Jew­ish Text

Jew­ish-Chris­t­ian Dia­logues on Scrip­ture in Late Antiquity

Michal Bar-Ash­er Siegel

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

Sto­ries por­tray­ing heretics (‘min­im’) in rab­binic lit­er­a­ture are a cen­tral site of rab­binic engage­ment with the oth­er’. These sto­ries typ­i­cal­ly involve a con­flict over the inter­pre­ta­tion of a bib­li­cal verse in which the rab­binic fig­ure emerges vic­to­ri­ous in the face of a chal­lenge pre­sent­ed by the heretic. In this book, Michal Bar-Ash­er Sie­gal focus­es on heretic nar­ra­tives of the Baby­lon­ian Tal­mud that share a com­mon lit­er­ary struc­ture, strong polem­i­cal lan­guage and the for­mu­la, Fool, look to the end of the verse’. She mar­shals pre­vi­ous­ly untapped Chris­t­ian mate­ri­als to arrive at new inter­pre­ta­tions of famil­iar texts and illu­mi­nate the com­plex rela­tion­ship between Jews and Chris­tians in Late Antiq­ui­ty. Bar-Ash­er Sie­gal argues that these Tal­mu­dic lit­er­ary cre­ations must be seen as part of a bound­ary-cre­at­ing dis­course that clear­ly dis­tin­guish­es the rab­binic posi­tion from that of con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous Chris­tians and adds to a grow­ing under­stand­ing of the rab­binic authors’ famil­iar­i­ty with Chris­t­ian traditions.

Discussion Questions