A History of Biblical Interpretation, Volume 1: The Ancient by Alan J. Hauser, Duane F. Watson

By Alan J. Hauser, Duane F. Watson

At the start look, it will possibly appear unusual that once greater than thousand years of biblical interpretation, there are nonetheless significant disagreements between biblical students approximately what the Jewish and Christian Scriptures say and approximately how one is to learn and comprehend them. but the diversity of interpretive techniques now to be had is the end result either one of the richness of the biblical texts themselves and of changes within the worldviews of the groups and people who have sought to make the Scriptures appropriate to their very own time and position. A background of Biblical Interpretation presents certain and large experiences of the translation of the Scriptures through Jewish and Christian writers during the a long time. Written via across the world well known students, this multivolume paintings comprehensively treats the numerous varied tools of interpretation, the various vital interpreters who've written in numerous eras, and the various key matters that experience surfaced many times over the lengthy process biblical interpretation. this primary quantity of A heritage of Biblical Interpretation explores interpreters and their tools within the old interval, from the very earliest phases to the time while the canons of Judaism and Christianity received basic reputation. the 1st a part of the publication concentrates at the use of the Scriptures inside of Judaism. Chapters research inner-biblical exegesis within the Tanak, the advance of the Septuagint, the exegetical procedure of Philo of Alexandria, biblical interpretation within the useless Sea Scrolls and the Targumim, the character of rabbinic midrash, the stabilization of the Hebrew Bible, and the translation of the Bible within the Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.

The moment a part of the publication probes subject matters particular to Christian interpretation of the biblical texts. Chapters right here speak about how Israel's Scriptures are utilized in the recent testomony writings, the hermeneutical techniques of the Apostolic Fathers and the Apologists, Alexandrian and Antiochene exegesis, the contributions of Jerome and Augustine, the formation of the hot testomony canon, and the translation of Scripture within the New testomony Apocrypha and Gnostic writings. as well as those in-depth reviews, the quantity encompasses a sizeable creation by way of the editors that offers readers either a large evaluation of the first matters and lines of historic biblical interpretation as handled during this quantity and a way of sampling the ways that the foremost figures, faculties of interpretation, and concerns mentioned interweave and distinction with one another. modern, balanced, and engagingly written, this amazing quantity -- and people to persist with -- will quickly develop into a customary source at the historical past of biblical interpretation.

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First, the boundaries of Israel's sacred writings were quite fluid for the writers of the DSS, with no clear delineation between books regarded as unmistakably scriptural and therefore authoritative and books that lay outside the bounds of Scripture (Davies, pp. 144-46 below). Second, the lines between sacred text and interpretation, between authoritative texts and what can at times be equally authoritative interpretation and élucidation of those texts, are quite blurred. In the mind of those interpreting Scripture, the "correct understanding" (their view) or "sectarian twist" (our view) that they placed on the texts was merely an amplification and clarification of the meaning God had already placed in the text, and the lines between sacred text and interpretation were therefore of necessity quite fluid.

Here sacred text and interpretation are strongly interwoven, with interpretation seen as a second (and later, a third) revelation that builds on the first and returns to its true meaning. While we today may view this later rewriting as a going beyond the sacred text, as a commentary on the text, Davies raises an interesting point (p. 155): " . . in the case of the Scriptures, were the varying laws in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy meant to replace or interpret each other? " Thus, if rewritings and expansions of earlier laws by later biblical writers were seen to be legitimate within the Pentateuch, with both the early and the later forms preserved in the text, would there be any reason to think that writers of documents such as the Damascus Document or the Temple Scroll saw themselves to be doing anything different from what they had seen done by some of the biblical writers/interpreters within the Pentateuch?

While we today may view this later rewriting as a going beyond the sacred text, as a commentary on the text, Davies raises an interesting point (p. 155): " . . in the case of the Scriptures, were the varying laws in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy meant to replace or interpret each other? " Thus, if rewritings and expansions of earlier laws by later biblical writers were seen to be legitimate within the Pentateuch, with both the early and the later forms preserved in the text, would there be any reason to think that writers of documents such as the Damascus Document or the Temple Scroll saw themselves to be doing anything different from what they had seen done by some of the biblical writers/interpreters within the Pentateuch?

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