Download Deconstructing the Bible: Abraham Ibn Ezra's Introduction to by Irene Lancaster PDF

By Irene Lancaster

Deconstructing the Bible represents the 1st test through a unmarried writer to put the nice Spanish Jewish Hebrew bible exegete, thinker, poet, astronomer, astrologer and scientist Abraham ibn Ezra (1089-1164) in his whole contextual surroundings. It charts his strange travels and discusses adjustments and contradictions in his hermeneutic procedure, analysing his imaginative and prescient of the longer term for the Jewish humans within the Christian north of Europe instead of in Muslim Spain. It additionally examines his effect on next Jewish notion, in addition to his position within the wider hermeneutic debate. The booklet encompasses a new translation of ibn Ezra's advent to the Torah, written in Lucca, northern Italy, including an entire statement. it is going to be of curiosity to a large choice of students, starting from philosophers and theologians to linguists and scholars of hermeneutics.

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Extra info for Deconstructing the Bible: Abraham Ibn Ezra's Introduction to the Torah

Sample text

A spark disturbs our clod; Nearer we hold of God Who gives, than of His tribes that take, I must believe. (Robert Browning, ‘Rabbi ben Ezra’: III and V) From Bible to Mishnah In the previous chapter I stated that, in order fully to understand his hermeneutics, it is essential to place ibn Ezra in context. In this and subsequent chapters I shall trace the history of classical and mediaeval hermeneutics, as mediated through Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and evaluate their possible influences on ibn Ezra’s approach in his two Introductions to the Torah.

12 Samuel David Luzzatto (1800–65) was an Italian exegete whose main aim was to ‘protect’ Jewish thought and tradition from both Protestant biblical criticism and ‘evolutionary historical relativism’, although he approved of philological research. However he condemned the use of philosophy as an exegetical tool (blaming it for the mystical reaction) and particularly ibn Ezra’s own role in this context. Luzzatto’s approach was actually not dissimilar from that of ibn Ezra. 13 Meir Leibush Malbim (1809–79) is best known for his fearless stance against the Reform movement, for which he was imprisoned.

Olitzky outlines ibn Ezra’s comparison between the relationship of God to the intelligible world and that of the centre of a sphere to a line. In ibn Ezra’s Path One, truth is compared to the centre of a circle, whilst proponents of differing hermeneutic approaches are described as standing at various distances from this centre, depending on the 32 A H I S T O RY O F T H E S C H O L A R LY W O R K O N I B N E Z R A veracity of their method. Olitzky also discusses ibn Ezra’s identification of the philosophical ‘forms’ or ‘genera’ with the eternal statutes of Jewish law.

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