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Cosmic Battle and Political Conflict

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Gzella Holger
“Biblica et Orientalia” 47
2003 pp. XIV-190


This study offers a fresh appreciation of the various literary elements and genres that constitute Daniel 8 as a whole, namely the narrative frame, the vision report itself as well as its application to Jewish history under Antiochus IV.

While situating the message of this chapter within the Book of Daniel, it also shows the importance of the Ancient Near Eastern context for the understanding of biblical imagery. In that perspective the work gives a thorough treatment of the syntax of Hebrew verbs and other philological matters that have a special bearing on biblical interpretation.

This book includes the full Hebrew text of Daniel 8, with a translation on facing pages, followed by textual-critical observations and an extensive review of the principal ancient versions of Daniel 8, focusing on their individual linguistic character and style as well as their relationship to the Hebrew version. Thus, while opening up new paths in biblical hermeneutics, this discussion sheds new light on methods of translation and interpretation in antiquity.
 This monograph makes one of the most challenging biblical texts more accessible to serious students of the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near Eastern languages in general.

Holger Gzella born in 1974, obtained his degrees from Oxford University («Literae Humaniores», Classical Philology), the University of Münster (Theology), and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Scripture). He has been awarded a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship of the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and is currently completing his «Habilitation» in Semitic Philology at the University of Heidelberg.

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