Birth Annunciations in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East. A Literary Analysis of the Forms and Functions of the Heavenly Foretelling

Author: Ashmon, Scott
Year:2012
Pages:452
ISBN:0-7734-2631-0
978-0-7734-2631-3
Price:199.95
Ashmon puts forth a structural analysis of birth annunciations in the Hebrew Bible, and Ancient Near Eastern texts. By studying the topic in this way, the author shows a shared culture between Egyptian Hittite, Sumerian, Ugarit cultures and Biblical narratives. It explores an aspect of the Bible that has yet to be the subject of an extensive study. There have been numerous accounts of the birth annunciations of Jesus in the New Testament, but this is the first book to do a scholarly examination of the way prophecies about the birth of special children occur prior to Christ.

Reviews

“Although the topic of birth annunciations is certainly not new to biblical scholarship, Mr. Ashmon’s research is more comprehensive in scope and detailed in its analysis than previous works."

-Prof. Nili S. Fox,
Hebrew Union College

“There is no doubt in my mind that the thesis is sound. Mr. Ashmon has worked very hard on a lot of material. His chosen topic, birth annunciations, is an important one and his study is apparently the first to examine all reports of them in the Bible and other Near Eastern literature.”

-Prof. David Sperling,
Hebrew Union College

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Review of Prior Scholarship

“Birth of the Hero” Folklore
Form Criticism
Background for The New Testament
Narrative Criticism
Comparative Method
Feminist Criticism

Chapter 2
Explanation of Methodology
Form Criticism
Narrative Criticism
Canonical Criticism
Comparative Method

Chapter 3
Synchronic Examination of ANE Birth Annunciations
Egypt:
The Prophecies of Neferti
King Cheops and the Magicians
Birth-Myth of the God Kind for Hatshepsut
Birth-Myth of the God King for Amenhotep III
Birth-Myth of the God King for Ramesses II

Ugarit:
Keret
Aqhat

Hatti: Appu
Sumer: Shulgi

Chapter 4
Synchronic Examination of HB Birth Annunciations
Genesis Date of Composition
Isaac and Ishmael:
Genesis 15
Genesis 16
Genesis 17
Genesis 18
Jacob and Esau: Genesis 25
Samson: Judges 13
Solomon:
2 Samuel 7
1 Chronicles 22
Josiah: 1 Kings 13
Shunammite Son: 2 Kings 4
Immanuel:
Immnuel’s Identity
Isaiah 7

Chapter 5
Comparison of ANE and HB Texts’ Forms and Functions
ANE Birth Annunciations:
Forms of the ANE Birth Annunciations Scenes
Forms of the ANE Birth Annunciations Proper
Functions of the ANE Birth Annunciations Proper
HB Birth Annunciations:
Forms of the HB Birth Annunciations Scenes
Forms of the HB Birth Annunciations Proper
Functions of the HB Birth Annunciations Proper
ANE and HB Birth Annunciations:
Forms of the ANE and HB Birth Annunciations Scenes
Forms of the ANE and HB Birth Annunciations Proper
Functions of the ANE and HB Birth Annunciations Proper

Chapter 6
Examination of Diachronic Issues
Egypt
Ugarit
Israel
ANE and HB Birth Annunciations

Chapter 7
Conclusion
Further Issues to be Examined

Appendix
Scene I from Deir el-Barhi
Scene IV from Deir el-Barhi
Scene I from Luxor
Scene IV from Medinet Habu
Chart 1: Formal Elements of ANE Birth Annunciations Proper
Chart 2: Formal Elements of HB Birth Annunciations Proper
Chart 3: Sequence of Formal Elements in Ugaric Birth Annunciations
Chart 4: Sequence of Formal Elements in HB Birth Annunciations
Chart 5: Functions of ANE Birth Annunciations Proper
Chart 6: Functions of HB Birth Annunciations Proper