"Do to Me According to What Has Gone Out of Your Mouth": A Reformation Debate on the Tragedy of Jephthah and his Daughter

A challenging biblical passage is the narrative of Jephthah and his daughter in the Book of Judges. The consensus of the exegetical tradition is that in fulfillment of a rash vow, Jephthah sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. Yet some early Reformation exegetes argued instead that she entere...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Reformation & Renaissance review
Main Author: Amos, N. Scott
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group [2019]
In:Reformation & Renaissance review
Year: 2019, Volume: 21, Issue: 1, Pages: 3-26
Further subjects:B Hebrew Scriptures
B Jephthah
B David Kimchi (Radak)
B Peter Martyr Vermigli
B Konrad Pellikan
B Sebastian Münster
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Description
Summary:A challenging biblical passage is the narrative of Jephthah and his daughter in the Book of Judges. The consensus of the exegetical tradition is that in fulfillment of a rash vow, Jephthah sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering. Yet some early Reformation exegetes argued instead that she entered into a life of dedication to the Lord. They argued on the basis of the grammar of Jephthah's vow, a point which they found in one strand of rabbinical tradition. However, there developed a counter-argument reaffirming the patristic and medieval consensus, and that appealed to an alternative rabbinical tradition. The present essay will examine the competing arguments found in Protestant commentaries published between c.1530 and c.1650. In the end, the patristic and medieval consensus prevailed, and the alternative reading was rejected; but both sides agreed that the one noble character in this tale was the nameless daughter of Jephthah.
ISSN:1743-1727
Contains:Enthalten in: Reformation & Renaissance review
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/14622459.2019.1568369