Blaire French on "Chronicles and Intertextuality in Early Rabbinic Interpretation"

January 29, 2018
Gibson 441

The first Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity (JCA) Colloquium of the semester will be at noon in Gibson 441. Blaire French will present a paper titled "Chronicles and Intertextuality in Early Rabbinic Interpretation."

The call to read Chronicles “midrashically” in Leviticus Rabbah 1.3 and Ruth Rabbah 2.1 challenges the contemporary understanding of intertextuality in the early Rabbis’ interpretation of Scripture. Daniel Boyarin, James Kugel, and others claim that the Rabbis considered each word in the canon to be equally inspired regardless of who wrote it or when. The Rabbis’ insistence, however, that Chronicles receive special treatment contradicts this assertion. This article argues that Chronicles’ late date of composition reduced its authority and led the Rabbis to give greater weight to the words of the Primary History than to those of Chronicles in their intertextual readings. As evidence, this article examines the midrashic interpretations of select names from Chronicles’ genealogy of Judah in Leviticus Rabbah, Ruth Rabbah, and the Talmud.


12:00 p.m.