Rewriting Scripture Inside and Out: A Typology of Rewriting in Variant Editions and Rewritten Scripture Open Access

Quant, John Frederick (2014)

Permanent URL:


This dissertation explores the relationship between rewriting and redaction by comparing common models and assumptions in diachronic studies with documented cases of scribal activity. I make the case that the latter can be subdivided into examples of "Continuing Composition" or growth within the confines of a given book, and "Authorial Composition" when an earlier work is used to create a new work while maintaining significant textual overlap with its source. The former case is attested by what are frequently called "Variant Literary Editions" or divergent copies of a specific book. The examples explored included Exodus, Jeremiah, and Daniel. The specific types of changes evident in Continuing Composition include addition and rearrangement. In the later case of Authorial Composition where a new composition is created, I examine Chronicles, Jubilees, and the Temple Scroll showing that the distinctive features that mark the creation of a new work are the selective use of a base-text, a change in literary setting, or a change in narrative voice. After exploring these two groups of texts, I apply the insights of these data sets to evaluating approaches to Esther and Deuteronomy, showing specifically that demarcating layers by identifying beginnings and endings as well as separating stages by relating them to identifiable ideologies are unreliable criteria for diachronic reconstruction. In addition to these negative cautions, this dissertation provides some clarity for further understanding the relationship between copies of a single book (Variant Literary Editions) and the texts often referred to as "Rewritten Scripture," as well as how the data from these texts might function for calibrating expectations in diachronic reconstruction.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Part 1: Three Loci: Literary Strata, Variant Literary Editions, and Rewritten Scripture

Chapter 1: Sources, Strata, and Empirical Models: Reconstructing the Development of the Biblical Text

1.1 The Composition of the Hebrew Bible and the Question of Redaction 1

1.2 What is Redaction? 4

1.2.1 Richard Elliot Friedman 7

1.2.2 Reinhard G. Kratz 12

1.2.3 Shared and Divergent Assumptions and Conceptions 16

1.3 Empirical Models 20

1.3.1 Variant Literary Editions 26

1.3.2 Rewritten Scripture 28

1.3.3 David Carr's Synthesis 31

1.4 The Present Study - Research Questions and Approach 37

1.5 Terms and Definitions 38

1.6 Plan of the Present Study 41

Chapter 2: The Line between Composition and Transmission: Variant Literary Editions as a Witness of Rewriting

2.1 Introduction 43

2.2 Composition, Transmission, and their Respective Methodologies 44

2.3 Variant Literary Editions - Literary or Textual Stage? 45

2.4 Eugene Ulrich - Variant Literary Editions as Stages of Compositional Growth 51

2.5 John Van Seters - Denial of Editorial Activity at Any Stage 56

2.6 Variant Literary Editions as Evidence for Development with a Given Work 62

2.7 Summary 65

Chapter 3: Rewriting and the Creation of New Texts

3.1 Introduction 67

3.2 The Nature of "Rewritten Bible" 68

3.3 The Creation of a New Composition 74

3.4 Criteria for Determining when a Text Becomes "a New Composition" 76

3.5 Application of Criteria 80

3.6 A Stemma of Exodus - Ulrich's Theory Revised 84

3.7 Summary 87

Part 2: A Typology of Rewriting

Chapter 4: Continuing Composition: Growth within the Book

4.1 Introduction 89

4.2 Exodus 92

4.2.1 The Plague Narrative 93

4.2.2 Exodus 18: Deuteronomy Meets *Exodus 103

4.2.3 The Golden Calf: Deuteronomy Meets *Exodus Again 108

4.2.4 The Tabernacle 112

4.2.5 Summary and Conclusions on Exodus 122

4.3 Jeremiah 125

4.3.1 Differences in Arrangement 128

4.3.2 Differences in Length 131

4.3.3 Headings Added to Oracles in MT 132

4.3.4 Parallels Extant only in MT 138

4.3.5 Parallels Extant in MT and LXX 153

4.3.6 Summary and Conclusions on Jeremiah 158

4.4 Daniel 160

4.5 Conclusion 169

Chapter 5: Authorial Composition: Textual Growth in the Creation of a New Work

5.1 Introduction: Two Types of Composition 171

5.2 The Book of Chronicles 175

5.2.1 Chronicles' Relationship to its Base-Text 177

5.2.2 The Use of Other Sources in Chronicles 183

5.2.3 Omissions from Chr's Base-Text 185

5.2.4 New Material Added in Chronicles 192

5.2.5 Summary 193 5.3 Jubilees 194

5.3.1 Jubilees' Relationship to its Base-Text 195

5.3.2 The Use of Other Sources in Jubilees 202

5.3.3 Omissions from Jubilees' Base-Text 204

5.3.4 New Material Added in Jubilees 205

5.3.5 Summary 207 5.4 The Temple Scroll 208

5.4.1 The Temple Scroll's Relationship to its Base-Text 209

5.4.2 The Use of Other Sources in the Temple Scroll 216

5.4.3 Omissions from the Temple Scroll's Base-Text 222

5.4.4 New Material Added in the Temple Scroll 224

5.4.5 Summary 228 5.5 Summary and Conclusion 229 Part 3: Text Cases and Conclusion

Chapter 6: Text Cases: Esther and Deuteronomy 234

6.1 Introduction 234 6.2 LXX Esther 236

6.3 Ideology, Tendenz, and Reasons for Rewriting 247

6.4 The Alpha Text of Esther 256

6.5 Deuteronomy: Evaluating Reconstructions in light of the Typology 263

6.5.1 Is it always "Deuteronomy"? 271

6.6 Rewriting Across Multiple Books 282

6.7 Mice & Icebergs: Adjusting Expectations for what is Unseen 285

6.8 Summary and Conclusion 287

Appendix: Synopsis of Genesis 22 and Jubilees 290

Bibliography 292 _________________________________________

List of Figures Fig. 3-1 Overlap of Scripture and Rewritten Scripture 71 Fig. 3-2 A Linear Spectrum of Quantitative Rewriting 72 Fig. 3-3 A Revision of Ulrich's Stemma 86

Fig. 4-1 Theoretical Composition of *Daniel from Pre-existing sources 167

Fig. 4-2 Textual Growth Visible within Copies of Daniel 168 Fig. 6-1 Van der Toorn's Four Editions of Deuteronomy 268 Fig. 6-2 Options for van der Toorn's Reconstruction 277

About this Dissertation

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
Subfield / Discipline
  • English
Research Field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files