Peter Altmann

Economics in Persian-Period Biblical Texts

Their Interactions with Economic Developments in the Persian Period and Earlier Biblical Traditions

[Ökonomie in den Bibeltexten der Perserzeit. Ihre Wechselwirkung mit wirtschaftlichen Entwicklungen in der Perserzeit und früheren biblischen Traditionen.]

2016. XII, 342 pages.

Forschungen zum Alten Testament 109

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Published in English.
How did biblical texts respond to new economic developments in the Persian-period (6th-4th centuries BCE)? In this study, Peter Altmann traces the economic history of the time and devotes special attention to theological and identity implications of economics in the biblical texts.
Large-scale economic change such as the rise of coinage occurred during the Persian-dominated centuries (6th -4th centuries BCE) in the Eastern Mediterranean and ancient Near East. How do the biblical texts of the time respond to such developments?
In this study, Peter Altmann lays out foundational economic conceptions from the ancient Near East and earlier biblical traditions in order to show how Persian-period biblical texts build on these traditions to address the challenges of their day. Economic issues are central to the way that Ezra and Nehemiah approach the topics of temple building and of Judean self-understanding. Economic terminology and considerations also appear in Second Isaiah and the »Holiness Code.« Following significant interaction with the material culture and extra-biblical texts, the author devotes special attention to the ascendancy of economics and its theological and identity implications as structuring metaphors for divine action and human community in the Persian period.

Peter Altmann Born 1974; 2004 ThM and 2010 PhD in Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary; 2016 Habilitation from the University of Zurich; since 2008 doctoral and then post-doctoral researcher in Hebrew Bible Studies at the University of Zurich.


The following reviews are known:

In: Journal for the Study of the OT — 41.5 (2017) (Anselm C. Hagedorn)
In: Zeitschr. f. d. Alttestamentl. Wissenschaft — 129 (2017), S. 285–286 (Benedikt Hensel)
In: Revue Biblique — 125 (2018), S. 300–301 (Étienne Nodet)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 143 (2018), S. 333–335 (Rainer Kessler)