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Apocalyptic Ecology

The Book of Revelation, the Earth, and the Future

Micah D. Kiel

The author of the book of Revelation struggled, as we do today, to live out a Christian faith in the context of an empire that trampled and destroyed the earth and its creatures. In this book, Micah D. Kiel will look at how and why Revelation was written, along with how it has been interpreted across the centuries, to come to an understanding of its potential contribution to a modern environmental ethic. While the book of Revelation is replete with images of destruction of the earth, Kiel shows readers, through Revelation’s ancient context, a message of hope that calls for the care of and respect for the environment.

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Apocalyptic Paul

Cosmos and Anthropos in Romans 5-8

Beverly Roberts Gaventa

Romans 5-8 revolve around God’s dramatic cosmic activity and its implications for humanity and all of creation. Apocalyptic Paul measures the power of Paul’s rhetoric about the relationship of cosmic power to the Law, interpretations of righteousness and the self, and the link between grace and obedience. A revealing study of Paul’s understanding of humanity in light of God’s apocalyptic action through Jesus Christ, Apocalyptic Paul illuminates Romans 5-8 and shows how critical this neglected part of Romans was to Paul’s literary project.

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The Apocrypha

Fortress Commentary on the Bible Study Edition

by Gale A. Yee, Hugh R. Page Jr., and Matthew J. M. Coomber

This concise commentary on the Apocrypha, excerpted from the Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The Old Testament and Apocrypha, engages readers in the work of biblical interpretation. Contributors from a rich diversity of perspectives connect historical-critical analysis with sensitivity to current theological, cultural, and interpretive issues.

Introductory articles describe the challenges of reading the Old Testament in ancient and contemporary contexts, relating the biblical theme of “the people of God” to our complex, multicultural world, and reading the Old Testament as Christian Scripture, followed by an “Introduction to the Apocrypha.” Each chapter (Tobit through 4 Maccabees) includes an introduction and commentary on the text through the lenses of three critical questions: The Text in Its Ancient Context; The Text in the Interpretive Tradition and The Text in Contemporary Discussion.

The Apocypha introduces fresh perspectives and draws students, as well as preachers and interested readers, into the challenging work of interpretation.

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An Apocryphal God

Beyond Divine Maturity

by Mark McEntire

In Portraits of a Mature God, Mark McEntire traced the narrative development of the divine character in the Old Testament, placing the God portrayed at the end of that long story at the center of theological discussion. He showed that Israel’s understanding of God had developed into a complex, multipurpose being who could work within a new reality, a world that included a semiautonomous province of Yehud and a burgeoning Mesopotamian-Mediterranean world in which the Jewish people lived and moved in a growing diversity of ways. Now, McEntire continues that story beyond the narrative end of the Hebrew Bible as Israel and Israel’s God moved into the Hellenistic world. The “narrative” McEntire perceives in the apocryphal literature describes a God protecting and guiding the scattered and persecuted, a God responding to suffering in revolt, and a God disclosing mysteries, yet also hidden in the symbolism of dreams and visions. McEntire here provides a coherent and compelling account of theological perspectives in the apocryphal writings and beyond.

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The Apostolic Tradition

A Commentary

by Paul F. Bradshaw, Maxwell E. Johnson, and L. Edward Phillips

"The anonymous early church order that became known as the Apostolic Tradition and conventionally attributed to Hippolytus of Rome has generated enormous scholarly discussion since its discovery in the nineteenth century. Surprisingly, however, there has never before been a comprehensive commentary on it such as there is for other patristic works. We have here attempted to remedy this defect, and at the same time we have offered the first full synoptic presentation in English of the various witnesses to its text. We have also taken the opportunity to develop our argument that it is neither the work of Hippolytus nor of any other individual. Instead, we believe that it is a composite document made up of a number of layers and strands of diverse provenance and compiled over a period of time, and therefore not representing the practice of any one Christian community." — from the Preface

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Archaeology and the Old Testament

James B. Pritchard

Archaeology is a science in which progress can be measured by the advances made backward into the past. The last one hundred years of archaeology have added a score of centuries to the story of the growth of our cultural and religious heritage, as the ancient world has been recovered from the sands and caves of the modern Near East-Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. Measured by the number of centuries which have been annexed to man's history in a relatively few years, progress has been truly phenomenal. This book deals with the recent advance and with those pioneers to the past who made it possible. Interest in biblical history has played an important part in this recovery. Names such as Babylon, Nineveh, Jericho, Jerusalem, and others prominent on the pages of the Bible, have gripped the popular imagination and worked like magic to gain support for excavations.

