The rationale of the order of Psalms is a puzzle at least as old as Augustine in the fourth century, and Grant (Biblical studies, Highland Theological College, Scotland) does not aspire to solve the whole thing here and now. Rather he bites off only one aspect, a particular paradigm that may have influenced the shape of the Psalms in certain ways.
This book contributes to one of the more fruitful areas of Old Testament studies in recent years: the canonical study of the Psalter. It asks why the three psalms that focus on the torah (instruction) of Yahweh (Pss 1, 19, and 119) are associated with royal psalms and suggests that the answer lies in an editorial attempt to draw attention to Deuteronomy's kingship law (Deut 17: 14-20). This focus on the Pentateuch's paradigm for kingship is meant not only to shape the psalmic presentation of the eschatological king but also to direct the reader to a piety that every believer should emulate-the king as exemplar for the people of God. This volume will be of interest to scholars of the Psalter, Deuteronomy, and intertextual studies as well as profitable reading for anyone interested in biblical perspectives on living as the people of God. Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).
The solution to the growing problem of stress and burnout in rabbis! Written by a practicing clinical psychologist who spent 10 years as a congregational rabbi, The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar: By the Power Vested in Me presents positive solutions to the inevitable negative effects of symbolic exemplarhood, coaching rabbis through dilemmas of the “inner soul.” Being a rabbi means serving as a Symbolic Exemplar of the best that is in humankind, being experienced and treated and expected to act as a stand-in for God, and a walking, talking symbol of all that Jewish tradition represents. The burden of being a symbolic exemplar of God is extraordinary, and the struggle to live up to its “requirements” can be one of loneliness, frustration, and despair, alienating rabbis who tire of living in a glass house. The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar examines how the symbolic role that serves as the source of the rabbi’s authority and power can lead to disillusionment and disenchantment. Author Jack H Bloom draws on his own experience as a rabbi who watched the successful career he enjoyed turn into one he desperately wanted to forsake and how he was inspired to become an “athletic coach” for rabbis. This unique book details how symbolic exemplarhood is created, what its downside is, what power it offers, how it can be used effectively, how rabbis can deal with their inner lives, and what can be done to help rabbis stay “human” while maintaining their leadership. The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar is equally effective as a complete text or as a source of stand-alone chapters on specific topics, including: special tensions of being a rabbi effects of symbolic exemplarhood on the rabbi’s family educating rabbis on their power training suggestions curing and healing and The Ten Commandments for rabbis The Rabbi As Symbolic Exemplar is essential reading for rabbis, rabbinical students, congregants, Christian clergy, seminarians and anyone interested in what it is to be a clergy person and how they can support the work clergy do. The book educates both clergy and laity on the humanity of clergy. Visit the author’s website at http://jackhbloom.com
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Textbooks inform readers that the precursor of Standard English was supposedly an East or Central Midlands variety which became adopted in London; that monolingual fifteenth century English manuscripts fall into internally-cohesive Types; and that the fourth Type, dating after 1435 and labelled ‘Chancery Standard’, provided the mechanism by which this supposedly Midlands variety spread out from London. This set of explanations is challenged by taking a multilingual perspective, examining Anglo-Norman French, Medieval Latin and mixed-language contexts as well as monolingual English ones. By analysing local and legal documents, mercantile accounts, personal letters and journals, medical and religious prose, multiply-copied works, and the output of individual scribes, standardisation is shown to have been preceded by supralocalisation rather than imposed top-down as a single entity by governmental authority. Linguistic features examined include syntax, morphology, vocabulary, spelling, letter-graphs, abbreviations and suspensions, social context and discourse norms, pragmatics, registers, text-types, communities of practice social networks, and the multilingual backdrop, which was influenced by shifting socioeconomic trends.
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