Discoveries of thousands of scroll fragments in remote caves along the western shore of the Dead Sea have provided new evidence with which to search for the origins of the text of the Hebrew Bible. In “New Directions in Dead Sea Scroll Research,” Frank Moore Cross relates his theory of textual families to explain the variant forms of biblical texts transfound at Qumran. Cross notes that by the first century A.D., the confusion of text types sub-sided, suggesting that some authority had decided on which texts would be accepted and which rejected. Cross identifies the great sage Hillel as the most likely candidate for this authority.
Hancock Professor of Hebrew and other Oriental Languages at Harvard University, Cross has been a member of the International Committee for Editing Dead Sea Scrolls since 1953. He wrote “The Historical Importance of the Samaria Papyri,” BAR 04:01. A past president of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Schools of Oriental Research and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Bible Review, Cross has written several books, including The Ancient Library at Qumran. His article in this issue is the first of a two-part series that will continue in the next issue of Bible Review.
The apostle Paul traveled extensively throughout the Roman Empire to spread the teachings of Jesus. In his second journey alone, he covered over 3,000 miles. Paul embarked on numerous sea voyages in a time when many people looked upon boat trips as almost certain death. He walked for days on roads roamed by villains and wild animals and ravaged by severe weather. “On the Road and on the Sea with St. Paul” by Father Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, describes in detail what life was like for a traveler in the first century A.D.
Murphy-O’Connor, a Dominican priest, is professor of New Testament and Intertestamental Literature at the École Biblique et Archéologique Francaise in Jerusalem. Born in Ireland, he was ordained a priest in 1960. Murphy-O’Connor recently published Saint Paul’s Corinth and has written several other books, on Paul and on New Testament studies.
Although the Second Commandment strictly forbids image-making, artists in the Western world have found ways to portray their visions of God. The anonymous artist of the third-century A.D. Dura-Europos synagogue painted an image of God’s right hand to represent the deity. From medieval times through the 19th century, artists have shown us God with man’s physical body. In “Images of God in Western Art,” Jane Dillenberger discusses and illustrates in magnificent color artists’ portrayals of God spanning the last 1,700 years.
Dillenberger, professor emeritus in the visual arts and theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, has written extensively on religious themes in art. Her dual career as teacher and museum curator is her avocation as well. Even vacations with her art-historian husband, John Dillenberger, are planned around visits to museums and famous collections or churches. Dillenberger agrees with her favorite author Henry James that “the great thing is to be saturated with something.” She has chosen to “saturate” her life with art.
Offering his second commentary in Bible Review on Hebrew prophetic poetry, David Noel Freedman examines a passage from Amos 6:1–7 that—as traditionally translated—suggests that David invented musical instruments. Freedman, a member of Bible Review’s Editorial Advisory Board, is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Michigan.
In the Bible Books section, Marc Brettler, from Yale University, Department of Religious Studies, reviews Everett Fox’s poetic new translation of Genesis, In the Beginning. Also in our book section, Bernadette J. Brooten assesses In Memory of Her: A Feminist Reconstruction of Christian Origins by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza. Brooten is assistant professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School and director of research in women’s studies at the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity.
Discoveries of thousands of scroll fragments in remote caves along the western shore of the Dead Sea have provided new evidence with which to search for the origins of the text of the Hebrew Bible. In “New Directions in Dead Sea Scroll Research,” Frank Moore Cross relates his theory of textual families to explain the variant forms of biblical texts transfound at Qumran. Cross notes that by the first century A.D., the confusion of text types sub-sided, suggesting that some authority had decided on which texts would be accepted and which rejected. Cross identifies the great sage Hillel as […]