The latest Review of Biblical Literature edition is up on the RBL blog (http://rblnewsletter.blogspot.com/):
As is the custom here at the Thinking Shop, I award three of the reviewed books the venerable LOLCAT AWARD for being relevant to my interests.
Yes, indeed, the three books that I most want my university to buy for its library gets a custom made lolcat!
What could be a higher honor?
(The awards go for the content of the book, not how good the reviewer thought it was). So, who are the lucky three this time around?
Billie Jean Collins
The Hittites and Their World
Reviewed by Dirk Paul Mielke
Description: Lost to history for millennia, the Hittites have regained their position among the great civilizations of the Late Bronze Age Near East, thanks to a century of archaeological discovery and philological investigation. The Hittites and Their World provides a concise, current, and engaging introduction to the history, society, and religion of this Anatolian empire, taking the reader from its beginnings in the period of the Assyrian Colonies in the nineteenth century B.C.E. to the eclipse of the Neo-Hittite cities at the end of the eighth century B.C.E. The numerous analogues with the biblical world featured throughout the volume together represent a comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the varied and signicant contributions of Hittite studies to biblical interpretation.
Sin at Sinai: Early Judaism Encounters Exodus 32
Reviewed by James N. Rhodes
Description: Sin at Sinai is a study in the interpretive life of the biblical drama played out around the golden calf at the foot of Mount Sinai. In the course of the history of post-biblical Jewish reception the episode – which may not be the climax of the entire pentateuchal story, but due to its narrative setting is at the core of the Covenant theology – rises into a position of a central junction. It troubles authors and sages of post-biblical Judaism throughout the centuries: a controversial incident, a portrait of an archetypal rebellion, which compels the commentators to seek the truth beyond obscure words and turns of the intrigue. This study illuminates the questions of how early Judaism rewrites the story, how it reacts to it, and why it does so in the way it does. The book sheds new light over the controversies inside Judaism as well as between it and the gentile world. It also contributes to an increased understanding of the Jewish-Christian controversy during the first centuries.
Nicola Laneri, ed.
Performing Death: Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean
Reviewed by Aren Maeir
Description: This volume represents a collection of contributions presented by the authors during the Second Annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Seminar “Performing Death: Social Analyses of Funerary Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean,” held at the Oriental Institute, February 17-18, 2006. The principal aim of the two-day seminar was to interpret the social relevance resulting from the enactment of funerary rituals within the broad-reaching Mediterranean basin from prehistoric periods to the Roman age. Efforts were concentrated on creating a panel composed of scholars with diverse backgrounds — anthropologists, historians, archaeologists, art historians, and philologists — and the knowledge and expertise to enrich the discussion through the presentation of case-studies linked to both textual and archaeological evidences from the Mediterranean region. Fundamental to the successful realization of this research process was the active dialogue between scholars of different backgrounds. These communicative exchanges provided the opportunity to integrate different approaches and interpretations concerning the role played by the performance of ancient funerary rituals within a given society and, as a result, helped in defining a coherent outcome towards the interpretation of ancient communities’ behaviors.
The Runners Up:
We Have Heard That God Is with You: Preaching the Old Testament
Reviewed by Jordan M. Scheetz
The Church’s Guide for Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus
Reviewed by Paul E. Trainor
Pistis and the Righteous One: A Study of Romans 1:17 against the Background of Scripture and Second Temple Jewish Literature
Reviewed by Lars Kierspel
Der Herr der Träume: Eine Studie zur Funktion des Traumes in der Josefsgeschichte der Hebräischen Bibel
Reviewed by Bart J. Koet
The Three Gospels: New Testament History Introduced by the Synoptic Problem
Reviewed by Pheme Perkins
The Conclusion of Luke-Acts: The Significance of Acts 28:16-31
Reviewed by Deborah Thompson Prince
Huub van de Sandt and Jürgen Zangenberg, eds.
Matthew, James, and Didache: Three Related Documents in Their Jewish and Christian Settings
Reviewed by William Varner
Das Buch Jeremia: Kapitel 1-20
Reviewed by Wilhelm J. Wessels
Herman J. Selderhuis
Calvin’s Theology of the Psalms
Reviewed by Randall McKinion
At Home in a Strange Land: Using the Old Testament in Christian Ethics
Reviewed by Andrew Davies
Reviewed by Joel F. Williams
One Lord, One People: The Unity of the Church in Acts in Its Literary Setting
Reviewed by Bobby Kelly