John Byron's Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition: Jewish and Christian PDF

By John Byron

ISBN-10: 9004192522

ISBN-13: 9789004192522

The tale of Cain and Abel narrates the primeval occasions linked to the beginnings of the area and humanity. however the presence of linguistic and grammatical ambiguities coupled with narrative gaps supplied translators and interpreters with a few issues of departure for increasing the tale. the result's a few good proven and interpretive traditions shared among Jewish and Christian literature. This ebook specializes in how the interpretive traditions derived from Genesis four exerted major effect on Jewish and Christian authors who knew rewritten models of the tale. The objective is to assist readers get pleasure from those traditions in the broader interpretive context instead of in the slender confines of the canon.

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Extra resources for Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition: Jewish and Christian Interpretations of the First Sibling Rivalry

Example text

The offering of Cain was precluded and the offering of Abel was acceptable. (Pirqe R. El. 21) Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer often imitates Jubilees in the way that it connects various laws with the patriarchs. In contrast, however, is the emphasis 27 For a discussion of the possible interrelationship between these two works see C. T. R. Hayward, “Pirqe de Rabbi Eliezer and Targum Pseudo-Jonathon,” JJS 42 (1991): 223–24. , Targum Pseudo-Jonathon: Genesis (ArBib 1B; Collegeville, Minn: Liturgical Press, 1992), 31 n.

30 Support for this conclusion may be found in Pirqe Rabbi Eliezer which fills out the scene even more. The Evening of the festival of Passover arrived. Adam called his sons and said to them: In this (night) in the future Israel will bring Paschal offerings. Bring ye also (offerings) before your creator. (Cain) brought the remnants of his meal of roasted grain, (and) the seed of the flax, and Abel brought of the firstlings of the sheep, and of their fat, he-lambs, which had not been shorn of their wool.

Since Cain’s act of fratricide is precipitated by God’s unexplained rejection of the sacrifice which resulted in Cain’s anger, God becomes complicit in the act. These problems opened the door for ancient interpreters to expand and rework the story in a way that relieved God of appearing capricious and, by extension, complicit in Abel’s murder. What follows below traces the interpretive approaches used by Jewish and Christian exegetes to respond to a theological problem created by gaps in the narrative.

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Cain and Abel in Text and Tradition: Jewish and Christian Interpretations of the First Sibling Rivalry by John Byron

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