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Parallelism is generally considered the "marker" dividing prose and poetry in ancient Semitic literature, including the Bible. Through their exposure to Judeo-Islamic scholarship certain Sephardic medieval thinkers came to understand this principle. Harris counters the general assumption that the northern French commentators (the so-called "School of Rashi") didn't understand parallelism in biblical composition. The assumption is based on the French commentators' immersion in the midrashic literature of rabbinic Judaism, which did not recognize parallelism, instead understanding each and every word of the Hebrew Bible as containing an aspect of the divine message in its own right. Moreover, unlike the exegetes and grammarians of the Judeo-Islamic world, the northern French scholars did not compose treatises on poetics. The book closely examines the extant biblical commentaries of the northern French exegetes. All citations of rabbinic literature are presented both in the original Hebrew and the author's English translations. The book is addressed not only to those scholars interested in the history of biblical interpretation, but with its close literary readings of biblical and rabbinic texts also appeals to those interested in synchronic understanding of the Bible.
Buy Discerning Parallelism: A Study in Northern French Medieval Jewish Biblical Exegesis (Brown Judaic Studies) by Robert A. Harris from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781930675223 & 1930675224
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