I had originally planned two articles on the character of Boaz and subsequently presented two separate papers. The first was on the figure of Boaz strictly within the biblical book of Ruth. The other was on how the Targumist had transformed the figure of Boaz in Targum Ruth. This progression made sense, of course, because one must first deal with the actually biblical text before one can consider how the Targumist has changed or adapted it in the Targum.
At the IOTS conference where I presented the second paper I was encouraged to simply create one larger article that engaged with the entire topic, beginning with the biblical figure of Boaz and moving into the Targumic interpretation. This weekend we have had a wonderful exchange around the topic of Boaz and men in the book of Ruth. In particular Sue of Suzanne’s Bookshelf has had a number of helpful and provocative critiques of my suggestion. Benj and others have contributed as well.
All of this has me thinking that I cannot really flow the one article easily into the other. Certainly the article on TgRuth will take as its basis and allude to my reading of how the biblical book presents Boaz, but to spend 10+ pages wrestling with the biblical text and modern scholarship on this figure to then move into the Targumic (and, referencing more broadly, rabbinic) interpretation doesn’t seem to me like it would flow well. So I ask you, should I do two articles or would you prefer one?
2 thoughts on “One or Two Articles on Boaz?”
I think the two articles could be consolidated into one with the first part establishing the standard view of Boaz in order, then, to show how the Targumist drew upon the tradition (if that is the case) to transform the figure of Boaz for specific reasons. I would imagine that the first paper would need to be truncated a bit, but I think it would add depth to our understanding of what the Targumist was trying to do.
But I have so much to say on the first part! 😉 Thanks Chris, I really value your input and I appreciate you considering the question.
I am leaning towards considering questions of women’s roles, the marginalization of Boaz, which leads to modern feminist critique. You don’t think it would be odd to then say, “Now let’s turn to the ancient rabbinic interpretation…”?