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Rabbinic Midrash And Ancient Jewish Biblical Interpretation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter highlights aspects of Second Temple scriptural interpretation that help to historically contextualize rabbinic midrash socially, culturally, and intellectually. In comparing the exegetical contents of early rabbinic midrash with its Second Temple antecedents, we need to be as attentive to those aspects that concord as to those that do not. The explosion of evidence for scriptural interpretation among the varieties of pre-rabbinic Judaism has had, perhaps, the greatest impact on our realization of the great diversity of literary forms that such cultural activity could assume, defying the neat rubrics under which we had previously thought it could be sorted.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls; jewish biblical interpretation; rabbinic midrash



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