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Jewish Concepts of ScriptureA Comparative Introduction$
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Benjamin D. Sommer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740620

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740620.001.0001

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Concepts of Scripture in the Schools of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael

Concepts of Scripture in the Schools of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael

(p.47) Chapter 4 Concepts of Scripture in the Schools of Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Ishmael
Jewish Concepts of Scripture

Azzan Yadin-Israel

NYU Press

This chapter addresses an assumption that the early rabbis were unproblematically committed to the authority of Scripture. On one hand, The Rabbi Ishmael midrashim marginalized extrascriptural tradition, producing an articulated theory of scriptural interpretation that identifies Scripture itself as the most important agent in the process. The Rabbi Akiva midrashim, on the other hand, were much less committed to midrash, and when they did interpret, it is with a different method—one much less determined by the language and meaning of Scripture. These conflicting views pose a number of challenges to generally accepted terminology, and raises questions as to whether the different halakhic midrashim reflect a similar or even mutually recognizable conception of Scripture.

Keywords:   rabbis, Scripture, Rabbi Ishmael midrashim, Rabbi Akiva midrashim, midrash, scriptural interpretation

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