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Early Biblical Interpretation (LEC) (Library of Early Christianity, Vol 3) [Paperback]

By James L. Kugel (Author), James L. Kugel (Preface by) & Wayne A. Meeks (Foreword by)
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Item description for Early Biblical Interpretation (LEC) (Library of Early Christianity, Vol 3) by James L. Kugel & Wayne A. Meeks...

This highly accessible book discusses how the early Jewish and Christian communities went about interpreting Scripture. The Library of Early Christianity is a series of eight outstanding books exploring the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts in which the New Testament developed.

Publishers Description

This highly accessible book discusses how the early Jewish and Christian communities went about interpreting Scripture.

The Library of Early Christianity is a series of eight outstanding books exploring the Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts in which the New Testament developed.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   220
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.16" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.55"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 19, 1988
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
Series  Library Of Early Christianity  
ISBN  0664250130  
ISBN13  9780664250133  

Availability  85 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 01:44.
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More About James L. Kugel & Wayne A. Meeks

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James L. Kugel is the Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University and a regular visiting professor of biblical studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. He is the author of a number of books on biblical scholarship, including "How to Read the Bible," for which he won the National Jewish Book Award for best book.
George K. Wilson has narrated over one hundred fiction and nonfiction audiobook titles, from Thomas L. Friedman to Thomas Pynchon, and has won several "AudioFile" Earphones Awards.

James L. Kugel currently resides in the state of Massachusetts. James L. Kugel has an academic affiliation as follows - Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

James L. Kugel has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Library of Early Christianity

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Early Biblical Interpretation (LEC) (Library of Early Christianity, Vol 3)?

Major Factors that Shaped Early Scriptural Interpretation  Apr 27, 2007

"In the matter of biblical interpretation, if we are not to fantasize about the imperfections and the mistakes of the past, we have to take a close look at how past scholars have made sense of Holy Writ and to ask whether what they said is useful or misleading, perceptive or simply outdated?" Bruce Metzger

State of Biblical Interpretation:
With the emergence of the postmodern Western world, even among the most conservative Christians, the change in contemporary view of the Bible, has radically shifted within our culture. We no longer quote the Bible for definitive scientific information about world history, geography, geology, and astronomy, and most other domains. Nobody now believes the sun rotates around the Earth, whatever the Bible was interpreted, scoring one for Galileo against his Inquisitors. The only remnant of the universal validity that was attached to the Bible, many years ago is the stand on the factual nature of the two stories of creation in Genesis.
"In this matter ..., contemporary biblical scholarship appears to be departing from the centripetal focus of inquiry prevalent in the 19th and throughout most of the 20th centuries and returning to the appreciation of diversity of method exemplified in ancient scholars such as Philo, Origen, the rabbis, the DSS community, Augustine, etc." Alan J. Hauser

History of Biblical Interpretation:
Scientific reconstructive criticism has shown the importance of understanding the social, political, and economic milieu within which a biblical text was formed or edited. We thus must examine those forces which initiated the subsequent strata of interpretation and still motivate our own appreciation of the textual interpretive process. The impact of this awareness catalyzed modifying interpretation methods in many important ways.
Professor Hauser underlines the importance of such dramatic changes in interpretation, that has encountered biblical studies, during the past half century. These changes are bound to change the way in which Biblical scholars analyze and assess the history of the interpretive process, within methods for conducting biblical exegesis. The realization that employing a number of different approaches to understanding a biblical text can contribute richness to our understanding of that text, between other changes in contemporary biblical interpretive methodology, changed our understanding of the history of interpretation.
In recent biblical studies, the line between a biblical text and its interpretation is dimmed. Biblical interpreters interaction with the text is a dynamic changing one, rather than the ancient process of probing a static text to discover its meaning, literally or allegorically as have been the case with the Antiochene and Alexandrine traditions that prevailed since the Apostolic Fathers, and dominated late antiquity. That was just as true for ancient biblical interpreters as it is for us today. Even Apostle Paul is being now portrayed as was extracting the truths contained in the biblical texts, rather than was seeking methodological consistency.

Book & Series:
This is a volume in the series entitled "Library of Early Christianity", under the general editorship of Yale's Wayne Meeks, with a scope to enable readers to understand the historical forces that shaped early disposition on Scripture within the biblical period itself, and to recognize some of the characteristic forms adopted by early exegetes.
The book, contains two essays on biblical interpretation, Hebrew Bible and New Testament. The critical perspectives to the question of early Christian identity in the early Church, argue that the religious activity of the New Testament must be placed within the milieu of the Greco-Roman socio-political experience.

Early Jewish Interpretations:
In Part One, James Kugel, professor of Hebrew literature at Harvard, follows the history of the growth of Israel's sacred books, and the predominant necessity of interpreting these ancient books, particularly perceived during and after the Exile, to render them applicable in Jewish daily life. Several interpreters, such as the scholar 'sons of prophets,' scribes, Pharisees and Levites. From among this company of early interpreters, emerged a lineage of interpreters, called rabbis, since the second Temple, who ultimately produced an accumulated corpus of biblical commentary, notably the Mishnah and Talmuds. These latter comprised both legal details (halacha) and non-legal exegesis, including popular tales (haggada). Kugel's essay, continues to examine several interpretive texts to portray their embodiment of earlier tendencies, with examples from Qumran DSS, Philo Judeus, and the Targums, as well as examples within the Hebrew Bible itself of elaboration on earlier laws and exhortations.

NT to Rule of Faith:
In Part Two of the book, Rowan Greer, Emeritus professor of Anglican Studies, Yale Divinity School, briefly explores the formation of the Christian New Testament. Within the Gospels and epistles, the reader observes the reference and usage of Hebrew Scriptures in support of the preached gospels. The Apostolic Fathers, following Irenaeus of Lyon, and the Alexandrine Apologists, in the following centuries, defended the evangelic account of Jesus Christ, through prefigured types and allegories from the Old Testament. The Eastern and North African church fathers followed suit, with parallel lists of Old Testament texts, each quoted with a certain fulfillment attested by the New Testament writings. Due to debates with Gnostics and doctrinal controversies with other heretics, the 'canon' of the New Testament became gradually recognized, more clearly. For the first time, certain apostolic confessions, were identified as the Rule of Faith.

Informing Book Reviews:
- "Kugel devotes less than one page to the canonization of the Old Testament. Likewise Greer, when dealing with the rise of the Christian Bible, over-simplifies the complexity of the subject, giving little attention to books of local and temporary canonicity. ..., this book will be ... providing an overview of the high points during a long and complicated process, told in an interesting and clear manner." Bruce Metzger, Princeton Th. Seminary
- "Kugel and Greer explore the major factors that shaped scriptural interpretation within early Judaism and Christianity. Kugel shows how, ..., scriptural interpretation became a religious activity. Refining past tendencies and presaging future doctrinal debates, Greer demonstrates the notion of a Christian Bible on Irenaeus' synthesis." Arthur Dewey, Xavier University


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