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The Rabbis and the Prophets: The Case of Amos

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image of Review of Rabbinic Judaism

The Prophets of Scripture are subverted by the Rabbis of the Talmud and Midrash. In the Rabbinic canon the writings of the Prophets are represented as a mass of prooftexts, made up of one clause or sentence at a time. Scripture’s prophetic writings cited in clauses and phrases in the Rabbinic canon thus lose their integrity and cease to speak in fully coherent paragraphs and chapters. So the Rabbis of late antiquity took over writings from what they recognized as remote and ancient times and of divine origin, and they re-presented selections of those writings in accord with their own project’s requirements, glossing clauses of the prophetic Scriptures but not whole, propositional discourses. This article illustrates how they did so, portraying the formal patterns of the Rabbis’ subversive glosses.

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Advanced Theology, Bard


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