Literal Meaning and Rabbinic Hermeneutics: A Response to Claudio Luzzati and Jan Broekman

  • Bernard S. Jackson


This response to the articles of Luzzati and Broekman (in this issue)addresses principally the character of early rabbinic legalinterpretation, as viewed by the Rabbis themselves. It considers, withexamples, their concept of ``simple meaning'' (peshat), and itsplace within their overall hermeneutic system and its theologicalpresuppositions. The second section responds more briefly to thetheoretical critiques of Luzzati and Broekman, stressing that (myversion of) semiotics is descriptive rather than normative; resists thereduction of textual meaning to interpretation; and refuses to equatedecision-making with justification. I suggest that traces of traditionaltheological positions may be discerned in the normativist positions ofmy interlocutors.


Literal Meaning Apply Linguistics Simple Meaning Textual Meaning 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard S. Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Jewish StudiesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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