The topic of children in the Bible has long been under-represented, but this has recently changed with the development of childhood studies in broader fields, and the work of several dedicated scholars. While many reading methods are employed in this emerging field, comparative work with children in the ancient world has been an important tool to understand the function of children in biblical texts.
Children in the Bible and the Ancient World broadly introduces children in the ancient world, and specifically children in the Bible. It brings together an international group of experts who help readers understand how children are constructed in biblical literature across three broad areas: children in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East, children in Christian writings and the Greco-Roman world, and children and materiality. The diverse essays cover topics such as: vows in Ugarit and the Hebrew Bible, obstetric knowledge, infant abandonment, the role of marriage, Greek abandonment texts, ritual entry for children into Christian communities, education, sexual abuse, and the role of archeological figurines in children’s lives. The volume also includes expertise in biological anthropology to study the skeletal remains of ancient children, as well as how ancient texts illuminate Mary’s female maturity. The volume is written in an accessible style suitable for non-specialists, and it is equipped with a helpful resource bibliography that organizes select secondary sources from these essays into meaningful categories for further study.
Children in the Bible and the Ancient World is a helpful introduction to any who study children and childhood in the ancient world. In addition, the volume will be of interest to experts who are engaged in historical approaches to biblical studies, while appreciating how the ancient world continues to illuminate select topics in biblical texts.
List of contributors
Part I: Children in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East
Vows and Children in the Hebrew Bible
Heath D. Dewrell
Turning Birth into Theology: Traces of Ancient Obstetric Knowledge within Narratives of Difficult Childbirth in the Hebrew Bible
Claudia D. Bergmann
Uncooperative Breeders: Parental Investment and Infant Abandonment in Hebrew and Greek Narrative
David A. Bosworth
Failure to Marry: Girling Gone Wrong
Kristine Henriksen Garroway
Part II: Children in Christian Writings and the Greco-Roman World
Girls and Goddesses: The Gospel of Mark and the Eleusinian Mysteries
Children and Church: The Ritual Entry of Children into Pauline Churches
John W. Martens
"Stay away from my children!": Educators and the Accusation of Sexual Abuse in Roman Antiquity
Part III: Children and Material Culture
I Bless You by YHWH of Samaria and His Barbie: A Case for Understanding Judean Pillar Figurines as Children’s Toys
Julie Faith Parker
Coming of Age at St Stephen’s: Bioarchaeology of Children at a Byzantine Jerusalem Monastery (5th–7th Centuries CE)
Susan G. Sheridan
Protoevangelium of James, Menstruating Mary, and Twenty-First-Century Adolescence: Purity, Liminality, and the Sexual Female
Doris M. Kieser
Advisory Board of Associate Editors
Ra’anan Boustan, University of California, Los Angeles, USA; Zeba Crook, Carleton University, Canada; Elizabeth DePalma Digeser, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA; Matthew Gibbs, University of Winnipeg, Canada; John Lee, University of California at Santa Barbara, USA; Harry Munt, University of York, UK; Richard Payne, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, USA; Lucy Wadeson, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; Philip Wood, Aga Khan University, London, UK; Alan Lenzi, University of the Pacific, USA.
Studies in the History of the Ancient Near East provides a global forum for works addressing the history and culture of the Ancient Near East, spanning a broad period from the foundation of civilisation in the region until the end of the Abbasid period. The series includes research monographs, edited works, collections developed from conferences and workshops, and volumes suitable for the university classroom.