Jewish Exegesis and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria by Maren R. Niehoff

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By Maren R. Niehoff

Systematically interpreting Jewish exegesis in gentle of Homeric scholarship, this ebook argues that greater than 2000 years in the past Alexandrian Jews built serious and literary tools of Bible interpretation that are nonetheless tremendous appropriate this day. Maren Niehoff presents a close research of Alexandrian Bible interpretation, from the second one century BCE via newly chanced on fragments to the exegetical paintings performed through Philo. Niehoff indicates that Alexandrian Jews answered in an outstanding number of how one can the Homeric scholarship built on the Museum. a few Jewish students used the equipment in their Greek colleagues to enquire even if their Scripture contained myths shared via different international locations, whereas others insisted that major modifications existed among Judaism and different cultures. This publication is essential for any pupil of historic Judaism, early Christianity and Hellenistic tradition.

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We have to ask whether Christian exegetes continued earlier integrations of Homeric and biblical studies, such as those attested among Alexandrian Jews. Moreover, the field of rabbinic exegesis is in need of a comprehensive re-evaluation.  It is now time to consider rabbinic exegesis in light of the Alexandrian scholia as well as the important precedent of Alexandrian Bible exegesis.    Lieberman , pp. –; Daube ; Halevi . More recently, Alexander  has investigated the conditions and assumptions of exegesis in its context by comparing rabbinic Midrash to Alexandrian Homeric scholarship, thus laying the foundation for future research in the field.

Here I have adopted H. Thackeray’s felicitous translation ‘by comparing each other’s work’ (Thackeray , p. ); similarly Tramontano , pp. –.  This, however, is far from self-evident. In the case of ˆntibolž an anachronism is involved, because at the time of Aristeas the term meant comparison and discussion.  The noun as well as the verb ˆntib†llw are significantly missing in Erbse’s index to the scholia. Indeed, Martin West has warned us not to project Didymus’ methods in the Augustan period back to Zenodotus and Aristarchus in the third and second centuries bce.

Cf. Zuntz, , pp. –, who suggests that the ‘writing’ of the Hebrew manuscripts was careless but admits that this interpretation creates numerous contradictions with subsequent paragraphs of the Letter. Cf. also Lehrs , p. , who suggests that the expression may refer to Aristonicus’ report of a work by Aristarchus entitled perª shme©wn. Quoted by M. L. West , p. . Aristob. ap. Euseb. Praep. evang.  (fr. , ed. Holladay –, vol. iii, p. ). Walter , pp. , –, already identified Aristobulus’ treatment of Aratus’ text as an emendation in the spirit of Alexandrian scholarship, without, however, noting the particular meaning of the expression seshm†gkamen in this context.

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