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Title: The ambiguity of Qohelet : a study of the ambiguous nature of the language, syntax and structure of the Masoretic text of Qohelet
Author: Ingram, Douglas Nairn
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 1996
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The premise upon which this thesis is founded is that the book of Qohelet is fundamentally ambiguous. Ambiguity is attached to all its major themes, and can be discerned in its language, syntax and structure. This has not been given due attention in previous works on Qohelet. The introduction considers the concepts of 'ambiguity' and 'meaning': it is crucial for the reader to understand what is meant in this thesis by these terms. 'Ambiguity' is understood as those aspects of the text whose indeterminacy requires the reader to fill in 'meaning' in order for a coherent reading to be produced: thus the reader's role is crucial, but is nonetheless restricted by the determinate schemata in the text. Part 1 explores the determinate schemata in Qohelet in an attempt to provide objective criteria against which the ambiguities may be set. Detailed attention is paid to the text in order to discern trends and patterns in the book. These are employed in an attempt to discover how the book as a whole and the sections within it are structured. Part 1 ends by asserting that it is ultimately futile to seek an overall structure or pattern to the book: this is an aspect of its ambiguity. Part 2 systematically examines linguistic and syntactical ambiguities in Qohelet, exploring the possibilities for interpretation according to the ways in which the reader fills in the gaps left by these ambiguities. The conclusion argues that the ambiguity of Qohelet is the primary reason for the hugely diverse interpretations of the book throughout its history, and for the many varied proposals for its structure. In this way it is a realistic reflection of an ambiguous world and the relationship between the people of this world and the God who made the world with all its ambiguities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Bible O. T. Language, style ; Bible O. T. Criticism, interpretation, etc ; Bible O. T. Ecclesiastes Criticism, interpretation, etc Bible O. T. Language, style. ; Bible O. T. Criticism, interpretation, etc. ; Bible O. T. Ecclesiastes Criticism, interpretation, etc.