Chapter

Wording of the Biblical Text

Timothy H. Lim

in Holy Scripture in the Qumran Commentaries and Pauline Letters

Published in print September 1997 | ISBN: 9780198262060
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682292 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262060.003.0003
Wording of the Biblical Text

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Attention to the wording of the biblical text is a feature of ancient exegesis that does not admit facile summary. On one level, it is literalism and no more. However, stopping there would ignore the complexities with which the ancient exegete worked and the dynamics that underlie the tension between preservation and renewal of biblical tradition. The self-perception of the ancient exegetes and translators determines the role which they play in making the past relevant for the present. Tendency to literalism, whether in exegesis or translation, downplays the intrusive role of the ancient interpreter and discloses a high regard for the sanctity of the words of the biblical texts. The scribal practices too, especially in the phenomena of preparing, copying, and then correcting their texts, can similarly be characterized by the principles that underlie exegetical and translational activity.

Keywords: exegetical phenomena; scribal phenomena; Pauline letters; Second Temple; biblical texts

Chapter.  7001 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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