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Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange


Comparative Exegesis in Context
Edited by Natalie B. Dohrmann and David Stern
Publication Year: 2013

Biblical interpretation is not simply study of the Bible's meaning. Historically, it has also served as a primary medium
for cultural and religious exchange between the great religious traditions of the West. Focusing on moments of
signal interest in the history of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic scriptural interpretation from the ancient, medieval, and
early modern periods, Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange offers a unique comparative perspective.
Each of the essays treats its subject in relation to the larger cultural context and to other contemporary interpretative
traditions. Sources and authors examined in t . . . show more

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Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

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Contents

Book Details

Cover
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p. 1-1

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright


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pp. 2-5

Contents
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pp. v-vi

Preface
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pp. vii-viii
This rich volume of original essays emerged from a year of learning, conversation, and fellowship for some twenty scholars who worked at the University of
Pennsylvanias Center for Advanced Judaic Studies during the academic year 20012. All experts in the history and literature...

Introduction: On Comparative Biblical ExegesisInterpretation, Influence, Appropriation


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pp. 1-19
Over the last thirty years, the study of ancient and medieval biblical interpretationJewish and Christian alikehas undergone a sea change. Forty years ago, if a
scholar in Bible studies were asked about premodern biblical exegesis and its value, the answer would almost certainly...

1. Interpreting Torah Traditions in Psalm 105


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pp. 20-36
This essay is about interpretation: my interpretation of Psalm 105 and the psalms interpretation of the Torah traditions from which it is fashioned. The latter brings us into
the domain of inner-biblical interpretation, a term designating the many ways in which one segment of the...

2. Cain: Son of God or Son of Satan?


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pp. 37-50
One of the great achievements of recent scholarship on early biblical exegesis has been its discovery of a new period in its historya period that is, in a sense, the
missing link between the Bible and early rabbinic and Christian exegesis. I am referring to the exegetical literature of the...

3. Manumission and Transformation in Jewish and Roman Law


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pp. 51-65
In Roman and rabbinic legal and literary sources from the first centuries of the Common Era, the institution of slavery exhibits a double nature. For both Jews and
Romans, slavery is a dreaded state of denigrated nonpersonhood, and yet in both legal worlds, slavery can be a site of acculturation...

4. Lessons from Jeromes Jewish Teachers: Exegesis and Cultural Interaction in Late Antique Palestine
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pp. 66-86
Jerome, alone among non-Jewish writers of Late Antiquity whose works survive intact, makes abundant and well-informed reference to Jews, to Jewish custom, and
above all to Jewish biblical interpretation. He attributes this knowledge not to Jewish literary sources but to oral instruction...

5. Ancient Jewish Interpretation of the Song of Songs in a Comparative Context


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pp. 87-107
No biblical books ancient interpretation is more extensively documented than that of the Song of Songs. Nor is there another biblical book that has so clearly been
subjected to so many different exegetical approaches. In the case of Jewish exegesis in the late antique period...

6. Patriarchy, Primogeniture, and Polemic in the Exegetical Traditions of Judaism and Islam
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pp. 108-123
Parallels in method, rhetoric, and content between quranic exegesis and ancient Jewish biblical interpretation were known to medieval Jewish and Christian scholars
and have attracted the attention of modern scholarship since Abraham Geigers famous doctoral thesis submitted to...

7. May Karaites Eat Chicken? Indeterminacy in Sectarian Halakhic Exegesis


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pp. 124-138
In his invaluable history of Karaite Jewry in twentieth-century Egypt, Mourad El-Kodsi writes briefly but enthusiastically about the communitys traditional cuisine. Among

16-Aug-15 10:48 AM

Project MUSE - Jewish Biblical Interpretation and Cultural Exchange

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https://muse.jhu.edu/books/9780812209457

the fare he describes is a rich dish of chicken stuffed with ground meat, rice, and pine nuts.1 Delicious as it...

8. Early Islamic Exegesis as Legal Theory: How Quranic Wisdom (ikma) Became the Sunna of the Prophet
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pp. 139-160

Research Areas

Quranic exegesis appears among the very earliest intellectual tasksundertaken by Muslims, and so one is not surprised to find that com-mentaries on the Quran
survive among the oldest preserved Arabictexts. The spread of Islam brought both the need and the opportunityfor explication of the Quran; many persons genuinely
needed to know...

Religion > Biblical Studies

9. Interpreting Scripture in and through Liturgy: Exegesis of Mass Propers in the Middle Ages

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pp. 161-181

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Before the era of inexpensive printing and widespread literacy, the ordinary persons encounter with Scripture was vicarious and quite selectivefor although personal
study of Scripture by cultural and religious elites was encouraged,1 the principal encounter with Scripture was in a...

10. Exegesis and Polemic in Rashbams Commentary on the Song of Songs


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pp. 182-195
Rashis grandson Rashbam (Rabbi Samuel ben Meir) lived and worked in northern France in the twelfth century, the period characterized by modern scholarship as the
renaissance of the twelfth century.1 His exegetical method is marked by the adoption of the peshatthe plainmeaning...

11. Literal versus Carnal: George of Sienas Christian Reading of Jewish Exegesis

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pp. 196-213
In 1388, some decades into a long career teaching and preaching in Tuscany and beyond, a popular Dominican friar, George Naddi of Siena (d. 1398), compiled a
treatise detailing one hundred and sixteen Old Testament prophecies of Christs advent.1 Opening with a citation of John...

12. Christian and Jewish Iconographies of Job in Fifteenth-Century Italy


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pp. 214-235
Throughout the Renaissance, the book of Job played a significant role in the intellectual exchanges between Italian Jewish and Christian scholars. Several
commentaries1 on this biblical text were composed between the second half of the fifteenth and the end of the sixteenth century; at the...

Notes

Mekhilta de-Rabbi Ishmael (JPS Classic


Reissues)

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pp. 237-325

List of Contributors
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pp. 327-337

Index of Persons
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pp. 329-332

Taking Wittgenstein at his Word: A Textual


Study (review)

Index of Sources
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pp. 333-340

Jews, Christians, and the Roman Empire:


The Poetics of Power in Late Antiquity

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