Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking
A comprehensive and systematic exploration of myth in the Hebrew Bible. In addition, Michael Fishbane examines the ongoing role of Scripture in the expansion and transformation of myth in ancient Jewish sources (Midrash and Talmud) and in the classical work of medieval Jewish mysticism (thebook of Zohar). The role of myth and monotheism is taken up, and the texts of myth are subjected to close analytical treatment, dealing with matters of form, theme, and theology. In particular, the creative role of exegesis, and its capacity to generate new myths and to justify older or pre-existentones, is explored. Aspects of continuity and discontinuity with biblical and ancient Near Eastern sources are examined, and the explosive innovations of myth in the various literary phases are considered. In exploring three major phases of Jewish culture, Michael Fishbane offers a new appreciationfor the reality of myth and its varieties. Many new conceptual and analytical categories are presented, as well as numerous close readings of the texts at hand.
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Abbahu acts adduced ancient assertion attribute Babylonian battle biblical blessed bold Buber citation cited construed context creation depiction Deut divine Name divine power earlier earth Egypt Elohim exegesis exegetical exile Exod explication f1gure formulation Genesis Rabba GenR God's heaven heavenly Hebrew Hebrew Bible hermeneutical Holy homily human ibid indicate interpretation Israel Israelite Jacob Jerusalem Jewish Judah judgement Kabbalah king lament lemma Leviathan Lord marks meaning Mekhilta Mekhilta de-Rabbi mercy metaphor MidPs midrashic mishnah Moses mythic mythmaking mythologem mythopoesis narrative noted occurs passage Pesikta Pesikta de-Rav Kahana phrase presumably primordial proof-text Psalm rabbinic myth Rashi reading redemption reference righteous sages says Scripture sea monsters sense serpent Shekhinah Simeon Songs sources specif1c supernal Talmud Tanhuma tannaitic teaching Tehom Temple term kiv term kivyakhol theme theological throne topics Torah tradents tradition transformed Ugaritic variant verb verse waters word YHWH Yohanan Zohar