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Semeia: An Experimental Journal for Biblical Criticism

91 issues (1974-2002)
Published by Society of Biblical Literature

"Tired of your 10th, 25th, or 50th Bible commentary merely repeating what the others say, only slightly reworded? Ready for new perspectives on the biblical text, with illustrations and insights you won't find in the old standbys?

Liven up your writing and your sermons with fresh, innovative material sure to provoke new ideas, enhance your understanding of the biblical text, and help you see how the Bible relates to life today!"

Semeia is an experimental journal devoted to the exploration of new and emergent areas and methods of biblical criticism. The journal was published from 1974 through 2002. Articles explore the methods, models, and findings of linguistics, folklore studies, contemporary literary criticism, structuralism, social anthropology, and other such disciplines.

Benefits of the Libronix DLS Edition

Users of the Theological Journal Library product know what a gratifying experience it is to use scholarly journals in Libronix. For the Semeia journals product, the full text of each article and footnote can be searched. Every Bible reference is a hotspot—one click opens your preferred Bible to the verse cited. And tools such as Passage Guide can include your journals collection in every passage search...finding articles relevant to your study or sermon! These features make it easy to find material in journals and inject fresh, new ideas into your study.

Sample Screenshots

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Sample Tables of Contents

Complete tables of contents from three issues of the journal follow.

SEMEIA 86: Food and Drink in the Biblical Worlds

Our Menu and What Is Not On It: Editors’ Introduction — Athalya Brenner and Jan Willem van Henten


  1. “Oil from Flinty Rock” (Deuteronomy 32:13): Olive Cultivation and Olive Oil Processing in the Hebrew Bible—A Socio-materialist Perspective — Frank S. Frick
  2. Treading the Winepress: Actual and Metaphorical Viticulture in the Ancient Near East — Victor H. Matthews
  3. Luke’s Market Exchange District: Decentering Luke’s Rich Urban Center — Jim Grimshaw


  1. From Queen to Cuisine: Food Imagery in the Jezebel Narrative — Deborah A. Appler
  2. To Eat or Not to Eat: Where is Wisdom in this Choice? — Judith E. McKinlay
  3. Salome and Jesus at Table in the Gospel of Thomas — Kathleen E. Corley


  1. The Food of Love: Gendered Food and Food Imagery in the Song of Songs — Athalya Brenner
  2. YHWH’s Sour Grapes: Images of Food and Drink in the Prophetic Discourses of the Hebrew Bible — Robert P. Carroll


  1. When Fathers Refuse to Eat: The Trope of Rejecting Food and Drink in Biblical Narrative — Diane M. Sharon


  1. Food, Drink and Sects: The Question of Ingestion in the Qumran Texts — Philip R. Davies
  2. “Not by Bread Alone . . .”: The Ritualization of Food and Table Talk in the Passover Seder and in the Last Supper — Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus
  3. Jewish Food Laws in Early Christian Community Discourse — Peter J. Tomson


  1. Eating Their Words — Alice Bach
  2. A Question of Theory or Experimentality — Daniel Boyarin
  3. Reflections on Table Fellowship and Community Identity — Adele Reinhartz

SEMEIA 87: The Social World of the Hebrew Bible: Twenty-Five Years of the Social Sciences in the Academy

Introduction: Case Studies from the Second Wave of Research in the Social World of the Hebrew Bible — Stephen L. Cook and Ronald A. Simkins


  1. Ancient Perceptions of Space/Perceptions of Ancient Space — James W. Flanagan
  2. In the Shadow of Cain — Paula M. McNutt
  3. The Gift in Ancient Israel — Gary Stansell
  4. The Unwanted Gift: Implications of Obligatory Gift Giving in Ancient Israel — Victor H. Matthews
  5. Whose Sour Grapes? The Addressees of Isaiah 5:1–7 in the Light of Political Economy — Marvin L. Chaney
  6. Patronage and the Political Economy of Monarchic Israel — Ronald A. Simkins
  7. The Lineage Roots of Hosea’s Yahwism — Stephen L. Cook
  8. To Shame or Not to Shame: Sexuality in the Mediterranean Diaspora — Susan A. Brayford
  9. Gender, Class, and the Social-Scientific Study of Genesis 2–3 — Gale A. Yee
  10. Ideology, Pierre Bourdieu’s Doxa, and the Hebrew Bible — Jacques Berlinerblau
  11. Confronting Redundancy As Middle Manager and Wife: The Feisty Woman of Genesis 39 — Heather A. McKay


  1. Reconstructing Ancient Israel’s Social World — Frank S. Frick
  2. Twenty-Five Years and Counting — Norman K. Gottwald

Semeia 89: Northrop Frye and the Afterlife of the Word

Introduction — James M. Kee


  1. Northrop Frye between Archetype and Typology — Robert Alter
  2. Towards Reconciling the Solitudes — Joe Velaidum
  3. “The Humanized God”: Biblical Paradigms of Recognition in Frye's Final Three Books — David Gay
  4. The Ashes of the Stars: Northrop Frye and the Trickster-God — Michael Dolzani
  5. Northrop Frye and the Poetry in Biblical Hermeneutics — James M. Kee
  6. Early Modern Women’s Words with Power: Absence and Presence — Patricia Demers
  7. From Archetype to Antitype: A Look at Frygian Archetypology — Margaret Burgess
  8. Modeling Biblical Narrative: Frye and D. H. Lawrence — William Robins


  1. Biblical Studies on a More Capacious Canvas: A Response to Joe Velaidum and James M. Kee — David Jobling
  2. Reconfiguring the Liberal Imagination: A Response to Margaret Burgess, Patricia Demers, and William Robins — J. Russell Perkin
  3. The “Something More” in the Bible: A Response to Robert Alter, David Gay, and Michael Dolzani — Robert Cording


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