Posted on November 8, 2009 at 10:44 am by Dr. Jim
Yup, its that time again!
The three books reviewed in the latest edition of Review of Biblical Literature most relevant to my interests each win a coveted (oooo, unbiblical!) custom made Lolcat!
The Review of Biblical Literature is a publication of the Society of Biblical Literature (http://www.sbl-site.org).
Of course, I have no idea whether any of the winning authors are actually pleased to have won this award (or even know about it), or whether those who haven’t won one are saying to themselves “Whew… I got away with my credibility intact!”, but so what? Here are the winners this time around!
The relationship between theology and film has always been a complicated one. When film was invented at the end of the nineteenth century, it quickly gained its place in popular culture, far from the orthodoxies of the scholarly world and of the Church. For the better part of the twentieth century popular cinema was considered off limits for serious studies of Bible and culture. Recently, however, there has been a growing understanding of how the Bible is being used in popular culture—not as a historical document or as an authoritative canon, but as part of the cultural intertext. Cinema is a vivid example of the role and impact of the Bible in contemporary society. In this well-theorized collection of essays the issue is treated from several angles. Using the methodology of theology, the question of the alleged escapism of popular cinema is explored. Using the methodology of media studies, the impact of the media on religious communication is analysed. And, using the methodology of religious studies, the influence of the cinema in the creation of new religions, religious behaviour and religious institutions is investigated. In addition, the book offers fruitful analyses of the cinematic use of biblical themes such as Eden, salvation, Mary Magdalene and Jesus—as well as of the cinematic application of ethical themes such as truth-telling, personal growth, suffering, the accomplishment of good and the creating of meaning for human beings.
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Way Metaphors and Way Topics in Isaiah 40-55
Reviewed by James M. Kennedy
Øystein Lund gives a new approach to texts in Isaiah 40-55 that deal with ways and desert transformation. Earlier exegesis has mainly read these texts in a literal way. In recent years, exegetes have pointed out that the so-called ‘exodus texts’ should rather be interpreted metaphorically. The author supports this, and accordingly seeks to continue this discourse by systematizing, intensifying, and deepening the argumentation for a metaphorical reading. He argues that most of the way-texts in Isaiah 40-55 are interrelated, and gradually contribute to explore questions regarding the way-situation of the people. The way-theme appears in the prologue, and in 40:27 a problem approach is established when the people is addressed: “How can you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right passes by my God’”? Several subsequent way-texts are related to this text, and together these draw a coherent picture in which the problematic way-situation of the people in the past and present is transformed. JHWH establishes new ways in which he leads his people through their difficult landscape. Øystein Lund argues that such a coherent reading of the way-texts gives good meaning, which is consistent with the over all message of Isaiah 40-55.
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The authors seek to identify the recurrent tensions, the blatant points of emphasis, the recurring indications of conflict and polemic. Framing the issue of the disposition of the Scriptural heritage in broad terms, they describe what characterizes the Gospels and the Mishnah, the letters of Paul and the Tosefta. In other words, if they take whole and complete the writings of first and second century people claiming to form the contemporary embodiment of Scripture’s Israel and ask what they all stress as a single point of insistence, the answer is self-evident. Nearly every Christianity and nearly all known Judaisms appeal for validation to the Scriptures of ancient Israel, their laws and narratives, their prophecies and visions. To Scripture all parties appeal — but not to the same verses of Scripture. In Scripture, all participants to the common Israelite culture propose to find validation — but not to a common theological program subject to diverse interpretation. From Scripture, every community of Judaism and Christianity takes away what it will, but not with the assent of all the others.
The Runners Ups!
Who win a collective consolation prize this time around, just because that is the kind of guy I am!
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Jason S. DeRouchie
A Call to Covenant Love: Text Grammar and Literary Structure in Deuteronomy 5-11
Reviewed by Max Rogland
Larry R. Helyer
The Witness of Jesus, Paul and John: An Exploration in Biblical Theology
Reviewed by William Wilson
Richard S. Hess, Gerald A. Klingbeil, and Paul J. Ray Jr., eds.
Critical Issues in Early Israelite History
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer
Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton
A Survey of the Old Testament
Reviewed by William Barrick
Neil R. Parker
The Marcan Portrayal of the “Jewish” Unbeliever: A Function of the Marcan References to Jewish Scripture: The Theological Basis of a Literary Construct
Reviewed by Adam Winn
Daniel Patte, ed.
Global Bible Commentary
Reviewed by Gerrie Snyman
Robert M. Price
Jesus Is Dead
Reviewed by Tony Costa
Émile Puech, ed.
Qumran Grotte 4.XXVII: Textes Araméens, deuxième partie
Reviewed by Aaron Rubin
Paul A. Rainbow
The Pith of the Apocalypse: Essential Message and Principles for Interpretation
Reviewed by Tobias Nicklas
Jacqueline C. R. de Roo
Works of the Law at Qumran and in Paul
Reviewed by Jörg Frey
Genesis: Ein kritischer und theologischer Kommentar 4. Teilband: Gen 37,1-50,26
Reviewed by Mark Elliott
Job and the Disruption of Identity: Reading Beyond Barth
Reviewed by Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton