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Title: 'Whoever seeks the Law will be filled with it' (Ben Sira 32.15) : an examination of the history of darash and its influence on the Acts of the Apostles
Author: Cousins, Francis Colman
ISNI:       0000 0004 8501 6326
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis contributes to the discussion of midrash in the New Testament (NT). It begins by investigating the history of the word darash, particularly its usage in a number of texts (the Tanak, Ben Sira, the Dead Sea Scrolls [DSS], and the Mishnah), the majority of which precede the composition of the NT. The results of the investigation indicate that the verbal form darash, from which midrash derives its name, was used with the sense of textual interpretation in the book of Ben Sira, and the DSS. An examination of the translation of darash in the Septuagint, shows linguistic connections to the genre of zētēsis, which has its roots in those who defended the poet Homer from criticism. Zētēsis has close links to midrash from a linguistic perspective and in the techniques used by the proponents of both. An examination of both the Hellenistic Jewish background of authors such as Demetrius, and Philo, in addition to the Hebrew texts such as Ben Sira and the DSS permits NT texts to be viewed from new perspectives. An examination of Acts, and the Council of Jerusalem in particular, shows that Luke uses the term zētēsis to describe the debate which takes place. Luke uses this term exclusively with relation to questions of Jewish law. This means that the decision as to whether Gentile Christians must adhere to the law of Moses is a legal debate, and the Apostolic Decree regulates Gentile Christians' relationship to that law.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available