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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2009

Edward Kessler
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

Did an exegetical encounter take place in Jewish and Christian interpretations of Genesis 22.1–14 over many hundreds of years? By the term ‘exegetical encounter’ I mean that a Jewish interpretation either influenced, or was influenced by, a Christian interpretation and vice versa. The term does not imply that Jewish and Christian exegetes met to discuss their interpretations (although this might not be ruled out); rather, an exegetical encounter indicates awareness by one exegete of the exegetical tradition of another, revealed in the interpretations.

In my view, the existence (or non-existence) of an exegetical encounter sheds light on the extent of interaction between Judaism and Christianity in late antiquity. It may also have relevance for the contemporary Christian–Jewish relationship because the study of the Bible as well as Jewish and Christian biblical interpretation is becoming increasingly popular in the present dialogue between Christians and Jews.

In particular, I consider the writings of the Greek church fathers and the Palestinian rabbis before the Islamic conquest of Palestine, so chosen because writings after this period possess the additional and complicating factor of the possible influence of Islam. Although I refer to the writings of the Latin fathers as well as to the Syriac writings, and also make reference to the Babylonian Talmud, the focus is primarily on the Palestinian tradition and the works of the Greek fathers. The reason for this is that, if examples of an exegetical encounter are to be discovered, evidence will be found in these writings.

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Bound by the Bible
Jews, Christians and the Sacrifice of Isaac
, pp. 8 - 36
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2004

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  • Introduction
  • Edward Kessler, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Bound by the Bible
  • Online publication: 02 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511520624.003
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  • Introduction
  • Edward Kessler, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Bound by the Bible
  • Online publication: 02 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511520624.003
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Edward Kessler, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Bound by the Bible
  • Online publication: 02 December 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511520624.003
Available formats
×