The Emancipation of Biblical Philology in the Dutch Republic, 1590–1670

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This book gives a new view of the history of biblical philology through the analysis of a number of neglected sources and by connecting these as one local, but highly influential ‘school’. This school was established by Joseph Scaliger in Leiden around 1600. Therefore, this book’s focus is on the Dutch Republic in the period 1590-1670.
The book argues that the application of tools, developed in the study of ancient Greek and Latin authors, to the Bible was aimed at stabilizing the biblical text but had the unintentional effect that the text grew more and more instable. Spinoza capitalized on this tradition in his notorious Theological-political Treatise, published in the Dutch Republic in 1670. But the foundations on which his radical biblical philology is built were laid by Reformed philologists who started from the hermeneutical assumption that philology was the maid-servant of reformed dogma.
This book shows how Jacob Arminius, Franciscus Gomarus, the translators and revisors of the States’ Translation (the Dutch Authorized Version), Daniel Heinsius, Hugo Grotius, Claude Saumaise, Isaac de La Peyrère and Isaac Vossius all drew on techniques developed by classical scholars of Renaissance humanism, notably Scaliger, who devoted themselves to the study of manuscripts, languages and ancient history. All these scholars’ accomplishments in textual criticism, the analysis of languages and the reconstruction of political and cultural historical contexts are assessed and compared, and it is demonstrated that their methods were closely linked.
Apart from this internal analysis, the book considers the external development of biblical philology. It became the cutting-edge science of the day and grew from an arcane research specialism into a fashionable science for scholars who wanted to share in the fame of being a succesful critic. Biblical philology became a subject of academic teaching in the 1650s. The subject won popular appeal as well: some of the results of the philological study of the Bible became part of discussions outside of university, conducted in the vernacular. Philology was practised in the margins of the States’ Translation, in discussions over long hair and in controversies over the age of the world. The internal and external developments of biblical philology made fertile ground for Spinoza’s Treatise to be sown into as a particulary thorny plant.
Originele taal-2Engels
UitgeverijOxford University Press
Aantal pagina's296
ISBN van elektronische versie9780192525987
ISBN van geprinte versie9780198803935
StatusGepubliceerd - 05 jul. 2018


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