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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 Maimonides

Concepts of Scripture in Maimonides

(p.123) Chapter 8 Concepts of Scripture in Maimonides
Jewish Concepts of Scripture

James A. Diamond

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the intellectual legacy of Moses ben Maimon (Maimonides), which includes Jewish law (halakha), rabbinics, theology, philosophy, and biblical interpretation. No fundamental tenets of Judaism existed prior to his introduction of thirteen articles of faith—what have since been generally assented to as the Jewish creed. Maimonides maintains that the ideal medium for apprehending the ultimate truth of all Being is the nonverbal and the nontextual. Consequently, all reading of Scripture tends toward the act of translation into the language of silence. In order to arrive at that destination, one must adopt a restrained approach to the text and guard oneself from being drawn into the beauty of its prose and landing deeper into its language, rather than transcending it.

Keywords:   Maimonides, Moses ben Maimon, Jewsh law, rabbinics, biblical interpretation, Scripture, language of silence

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