Was Samuel Meant to Be a Nazirite? The First Chapter of Samuel and the Paradigm Shift in Textual Study of the Hebrew Bible

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Abstract

This article aims to demonstrate the urgency of new methodological thinking through the analysis of one biblical passage. The main focus is on the two passages that give expression to Hannah’s vow (1 Sam 1:11 and 22–23): Was it originally meant as a Nazirite vow on behalf of an unborn child? The analysis results in the identification of editorial reworking, especially in the MT, and less so in 4QSama, whereas the Septuagint mainly represents an older Hebrew Vorlage, often in agreement with 4QSama. The chain of changes concerning Hannahʼs vow in the MT seems to spring from halakic motivation. The fact that the textual evidence is found to reveal processes at work during the editorial history of the text makes it evident that the borderline between the so-called “lower” and “higher” criticism no longer exists. The paradigm shift after Qumran thus means a paradigm shift for the historical-critical methodology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTextus : annual of the Hebrew University Bible Project.
Volume2019
Number of pages12
ISSN0082-3767
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 614 Theology
  • textual criticism
  • 1 Samuel 1
  • Nazirite vow
  • halakah“lower” and “higher” criticism− 4QSama− Septuagint of Samuel, MT of Samuel
  • “lower” and “higher” criticism
  • 4QSam a
  • Septuagint of Samuel
  • MT of Samuel

Cite this

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title = "Was Samuel Meant to Be a Nazirite?: The First Chapter of Samuel and the Paradigm Shift in Textual Study of the Hebrew Bible",
abstract = "This article aims to demonstrate the urgency of new methodological thinking through the analysis of one biblical passage. The main focus is on the two passages that give expression to Hannah’s vow (1 Sam 1:11 and 22–23): Was it originally meant as a Nazirite vow on behalf of an unborn child? The analysis results in the identification of editorial reworking, especially in the MT, and less so in 4QSama, whereas the Septuagint mainly represents an older Hebrew Vorlage, often in agreement with 4QSama. The chain of changes concerning Hannahʼs vow in the MT seems to spring from halakic motivation. The fact that the textual evidence is found to reveal processes at work during the editorial history of the text makes it evident that the borderline between the so-called “lower” and “higher” criticism no longer exists. The paradigm shift after Qumran thus means a paradigm shift for the historical-critical methodology.",
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author = "Anneli Aejmelaeus",
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journal = "Textus : annual of the Hebrew University Bible Project.",
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N2 - This article aims to demonstrate the urgency of new methodological thinking through the analysis of one biblical passage. The main focus is on the two passages that give expression to Hannah’s vow (1 Sam 1:11 and 22–23): Was it originally meant as a Nazirite vow on behalf of an unborn child? The analysis results in the identification of editorial reworking, especially in the MT, and less so in 4QSama, whereas the Septuagint mainly represents an older Hebrew Vorlage, often in agreement with 4QSama. The chain of changes concerning Hannahʼs vow in the MT seems to spring from halakic motivation. The fact that the textual evidence is found to reveal processes at work during the editorial history of the text makes it evident that the borderline between the so-called “lower” and “higher” criticism no longer exists. The paradigm shift after Qumran thus means a paradigm shift for the historical-critical methodology.

AB - This article aims to demonstrate the urgency of new methodological thinking through the analysis of one biblical passage. The main focus is on the two passages that give expression to Hannah’s vow (1 Sam 1:11 and 22–23): Was it originally meant as a Nazirite vow on behalf of an unborn child? The analysis results in the identification of editorial reworking, especially in the MT, and less so in 4QSama, whereas the Septuagint mainly represents an older Hebrew Vorlage, often in agreement with 4QSama. The chain of changes concerning Hannahʼs vow in the MT seems to spring from halakic motivation. The fact that the textual evidence is found to reveal processes at work during the editorial history of the text makes it evident that the borderline between the so-called “lower” and “higher” criticism no longer exists. The paradigm shift after Qumran thus means a paradigm shift for the historical-critical methodology.

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