James Kugel – From Text to Interpretation: How the Bible Came to Mean Some of the Strange Things It Means

James Kugel, director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar Ilan University, argues that the Hebrew Bible was, from the beginning, the Interpreted Bible. In the third and second centuries B.C.E. — well before the last books of the Bible were written — groups of interpreters were puzzling over the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Jacob and Esau, and other ancient figures. Their interpretations were often fanciful, and sometimes wildly inventive, but their grasp of the very idea of the Bible is still with us and continues to influence today’s readers. Series: “Burke Lectureship on Religion & Society”