The purpose of this book is to demonstrate the relevance of the biblical book of Esther to historic and current anti-Semitism, as well as anti-Judaism in the Church. The essential argument is that despite the fact that the Hebrew version of Esther is the most relevant book in the Hebrew Bible for addressing the issue of anti-Semitism, rewritten elements in the two Greek versions of Esther have contributed historically to the development of anti-Semitic interpretation of the story and anti-Jewish theology within the Church.
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Tricia Miller (PhD) is a former Adjunct Professor at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. She earned her PhD in Hebrew Bible from Claremont Graduate University and is now a senior research analyst at the Committ ee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
- Front Cover
- Title Page
- Copyright Information
- CHAPTER ONE. Hebrew Esther: Is it a Story of Jewish Aggression or Resistance to Attempted Genocide?
- The History of Interpretation of Esther Since Martin Luther
- The Intent of the Author
- The Message of Hebrew Esther
- EXCURSUS. The Textual Relationships of the Three Books of Esther
- CHAPTER TWO. Old Greek Esther: When and Why Was It Written?
- The Historical Setting of Old Greek Esther
- The Relationship Between Jewish and Greek Literature
- The Jewish Response: I, II, III Maccabees and Old Greek Esther
- Dates for the Arrival of OG Esther in Alexandria and Its Composition in Jerusalem
- I Maccabees and the Composition of Old Greek Esther
- II Maccabees and the Composition of Old Greek Esther
- III Maccabees and the Composition of Old Greek Esther
- CHAPTER THREE. Alpha Text Esther: When and Why Was It Written?
- The Historical Setting of the Composition of Alpha Text Esther
- Common Themes on Jews and Judaism in Greek and Latin Authors
- Philo and Josephus on Jews and Judaism
- Common Themes in Philo, Josephus, Maccabees, OG, and AT Esther
- A Date of Composition for AT Esther
- The Date of Composition and the Author's Identity
- CHAPTER FOUR. The Greek Versions: Historic Use and Literary Comparisons
- The History of the Translation of the Septuagint
- Early Use of the Septuagint by Jews and Christians
- The Authority Attributed to the Septuagint by the Early Church
- Historical Use of the Alpha Text of Esther
- Preliminary Conclusions
- Interpretations of the Story and the Character of Esther
- Feminist and Christian Theology
- Anti-Feminism and Anti-Judaism in Hebrew Esther and Twentieth-Century German Theology
- Literary Comparisons of Hebrew and Old Greek Esther
- CHAPTER FIVE. From Historic Anti-Judaism to Current Anti-Zionism
- Definition of Terms
- History of Christian Anti-Judaism
- Significant Features of Christian Anti-Judaism
- Anti-Jewish Theology at the Heart of Christian Anti-Zionism
- Palestinian Proponents of Christian Anti-Zionism
- American Proponents of Christian Anti-Zionism
- FINAL CONCLUSIONS
- Back Cover
This is the most careful study of the book of Esther and its anti-Jewish interpretations in the Church I have read. By placing the book of Esther in the context of realpolitik and hermeneutics that are filled with Jewish resistance to attempted genocide, Tricia Miller addresses the history of Christian anti-Judaism, the errors of replacement theology, and anti-Zionism as the new anti-Judaism. The book reads like a detective story which, by way of excellent exegetical scholarship and sound academic perception of history, puts the contemporary issue of the contested legitimacy of the State of Israel into the context of the universal right and obligation of self-defense. This investigation represents progressive thinking and the reality of strong bridges built between Jews and Christians in recent times.
Revd. Dr. Petra Heldt, Professor, Rothberg International School, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
In her clear and thorough analysis, Tricia Miller shows how the book of Esther has been misinterpreted for anti-Semitic purposes. In particular, she demonstrates that hatred of Judaism as an aggressive form of nationalism -- a Christian trope in the interpretation of Esther -- feeds current attempts to delegitimate the State of Israel.
Bruce Chilton, Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion; Chaplain of the College; Executive Director, Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Any theology student can be grateful to have this meticulous study of the origins and historical context of the Book of Esther in its Hebrew and Greek versions. The author also demonstrates the ideological continuity that characterizes attempts to eradicate the Jewish People from Ancient Persia to the modern Middle East.
Malcolm F. Lowe, Ecumenical Theological Research Fraternity in Jerusalem
A brilliant expose' of the connection between historic anti-Semitism, or hatred of the Jews, and modern forms of anti-Zionism found in the Church. May we learn from this sad history to become a Church that opposes anti-Semitism in all of its forms.
Susan Michael, US Director, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
"A careful study of the book of Esther and its anti-Jewish interpretations in the Church. By placing the book of Esther in the context of politics and hermeneutics that are filled with Jewish resistance to attempted genocide, Tricia Miller addresses the history of Christian anti-Judaism, the errors of replacement theology and anti-Zionism as the new anti-Judaism. It addresses the encouraging pattern of cooperation and support between Christians and Jews that developed over recent times."
Jack Carter, The American Journal of Biblical Theology, July 2015
"Bible students and religious studies scholars would benefit by reading and utlizing this book in their study of the reception history of Esther and its constructive role in Jewish-Christian dialogue."
-Igal German, Theological Book Review, Vol. 27 No.1, 2016
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