A School of Christian Hebraists in Thirteenth-Century England: A Unique Hebrew-Latin-French and English Dictionary and its Sources

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies
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Abstract

This paper is a preliminary presentation of a unique Hebrew-Latin-Old French dictionary written by Christian scholars in 13th century England, to appear shortly in print. The authors of this exceptional work did not follow the patristic tradition of Christian Hebraism and did not focus on anti-Jewish polemics, but rather turned to Jewish Rabbinic and Medieval sources, such as commentaries of Rachi, the lexicon of Solomon ibn Parhon or Alpha Beta de-Ben Sira for their understanding of the Hebrew text of the Bible. Following the grammatical approach of the classical Spanish school of Hebrew grammar, this dictionary is a real 'philological' work. It stems from a Christian tradition of the use of the Hebrew Bible for correcting the Vulgate as represented by the bilingual Hebrew-Latin Bible manuscripts produced and studied in England in the late 12th and 13th centuries.

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