“Scriptural Vitality: Rethinking Philology and Hermeneutics"

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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StephenGoranson
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“Scriptural Vitality: Rethinking Philology and Hermeneutics"

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“Scriptural Vitality: Rethinking Philology and Hermeneutics"
Hindi Najman
Abstract:

Scriptural Vitality challenges the view that the Persian and Hellenistic periods constitute a time of decay, a period of “late Judaism,” languishing between an original, vibrant Judaism and the birth of Christianity. Instead, this book argues that the Second Temple period was one of untethered creativity and poetic imagination, of dynamism exemplified through philosophical translation, poetic composition, and a convergence of ancient Mediterranean cultures that gave birth to hermeneutic innovation. Building on Nietzsche’s critique of classical philology, and drawing in new ways on the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the book carries out a radical rethinking of biblical studies. Instead of seeking to reconstruct the original text and to find its original author or at least the original context of its production, Najman celebrates textual pluriformity and transformation, tracing ways in which texts and meanings proliferated within interpretive communities through new performances and fresh articulations of the past. Engaging with thinkers such as Friedrich Schlegel and Peter Szondi, whom biblicists have rarely considered, biblical philology is reimagined as the forward-moving study of the poetic processes by which Jewish communities re-created their past and revitalized their present. The Second Temple period emerges as a golden age of creativity, whose traces may still be discerned in Judaism and Christianity today.
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