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Textual Fidelity, Elaboration, Supersession or Encroachment? Typological Reflections on the Phenomenon of Rewritten Scripture

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the decisive phases in the history of scholarship on rewritten Bible which until a decade ago was the traditional term used to designate a number of Jewish texts of the late Second Temple period. It discusses what the author conceives to be the major obstacles against the continued use of the term and the theoretical horns to be dealt with if one wants to retain the concept. To the extent, however, that the notion is elevated to a comparative category which may be used cross-culturally with respect to other texts which also share the element of rewriting authoritative textual antecedents, it is imperative that one know how to go about it analytically. The chapter presents a few suggestive examples that develop a tentative typology that enable one to differentiate between different forms of authority which pertains to the relationship between texts and their scriptural predecessors.

Keywords: authoritative textual antecedents; Jewish texts; rewritten Bible; scriptural rewritings; textual fidelity



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