The Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity


The ‘Exegetical Encounter between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity’ is a collection of essays examining the relationship between Jewish and Christian biblical commentators. The contributions focus on analysis of interpretations of the book of Genesis, a text which has considerable importance in both Christian and Jewish tradition. The essays cover a wide range of Jewish and Christian literature, including primarily rabbinic and patristic sources, but also apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus and Gnostic texts. In bringing together the studies of a variety of eminent scholars on the topic of ‘Exegetical Encounter’, the book presents the latest research on the topic and illuminates a variety of original approaches to analysis of exegetical contacts between the two sets of religious groups. The volume is significant for the light it sheds on the history of relations between Jews and Christians in Late Antiquity.
Restricted Access


EUR €122.00USD $160.00

Biographical Note

Emmanouela Grypeou has a Ph.D. in Languages and Cultures of the Christian Orient, and is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge, UK). Her previous publications include Das vollkommene Pascha: Gnostische Bibelexegese und gnostische Ethik (2005, Wiesbaden) and (together with M.Swanson and D. Thomas, eds) The Encounter of Eastern Christianity with Early Islam (2006, Leiden). She is currently working on Eastern Christian and Byzantine apocalyptic and exegetical literature. Helen Spurling has a Ph.D. in Rabbinics with particular focus on Midrashic literature from Cambridge University. She is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (Cambridge, UK), and has written articles on the subject of exegetical encounter in Collectanea Christiana Orientalia and The Harp. She has contributed to The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew and current projects include analysis of Jewish apocalyptic literature from Late Antiquity.

Review Quote

"The quality of all contributions is unique, as one should expect from a work edited by Brill. The volume presents papers from many known scholars in the biblical studies’ field, such as Michael Stone and Alison Salvesen" – Julio Cesar Dias Chaves, in: Laval théologique et philosophique 68/2 (2012)

Table of contents

Preface Edward Kessler Introduction Helen Spurling-Emmanouela Grypeou ‘In the Beginning’: Rabbinic and Patristic Exegesis on Genesis 1:1 Philip Alexander Adam Alone in Paradise. A Jewish-Christian Exegesis and Its Implications for the History of Asceticism Dmitrij F. Bumazhnov Will and Grace: Aspects of Judaising in Pelagianism in Light of Rabbinic and Patristic Exegesis of Genesis Burton L. Visotzky The Christian and Rabbinic Adam: Genesis Rabbah and Patristic Exegesis of Gen 3:17-19 Hanneke Reuling Critical Gnostic Interpretation of Genesis Gerard P. Luttikhuizen ‘Be You a Lyre For Me’: Identity or Manipulation in Eden Michael E. Stone What Did Cain Do Wrong? Jewish and Christian Exegesis of Genesis 4:3-6 Robert Hayward Creating Women’s Voices: Sarah and Tamar in Some Syriac Narrative Poems Sebastian P. Brock Genesis 15 in Rabbinic and Patristic Interpretation Günter Stemberger ‘And Abraham Had Faith’: But In What? Ephrem and the Rabbis on Abraham’s and God’s Blessings Judith Frishman Abraham’s Angels: Jewish and Christian Exegesis of Genesis 18-19 Emmanouela Grypeou and Helen Spurling Keeping it in the Family? Jacob and His Aramean Heritage according to Jewish and Christian Sources Alison Salvesen Early Rabbinic Exegesis of Genesis 38 Stefan C. Reif Origen’s View of ‘Jewish Fables’ in Genesis Marc Hirshman


All those interested in Biblical Studies, Patristic and Rabbinic literature, the History of Biblical Exegesis, and the Relations between Christian and Jews in Late Antiquity