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Products>Old Testament Parallels, 4th Edition: Laws and Stories from the Ancient Near East

Old Testament Parallels, 4th Edition: Laws and Stories from the Ancient Near East

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Old Testament Parallels has been, since its first edition, one of Paulist Press's best-regarded and best-selling titles. It has brought fresh and reader-friendly translation of the most important near east documents that share parallel themes and issues within biblical studies. This fourth edition has been completely revised in light of the ongoing and exciting discoveries of more and more ancient Near Eastern texts.

Top Highlights

“our readings are not literal, visual, text-oriented translations, but responsible, reader-oriented translations.” (Page xiv)

“Parallels for incubation where humans sleep in the sanctuaries of their divine patrons appear in the Stories of Samuel (1 Sam 3:3). Parallels for a ruler sending an official as a messenger carrying his own death sentence appear in a Trial of David (2 Sam 11:14–15).” (Page 177)

“Until the Mari archives were recovered, the only parallels to the prophets of ancient Israel were in the Story of Wen-Amun from Egypt. The letters contain messenger formulas like ‘arise, go … and say to.…’ similar to those found in the Bible. Although prophets in both Mari and Israel confront their monarchs in times of crisis, there are differences between them. Mari prophets never seem to speak to the people of Mari as a whole. They concentrate their efforts in informing the king of the gods’ wishes, promises, or warnings. They also use divination to interpret omens more regularly than the prophets of Israel.” (Pages 379–380)

“The Tel Dan Annals are only the fourth tradition outside the Bible to mention Israel. The others are the Hymn of Merneptah of Egypt (1213–1204 BCE), the Annals of Mesha of Moab (830 BCE), and the Annals of Shalmaneser III of Assyria (858–824 BCE). They are also the only tradition outside the Bible that explicitly mentions the household of David.” (Page 191)

“The Hymn of Merneptah contains the only mention of Israel in New Kingdom inscriptions (1550–1070 BCE).” (Page 100)


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  1. John R. Gentry
    Will the "fully revised and expanded fifth edition" (Nov 2023) be made available soon? Will someone who purchases the now-outdated fourth edition get a discount on the updated edition when it becomes available?
  2. Alessandro