Syllabus (Original in PDF)
Analysis of biblical metaphor and related literary issues as a key for defining the principal developments within the Spanish exegetical tradition. Origins in Saadia' s endeavor to reconcile Scripture and reason; Moses Ibn Ezra's poetic exegesis; Abraham Ibn Ezra's principles of peshat; Maimonides' philological and literary conceptions; Radak's midrashically enriched peshat method.
Lectures are based on readings indicated below, which must be prepared prior to class, meetings. In addition to final examination, each student must write a research paper on a topic related to the course. Further details to be announced during the semester.
The assigned readings were selected in part because of the primary sources they discuss and further studies to which they refer. Students are expected to look up the critical primary sources and are encouraged to consult the additional secondary sources in order to enrich their grasp of developments in the field of parshanut ha-miqra and biblical scholarship in general. (You will need a password to open the ones that are copyrighted)
Greenberg 1983:16-91 (chapters on Saadia through Radak)
Alonso Schockel 1988:95-141 (It's 17 Mbytes, so please right-click and select "Save Target as..." ); Weiss 1984:1-46, 130-135
Optional: Watson 1986:251-272
Mondschein 1992:137-142; idem 2000; Cohen 2003:1-16
Cohen 2003, chapter 1; Perez 1986
Optional: Pollack 1997:65-90; Steiner 1998:213-222; Ben-Shammai 1991:380-384 (esp. n. 46)
Cohen 2003, chapter 2; Klein-Braslavy 1988
Cohen 2003, chapter 3; Kamin 1991:12*~26*
Optional: Steiner 1996:43-47
Cohen 2003, chapter 4; Twersky 1993
Optional: Rosenberg 1981
Cohen 2003, chapter 5; Melammed 1978:538-539 (on smichut parashiyot)
Cohen 1994; Cohen 2003, chapter 6.1; Talmage 1975:1-42
Cohen 2003, chapter 6.2-6.3
Cohen 2003, chapter 7; Steiner 1992
(You will need a password to open the ones that are copyrighted)
Ahrend, Moshe. 1994. "The Concept Peshuto Shellamiqra' in the Making" [Hebrew]. In The Bible In Light of Its Interpreters: Sarah Kamin Memorial Volume [Hebrew], ed. S. Japhet. Jerusalem: Magnes Press. Pp. 237-259.
Alonso Schöckel, Luis. 1988. A Manual of Hebrew Poetics. Rome: Editrice Potifico Istituto Biblico.
Berlin, Adele. 1991. Biblical Poetry Through Medieval Jewish Eyes. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
__________ 1997. "On The Use of Traditional Jewish Exegesis in the Modem Literary Study of the Bible." In Tehillah le-Mosheh. Biblical and Judaic Studies in Honor of Moshe Greenberg, ed. M. Cogan, B. Eichler, I. Tigay. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Pp. 173-183.
Ben-Shammai, Haggai. 1991. "Rabbi Sa'adiah Gaon's Preface to Isaiah, an Introduction to the Later Prophets" [Hebrew]. Tarbiz 60:371-404.
Cohen, Mordechai Z. 1994. "Midrashic Influences on Radak's Peshat Exegesis" [Hebrew]. In Proceedings of the Eleventh World Congress of Jewish Studies. Jerusalem: Magnes Press. 1:143- 150.
________________ 1995/6. '"The Best of Poetry': Literary Approaches to the Bible in the Spanish Peshat Tradition." The Torah U-Madda Journal 6:15-57.
_________________ 2000. "Moses Ibn Ezra vs. Maimonides: Argument for a Poetic Definition of Metaphor (Isti'ära)." Edebiy'át: Journal of Middle Eastern and Comparative Literature 11:1-28.
_________________ 2003. Three Approaches to Biblical Metaphor: From Abraham Ibn Ezra and Maimonides to David Kimhi. Leiden: Brill.
Greenberg, Moshe, ed. 1983. Jewish Bible Exegesis: An Introduction [Hebrew]. Jerusalem: Magnes Press.
Hyman, Arthur. 1991. "Maimonides on Religious Language." In Perspectives on Maimonides, ed. Joel L. Kraemer. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 175-191.
Kamin, Sara. 1991. Jews and Christians Interpret the Bible. Jerusalem: Magnes Press.
Klein-Braslavy, Sara. 1988. "Maimonides' Commentary on Jacob's Dream of the Ladder" [Hebrew]. Bar-Ilan Annual 22-23:329-349.
Melammed, Ezra Zion. 1978. Bible Commentators [Hebrew]. Jerusalem: Magnes Press.
Mondschein, Aharon. 1992. "On the Attitude of R. Abraham Ibn Ezra to the Exegetical Use of the Hermeneutic Norm Gematri'a" [Hebrew]. In Te'uda 8: Studies in the Works of Abraham Ibn Ezra [Hebrew], ed. I Levin. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University Press. Pp. 137-161.
_________________ 2000. "'Only One in A Thousand of his Comments May Be Called Peshat': Toward Ibn Ezra's View of Rashi's Commentary to the Torah" [Hebrew]. In Studies in Bible and Exegesis V: Presented to Uriel Simon [Hebrew], ed. M. Garsiel et al. Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press. Pp. 221-248.
Perez, Ma'aravi. 1986 "'hiluf' millah bezulatah kemidah parshanit ezel hokhmei yemei habeinayim," In Studies in Bible Exegesis vol 2, ed. U. Simon, H:207-228. Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press.
Pollack, Meira. 1997. The Karaite Tradition of Arabic Bible Translation. Leiden: Brill.
Rosenberg, Shalom. 1981. nrny.~r~ ~t'zi w~p~ri ~ >~u. Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought 1: 157-185.
Rosenberg, Shalom. 1969. v.rrr5 ~ ~'t. De 'ot 37:91-98.
Sabo, Magne, ed. 2000. Hebrew Bible / Old Testament.' The History of Its Interpretation, vol. I, part 2: The Middle Ages. Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
Steiner, Richard C. 1992. "Meaninglessness, Meaningfulness and Super-meaningfulness in Scripture: An Analysis of the Controversy surrounding Dan 2:12 in the Middle Ages." Jewish Quarterly Review 82:431-49.
______________ 1996. "Behinot Lashon bePeirush l'Yehezkael uleTrei Asar Shebimigillat haIvriot miBizentin". Leshonenu 59:39-56.
______________ 1998. "Saadia vs. Rashi: On the Shift from Meaning-Maximalism to Meaning-Minimalism in Medieval Biblical Lexicology." JQR 88:213-258.
Talmage, Frank 1975. David Kimhi: The Man and the Commentaries. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Twersky, Tsadore. 1993. "Did R. Abraham Ibn Ezra Influence Maimonides?" [Hebrew]. In Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra.' Studies in the Writings of a Twelfth Century Jewish Polymath, ed. I Twersky and J. Harris. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 2 1-48 [Hebrew Section].
Watson. Wilfred, G.E. 1986. Classical Hebrew Poetry: A Guide to Its Techniques. Sheffield: JSOT Press.
Weiss, Meir. 1984. The Bible From Within.' The Method of Total Interpretation. Jerusalem: Magnes Press.