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Leviticus in Hebrews

A Transtextual Analysis of the Tabernacle Theme in the Letter to the Hebrews

Mayjee Philip

Scholarly consensus on the relationship of the Letter to the Hebrews to the Old Testament is far from universal or uniform. This book aims to address this area in Hebrews scholarship, which is lacking a critical account of the dependence of Hebrews on the Old Testament, especially Leviticus, in constructing a meaningful text. The book examines how the author of Hebrews uses the textual levitical tabernacle theme to construct the central motif of the heavenly tabernacle in Hebrews. In analysing the ways in which Hebrews relates to the Old Testament, the author makes use of literary theorist Gérard Genette’s concepts of transtextuality and transformation. These concepts help set in relief the variegated textual relationships Hebrews has with the Old Testament in general, and Leviticus in particular, and the transformations that are central to constituting meaning in Hebrews.


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Appendix II - A Critique of Julia Kristeva’s Intertextuality -109


Appendix ii A Critique of Julia Kristeva’s Intertextuality The literary origins of the concept of intertextuality can be traced back to the thought of Julia Kristeva, whose conception of intertextuality dif fers from an author-centred understanding of intertextuality and is based instead on a “reader-centred” perspective. She was inf luenced by M.M. Bakhtin’s concept of “dialogism,” which essentially stemmed from “a dynamic understanding of the literary text that considered every utterance as a result of the intersection within it as a number of voices” (Guberman 189). According to Kristeva, within the framework of narrative semiotics, texts consist of “signifying systems” that yield multiple layers of meaning. In the process of accessing the meaning of narratives, intertextuality as Kristeva defines it is more than a prosaic identification of sources or layers within texts. For Kristeva, intertextuality [D]enotes … transposition of one (or several) sign system(s) into another; … [it] specifies that the passage from one signifying system to another demands a new articulation … of enunciative and denotative positionality. If one grants that every signifying practice is a field of transpositions of various signifying systems (an inter- textuality), one then understands that its “place” of enunciation and its denoted “object” are never single, complete, and identical to themselves. … In this way polysemy can also be seen as the result of a semiotic polyvalence – an adherence to dif ferent sign systems. (1984, 59–60) Kristeva’s complex conception of intertextuality entails not merely an identifying of sources and their use, or a consideration of...

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