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image of Vetus Testamentum

Several passages in the Bible explicitly describe "institutional" judicial proceedings. This study, however, focuses on eight passages which were not "declared" to be trials by their authors; nonetheless, their content, language, and apparent intentions indicate an attempt to convey the character of a juridical criminal proceeding. Close examination of the texts reveals a recurrent literary pattern, and as these texts are dialogues, this pattern is termed the "juridical dialogue". The first part of the study presents the characteristics of the juridical dialogue, by drawing a parallel between the phases of the juridical criminal proceedings, on the one hand, and the linguistic formulations used in the literary pattern, on the other. The second part focuses on the link between human dialogue and juridical proceedings; the features of a specific human discourse, the nature of which is judicial, are examined by applying sociolinguistic criteria.


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