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The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud (Compendia Rerum Iudicarum Ad Novum Testamentum) (Vol 1) Hardcover – January 1, 1988
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About the Author
Martin J. Mulder was born in Ter Aar, The Netherlands, in 1923. He studied theology at the Free University of Amsterdam and Semitic languages at Leiden University. He was professor of Semitic languages at the Free University of Amsterdam (1970-1979) and professor of Old Testament at Leiden University (1979-1989), and also director of the Peshitta Institute of the same university. He published a large number of studies on Israelite religion, the Old Testament and the Ancient Versions, and Hebrew and Aramaic. Martin Mulder died in 1994.
Harry Sysling was born in Voorst, The Netherlands, in 1947. He studied theology and Semitic languages at the Free University of Amsterdam and received his PhD in 1991 from the University of Leiden. He lectured in Rabbinic Hebrew at Leiden University and worked as a translator for the New Dutch Bible Translation. He is presently engaged in research on targumic studies at the Theological University of Kampen. He has published principally in the area of Hebrew and Aramaic. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The first several articles deal mostly with the biblical text itself, from the alphabet, writing system, literacy in the ancient world, scribal practices, reading cycles, versions of the text, textual transmission to canonization of the text and formation of the Hebrew Bible. Then, the focus shifts to discussing various methods of interpretation of the text of the Hebrew Bible across time and by various groups. This ranges from biblical interpretation at Qumran to biblical interpretation as attested in Rabbinic literature, in writings of Josephus and Philo, to biblical interpretation by Gnostics and Early Christians, to name a few. The list is simply too long, but it provides probably the most thorough coverage of the topic to be found in a single volume.
The beauty of this volume is not only the depth and breadth with which it covers the Hebrew Bible, but also in the fact that the articles, while arranged in a logical order, are independent of each other. Thus one can pick up virtually anywhere in the book and read the topic he or she is interested in without having to read the preceding chapters. However, with that said, the articles are well written and should be accessible to both scholars and laymen alike. So the reader will certainly be edified by reading just about any article in the book. I highly recommend it.
For an interested reader, here is a list of chapters/topics covered in the book:
1. Writing in ancient Israel and early Judaism (Aaron Demsky and Meir Bar-Ilan)
2. Formation of the Hebrew Bible (Roger Beckwith)
3. The transmission of the Biblical text (Martin Mulder)
4. The reading of the Bible in the ancient synagogue (Charles Perrot)
5. The Septuagint (Emmanuel Tov)
6. The Samaritan Targum of the Pentateuch (Abraham Tal)
7. Jewish Aramaic translations of Hebrew scriptures (Philip Alexander)
8. The Old Testament Peshitta (Peter Dirksen)
9. The Latin translations (Benjamin Kedar)
10. Use, authority and interpretation of Mikra at Qumran (Michael Fishbane)
11. Use and interpretation of Mikra in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (Devorah Dimant)
12. Authority and interpretation of scripture in the writings of Philo ((Yehoshua Amir)
13. Use, authority and exegesis of Mikra in the writings of Josephus (Louis Feldman)
14. The interpretation of the Bible by the minor Hellenistic Jewish authors (Pieter van der Horst)
15. The interpretation of scripture in Rabbinic literature (Rimon Kasher)
16. Use, authority and exegesis of Mikra in the Samaritan tradition (Ruairidh Boid [M.N. Saraf])
17. Use, authority and exegesis of Mikra in Gnostic literature (Birger Pearson)
18. The Old Testament Canon in the Early Church (Earle Ellis)
19. Biblical interpretation in the New Testament Church (Earle Ellis)
20. Old Testament interpretation in the writings of the Church Fathers (William Horbury)