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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: June ::
Designations
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.1113  Monday, 20 June 2005

[1]     From:   Bill Arnold <
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        Date:   Saturday, 18 Jun 2005 16:35:16 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1107 Job [OT and NT designations]

[2]     From:   Peter Bridgman <
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        Date:   Sunday, 19 Jun 2005 00:56:43 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.1107 Job

[3]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Monday, June 20, 2005
        Subj:   Designations


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill Arnold <
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Date:           Saturday, 18 Jun 2005 16:35:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 16.1107 Job [OT and NT designations]
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1107 Job [OT and NT designations]

Hardy M. Cook writes, "Anyway, it seems to me that the designations Old
and New Testament are rather parochial and that careful academic writers
generally use the terms Hebrew and Christian Scriptures."

Far be it for me to lecture Hardy, but Old and New Testament are more
than parochial and have specific meaning to Biblical scholars with a
capital *B* [ ! ]  Christian scholars for whom the Bible is a sacred
text and Christologers of whatever persuasion use the Old and New as
adjectives for specific meaning, and I quote from my book: "Biblical
scholar Jim Cornwell wrote in 'History of the Bible,' that 'the names
*Old Testament* and *New Testament* have been used since the close of
the second century A.D. to distinguish the Jewish (God's covenant with
Israel) and Christian (God's new covenant people) Scriptures.  Testament
was a translation of the Hebrew word berith ('a covenant') to render the
Greek word diatheke (Latin testamentum) first occurring in Tertullian
(A.D. 190-220).'"

Bill Arnold
http://www.cwru.edu/affil/edis/scholars/arnold.htm

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Bridgman <
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Date:           Sunday, 19 Jun 2005 00:56:43 +0100
Subject: 16.1107 Job
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.1107 Job

Hardy writes ...

 > ... it seems to me that the designations Old and New Testament are
 > rather parochial and that careful academic writers generally use the
 > terms Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

Fine, but where does that leave the deutero-canonical books, i.e. the
books that appeared in the Greek version of the Jewish Bible but not in
the Hebrew original?  These books are Jewish but not Hebrew, and they
were written a long time before Christianity.

And WS named both his daughters after characters in these books.

Peter Bridgman

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:           Monday, June 20, 2005
Subject:        Designations

I am one of the first wave of the baby-boom generation in the United
States, born into a conservative, conformist country which the majority
believed was white and Christian. I was raised in the suburbs of
Baltimore in a nation that was segregated by race and in a neighborhood
that had covenants excluding Jews. Fifty-eight years later, I live in
the wealthiest predominantly African-American county in the US, in a
neighborhood of whites, blacks, Latinos, and Asians, of straights, gays,
and lesbians; and I teach in one of the oldest predominantly black
colleges and universities in the country.

I note these things because just as the immediate world I inhabit bears
little resemblance to the perceived world in which I was raised so too
is SHAKSPER not an academic conference simply of North Americans and
Brits or even English-speaking members for that matter. SHAKSPER is an
international list with more than 1,300 members from 63 countries.

My suggestion that we consider using more inclusive designations is part
of my acknowledgement of the heterogeneous composition of this list.

It would be foolish of me to deny that Christian writers employ the
terms Old and New Testament. (I have read Bernard Anderson's
*Understanding the Old Testament* several times.)

However, Job is surely not a work of Christian Scriptures; it is from
the Tanakh (more precisely the Kethuvim), Hebrew Scriptures.

Just as we would refer to the Yusuf saga from the Qu'ran as not being
from the Old Testament so too I, as many writers do, refer to Job as a
book from Hebrew Scriptures: "The book of Job is the most theological
work in the Hebrew Bible . . . (David J. A. Clines from *The Oxford
Companion to the Bible*, 368).

As for Peter Bridgman's question:

 >Hardy writes ...
 >
 >>... it seems to me that the designations Old and New Testament are
 >>rather parochial and that careful academic writers generally use the
 >>terms Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
 >
 >Fine, but where does that leave the deutero-canonical books, i.e.
 >the books that appeared in the Greek version of the Jewish Bible
 >but not in the Hebrew original?  These books are Jewish but not
 >Hebrew, and they were written a long time before Christianity.

I use the term Apocrypha to refer to these works: ". . . a body of
revelatory writing produced in Jewish circles between 250 BCE and 200 CE
and subsequently taken up and perpetuated by Christianity" (Robert C.
Denton from *The Oxford Companion to the Bible*, 34). These are books
outside the Palestine canon and are indeed not part of Hebrew
Scriptures. The passage I selected to read at my wife memorial service
was from one of these, *The Wisdom of Solomon*.

After I made my suggestion about designations on Saturday, I opened my
mail to discover the most recent Shakespeare Association Bulletin
announcing the seminars for the 2006 annual meeting in Philadelphia and
found this description of the seminar I have been invited to join:

19. Shakespeare Forums

Seminar Leaders: Matt Kozusko (Ursinus College) and Robert Sawyer (East
Tennessee State University)

We invite papers from diverse theoretical perspectives exploring
Shakespeare societies and clubs of all sorts, from the Philadelphia
Shakespeare Society to the Shakespeare Ladies' Club to the Shakespeare
Association of America. We are especially interested in the role of
Shakespeare forums in the production of "Shakespeare," in how they have
come to bear on Shakespeare's image and status, and in what role they
serve today, when "societies" such as the SAA and the SHAKSPER
discussion groups are increasingly global and heterogeneous in membership.

I am sure that Matt and Robert welcome interested participants.

Hardy

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