Dates of Composition of the Zohar and the Book Bahir
Jordan S. Penkower
The Dates of Composition of The Zohar and The Book Bahir: The History of Biblical Vocalization and Accentuation as a Tool for Dating Kabbalistic Works, by Jordan S. Penkower, על זמן חיבורם של ספר הזוהר וספר הבהיר: תולדות סימני הניקוד והטעמים המקראיים ככלי לתיארוך של ספרי קבלה, Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism 27; 2010, ISBN 1-933379-19-7, 192 pages, in Hebrew.
This volume offers a sustained argument concerning the rise of critical observations and historical awareness surrounding the appearance, composition and acceptance of works written in a midrashic style. Such works as The Book Bahir and The Zohar afforded a great amount of attention to minutiae of the biblical tradition, especially aspects of vocalization and accents that were later known to have arisen at a later stage in Jewish history. This volume adds to the history of the understanding of these books with new insights into their contexts and the historically placed arguments for appreciation of these works. This study affords further insights into the attitudes concerning these kabbalistic books by such important figures as Elijah Levita and Samuel David Luzzatto, who contributed to Jewish culture in Italy. -- “Written by a fine scholar of biblical studies and the history of interesting aspects of Hebrew, this volume will be helpful also for a better understanding of the scholarship of both the Hebrew language, and the culture of the Jews in the Italian Renaissance”. – Moshe Idel
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