A new glimpse of Day One : an intertextual history of Genesis 1.1-5 in Hebrew and Greek texts up to 200 CE
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This thesis is an unconventional history of the interpretation of Day One, Genesis 1.1-5, in Hebrew and Greek texts up to c. 200 CE. Using the concept of ‘intertextuality’ as developed by Kristeva, Derrida, and others, the method for this historical exploration looks at the dynamic interconnectedness of texts. The results reach beyond deliberate exegetical and eisegetical interpretations of Day One to include intertextual, and therefore not necessarily deliberate, connections between texts. The purpose of the study is to gain a glimpse into the textual possibilities available to the ancient reader / interpreter. Central to the method employed is the identification of the intertexts of Day One. This is achieved, at least in part, by identifying and tracing flags that may draw the reader from one text to another. In this study these flags are called ‘intertextual markers’ and may be individual words, word-pairs, or small phrases that occur relatively infrequently within the corpus of texts being examined. The thesis first explores the intertextuality of Genesis 1.1-5 in the confines of the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint. The second half of the thesis identifies and explores the intertexts of Day One in other Hebrew texts (e.g. the Dead Sea Scrolls, Sirach) and other Greek texts (e.g. Philo, the New Testament) up to c. 200 CE. The thesis concludes with a summation of some of the more prominent and surprising threads in this intertextual ‘tapestry’ of Day One. These summary threads include observations within the texts in a given language and a comparative look at the role of language in the intertextual history of Day One.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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