Chapter

Statements of Principles and Methodology

Naomi Grunhaus

in The Challenge of Received Tradition

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858408
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979899 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199858408.003.0002
Statements of Principles and Methodology

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This chapter presents a thorough investigation of Radak's explicit, wide-ranging methodological statements, which demonstrate support for rabbinic interpretations as well as his intention to avoid relying on them. The analysis considers the introductions to the commentary on Chronicles and to the commentary on Joshua, discussing not only the content of these introductions but also noting any changes in Radak's method over time. In the earlier introduction, to Chronicles, Radak avers that he will avoid quoting midrashic interpretation in the commentary—but in practice he quotes it, albeit relegating it to a secondary level of importance. In the introduction to the commentary on Joshua, Radak demonstrates that he evaluated rabbinic interpretations by their origin—whether “received” traditions (kabbalot) or creative innovations, as well as possibly “mere attachments” (smakh). Additionally, the chapter investigates Radak's methodological pronouncement in the commentary on Psalms 119, where he champions all received traditions.

Keywords: methodological statements; Chronicles; Joshua; kabbalot; received traditions; smakh; midrashic interpretation

Chapter.  9876 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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