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The Hermeneia commentary series seeks to offer authoritative interpretation of the earliest texts of the biblical books and other literature closely related to the Bible.
The name Hermeneia, Greek, has a rich background in the history of biblical interpretation as a term used in the ancient Greek-speaking world for the detailed, systematic exposition of a scriptural work. The series is designed to be a critical and historical commentary to the Bible without arbitrary limits in size or scope. It utilizes the full range of philological and historical tools, including textual criticism (often slighted in modern commentaries), the methods of the history of tradition (including genre and prosodic analysis), and the history of religion.
Hermeneia is designed for the serious student of the Bible. It makes full use of ancient Semitic and classical languages; at the same time, English translations of all comparative materials—Greek, Latin, Canaanite, or Akkadian—are supplied alongside the citation of the source in its original language. Insofar as possible, the aim is to provide the student or scholar with full critical discussion of each problem of interpretation and with the primary data upon which the discussion is based.
The editors of Hermeneia impose no systematic-theological perspective upon the series (directly, or indirectly by selection of authors). Its authors lay bare the ancient meaning of a biblical work or pericope. In this way the text's human relevance should become transparent, as is always the case in competent historical discourse. However, the series eschews for itself homiletical translation of the Bible.