Nahmanides on the Structure of the Pentateuch, in Light of the Anti-Christian Polemic
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This article adds to our understanding of how and why Nahmanides defined the editorial rules of the Torah. Isaac Gottlieb's study of juxtaposition in Nahmanides' Torah commentary shows how his methodology maintains the general chronological order and explains local digressions by the need to complete a topic. To this, we add an analysis of Nahmanides' systematic view of the division of the five books, the cohesiveness of each of the books, and the logical continuity between them. A detailed examination of Nahmanides' method regarding the overall structure of the Torah affirms Gottlieb's proposals concerning affinities to Ibn Ezra's literal interpretation and to Nahmanides' Kabbalistic conceptions. In addition, further analysis of Nahmanides' method in light of the anti-Christian polemic of his time suggests that his method stemmed also from his desire to reinforce his readership when facing Christian claims against the Torah.