Item description for A History of Biblical Interpretation, Volume 1: The Ancient Period (History of Biblical Interpretation Series) by Alan J. Hauser & Duane F. Watson...
Overview This first volume of A History of Biblical Interpretation explores interpreters and their methods in the ancient period, from the very earliest stages to the time when the canons of Judaism and Christianity gained general acceptance. The second part of the book probes themes specific to Christian interpretation of the biblical texts. Destined to be a standard resource on the history of biblical interpretation. Contributors: Peder Borgen, Dennis Brown, James H. Charlesworth, Philip R. Davies, Craig A. Evans, Harry Gamble, Leonard Greenspoon, Alan J. Hauser, Donald H. Juel, Martin McNamara, Esther Menn, Richard A. Norris Jr., Gary G. Porton, James A. Sanders, Joseph Trigg, Duane F. Watson, Frances Young.
Publishers Description At first glance, it may seem strange that after more than two thousand years of biblical interpretation there are still major disagreements among biblical scholars about what the Jewish and Christian Scriptures say and about how one is to read and understand them. Yet the range of interpretive approaches now available is the result both of the richness of the biblical texts themselves and of differences in the worldviews of the communities and individuals who have sought to make the Scriptures relevant to their own time and place. A History of Biblical Interpretation provides detailed and extensive studies of the interpretation of the Scriptures by Jewish and Christian writers throughout the ages. Written by internationally renowned scholars, this multivolume work comprehensively treats the many different methods of interpretation, the many important interpreters who have written in various eras, and the many key issues that have surfaced repeatedly over the long course of biblical interpretation. This first volume of A History of Biblical Interpretation explores interpreters and their methods in the ancient period, from the very earliest stages to the time when the canons of Judaism and Christianity gained general acceptance. The first part of the book concentrates on the use of the Scriptures within Judaism. Chapters examine inner-biblical exegesis in the Tanak, the development of the Septuagint, the exegetical approach of Philo of Alexandria, biblical interpretation in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Targumim, the nature of rabbinic midrash, the stabilization of the Hebrew Bible, and the interpretation of the Bible in the Jewish Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. The second part of the book probes themes specific to Christian interpretation of the biblical texts. Chapters here discusses how Israel's Scriptures are used in the New Testament writings, the hermeneutical approaches of the Apostolic Fathers and the Apologists, Alexandrian and Antiochene exegesis, the contributions of Jerome and Augustine, the formation of the New Testament canon, and the interpretation of Scripture in the New Testament Apocrypha and Gnostic writings. In addition to these in-depth studies, the volume includes a substantial introduction by the editors that gives readers both a broad overview of the primary issues and features of ancient biblical interpretation as treated in this volume and a means of sampling the ways in which the key figures, schools of interpretation, and issues discussed interweave and contrast with each other. Up to date, balanced, and engagingly written, this superb work - and those to follow - will soon become a standard resource on the history of biblical interpretation. Contributors: Peder Borgen Dennis Brown James H. Charlesworth Philip R. Davies Craig A. Evans Harry Gamble Leonard Greenspoon Alan J. Hauser Donald H. Juel Martin McNamara Esther Menn Richard A. Norris Jr. Gary G. Porton James A. Sanders Joseph Trigg Duane F. Watson Frances Young
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.21" Width: 6.14" Height: 1.14" Weight: 1.71 lbs.
Release Date Oct 17, 2008
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN 0802863957 ISBN13 9780802863959
Availability 90 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 02:56.
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More About Alan J. Hauser & Duane F. Watson
David Clines is Professor of Biblical Studies and Head of Department in the University of Sheffield. Dr. David M. Gunn is A.A. Bradford Professor of Religion at the Texas Christian University.
Alan J. Hauser has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A History of Biblical Interpretation, Volume 1: The Ancient Period (History of Biblical Interpretation Series)?
All things old... Nov 24, 2003
Part of a planned multi-volume series by Eerdmans, this first volume of 'A History of Biblical Interpretation' covers the ancient period -- variously defined by historians, it basically begins with the formation of the Hebrew scriptures and their translation into Greek into the Septuagint (LXX), proceeds to look the early Rabbinic and Apostolic periods, and proceeds into Christian history with the early Fathers and Apologists, Jerome, the closure of the canon, and the ending of imperial times.
I give great credit to this text as they devote much attention to looking at the Bible prior to the time of Jesus as Jewish texts in Jewish contexts, without superimposing a necessarily Christian framework or interpretation upon the texts. Space is precious, even in a multi-volume work, so decisions had to be made as to what to include and what to exclude (a decision that is always made in authorship, though rarely recognised explicitly as the editors here describe) -- while investigation of sidelines and minor strands in Judeo-Christian biblical interpretation is interesting, the decision was made to concentrate on the major influences and figures that continued to have major impact.
The editors Alan J. Hauser and Duane F. Watson provide an introductory chapter that explores the topics in the subsequent chapters of this volume, providing an initial framework and introduction for the overall strand of development. Over two thousand years of interpretation is a major topic to develop; even five hundred years is a formidible task, particularly when those five hundred years contain the formation of the canon of both the Tanakh and the Christian bible, and the formation of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaisms as established institutions.
Hauser and Watson explore the issues of unity and diversity, pointing out the shifting emphases over time. They then briefly describe major historical events and key topics and personalities crucial to the understanding of ancient biblical interpretation. These range from Midrash and the Dead Sea Scrolls to canonical formation and regional rivalries, such as that between Alexandria and Antioch. Hauser and Watson make the interesting observation that, at the end of the ancient period, as Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity were firmly established on separate paths, there was still a great deal of commonality in methods of interpretation. Upon reflection, this should come as no surprise, given that both grew up essentially in the same cultural and intellectual environments.
Succeeding chapters look at major figures and topics such as Philo of Alexandria; Jerome and the Vulgate; the Dead Sea Scrolls; Rabbinic Midrash; Apostolic Fathers; Augustine; and various other topics. The chapter on the Dead Sea Scrolls represents perhaps a departure from the stated intention of not going into minor and sectarian strands (for example, Samaritan interpretation is not a major topic explored in its own right, even though its direct interpretation influence is arguably stronger than the Dead Sea Scrolls until modern times). The Dead Sea Scrolls do, however, provide a snapshot of a sectarian development at a certain point in time, and the documentary evidence that survives represents some of the oldest and largest collections of biblical texts, exegetical writings, and other community pieces from the ancient world.
Each chapter is developed by a scholar expert in the topic; they do work together as a collection. As an aid to scholarship, there are several indexes: subject, ancient and modern author, biblical and extra-biblical primary sources (indeed, the indexes extend for 70 pages). Each chapter has a bibliography for further reading in each topic. I might argue with some of the bibliographic pieces (for example, there were a few key texts for Augustine that seemed to be missing from the list for that chapter), but in general they are good lists.
Scholarly yet accessible, complete without being unbearably lengthy, this book is a good study of the way in which people have looked at the Bible in the past; together with future volumes, it provides an interesting way in seeing how Biblical interpretative development in Judaism and Christianity has brought these religions to the position of diversity of opinion they occupy today.