Title page for ETD etd-07292010-232645

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Chan, Man Ki
URN etd-07292010-232645
Document Title A comparative study of Jewish commentaries and patristic literature on the book of Ruth
Degree PhD
Department Old Testament Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof P M Venter Supervisor
  • Middot
  • “Noahide laws”
  • an “amora”
  • the Alexandrian school
  • the Antiochene school
  • Oral Torah
  • “One Recension” theory
  • “Day of the Lord”
  • Aggadah
  • exegetical and eisegetical
Date 2010-04-22
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation deals with two exegetical traditions, that of the early Jewish and the patristic schools. The research work for this project urges the need to analyze both Jewish and Patristic literature in which specific types of hermeneutics are found. The title of the thesis (“compared study of patristic and Jewish exegesis”) indicates the goal and the scope of this study. These two different hermeneutical approaches from a specific period of time will be compared with each other illustrated by their interpretation of the book of Ruth. The thesis discusses how the process of interpretation was affected by the interpreters’ society in which they lived. This work in turn shows the relationship between the cultural variants of the exegetes and the biblical interpretation.

Both methodologies represented by Jewish and patristic exegesis were applicable and social relevant. They maintained the interest of community and fulfilled the need of their generation. Referring to early Jewish exegesis, the interpretations upheld the position of Ruth as a heir of the Davidic dynasty. They advocated the importance of Boaz’s and Ruth’s virtue as a good illustration of morality in Judaism. Early Christian exegetes were also interested in the basic values of the social community. They maintained the important social value of marriage as an example of the emphasis on virtue. They also paid much emphasis on teaching morality. Concerning the doctrine and value of Judaism, the sage upheld the principle of monotheism and the legitimacy of Davidic dynasty. In turn, patristic fathers urged for the introduction of the gospel through the salvation of Jesus Christ in the process of interpretation.

From our investigation, we can formulate the thesis that both early Jewish and Christian exegetes did not explain the text for its inherent meaning, but rather used the text for their own purposes. Normally, the main task and mission of an exegete should be to find the meaning inherent in the text. We clearly indicated that both exegetical schools of interpreters did not find meaning in the text of the book of Ruth, but rather read in some agendas and issues into the text from outside, from the exegetes themselves and their surrounding backgrounds. They tend to meet the requirement of the social and political expectations of their reader community. Interpretation was used as a tool for this purpose. They conducted an application rather than explanation. This thesis can be explained by the fact that the meaning of a text depends on the value and pre-set agenda of the exegete who interprets it. Both the text and its interpreters are part of a specific historical, political, social and cultural environment, which imposed influence on them.

© 2010 Author

Please cite as follows:

Chan, MK 2010, A comparative study of Jewish commentaries and patristic literature on the book of Ruth, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07292010-232645 / >


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  00front.pdf 117.32 Kb 00:00:32 00:00:16 00:00:14 00:00:07 < 00:00:01
  01chapters1-2.pdf 465.57 Kb 00:02:09 00:01:06 00:00:58 00:00:29 00:00:02
  02chapters3-4.pdf 463.27 Kb 00:02:08 00:01:06 00:00:57 00:00:28 00:00:02
  03chapters5-6.pdf 301.50 Kb 00:01:23 00:00:43 00:00:37 00:00:18 00:00:01
  04chapters7-8.pdf 291.71 Kb 00:01:21 00:00:41 00:00:36 00:00:18 00:00:01
  Bibliography.pdf 102.24 Kb 00:00:28 00:00:14 00:00:12 00:00:06 < 00:00:01

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