Scholarship is always changing the past.
Narratives of Genesis are tied up with historical places that carried specific meanings we will miss without some background on those ancient places.
Paul Kriwaczek. Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2010)
Contenau, Georges. Everyday Life in Babylon and Assyria (NY: The Norton Library, 1966).
Babylon is a surprisingly multivalent symbol in U.S. culture and politics. Erin Runions devotes 300 pages to unpacking…
Oft-cited “biblical, historical, literary, and theological masterpiece” exploring the Babylonian Captivity through bible and history.
Stowe explores Psalm 137 in three parts: History (“…there we sat and wept…”), Memory (“If I forget thee, Jerusalem…”), and Forgetting (“O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed…”) with a strong emphasis on the psalm in music and popular culture.
“Israel’s earliest responses to earth-shaking changes were cast in the powerfully expressive language of poetry…”
The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship. Jewish Studies in the Twenty-First Century. Greenspan, Frederick E., ed. (NY: NYU Press, 2008) “There has been a veritable revolution, and possibly more than one, in biblical studies over the past generation….questions have led to a dramatic reexamination of the very nature of the biblical account, including both … Continue reading The Hebrew Bible (Greenspan)
Tanakh: An Owner’s Manual: Authorship, Canonization, Masoretic Text, Exegesis, Modern Scholarship, and Pedagogy. Moshe Sokolow. (NY: Ktav, 2015). Moshe Sokolow, a professor at Yeshiva University, is unapologetic in focusing solely on orthodox scholarship. He mentions the Documentary Hypothesis only in order to explain why and how orthodox scholars responded to it. Nehama Leibowitz stands out … Continue reading Tanakh: An Owner’s Manual
In 1973, Charles Shelby Rooks floated the “untested suggestion about a possible new image” for Black Theology: that of an African Diaspora based on the Biblical story of the Babylonian Exile and the final Jewish Diaspora. It is to the end of the Biblical history of Israel that black America must look rather than to … Continue reading Diaspora Model and Black Theology
Oriental Institute sponsors excavations and surveys, operates a museum, publishes many resources, and shares materials on-line.
Many factors influence how we read any document, including — perhaps, especially — the Bible. Spending some time exploring factors that influence our own reading is an important and useful exercise. The complex, multi-faith territory of #ExploringBabylon is just one area in which a good grasp of one’s own filters can be clarifying. Here are … Continue reading Bible Readers’ Inventories