A History of Biblical Interpretation - Vol. 2

A History of Biblical Interpretation - Vol. 2

A History of Biblical Interpretation - Vol. 2

A History of Biblical Interpretation - Vol. 2

Synopsis

This volume examines themes such as the variety of interpretative developments within Judaism during this period, the achievements of the Carolingian era and the later scholastic developments within the universities.

Excerpt

In the preface to volume 1 we detailed the numerous reasons for the incredible variety of biblical interpretation throughout the past several millennia. These reasons, briefly stated, include the great variety of communities and individuals who have interpreted the biblical text, the open-ended and multilayered richness of the biblical text itself, the inclination of later biblical texts to interpret and build on earlier biblical texts, and the multitude of methodologies which have been used to interpret the biblical texts. These factors led to a great diversity in interpretation during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and Reformation eras, continuing the heritage of interpretive diversity described in volume 1 for the Ancient Period.

Since this volume covers approximately 1000 years of interpretation of the Bible as a collection of sacred books, it is the most chronologically comprehensive of any of the volumes in this set. While it might be tempting to assume that this means that there was not a great deal of variety in interpretation during this period, such an assumption would be mistaken, even if one were to limit that assessment to the years prior to the Renaissance. One need only look, for example, at the variety of interpretive developments within Judaism during this period, including the gains made in Hebrew grammar and lexicography or the monumental work of Rashi and his followers, to see that this was hardly a stagnant era. Or one could look to the achievements of the Carolingian era and the later scholastic developments within the universities, beginning in the twelfth century. the Renaissance and Reformation eras, much as they often claimed to be going back to the learning of the ancient pe-

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