The Facebook group “Don’t Shut down Biblical Studies at Sheffield” has reported to its 1100+ members that “[t]he Biblical Studies Department is essentially back from the dead.”
Jim West has the university’s memo to this effect posted on his blog.
The fall issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature is due to be released shortly. This issue includes:
Jewish Scriptures and Cognate Studies
The fall issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society arrived in the mail yesterday and includes the following:
Biblical studies students at Sheffield apparently now have some good news. According to Christianity Today,
Following student protests, the University of Sheffield in England decided to not close the department of biblical studies. A review by the pro-vice-chancellor had recommended shutting down the department down after current and 2009-2010 students completed their degrees, citing the loss of staff and declining student demand. At 8 a.m. today, 1,064 members had joined the Facebook group “Don’t shut down Biblical Studies at Sheffield” and a website was created to send the vice chancellor petition letters, several of which were posted on the website. . . . “The number of [student] entries last year were capped at eight, but this year’s graduates and level three students represent all-time high figures,” Hurrell said in an e-mail. “While five senior lecturers have left over the last 2 years, the university has not allowed the department permanent staff to replace them for a variety of reasons.” The university senate was supposed to vote on the department’s future on October 7, but after students heard through the students’ union and protested, the decision was postponed. . . . Taylor said that the the faculty will draw up plans for the department, including new staff appointments.
HT: Jim West
In working through some bibliography recently for a conference paper proposal about מורה הצדק (the teacher of righteousness), I came across the following:
Der Lehrer [der Gerechtigkeit] ist von Gott autorisiert, die Geheimnisse der Prophetenworte zu enträtseln, denn die Worte der Propheten sind Geheimnisse (רזים [pHab] 7,5), die man ohne Auslegung des Lehrers nicht verstehen kann. Der Lehrer tritt also mit seiner Verkündigung nicht neben die Schrift, sondern er basiert auf der Schrift. Er allein hat von Gott das rechte Verständnis offenbart bekommen. Darum kann er und mit ihm seine Gemeinde nach dem Willen Gottes leben (Jeremias 141).
The teacher unlocked prophetic meaning in the community’s scriptures, and the community depended precisely on this insight to learn the proper practice(s) to which they were called through the prophets.
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Concerning interpreters’ obligation to look beyond themselves, Hans-Georg Gadamer observes the following:
We are always affected, in hope and fear, by what is nearest to us, and hence we approach the testimony of the past under its influence. Thus it is constantly necessary to guard against overhastily assimilating the past to our own expectations of meaning. Only then can we listen to tradition in a way that permits it to make its own meaning heard (Gadamer 304).
Thus, Gadamer advises interpreters always to seek to put themselves into the position of the other person(s) whom these interpreters wish to understand. For, by so doing, interpreters may begin, albeit imperfectly, to look beyond themselves “not in order to look away from [what is near] but to see it better, within a larger whole and in truer proportion” (Gadamer 304).
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In Thomas Kuhn’s analysis, new paradigms attract adherents from older alternatives by producing sufficiently unprecedented achievements, but these new paradigms still leave work to be done because of the new problems that they create or the new issues they suggest (Kuhn 10, 17–18, 80). Yet, the community that accepts a given paradigm implicitly judges the problems that the paradigm introduces to be less severe than those that it resolves (Kuhn 23).
Paradigms define specific, scientific communities, and young scientists gain entrance into a mature scientific community by learning to operate within that community’s paradigm (Kuhn 10–11). Conversely, those who refuse to accept a paradigm in ascendancy in a given field may be excluded from that field’s discourse (Kuhn 19, 104). Thus, a paradigm forms its adherents and their work into a relatively cohesive, identifiable tradition of “normal science” within which individuals rarely disagree over their paradigm’s fundamental attributes (Kuhn 11).
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Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (DJD), volume 32, has two codices. According to Oxford University Press:
DJD XXXII presents the first full critical edition of the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) and the Hebrew University Isaiah Scroll (1QIsab) in the style of the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series. That is, whereas the photographs and transcriptions have been available since the 1950s, this volume provides a fresh transcription of all the known fragments, notes clarifying readings that are problematic either physically or palaeographically, and the first comprehensive catalogue of the textual variants.
Part 1 contains the photographic plates (1QIsaa in colour) with the transcriptions on facing pages for easy comparison. Part 2 contains the introduction, notes, and the catalogue of variants; the introduction narrates the discovery, purchase, and early publication of these two manuscripts, which are part of the earliest discoveries and among the most significant biblical scrolls.
- The final volume to publish in the prestigious Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series, bringing the collection of forty volumes to completion.
- The Isaiah scrolls of Qumran Cave 1 are crucial to a range of disciplines; Jewish Studies, Biblical Studies, Early Christian Studies, and Ancient History.
- Arranged in a two part set to allow the reader to simultaneously consult the photographic plates, transcriptions and corresponding notes and textual variants.
- Presents the 1QIsaa scroll in full colour plates and the 1QIsab in full page black and white plates with facing page transcriptions.
- The general introduction includes information on the history and discovery of the scrolls and the photographic methods used in capturing the plates.
- The scroll introductions include detailed discussion of the physical description, palaeography and dating, scribes, grammatical profiling, othography and textual character of the manuscripts.
The latest reviews from the Review of Biblical Literature include the following:
New Testament and Cognate Studies