Journal of Hebrew Scriptures - Volume 3 (2000-2001) - Review
Schultz, R. L., The Search for Quotation: Verbal Parallels in the Prophets (JSOTS 180; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1999). Pp. 395. ISBN 1850754969
Schultz’s recent contribution to the JSOT Supplement series is a “thoroughly
updated revision” of his 1989 Doctoral Dissertation at Yale University.
In this impressive volume Schultz offers a review of past research on
quotations within the Old Testament prophetic corpus and a survey of quotation
in non-prophetic materials before offering a new model and demonstrating his
approach on five instances of prophetic quotation involving the book of Isaiah.
His work is a much-needed contribution to the field of intertextuality,
not only providing a balanced evaluation of the history of research, but also
venturing a new model with practical examples.
begins with a thorough review of the study of inner-biblical quotation with
particular focus on prophetic quotation. He
wisely notes persistent problems throughout the history of research: identifying
the quotation, assessing the nature of the borrowing, and determining the
direction of borrowing. He also
notes the various ways in which prophetic quotation has been used by scholars
whether that was to date literature, to establish the original text, or to
expose prophetic schools, but wisely focuses attention on two basic theories as
to why these quotations were used by the writers of ancient prophetic books.
Most have pointed to the purpose of reinterpretation, that is, the
quotations were part of a reinterpretation by a later speaker/writer of an older
prophetic speech. He separates the
various proponents of this purpose into three basic camps: anthological style
(Robert et al.), proto-midrash (Seeligmann, Bloch et al.), and reinterpretation
(Müller, Day, Lau, Fishbane, et al.). Others
have pointed to the purpose of authority, that is, the quotations were used to
enhance one’s authority.
the second part of the volume Schultz turns his attention to the use of
quotation in non-prophetic materials to evaluate any general trends in the use
of quotation. He surveys literature
in the Ancient Near East (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Ugaritic), Early Judaism (Sirach,
Qumran), Proverbial Sayings (Old Testament), Western Literature.
Although careful to note the difficulty of establishing general
conclusions due to the limited number of examples consulted and differences
between those examples chosen, Schultz courageously offers several conclusions
about quotation in the comparative material.
First, “introductory formulae occur in all types of literature”
(211). Second, “a
quotation…will be marked in some way, either overtly by a deictic particle or
shift in person or number, or simply by a sufficient number of repeated key
words and syntactical relationships so that the quoted text is recognizable”
(211). Third, “divergences
between the quoted text and the quoting text” (212) may be explained by
divergences in textual sources, memory lapses, lack of concern for accuracy, and
especially by the need for adaptation to new literary contexts and purposes.
Fourth, “the frequency with which quotation is employed may be a
function of an individual author’s style” (212), but genre can play in role
in this frequency. Fifth, “the
sources of quotation may be a matter of the author’s taste”, some authors
have a predilection to certain sources over others (213).
Sixth, “all quotation involves interpretation
since recontextualization inherently changes the meaning of the words quoted”
(213). Seventh, “quotation must
be carefully distinguished from non-quotation
not simply in terms of its function but even more so in terms of its form”
(214). One must be wary of merely
repeated language which is found in abundance in all genres and can be traced to
proverbial sayings, formulaic expressions which reflect the limited resources of
a language’s linguistic store.
both the survey of research and the review of comparative material in view,
Schultz offers a new model for detecting and interpreting prophetic quotation.
First he provides criteria for identifying quotations. Rather than
setting an arbitrary minimum of words, Schultz finds it more useful to seek both
“verbal and syntactical correspondence” (223).
Thus the appearance of phrases is a more accurate indication of quotation
than several individual words. In
addition, Schultz also encourages attention to “contextual awareness”(224).
By this he means that one should take into account the larger context of
the material being quoted.
Schultz offers a twofold analysis of prophetic quotation.
The first step is diachronic: an “examination of historical factors
which may have produced or influenced the use of quotation” (229).
This involves an evaluation of the original setting of the quotation as
well as the new setting. He
acknowledges the difficulty of determining the direction of influence, but
argues that “responsible exegesis” demands that one take a position on the
direction of influence, for without this conclusion little can be said with
regard to its purpose. This
diachronic stage “focuses on a text’s function and meaning at the various
stages which precede its final form as incorporated within a larger work as well
as the external historico-sociological influences, sometimes inferred or
reconstructed, which helped shape its development” (232).
This stage is to be followed by a synchronic stage which “looks at a
text as a part of a literary work, as a ‘functional whole’” (232).
This stage shifts “the attention from the question of who quoted whom,
when, and for what reason (author-centred) to the question of how such repeated
language functions within texts, to examine its literary workings
(reader-centred)” (232-233). This
synchronic stage of analysis involves determining the “function and meaning of
quotation within the canonical prophetic books” as well as the “nature of
quotation as a rhetorical device and its resultant effect on the reading
this new model in hand, Schultz then proceeds to five examples of prophetic
quotation connected with the book of Isaiah (Is 11:6-9//65:25; Is 8:15//28:13;
40:3,10; 57:14//62:10-11; Is 2:2-4//Mic 4:1-3; Is 15-16//Jer 48).
These examples reveal examples of internal (within a single prophetic
book) and external (between two prophetic books) parallels.
In this section Schultz is faithful to the methodology laid out in the
previous chapter. This is followed
by a superb review of the course and results of the study as well as a healthy
evaluation of future directions for research.
book is a significant contribution to the Old Testament guild. In an era of
increasingly particularised studies of ancient texts, he has considered a topic
that ranges across a considerable portion of the Hebrew Bible as well as ancient
and contemporary literature. Some
will find lapses in bibliography within their area of specialisation, but this
should not inhibit acceptance of his work.
The importance of traditio-historical approaches in past critical study
of the Hebrew Bible and the increasing significance of literary and canonical
approaches in present critical study reminds us of the important role of
intertextuality in interpretation. Schultz
offers an extended discussion and evaluation of past work and a balanced model
for future work in this area. He
shows us that diachronic and synchronic approaches are not necessarily in
opposition and in synergistic partnership can provide a fuller perspective on
the ancient text both in its development as well as its final message.
With one more “quotation” we will allow Schultz to have the final
word as he encourages a balanced approach:
It is evident that one's approach to verbal
parallels is incomplete if one simply seeks to identify and list them, even if
one proceeds to explain the direction of dependence and suggest a date at which
a specific parallel was incorporated into its present literary context.
It is necessary also to evaluate the meaning and significance of the
verbal parallel (333-334).
Mark Boda, Regina, SK, Canada