cient Israel have universal significance and yet retain their linkage to the particular practices of the Jewish people? Philo's writings can encourage Christians to appreciate the particularity of halachah and interpretation emphasized by Jews, while encouraging Jews to appreciate the universality of the divine encounter with the human emphasized by Christians. To study Philo and the complex story of his reception by Jews and Christians is at the same time to reflect on the relationship between two intimately separate traditions. 3
Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Case Study
Christians and Jews continue to differ over scriptural interpretation but not, fortunately, with the aggressive and defensive bitterness they once deployed. Michael Signer's account of the two traditions is as acceptable to Christians as I assume it is to Jews. There is to my knowledge no better brief sketch of the last two thousand odd years of biblical hermeneutics, and I shall adopt it as the historical springboard for the musings that follow.
Signer concludes that Jews and Christians can agree on two areas of interpretation. First, in reference to the letter of the text, Jews and Christians can agree on "the historical meaning of the biblical passage in its biblical context." Second, in regard to the spirit of the text, their accord can extend to "the moral [or tropological] sense that presents models of ethical behavior." Regarding the two other spiritual senses, however--the allegorical (now more often called the typological) and
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Publication information: Book title: Christianity in Jewish Terms. Contributors: Tikva Frymer-Kensky - Editor, David Novak - Editor, Peter Ochs - Editor, David Fox Sandmel - Editor, Michael A. Signer - Editor. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 106.
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