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Trends: Plurality of Methods, Priority of Issues

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Chapter Summary

Biblical scholarship imported the study of grammar and rhetoric - Saadia, Ibn Ezra; historical criticism penetrated the biblical citadel when both were mature; H. Gunkel adapted techniques from comparative literature. This chapter points out two trends related to the modern study of language and literature, and to make a reference to the sociology of knowledge. It discusses narrative art, and describes language, specifically, vocabulary. Hebrew lexicography, the study of words of certain or uncertain meaning, is an ancient activity which continues unceasingly. Sometimes these results in dictionaries, sometimes the results are amassed in the pages of the Elenchus Biblicus. The author states that the study of vocabulary in an organic, structural form, namely the study of semantic fields, because the words in a language form a society of multiple relations. Few biblical scholars practise the analysis of semantic fields in its most rigorous form.

Keywords: Elenchus Biblicus; Hebrew lexicography; historical criticism; semantic fields; vocabulary



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