The Encyclopedia of Midrash — Biblical Interpretation in Formative Judaism, provides a systematic account of biblical interpretation in Judaism, from well before the second century BCE through the end of the seventh century CE. While emphasizing the Rabbinic literature, it also covers interpretation of Scripture in a number of distinct canons, ranging from the Targumic literature and Dead Sea Scrolls to the New Testament and Church Fathers. The encyclopedia comprises fifty-six essays written by thirty scholars, representing the leading figures in the study of ancient Judaism and biblical interpretation in North America, Europe, and the State of Israel.
Alongside a general introduction to Rabbinic Midrash and its traits, including the theoretical questions of definition, origins, theology, hermeneutics, genre-criticism, and language, the encyclopedia addresses specific topics of concern in the study of scriptural interpretation. How Rabbinic midrashic documents that focus on specific books of Scripture read those specific books, the theology expressed by Rabbinic midrashic compilations, and the historical context in which Rabbinic Midrash took shape all are treated. Beyond these central issues in understanding Rabbinic Midrash, the encyclopedia treats interpretations of Scripture that came to closure prior to, or outside of, the framework of Rabbinic Midrash: Hellenistic Jewish Midrash, Josephus, Pseudo-Philo, Jubilees, as well as to the New Testament, Karaite and Samaritan writings, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Encyclopedia of Midrash provides readers with a depth and breadth of treatment of Midrash unavailable in any other single source. Through the writings of top scholars in each of their fields, it sets out the current state of the question for each of the many topics discussed in its pages.
Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. He is a Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ.
Alan J. Avery-Peck is Kraft-Hiatt Professor in Judaic Studies in the Religious Studies Department of the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts. Alongside his many publications on Rabbinic Judaism, he is - with Jacob Neusner - editor of
The Encyclopaedia of Judaism.
Consulting Editors: William Scott Green and Guenter Stemberger
Since this work includes some of the best known and most excellent national and international scholars of Midrash it is an essential tool for a research library or the seminary offering a curriculum in Biblical and Jewish studies.' Amy Phillips,
Atlantis, March 2006.
Table of contents
Listing of entries, by topic:
General Introduction to Rabbinic Midrash and its Traits 1. Midrash, Definitions of—Gary G. Porton 2. Origins and Emergence of Midrash in Relation to the Hebrew Bible—Timothy H. Lim 3. Theology of Rabbinic Midrash—Jacob Neusner 4. Hermeneutics, Techniques of Rabbinic Exegesis—Rivka Kern-Ulmer 5. Hermeneutics, A Critical Account—Gary G. Porton 6. Hermeneutics, Theology of—David Instone-Brewer 7. Theological Foundations of Rabbinic Exegesis—Rivka Kern-Ulmer 8. Language and Midrash—David Aaron 9. Women, Midrashic Constructions of—Judith R. Baskin 10. Halakhic Category Formations, Midrash and—Jacob Neusner 11. Oral Torah, Midrash and—Jacob Neusner 12. Parable—Jacob Neusner 13. Genres, Midrash and —Dalia Hoshen 14. “Art” in Midrashic Literature—Steven Fine 15. Qabbalah, Midrash and—Ithamar Gruenwald 16. Liturgy, Midrash in—Richard S. Sarason
Rabbinic Reading of Biblical Books 17. Genesis in Genesis Rabbah—Jacob Neusner 18. Exodus in Mekhilta Attributed to R. Ishmael—Jacob Neusner 19. Leviticus in Sifra—Guenter Stemberger 20. Leviticus in Leviticus Rabbah—Jacob Neusner 21. Numbers in Sifre to Numbers—Jacob Neusner 22. Deuteronomy in Sifre to Deuteronomy—Steven Fraade 23. Lamentations in Lamentations Rabbati—Jacob Neusner 24. Song of Songs in Song of Songs Rabbah—Luis Girón Blanc 25. Esther in Esther Rabbah I—Jacob Neusner 26. Ruth in Ruth Rabbah—Jacob Neusner 27. Pesiqta deRab Kahana, Synagogue Lections for Special Occasions in—Jacob Neusner 28. Mekhilta deR. Simeon b. Yohai—W. David Nelson 29. Midrash Tannaim—Herbert Basser
The Theology of Rabbinic Midrash 30. Genesis Rabbah, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 31. Pesiqta deRab Kahana, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 32. Song of Songs Rabbah, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 33. Leviticus Rabbah, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 34. Lamentations Rabbati, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 35. Ruth Rabbah, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 36. Sifre to Deuteronomy, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 37. Sifre to Numbers, Theology of—Jacob Neusner 38. Sifra: Theology of—Jacob Neusner
Rabbinic Midrash in Historical Context 39. Fourth and Fifth Century Midrash-Compilations—Jacob Neusner
Privileged Translations: The Targumim and Rabbinic Midrash 40. Targum Jonathan of the Prophets I—Bruce D. Chilton 41. Targum Jonathan to the Prophets II—The Former Prophets—Bruce D. Chilton 42. Targum, Conceptual Categories of—Etan Levine 43. Pentateuchal Targums as Midrash—Paul Flesher 44. Hagiographa, Targums to—Josep Ribera
Formative Rabbinic Midrash in Synchronic Context; Special Topics 45. Hellenistic Jewish Midrash, I: Beginnings—Folker Siegert 46. Hellenistic Jewish Midrash II: Adopting the Allegoric Method. Aristobulus to Philo— Folker Siegert 47. Hellenistic Jewish Midrash, III: Developed Non-Allegorical Forms. Josephus—Folker Siegert 48. Josephus, Midrash in His Version of the Pentateuch—Louis Feldman 49. Pseudo-Philo’s Biblical Antiquities—Daniel J. Harrington 50. Jubilees, Midrash in—Betsy Halpern-Amaru 51. Church Fathers, Rabbinic Midrash and—Adam Kamesar 52. Septuagint, Midrashic Traditions and—Giuseppe Veltri 53. New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash—Robert Price 54. Karaite Conception of the Biblical Narrator—Meira Polliack 55. Samaritan Midrash—Alan Crown 56. Dead Sea Scrolls, Biblical Interpretation in—Lawrence H. Schiffman