The Bible and Hellenism
Greek Influence on Jewish and Early Christian Literature
Did the Bible only take its definitive form after Alexander conquered the Near East, after the Hellenisation of the Samaritans and Jews, and after the founding of the great library of Alexandria? The Bible and Hellenism takes up one of the most pressing and controversial questions of Bible Studies today: the influence of classical literature on the writing and formation of the Bible.
Bringing together a wide range of international scholars, The Bible and Hellenism explores the striking parallels between biblical and earlier Greek literature and examines the methodological issues raised by such comparative study. The book argues that the oral traditions of historical memory are not the key factor in the creation of biblical narrative. It demonstrates that Greek texts – from such authors as Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus and Plato – must be considered amongst the most important sources for the Bible.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Making Room for Japheth, Thomas L. Thompson and Philippe Wajdenbaum
Part I: A Mediterranean or Ancient Near Eastern Context?
1. Ancient Historiography, Biblical Stories and Hellenism, Emanuel Pfoh
2. Editing the Bible: Alexandria or Babylon? Etienne Nodet, o.p.
3. Greek Evidence for the Hebrew Bible, Russell E. Gmirkin
4. The Philistines as Intermediaries Between the Aegean and the Near East, Łukasz Niesiołowski-Spanò
5. Narrative Reiteration and Comparative Literature: Problems in Defining Dependency, Thomas L. Thompson
Part II: Greek-Jew or Jew-Greek?
6. Stranger and City Girl: An isomorphism between Genesis 24 and Homer's Odyssey 6-13, Yaakov S. Kupitz
7. Hesiod’s Heroic Age and the Biblical Period of the Judges, Philippe Guillaume
8. Sex, Violence and State Formation in Judges 19-21, Anne Katrine de Hemmer Gudme
9. Israel, the Antithesis of Hellas: Enslavement, Exile and Return in the Greek Solon Tradition and the Hebrew Bible, Flemming A.J. Nielsen
Part III: Fleets from Kittim (Num. 24:24) – Roman-Era Texts
10. The Books of the Maccabees and Polybius, Philippe Wajdenbaum
11. Text and Commentary: The Pesharim of Qumran in the Context of Hellenistic Scholarship, Reinhard G. Kratz
12. Josephus in the Tents of Shem and Japheth: The Status of Ancient Authors in Josephus’ Treatise Against Apion 1.1-218, Ingrid Hjelm
13. Recognition Scenes in the Odyssey and the Gospels, John Taylor
14. Hesiod’s Theogony and the Book of Revelation 4, 12, and 19-20, Bruce Louden
Thomas L. Thompson is Professor Emeritus, University of Copenhagen, whose many works include The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David. Philippe Wajdenbaum is Lecturer at the University of Brussels and author of Argonauts of the Desert: Structural Analysis of the Hebrew Bible.