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Proselytes/Proselytism

(1,656 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina | Carlebach, Elisheva | Grundmann, Christoffer H. | Voss, Gerhard
[German Version] I. Early Judaism The Septuagint uses προσήλυτοι/ prosē…

Dreams/Interpretation of Dreams

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Bierbaumer, Niels | Maier, Bernhard | Albani, Matthias | Rösel, Martin | Wandrey, Irina | Et al.
[German Version] I. Neurobiology and Psychology – II. Religious Studies – III. Ancient Near East and Old Testament – IV. Early Judaism – V. Greco-Roman Antiquity – VI. New Testament – VII. Church History – VIII. Fundamental Theology – IX. Practical Theology – X. Missiology – XI. Art History …

Pseudo-Philo

(288 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] was the author of a work (possibly fragmentary) on biblical history from Adam to Saul and ¶ David, which was traditionally attributed to Philo of Alexandria. The version preserved in numerous manuscripts was translated from Greek in the 4th century into pre-Jerome Latin, and goes back to an original Hebrew text, as is shown by the use of notions and terms close to the Hebrew Bible and Targum literature. The narrative embellishments and additions to the biblical text also indicate a close relations…

Purification

(2,436 words)

Author(s): Stausberg, Michael | Cancik, Hubert | Seidl, Theodor | Kollmann, Bernd | Schneider-Ludorff, Gury | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies As with many animals, purification is a basic area of human behavior. Mutual purifying implies and generates expectations, trust, solidarity, and hierarchy. Religious actions (e.g. the purifying of statues and pictures of gods) go back to identical structures. Purifying is a fundamental element of ritual actions. Ritual objects, but also t…

Pure and Impure

(4,031 words)

Author(s): Stausberg, Michael | Seidl, Theodor | Kollmann, Bernd | Schneider-Ludorff, Gury | Wandrey, Irina | Et al.
[German Version] I. Comparative Religion In differentiated religious systems or cultures, the categories of clean and unclean, or purity and impurity, represent a key classificatory-communicative distinction which determines the course of inner boundaries (e.g. those between clergy and laity or women and men) and outer boundaries (e.g. between believers …

Theodotus

(185 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] epic poet, known only through quotations of his Greek epic on the Samaritan city of Shechem (Hellenistic foundation myth, events involving Jacob, Dinah, Simeon, and Levi, circumcision, murder of the Shechemites [Gen 34]) in Alexander Polyhistor’s On the Jews, another lost work. Only six fragments (47 hexameters) of Theodotus’s work are preserved in Eusebius of Caesarea’s Praeparatio evangelica. The epic was produced in Palestine or Alexandria before the 1st century bce; its clear interest in the topic of forced conversion to Judaism suggests that it may have been written under John Hyrcanus (I), whose reign also witnessed the final separation of …

Ascension and Martyrdom of Isaiah

(368 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] The apocryphal apocalypse “Ascension of Isaiah” consists of two distinct parts: the “Martyrdom of Isaiah” (1–5) and the “Vision of Isaiah” (6–11). The Martyrdom of Isaiah was very likely written in Hebrew in Palestine. The original language of the Vision of Isaiah is Greek; however, where it first originated and the location of the final editing process (3rd–4th cent. …

Oracle

(1,534 words)

Author(s): Vollmer, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Wandrey, Irina | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religion I. Religious Studies The term “oracle,” derived from the Latin noun oracu…

Noachic Laws

(378 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] In Jewish theology, the seven Noachid (Noahide) laws (Heb. sheva mizwot bene Noach) are the commandments (Mitzvot) binding on all human­king, including Gentiles – in contrast to the commandments and prohibitions of the Torah, revealed exclusively to the Jews. This idea goes back to the rabbinic interpretation of the revelations to Adam and Noah, the forefathers of all humankind (Gen 2:16; 9:1–7). In principle observing the Noahide laws enables Gentiles to live lives pleasing …

Orphism

(1,858 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Wandrey, Irina | Graf, Fritz
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Responses I. History of Religions 1. Orphic-Dionysian mysteries. The earliest Greeks anticipated a short and active life without any form of existe…

