Language, Divination, Friendship, More—9 Yale Resources Coming to Logos

Heads up: there are nine (9) Yale resources coming to Logos! A wonderful thing about scholars is they surface topics you didn’t even know existed, and then make them interesting.

Like how Israel’s geographic instability influenced its language.

In A Social History of Hebrew—one of nine books in the newest Yale collection coming to Logos—Schniedewind demonstrates how the Israelites’ long history of migration, war, exile, and other events is reflected in Hebrew’s linguistic evolution.

The collection also covers topics like friendship, divination, and maternal kinship in the Hebrew Bible.

Friendship in the Hebrew Bible

Though a topic of considerable humanistic and cross-disciplinary interest in contemporary scholarship, friendship has been largely ignored by scholars of the Hebrew Bible, possibly because of its complexity and elusiveness. Filling a significant gap in our knowledge and understanding of biblical texts, Friendship in the Hebrew Bible is an original, accessible analysis of a key form of social relationship.

In this thorough and compelling assessment, Saul M. Olyan analyzes a wide range of texts, including prose narratives, prophetic materials, psalms, pre-Hellenistic wisdom collections, and the Hellenistic-era wisdom book Ben Sira. This in-depth, contextually sensitive, and theoretically engaged study explores how the expectations of friends and family members overlap and differ, examining (among other things) characteristics that make the friend a distinct social actor; failed friendship; and friendships in narratives such as those of Ruth and Naomi, and Jonathan and David. Olyan presents a comprehensive look at what constitutes friendship in the Hebrew Bible.

Divination in biblical literature

Unlike earlier approaches that have viewed prophecy separately from other forms of divination, Esther J. Hamori’s Women’s Divination in Biblical Literature study encompasses the full range of divinatory practices and the personages who performed them, from the female prophets and the medium of Endor to the matriarch who interprets a birth omen and the “wise women” of Tekoa and Abel and more. In doing so, the author brings into clearer focus the complex, rich, and diverse world of ancient Israelite divination.

Maternal kinship in the Bible

Upending traditional scholarship on patrilineal genealogy, Cynthia Chapman draws on twenty years of research to uncover an under-appreciated yet socially significant kinship unit in the Bible: “the house of the mother.” In households where a man had two or more wives, siblings born to the same mother worked to promote and protect one another’s interests. Revealing the hierarchies of the maternal houses and political divisions within the national house of Israel, The House of the Mother provides us with a nuanced understanding of domestic and political life in ancient Israel.

Explore the other fascinating titles in this collection from Yale University Press, the publisher behind the landmark Yale Bible commentary series. 

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Written by
Matthew Boffey

Matthew Boffey (MDiv, Trinity International University) is the pastor of worship at Christ Church Bellingham. He is also editor-in-chief of Ministry Team magazine, has edited several books, and has written for several blogs and publications, including Relevant online, the Logos blog, and the Faithlife blog.

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Written by Matthew Boffey