Page 14 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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S. DAVID SPERLING
Israeli Biblical Scholarship: The
Past Decade
W e
m a y
d i v i d e
Israeli biblical scholarship into two b road cat­
egories. In the first category are methods and approaches which
Israeli scholarship shares with the general academic Bible es­
tablishment: textual, historical, archeological, literary-critical
and literary-esthetic studies. Because most non-Jewish Bible
scholars (with some significant exceptions) are not fluen t in
Modern Hebrew, Israeli practitioners o f this mainstream schol­
arship serve on editorial boards o f internationa l jou rna ls such
as the Dutch
Vetus Testamentum
and the German
Zeitschrift fur
die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft,
and publish the ir work in in te r­
national jou rna ls in Western languages. As a result, general bib­
lical scholarship fully acknowledges the contributions o f the Is­
raelis. Indeed , the Anchor Bible series published in the United
States includes commentaries by the Israelis Hayyim T adm o r
and Mordechai Cogan (2Kings); Moshe G reenberg (Ezekiel) and
Moshe Weinfeld (Deuteronomy). In the American Hermeneia
series published by Fortress Press, the au tho r o f the commen­
tary on the Book o f Amos is Shalom Paul, who is thus far the
only Jewish con tribu to r to the series. Similarly, the re is no lack
o f Israeli represen tation in the
Anchor Bible Dictionary
(New
York, 1992).
In the second category o f Israeli Bible scholarship is the study
o f
parshanut,
tha t is p re-m odern Jewish biblical scholarship. In
recent years the history o f
parshanut
has been rewritten. T he
availability o f manuscripts has made for at least the partial re ­
covery o f work by such scholars as Moses ibn Gikatilla, Ju d a h
ibn Bal‘am, Isaac ibn Ghayyat, Isaac b. Samuel Al-Kanzi and
Zerahya o f Barcelona. Much o f Israeli scholarship in this area
is being done at Bar-Ilan University by Uriel Simon and his
disciples. Unfortuna tely , outside o f Israeli and Jewish circles
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