n Journal for Semitics - A comparative analysis of Tannaitic and Amoraic exegeses on Genesis 1:26-27 : research article

Volume 17, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1013-8471


Jewish texts deriving from the period of formative Judaism that reflect on the idea of God commonly aim to safeguard the belief that God is One. This belief eventually came to be formulated into Judaism's principle creed. The creed links narrowly with sages' interpretation of Gen 1:26-27. When Gnostics and Christians began to make use of this passage to substantiate their own theological views, first the Tannaim (rabbinic teachers of the first two centuries C.E.) and thereafter the Amoraim (rabbis of the period 200 C.E. to 500 C.E.) began to construct theological formulas to counter interpretations of the Hebrew Scriptures that were in conflict with Jewish theological concepts. More specifically, Tannaim used structured precepts in their exegeses of Scripture, which Amoraim subsequently developed in dialectical discussions. This paper distinguishes between, compares and analyses Tannaitic and Amoraic exegeses of Gen 1:26-27 and seeks to establish them in relation to the evolvement of Judaism's principal creed.

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