Jason Colavito has an interesting piece about “rows of teeth” and ancient giants supposedly supported by the Talmud. It’s really about a plagiarized reference, but giant fans (no World Series pun intended there) will find it interesting. I left a comment that should be visible in 24 hrs.

Basically, the Talmud and similar rabbinic material is the LAST place you’d want to go to do exegesis in the Hebrew Bible. It’s really a compendium of speculation and not much more. If you think “the rabbis” were busy doing careful exegesis of the OT in its original context, you’re sadly mistaken. They were interpreting the OT in light of their own community’s (better, communities’) religious arguments. They had no access to the comparative material so crucial today for getting back to the Hebrew Bible’s true context — the context that produced it (i.e., the ancient Near Eastern world). The Talmud is sort of like listening to celebrity Christian mega-pastors — you’ll occasionally come across a valuable insight and be entertained a bit, but most of the time you’re thinking, “What are these guys on?”

And for you Christian “rabbinic fans” (is the Hebrew Roots movement into the rabbis?), these are the same guys who missed the theological content of most of your New Testament. Yeah … go to them for insight. Good idea.

(And spoiler: the “two rows of teeth” citation turns out to be wrong).