A SYMMETRICAL TELEOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION IN THE TREATISES OF PHILO AND IN THE TALMUD Uri Gershowitz Hebrew University and Arkady Kovelman Moscow State University The development of talmudic and Philonic studies in the last two decades was marked by curious similarity. In talmudic studies there was an e V ort to show that “The Talmud . . . comprises a composi- tion, not merely a compilation. . . . So the document is uniform and rhetorically cogent.” 1 Jacob Neusner aimed this statement at people who “characterize the document as disorganized—running in all directions with no carefully crafted program.” 2 But Philonic texts have been viewed the same contrary manners, represented by F.H. Colson’s calling Philo an “inveterate rambler” 3 while Jac- ques Cazeaux strongly opposed this view, insisting on the unity and total coherence of Philo’s treatises. 4 Just as Neusner described the Talmud as “not patchwork quilts, but woven fabric,” 5 Cazeaux © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2002 Review of Rabbinic Judaism 5.2 1 J. Neusner, The Rules of Composition of the Talmud of Babylonia: The Cogency of the Bavli Composite (Atlanta, 1991), p. 190. 2 Ibid., pp. 61-62. 3 Philo , Loeb edition, vol. 1 (London,
Review of Rabbinic Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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