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Understanding Participant-Reference Shifts in the Book of Jeremiah

A Study of Exegetical Method and its Consequences for the Interpretation of Referential Incoherence

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Oliver Glanz

In prophetic and poetic literature of the Old Testament references to textual participants are inconsistent with regard to their gender, number and person characteristics. Oliver Glanz for the first time provides a systematic study of the phenomenon of participant-reference shifts. The study is restricted to the book of Jeremiah and reflects upon the methodological conditions that should guide the analysis of participant-reference shifts.
Focusing on computer assisted pattern recognition the research suggests that Jeremiah's participant-reference shifts should not be understood from a diachronic perspective. Understanding the origin and function of participant-reference shifts rather from the perspective of syntax, text grammar and rhetorics proves to be more consistent with the textual evidence. With this insight participant-reference shifts no longer have to distort textual coherence.