Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE HBW2014

 
TITLE Readings in Hebrew: Receptions of Biblical Traditions

 
LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT Oriental Studies

 
DESCRIPTION This study-unit offers an introduction to the reception history of biblical traditions through the reading of select texts in Hebrew and the study of cultural artefacts that interact with these traditions. Lectures will explore the history of interpretation of two biblical figures or narratives in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts as well as their representation in art and other media. The pertinent biblical texts and later Jewish retellings and commentaries will be read in the original Hebrew. In addition to highlighting key concepts concerning biblical exegesis and the afterlife of biblical texts, this study-unit trains students to adopt a synoptic, interdisciplinary approach to the reading of biblical literature, while also strengthening their grasp of biblical, post-biblical, and rabbinic Hebrew/Aramaic.

Study-unit Aims:

1. To offer an introduction to key concepts concerning the reception history and afterlives of biblical texts;
2. To explore the significance of biblical traditions for later readers and their impact on ancient and modern societies;
3. To discuss key exegetical techniques employed by ancient and modern interpreters of biblical texts;
4. To train students to read and translate ancient Hebrew texts, and to carry out critical textual and philological analyses of such texts;
5. To train students to make critical comparisons between biblical stories and their rewriting, retelling, or interpretation in later literature and art as well as in contemporary cinema and music.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. relate salient details regarding two biblical figures or episodes and their history of reception;
2. discuss key concepts concerning the reception history and afterlives of biblical texts;
3. appraise the significance of biblical traditions for later readers and assess the impact of these texts on ancient and modern societies;
4. identify, analyze, and discuss key exegetical techniques employed by ancient and modern interpreters of biblical texts;
5. read and translate select passages from the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and rabbinic literature, and examine key elements of Hebrew grammar and syntax;
6. compare and contrast biblical stories with their rewriting, retelling, or interpretation in later literature and art as well as in contemporary cinema and music.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. read and translate vocalized and unvocalized Hebrew texts;
2. acquire advanced knowledge regarding ancient Hebrew grammar and syntax;
3. apply methods of biblical exegesis to the reading of other biblical and non-biblical Hebrew texts;
4. use texts to reconstruct the socio-cultural, historical, and ideological contexts in which they were produced and read;
5. integrate the study of biblical texts with other fields of study, such as history of art, literature, history, film studies, and cultural studies, among many others.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

An extensive bibliography pertinent to the texts to be read will be provided by the lecturer in class. The following is a select list of books on biblical reception theory and history as well as Hebrew grammar.

Reception Theory and Biblical Reception History:

- Breed, B. W. 2014 Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
- Evans, R. 2016 Reception History, Tradition and Biblical Interpretation: Gadamer and Jauss in Current Practice. Edinburgh: T&T Clark.
- Lieb, M., Mason, E., and Roberts, J., eds. 2011 The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Lyons, W. J. and England, E., eds. 2015 Reception History and Biblical Studies: Theory and Practice. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark.
- Machor, J. L. and Goldstein, P., eds. 2001 Reception Study: From Literary Theory to Cultural Studies. London: Routledge.
- Spieckermann, H. 2012 "From Biblical Exegesis to Reception History." Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 1: 327-350.

Grammars:

- Fernandez, M.P. 1999 An Introductory Grammar of Rabbinic Hebrew. 2nd edn. Leiden: Brill.
- Joüon, P., and Muraoka, T. 2006 A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Revised English edition. Rome: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico.
- Lambdin, T. O. 1976 Introduction to Biblical Hebrew. London: Darton, Longman, and Todd Ltd.
- Qimron, E. 1986 The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Atlanta: Scholars Press
- Raymond, E. D. 2014 Qumran Hebrew: An Overview of Orthography, Phonology, and Morphology. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature.
- Waltke, B. K. and O'Connor, M. 1990 An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Indiana: Eisenbrauns.
- Weingreen, J. 1959 A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew. 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Wilhelm, G. 2006 Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar. Edited and enlarged by E. Kautzch. Translated by A. E. Cowley. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications.

Dictionaries:

- Brown, F., Driver, S. R., and Briggs, C. A. 1906 The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Peabody, MS: Hendrickson Publishers (a 2003 reprint of the 1906 edition with corrections of the errors and misprints in that edition).
- Jastrow, M. 2005 A Dictionary of the Targumim, the Talmud Babli and Yerushalmi, and the Midrashic Literature. Peabody, MS: Hendrickson Publishers.
- Koehler, L. and Baumgartner, W. 2001 The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. 2 vols. Translated and edited under the supervision of M. E. J. Richardson. Leiden: Brill.

 
ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-Requisite qualifications: Knowledge of biblical Hebrew

Pre-Requisite Study-units: NES1001, NES1002

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment 50%
Examination (2 Hours) 50%

 
LECTURER/S

 
The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.

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