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Introduction: Some Thoughts on Ancient Jewish Texts and the ‘Literary’

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter gives an overview of concepts of subsequent chapters covered in the book on Approaches to Literary Readings of Ancient Jewish Writings. The book presents some observations regarding the relationship between literary analysis on the one hand and ancient Jewish text studies on the other hand. The first issue Weitzman touches upon is that the literary approach is an 'old' method. Furthermore, ancient Jewish texts cover more than the Hebrew Bible, and many of these other texts benefit from a literary analysis that sheds new light on them and their internal functioning. Exoneration of the Bible was one of the main grounds for approaching it through literary analysis. In all cases, the literary is questioned either as method or as textual characteristic and forms the outset of contributions that placed together give an overview of the 'after of the Art of Biblical and other Ancient Jewish Texts'.

Keywords: ancient Jewish texts; Hebrew Bible; literary readings



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