This book is written from the widely shared conviction that the discovery of the ancient Near East has shed significant light on the Bible. Indeed, the newly-discovered ancient world has effected a revolution in the understanding of the Bible, its people, and their history. My purpose is to assess, in non-technical language which the layman can understand, the kind of change in viewing the biblical past which archaeology has brought about in the last century. Since the text of the Bible has remained constant over this period, it is obvious that any new light on its meaning must provide a better perspective for seeing the events which it describes. In short, I am concerned with the question, How has history as written in the Bible been changed, enlarged, or substantiated by the past century of the archaeological work?--from the Preface

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Ascent into Heaven in Luke-Acts

New Explorations of Luke's Narrative Hinge

edited by David K. Bryan and David W. Pao

In comparison with other aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry, his ascent into heaven has often been overlooked within the history of the church. However, considering its placement at the end of the Gospel and the beginning of Acts—the only narrative depictions of the event in the New Testament—the importance of Jesus’ ascent into heaven is undeniable for Luke’s two-volume work. While select studies have focused on particular aspects of these accounts for Luke’s story, the importance of the ascension calls for renewed attention to the narratological and theological significance of these accounts within their historical and literary contexts. In this volume, leading scholars discuss the ascension narratives within the ancient contexts of biblical, Second Temple Jewish, and Greco-Roman literature; the literary contours of Luke-Acts; and questions of historical and theological significance in the wider milieu of New Testament theology and early Christian historiography. The volume sets out new positions and directions for the next generations of interpreters regarding one of the most important and unique elements of the Lukan writings.

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Atlas of Christian History

by Tim Dowley

A new atlas of Christian history has been needed for many years. Now, Fortress Press is pleased to offer the Atlas of Christian History from acclaimed author and editor Tim Dowley.

The Atlas of Christian History is built new from the ground up. Featuring more than fifty new maps, graphics, and timelines, the atlas is a necessary companion to any study of Christian history. Concise, helpful text, written by acknowledged authorities, guide the experience and interpret the visuals. Consciously written for students at any level, the volume is perfect for independent students, as well as those in structured courses.

The atlas is broken into five primary parts that correspond well to most major introductions to the topic. The final section on the modern era pays significant attention to the growth of Christianity as a global religion. Extensive maps are provided that illuminate Christianity in Asian, African, and Latin American contexts.

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The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History

Locating a Tradition in Ancient Israel

by Brian Neil Peterson

Peterson engages one of the most enduring controversies in current critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, the identities and provenances of the authors of the various “editions” of the Deuteronomistic History. Critically reviewing the presuppositions of scholars reaching back to Martin Noth, and using careful analysis of motif and characterization at each redactional level in each book of the Deuteronomistic History, Peterson asks where we might locate a figure with both motive and opportunity to draw up a proto-narrative including elements of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and the first part of 1 Kings.

Posing his questions in the form of a “Whodunit?” Peterson identifies a particular candidate in the time of David who had both knowledge and a theological and political agenda, qualified to write the first edition. He then extends the method to identify the particular circle who became the custodians of the Deuteronomistic narrative and supplies successive redactions, informed by the original formative vision, down to the time of Jeremiah. Careful argumentation yields surprising results at each stage.

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Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah

Marie-Theres Wacker

Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah are among the so-called deuterocanonical books of the Bible, part of the larger Catholic biblical canon. Except for a short article in the Women’s Bible Commentary, no detailed or comprehensive feminist commentary on these books is available so far. Marie-Theres Wacker reads both books with an approach that is sensitive to gender and identity issues. The book of Baruch—with its reflections on guilt of the fathers, with its transformation of wisdom into the Book of God’s commandments, and with its strong symbol of mother and queen Jerusalem—offers a new and creative digest of Torah, writings, and prophets but seems to address primarily learned men. The so-called Letter of Jeremiah is an impressive document that unmasks pseudo-deities but at the same draws sharp lines between the group’s identity and the “others,” using women of the “others” as boundary markers. From the Wisdom Commentary series Feminist biblical interpretation has reached a level of maturity that now makes possible a commentary series on every book of the Bible. It is our hope that Wisdom Commentary, by making the best of current feminist biblical scholarship available in an accessible format to ministers, preachers, teachers, scholars, and students, will aid all readers in their advancement toward God’s vision of dignity, equality, and justice for all. The aim of this commentary is to provide feminist interpretation of Scripture in serious, scholarly engagement with the whole text, not only those texts that explicitly mention women. A central concern is the world in front of the text, that is, how the text is heard and appropriated by women. At the same time, this commentary aims to be faithful to the ancient text, to explicate the world behind the text, where appropriate, and not impose contemporary questions onto the ancient texts. The commentary addresses not only issues of gender (which are primary in this project) but also those of power, authority, ethnicity, racism, and classism, which all intersect. Each volume incorporates diverse voices and differing interpretations from different parts of the world, showing the importance of social location in the process of interpretation and that there is no single definitive feminist interpretation of a text.

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