Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Paul Wheatley: Hebrew Names in Christian LXX, Vulgate, and Revelation MSS

With the advent of the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, readers illiterate in Hebrew gained access to a staggering collection of texts that beckoned a reader’s interpretive work. Through the veil of the translated text, proper names of people and places reached through to provide bridges to the source language that offered particularly strong attractive force in a reader’s interpretation. To aid this interpretive task, Philo, Eusebius of Caesarea, and Jerome provided interpretations of Hebrew names, or Onomastica, as a way of organizing and presenting Hebrew linguistic understanding to readers unfamiliar with Hebrew. In so doing, they also opened new trajectories of Biblical interpretation to readers of these translated texts. Following Eyal Poleg’s work on the interpretive possibilities evinced by the inclusion of Stephen Langton’s Interpretation of Hebrew Names in Medieval Latin Bibles, this paper examines the use of Onomastica in Byzantine Apocalypse of John manuscripts, focusing on the hermeneutical/epistemological horizons this ordering of knowledge opens upon the text of Revelation within the canonical whole of the Bible.

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