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Pericopes

(2,013 words)

Author(s): Reeg, Gottfried | Friedrichs, Lutz
[German Version] I. Early Judaism The Hebrew word for pericope, parasha (פָּרָשָׁה, pl. פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת), comes from the root פרש/ prš, “divide, separate” and means “portion, section.” It appears twice in the Bible in the sense of “exact amount” (Esth 4:7; 10:2). In rabbinic literature, it is used almost exclusively for a portion of the Bible, varying in length. As the names of various parashiyyot suggest, a fixed division may be assumed ( Gen. R. 36.9; b. Ber. 9b–13a). The Masorah of the Hebrew Bible distinguishes between an open – petuḥa, from פתח/ ptḥ, “open” – parasha, starting at the …

Postils (Books of Homilies)

(445 words)

Author(s): Friedrichs, Lutz
[German Version] The term postil derives from the liturgical formula post illa ( sc. verba; “after those,” i.e. after the words just read); in the first instance, it means an exposition keyed to a biblical text section by section. In a broader sense, postil denotes preaching that expounds a text in homily form, then also a collection of homilies on the pericopes (II) assigned to the Sundays and festivals of a year and hence a literary genre. Luther’s postils on the traditional pericopes served as model sermons, shaping the genre as practical religious literature with a t…