Gamaliel

(298 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] 1. Rabban Gamaliel (Gamaliel I) was active in Jerusalem c. 25–50 ce as an outstanding Torah scholar ( Midr. Sota 9:15) and member of the Sanhedrin ( bet-din; Acts 5:34ff.). The traditional view that he was the son or grandson of…

Ascension of Christ

(3,139 words)

Author(s): Zeller, Dieter | Schmitt, Armin | Boring, M. Eugene | Farrow, Douglas B. | Mühling-Schlapkohl, Markus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. History of Dogma and Dogmatics – V. Art History – VI. Judaism I. Religious Studies The attempt to ascend to the abode of the gods is associated with myths and expressions of the impossible (Deut 30:12; Prov 30:4) and of …

Fasting

(4,168 words)

Author(s): Freiberger, Oliver | Podella, Thomas | Böcher, Otto | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich | Troickij, Aleksandr | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. Christianity – IV. Ethics – V. Judaism – VI. Islam I. History of Religions “Fasting” is a universally attested cultural technique to produce an expansion of mental and social control, power, or awareness (Asceticism) by restricting the intake of food. Many different types of and reasons for fasting can be found in the history of religions, and they are comb…

Messiah/Messianism

(10,414 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Waschke, Ernst-Joachim | Wandrey, Irina | Dan, Joseph | Karrer, Martin | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Christianity – V. Dogmatics – VI. Islam I. History of Religions The terms messiah and messianism derive from the Hebrew word māšîaḥ, “anointed one.” Under the impact of foreign rule in Israel and Judah beginning…

Sibylline Oracles and Books

(1,066 words)

Author(s): Hornauer, Holger | Wandrey, Irina | Bauckham, Richard
[German Version] I. Greco-Roman Sibylline Material The Sibylline oracles of antiquity were oracles ascribed to Sibyl, always in Greek hexameters (Pseudepigraphy); the earliest date from the 5th century bce. Two corpora need to be distinguished: (1) the Sibylline Oracles (Gk οἱ Σιβύλλης χρησμοί/ hoi Sibýllēs chrēsmoí, “the oracles of Sibyl,” or τὰ Σιβύλλεια/ tá Sibýlleia, “the sibylline material”) and οἱ χρησμοὶ Σιβυλλιακοί/ hoi chrēsmoí Sibylliakoí, Lat. orac…

Ketubbah

(324 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] (Heb. כְּתוּבָּה, “that which is written”), marriage contract in which the financial livelihood of the wife is secured in the event of divorce or widowhood (Marriage: IX). The Talmud tractate Ketubbot (“marriage contracts”) deals with the rights and duties of spouses resulting from the marriage contract, but also with other topics such as dowry, divorce, etc. Since the minimum amounts of money to which a wife is …

Philo the Epic Poet

(195 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] was the Jewish author of a Greek epic on the city of Jerusalem, in the Hellenistic tradition of praise of cities. Eusebius of Caesarea ( Praep. 9.20, 24, 37) transmits 24 hexameters, divided into six fragments, and attributes them to Alexander Polyhistor’s On the Jews, who himself cites them as taken from the epic On Jerusalem. Subjects treated in the fragments are Abraham, the binding of Isaac, the abode of God, Joseph and the dream interpretation, and Jerusalem’s water supply. The epic comprised at least 14 chapters, a…

Early Judaism

(234 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] The term refers to the period roughly between (a) the end of the Babylonian Exile (539 bce), the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem (520), and the completion of the Hebrew Bible, and (b) the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple (70 ce) and the beginnings of rabbinic Judaism. The term “early Judaism” thus covers a period that historians, depending on where the focus of their interest lies, also refer to as the Hellenistic-Roman period (300 bce–200 ce), lately also as “Middle Judaism” (Boccaccini) or the Second Temple Period (520 bce–70 ce). It …

Zerubbabel, Apocalypse of

(172 words)

Author(s): Wandrey, Irina
[German Version] The pseudepigraphic Hebrew Apocalypse of Zerubbabel (Apocalypticism: III, 2), probably written in Palestine in the early 7th century ce, reflects the messianic hopes (Messiah: III, 1) of the Palestinian Jews, who – threatened by the anti-Jewish laws of the Byzantine rulers – set their hopes on a Persian conquest during the Persian-Byzantine wars between 604 and 630 …
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