Gilders, “Why Does Eleazar Sprinkle the Red Cow Blood? Making Sense of a Biblical Ritual,” Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, Volume 6: Article 9 (2006).

Numbers 19:1-10 is a prescriptive ritual text concerned with the preparation of the ashes of a burnt “red cow� to be used to counteract the impurity caused by exposure to a human corpse. Like many other biblical ritual texts, this one is relatively rich in details on ritual practice, but offers little that might be termed “interpretation� of the various ritual actions. In response to this conceptual gap, various attempts have been made to specify the “meaning(s)� of the actions and objects. Giving special attention to the blood manipulation component of the ritual complex (Num 19:4), this paper explores a variety of theoretical questions about the interpretation of ritual activity represented in biblical ritual texts. It highlights the significance of the textuality of our access to biblical ritual, the need to fill gaps while interpreting biblical ritual texts, and points to the value of considering the indexical qualities of ritual actions.

In addition, the following reviews have been added:

  • Tsumura, David Toshio, Creation and Destruction: A Reappraisal of the Chaoskampf Theory in the Old Testament (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2005). Review by Karljürgen G. Feuerherm.
  • Rabin, Eliott, Understanding the Hebrew Bible: A Reader’s Guide (Jersey City, NJ: KTAV Publishing House, 2006) Review by Shaul Bar.
  • Perry, T. A., The Honeymoon Is Over: Jonah’s Argument with God (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006). Review by Barbara Green.
  • Klein, Ralph W., 1 Chronicles: A Commentary (Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006). Review by Steven L. McKenzie.
  • Brettler. Marc Zvi, How to Read the Bible (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 2005). Review by Alex Jassen.
  • Ben Zvi, Ehud, Hosea (The Forms of the Old Testament Literature, 21A/I; Grand Rapids/Cambridge, UK: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005). Review by Yair Hoffman.

Noteworthy are the reviews of Klein’s Hermeneia commentary on 1 Chronicles by McKenzie (a commentary which I would highly recommend), as well as Hoffman’s very lively review of Ehud Ben Zvi’s commentary on Hosea. In addition, the review of Brettler’s recent book (which is really more of an introduction to the Hebrew Bible than the title suggests), has piqued my interest. It looks like it is worth a read.

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