A. Lange and M. Weigold, Biblical Quotations and Allusions in Second Temple Jewish Literature

Journal of Hebrew Scriptures - Volume 13 (2013) - Review

Lange, Armin, and Matthias Weigold, Biblical Quotations and Allusions in Second Temple Jewish Literature (Journal of Ancient Judaism Supplements, 5; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011). Pp. 384. Hardcover. €89.99. ISBN 978-3-525-55028-1.

In Biblical Quotations and Allusions in Second Temple Jewish Literature, Armin Lange and Matthias Weigold address the lack of a comprehensive list of intertextual references to the Hebrew Bible in Second Temple Jewish literature. Using computer-generated searches, and comparing materials drawn from various sources, they formulate several lists based on certain specifications. Essentially, their volume consists of four sections: (1) a comprehensive introduction; (2) a list of biblical quotations and allusions following the order of books, chapters and verses in the Hebrew Bible; (3) a list of biblical quotations and allusions arranged according to the borrowing texts; and finally (4) two appendices containing a list of uncertain quotations and allusions, as well as texts that do not contain any clear quotation or allusion to the books of the Hebrew Bible.

The Introduction is clear and instructive. Lange and Weigold present in a comprehensive manner the methodology used in order to produce and compile their lists, and discuss various theoretical as well as practical issues related to intertextuality. As the authors explain, the lists were primarily compiled using the databases and the search capacities of the Accordance software (pp. 17–18):

For each verse of the Hebrew Bible we performed INFER searches in both various Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek texts from the ST period in the Accordance databases. The source texts for which we searched include the Hebrew/Aramaic modules BHS with Westminster Hebrew Morphology (BHS-W4), Samaritan Pentateuch (SAMAR-T), and Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Corpus (DSSB-C) as well as the Greek Septuagint modules (LXX1 and LXX2). The target texts in which we searched include the Hebrew/Aramaic modules BHS with Westminster Hebrew Morphology (BHS-W4), Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Corpus (DSSB-C), Sectarian Qumran Corpus (QUMRAN) and Ben Sira (BENSIRA-C), as well as the Greek Septuagint modules (LXX1 and LXX2), and the Greek Pseudepigrapha (PSEUD-T).

Furthermore, depending on the language and genre of the source text, different parameters were defined in order to verify a given intertextual reference, with some flexibility allowed: one word could be ignored from the source text; one word could be added in the target text; and the word order could be ignored.

The authors also address the subject of intertextuality and citationality by drawing from the works of Julia Kristeva, Marko Juvan and Gerard Genette.[1] Beginning with quotations and citations as the foundation of intertextual discourse, they explore transtextual relationships between “anterior” and “posterior” texts. These discussions provide a theoretical basis for defining more closely the type of intertextual phenomenon retained in the lists compiled by Lange and Weigold. Excluded from these lists are features such as formulaic and idiomatic language; lemmata quoted in commentaries; the base text used by a translation; and various forms of hypertextuality. Basically, the lists include all forms of anterior-posterior intertextuality involving quotations, allusions, references, and reminiscences that meet certain criteria (p. 23).

Moreover, based on Devorah Dimant's classification, the authors distinguish between (1) explicit and implicit quotations and (2) explicit and implicit allusions.[2] Lange and Weigold define a quotation as being morphologically identical: an implicit quotation is any uninterrupted and unaltered verbal parallel of at least four words; an explicit quotation is any verbal parallel of at least two words that are explicitly identified by a quotation formula or marker. They define an allusion as a linguistically recognizable anterior text in a posterior text; an implicit allusion can be identified when the two texts, while not morphologically identical, have at least three words in common, whereas an explicit allusion is characterized by a quotation formula or a reference marker. With these definitions and classification, Lange and Weigold formulate a method for identifying quotations and allusions from the Hebrew Bible in Second Temple Jewish literature which is in principle objective and verifiable .

The definitions and classifications offered by Lange and Weigold represent a significant contribution toward achieving a more objective method for identifying quotations, allusions and other forms of intertextual reuse of Hebrew Bible materials in the literature from the Second Temple period. At the same time, however, the lists compiled in this volume present several limitations, especially because they consider exclusively the reception of biblical texts in the Second Temple literature, and do not include a discussion of (and a comparison with) the reception of non-biblical materials. Lange and Weigold are, of course, fully aware of this limitation, which they explain by funding issues: “Furthermore, the limited amount of funds at our disposal did not allow for the identification of non-biblical quotations and allusions. Should we be able to raise more funds we hope to identify non-biblical quotations and allusions as well” (p. 36). In addition, Lange and Weigold, while considering in principle the reception of biblical materials in the whole range of Second Temple literature, nonetheless decided to exclude the works of Philo of Alexandria and the New Testament, on the ground that tabulated lists of biblical references already exist for such works. For these reasons the lists proposed are therefore not comprehensive, which makes them of course less useful for comparison.

In spite of these reservations, the authors have produced a reliable resource for further research, while making at the same time a contribution to the methodological and theoretical discussion on intertextuality in Second Temple literature. The lists that they have created are accurate but they are not comprehensive; in addition to the problems pointed above, the reader needs to be aware that all quotations and allusions that did not meet the criteria used by Lange and Weigold were not included in their lists. Furthermore, although the authors have relied on excellent resources (critical editions of ancient Jewish texts and the Accordance databases), these resources themselves are being updated frequently.

Kyung S. Baek, University of Manchester

[1] J. Kristeva, “Word, Dialogue and Novel,” in T. Moi (ed.), The Kristeva Reader (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986), 34–61; M. Juvan, History and Poetics of Intertextuality (trans. T. Pogačar; Comparative Cultural Studies; West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2008); G. Genette, Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree (Stage, 8; Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1997). reference

[2] D. Dimant, “Use and Interpretation of Mikra in the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha,” in M. J. Mulder and H. Sysling (eds.), Mikra: Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (CRINT, 2.1; Assen: Van Gorcum, 1988), 379–419. reference