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Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics, and Divine Imagery (Brill Reference Library of Judaism) [Hardcover]

By David H. Aaron (Author)
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Item description for Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics, and Divine Imagery (Brill Reference Library of Judaism) by David H. Aaron...

"Biblical Ambiguities" poses as its central question: When we read a passage in the Hebrew Bible, how do we know whether the passage was meant literally or metaphorically? This study argues that our assumptions as to how language works influences the way we interpret biblical texts. Drawing upon contemporary linguistic theory, Aaron seeks to place before the reader a strategy for deciphering biblical idioms within a theory of semantics, using divine imagery in the Hebrew Bible as the primary focal point. This book presents a gradient model of meaning based on Relevance Theory and the writings of Ray Jackendoff. While numerous biblical passages are considered in detail, the main test case for Aaron's approach to meaning and metaphor is the Israelite attitude toward idols. Although biblical ideology is usually portrayed as contrasting a literalist idolatry with a more sophisticated Israelite theology, Aaron argues that policies regarding icons had less to do with theology than the politics of governance and language. Part of that critique regards common scholarly assumptions about the literal or metaphorical character of divine imagery and idols. The metaphorization or the literalization of biblical images has served as a reading strategy since ancient times, and often persists in scholarly discourse today. Perhaps as important as Aaron's suggestion of an alternative approach to the problem of distinguishing metaphorical from literal language, is that his argument raises our consciousness of how we go about interpretive acts when writing the history of Israelite theology.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Brill Academic Publishers
Pages   222
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.78" Width: 6.52" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.22 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 12, 2001
Publisher   Brill Academic Publishers
ISBN  9004120327  
ISBN13  9789004120327  

Availability  0 units.

More About David H. Aaron

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David H. Aaron is Professor at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati).

David H. Aaron currently resides in Cincinnati, in the state of Ohio. David H. Aaron was born in 1956.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Hermeneutics
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

Reviews - What do customers think about Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics, and Divine Imagery (Brill Reference Library of Judaism)?

Ambivalent  Feb 9, 2005
It is scholarly in its method. However, the conclusions are just that the Bible contains ambiguities and that some ambiguities are more ambiguous than others. Ambiguity may function as a Bible code, but God will tell us when the scrolls will be undone.

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