On the interpretive method of R. Raphael Berdugo (based on his exegesis of the former prophets)

Amos Frisch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

The article discusses the interpretive method of R. Raphael Berdugo (1747-1821), based on his exegesis on the Former Prophets in the book Mesammehcombining dot belowei Leb. The subjects examined include the simple and homiletic interpretations of the text and Berdugo's attitude to the Rabbis; his attitude to earlier commentators; his relating to historical-realistic questions; language, textual versions, and lower criticism; discovering the motives of Biblical characters; assessing the actions by these characters; Berdugo's thought. The last section of the article examines whether there is a single basic principle on which Berdugo's positions on various issues are founded. We argue that Berdugo's methodology is rooted in two dialectic principles, rather than a single tenet: reason, on the one hand, and, on the other, respect (for the tradition, and for Biblical figures).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-462
Number of pages18
JournalRevue des Études Juives
Volume163
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

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