Canon(ical) Criticism

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Sat Mar 16 15:37:40 EST 2002


Dear Ken,
Brevard Childs translates it "maiden."
Then he gives a long comment on the history and meaning
of the text in the Christian tradition.
He does not use that tradition to translate the text.
liz

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ken Smith [mailto:kens at 180solutions.com]
> Sent: Sat, March 16, 2002 3:26 PM
> To: Lisbeth S. Fried; Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Canon(ical) Criticism
> 
> 
> I think that's exactly what I was trying to say, Liz.  I'm certainly not
> advocating an intentional mistranslation of a passage.  But (as Childs
> concludes), there really isn't any one particular English word that is a
> good translation of (LMH.  Not only is the evidence for its actual
> meaning rather ambiguous, but most scholars think that neither "virgin"
> nor "young woman" precisely capture its semantic range.  Given that
> ambiguity, and given the extensive Christian tradition (both within the
> Christian canon and outside of it) which sees Is. 7:14 as a reference to
> Mary, I don't think it's at all a stretch for a Christian Bible to
> render it as "virgin".  (I would hardly expect a Jewish translation to
> do so, of course: Judaism has its own interpretive history to work with
> and answer to.)  I agree that a prophecy of the virgin birth of the
> Messiah probably wasn't what the historical Isaiah was trying to say --
> but then the final, canonical shape of the book of Isaiah was hardly
> what the historical Isaiah was trying to say, either.  And I'm not sure
> I see any fundamental difference (there are some differences, obviously)
> between reading Is. 1 in light of Isaiah 66, reading Joshua 7 in light
> of Genesis 12, reading Is. 7 in light of Matthew 1, reading John 1 in
> light of the Council of Nicea, or reading Deut. 6 in light of the
> Mishnah or Talmud.
> 
> Ken
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lisbeth S. Fried [mailto:lizfried at umich.edu] 
> > Sent: Saturday, March 16, 2002 12:02 PM
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: RE: Canon(ical) Criticism
> > 
> > 
> > Hmm, maybe you're right, but maybe we're both right,
> > maybe it's the same thing. When Childs interprets the
> > text of the Book of Isaiah, it's canonical form is it's 
> > meaning as part of the *Christian* canon, and the present 
> > meaning of that canon includes the whole history of its 
> > interpretation in the church. At any rate, he's not concerned 
> > with what the historical Isaiah is trying to say. Liz
> > 
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Christian M. M. Brady [mailto:cbrady at tulane.edu]
> > > Sent: Sat, March 16, 2002 2:47 PM
> > > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > > Subject: Canon(ical) Criticism
> > >
> > >
> > > On 3/16/02 1:48 PM, "Lisbeth S. Fried" <lizfried at umich.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dear Ken,
> > > > With these last remarks you seem to be confusing canon 
> > criticism and 
> > > > eisegesis. Canon criticism is the very laudable study of how the 
> > > > bible has been interpreted by faith communities through the 
> > > > millenia.
> > >
> > > I am not sure about Ken's posts (wasn't paying attention) or what 
> > > "Canon criticism" is. But as I understand *canonical 
> > criticism* (e.g., 
> > > Brevard
> > > Childs) it is not studying how the Bible has been 
> > interpreted through the
> > > millennia, but instead is critical study of the biblical 
> > text as it stands
> > > in its *canonical form* rather than as, say, the "J" source.
> > >
> > > Is that what you meant Lis or is one of us getting our 
> > terms confused 
> > > (and it may well be me).
> > >
> > > Cb
> > > cbrady @ tulane.edu
> > > --
> > > "There are a good many fools who call me a friend,
> > >  and also a good many friends who call me a fool."
> > >                                       - Chesterton
> > >
> > >
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> > 



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