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The Sacred Journey Religions of the World

by: Vern Deckow

The Sacred Journey Religions of the World CORE 166

Marketplace > University of Idaho > Core Discovery > CORE 166 > The Sacred Journey Religions of the World
Vern Deckow
GPA 3.57

Rodney Frey

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Rodney Frey
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Vern Deckow on Friday October 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CORE 166 at University of Idaho taught by Rodney Frey in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see /class/227966/core-166-university-of-idaho in Core Discovery at University of Idaho.


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Date Created: 10/23/15
Midrash Some notes CORE 166 Midrash pl Midrashim is a Hebrew word referring to a method of interpreting Biblical text The term can be used in one of three interrelated ways M quotMidrashquot can be used as a verb ie as a way of interpreting a biblical verse A common way of doing this is by juxtaposing Biblical verses The point may not appear in any one of the verses by themselves but taken together the point is implicit When the rabbis had a specific proposition in mind they would first write about the general idea often implicitly instead of explicitly Then they would cite the biblical verses knowing that the careful reader would perceive the common elements and be lead to the desired conclusion All forms of scriptural interpretation are not necessarily midrash Much of what has been termed quotmodern midrashquot has little to do with the classical modes of literary exegesis that guided the rabbis Rabbinic midrash uses quotes from scripture to prove a proposition Second quotMidrashquot can be used as a noun in this sense it can refer to a particular verse and its interpretation Thus one can say that quotThe Midrash on the verse Genesis 11 really means that and some Midrashic interpretation of the verse would go here Third The term quotmidrashquot also can refer to a book a compilation of Midrashic teachings in the form of legal exegetical or homiletical commentaries on the Tanakh Thus Genesis Rabbah is a book that compiles midrashim on the book of Genesis The following examples of shorter midrashim on Biblical verses Verse quotAnd God saw all that He had made and found it very good And there was evening and there was morning the sixth dayquot Genesis 131 Midrash Rabbi Nahman said in Rabbi Samuel s name quotBehold it was very goodquot refers to the Good Desire But quotAnd behold it was very goodquot can also refers to the Evil Desire Can then the Evil Desire be very good That would be extraordinary But without the Evil Desire however no man would build a house take a wife and beget children It is a tradition of interpretation akin to the methods used by both Christian and Muslim theological scholars The Muslim equivalent process is known as Tafsir Interpretation of the Qur an takes on three forms 1 As the Qu ran is the word of Almighty Allah God and Midrash authoritative and as the verses are closely interrelated with one another the Qur39anic verses can explain and interpret one another 2 Many verses or words in the Qur an can also be interpreted or further clarified in in the hadith the assembled oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad And 3 Many verses can be intrepreted byjuxtaposing them alongside the history Most Islamic scholars consider it extremely important for commentators to explain how the Qur an was revealed when and under which circumstances The early tafsir are considered to be some of the best sources for Islamic history Famous early commentators include at Tabari and Ibn Kathir The overriding process and purposes of Midrash and Tafsir theological scriptural interpretations are very similar having three distinct considerations Suggested by Bruce Feiler s Abraham 2002 First you attempt to interpret the text as originally brought forth andor from the perspectives of the earliest interpreters What was the meaning of a text as first intended Seek an interpretative perspective of the vesselsoriginators of a revealed Truth Within the midrash tradition the Truth is most typically understood as allegorically or metaphorically revealed and seldom literally rendered which makes the interpretive process all that more challenging Second then see both how that text applied to the world of the ancients as well as applies to your own times to you personally and to your community today And take the revealed Truth of the original story and render it relevant to you Re tell the story with an emphasis on what is important to you and your community an act of interpretation The act of interpretation is thus an act that seeks integration ie you with the Divine Thus seek to strengthen ie interpret one s personal and the community s relationship with the Divine striving to become and live the revealed Truth Midrash has one final consideration As humble fallible humans always act with modesty in one s pronouncements and interpretations We don t have all the answers and the one s we are convinced we do have might just turn out to be misplaced interpretations It s a constant and vigilant quest of discovery Question how is the midrash method of interpretation similar and different from that of an academic method of interpretation such as quoteye jugglingquot Of note the midrash tradition is a foundation upon which some of the greatest academic interpreters of the human experience such as Sigmund Freud in psychology and Franz Boas in anthropology developed their influential theories Both Freud and Boas come out of the Jewish tradition


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