• Intertextuality: Method and Theory in Job and Psalm 119.

    Will Kynes (see profile)
    Bible. Job, Bible. Psalms, Intertextuality
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
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    As originally formulated by Julia Kristeva in the 1960s, ‘intertextuality’ in its full theoretical version expressed the belief that all texts are composed of words that have already been said, and the emphasis on the meaning of texts being derived from and interpreted within textual surroundings effectively eclipsed the importance of the authors themselves. A second circumscribed version of intertextuality was therefore developed in order to examine connections between actual texts as an aid to their interpretation. Intertextual method can again be divided into a diachronic approach, relying on relative dating to determine the direction of authorial reference, and a synchronic approach, reading all texts simultaneously because of their mutual resonance in the mind of the reader. Critics of diachronic intertextuality in biblical studies often dismiss it as a ‘banal’ study of sources, unfaithful to Kristeva’s original intent, and domesticating Theory into method. However, a survey of modern literary critical work from the last three years indicates that biblical scholarship is not in fact idiosyncratic in its desire to identify concrete relationships between texts. This chapter illustrates the diachronic method by re-evaluating textual parallels between Job and Psalm 119 proposed over a century ago by Cheyne. Contrary to Cheyne’s assessment, the two clear parodies found in Job 6 demonstrate that the Psalm was a precursor text interpreted by the author of Job. This then guides an exegetical interpretation of further parallels found elsewhere in Job’s speeches, before a final synchronic exploration of some theological and theoretical implications of this intertextuality.
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    2 years ago
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