Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Personal names

In a previous study (Albertz 1978a: 49–77), I demonstrated that the personal names of the Hebrew Bible do not reflect the Israelite religion in any general way; instead, they specifically attest the personal piety of Israelite and Judean families. Furthermore, although the traditions of Israel’s official religion—such as the exodus, conquest, kingship, Sinai, Zion, or Bethel—seem to have had no impact on personal names, and they contain only a  few possible allusions to Israel’s political and sacred history, the verbs and nouns used in personal names show a high rate of correspondence with the verbs and nouns that were used in the individual psalms of complaint and thanksgiving and in the oracles of salvation. More than half of all the roots of theophoric personal names found in the Hebrew Bible also occur in the genre of individual prayer; and over 60% of all verbs and nouns that appear in the petitions for divine attendance and salvation or in the confessions of confidence in the individual complaints or the psalms of thanksgiving and oracles of salvation can also be found in personal names. Thus, there is a close relationship between Hebrew personal names and the genres of psalms that reflect aspects of private prayer practices.—Family and Household Religion in Ancient Israel and the Levant, pages 245-246

<idle musing>
I'm finding this section on the personal names extremely interesting. It's large enough that it could almost have been a separate book!
</idle musing>

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