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Title: The circumcision of the ear : the multiple meanings of a metaphor in its context in Second Temple and Early Christian texts
Author: Thomason, Brent Ashton
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 2538
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2016
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Among Second Temple and Early Christian texts, 1QHodayota, Luke-Acts, and the Epistle of Barnabas reference an ear-circumcision metaphor, recalling to mind the sobering statement of Jer 6:10: “To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD has become a reproach to them; they have no delight in it.” In each of these three works, the author has juxtaposed an ear-circumcision and heart metaphor—uncircumcised ears and heart of stone (1QHodayota), uncircumcised in hearts and ears (Luke-Acts), and circumcised hearing and hearts (Epistle of Barnabas). From critical treatments in monographs to cross-references in footnotes, scholars’ treatments have tended to fall short: (1) they generalize the ear-circumcision metaphor’s meaning appealing to its meaning in Jer 6:10; (2) they offer inadequate analyses of the metaphor in favor of the more frequent, juxtaposed heart metaphor. My thesis seeks to shed additional light on the ear-circumcision metaphor by offering detailed analyses to show its multifaceted meaning, which is contingent in each case upon its context. Further, the thesis reveals the significant ear motif woven throughout each ancient source and the function of the metaphor in shaping the structure of the literary piece. In order to accomplish this, the thesis examines the ear-circumcision metaphor from a study of the LXX and Targumim interpretations of the Hebrew text (Ch. 2) and reviews other related metaphors from the Second Temple and Early Christian era (Ch. 3). Next, the study turns to analyze separately the metaphor’s meaning and its role in the literary structure of 1QHodayota (Ch. 4), Luke-Acts (Ch. 5), and the Epistle of Barnabas (Ch. 6). Chapter 7 compares the analyses of these metaphors. Finally, I make some concluding comments and propose future research (Ch. 8).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available