Deconstructing the Bible: Abraham Ibn Ezra's Introduction to the Torah

Deconstructing the Bible: Abraham Ibn Ezra's Introduction to the Torah

Deconstructing the Bible: Abraham Ibn Ezra's Introduction to the Torah

Deconstructing the Bible: Abraham Ibn Ezra's Introduction to the Torah

Synopsis

Deconstructing the Bible nbsp;represents the first attempt by a single author to place the great Spanish Jewish Hebrew bible exegete, philosopher, poet, astronomer, astrologer and scientist Abraham ibn Ezra (1089-1164) in his complete contextual environment. It charts his unusual travels and discusses changes and contradictions in his hermeneutic approach, analysing his vision of the future for the Jewish people in the Christian north of Europe rather than in Muslim Spain. It also examines his influence on subsequent Jewish thought, as well as his place in the wider hermeneutic debate. The book contains a new translation of ibn Ezra's Introduction to the Torah , written in Lucca, northern Italy, together with a full commentary. It will be of interest to a wide variety of scholars, ranging from philosophers and theologians to linguists and students of hermeneutics.

Excerpt

Stemming from a Hebrew word meaning 'teaching', Torah is the term most often used in Jewish traditional circles to refer to the Hebrew Bible, as well as to the process and result of studying it. In addition, Torah refers specifically to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known in non-Jewish circles as the Pentateuch. Gradually, the term came to include the study of the Hebrew Bible ('Written' Torah) by means of authorised interpretations, known as 'Oral Torah' (later written down). Such interpretations include the Mishnah, Talmud and midrash, which became the traditionally accepted commentaries on the 'Written Torah'. Eventually, 'Torah learning' implied the detailed knowledge of oral interpretations of scripture, rather than knowledge of scripture per se. Nowadays, the term 'Torah-true' refers to someone who acknowledges the authorised interpreters of scripture, rather than someone who knows the scriptural text.

Halakhah

Stemming from a Hebrew word meaning 'to go', halakhah is the theory and practice of Jewish law, based in biblical teachings as interpreted by the rabbinic authorities.

Tenakh

The Hebrew Bible itself is popularly called Tenakh. The word is an acronym from three Hebrew words, referring respectively to the Pentateuch, the Prophets and other 'Writings'. I sometimes also use the terms 'scripture' or 'biblical text', when referring to the Hebrew Bible as an organ of exegesis.

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