Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking

Synopsis

This is a comprehensive and systematic exploration of myth in the Hebrew Bible. In addition, Michael Fishbane examines the ongoing role of Scripture in the expansion and transformation of myth in ancient Jewish sources (Midrash and Talmud) and in the classical work of medieval Jewish mysticism(the book of Zohar). The role of myth and monotheism is taken up, and the texts of myth are subjected to close analytical treatment, dealing with matters of form, theme, and theology. In particular, the creative role of exegesis, and its capacity to generate new myths and to justify older orpre-existent ones, is explored. Aspects of continuity and discontinuity with biblical and ancient Near Eastern sources are examined, and the explosive innovations of myth in the various literary phases are considered. In exploring three major phases of Jewish culture, Michael Fishbane offers a newappreciation for the reality of myth and its varieties. Many new conceptual and analytical categories are presented, as well as numerous close readings of the texts at hand.

Additional information

Contributors:
Includes content by:
  • Fishbane Michael
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 2003