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The Pentateuch as Torah

The Pentateuch as Torah

New Models for Understanding Its Promulgation and Acceptance

by Bernard M. Levinson and Gary N. Knoppers
Hardback
Publication Date: 30/06/2007
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The origins of this volume lie in the four special panels on Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law that convened at the 2006 International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Edinburgh (2-6 July). The panels were organized to investigate the promulgation and acceptance of the Pentateuch as a prestigious writing in the late Persian and early Hellenistic periods. Drawing on the talents of a distinguished body of internationally-recognized scholars, the four special sessions were designed to obtain a better grasp of the means, circumstances, factors, and setting of the Pentateuch's rise to prominence as a foundational collection of scriptures in early Judaism and Samaritanism.In setting a thematically coherent research project as the goal of the program unit, the editors sought to continue the approach employed so productively by the Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law section at earlier international SBL meetings (Berlin in 2002 and Cambridge in 2003). The panels there dealt with the challenges in interpreting the multiple and overlapping roles played by the book of "Deuteronomy" in biblical literature.
These earlier sessions dealt with "Deuteronomy" and the Tetrateuch, "Deuteronomy" as part of a Pentateuch, "Deuteronomy" as part of a Hexateuch, "Deuteronomy" as part of a larger and later Deuteronomistic History, and "Deuteronomy" as part of an Enneateuch. The research goals of the sessions in Edinburgh extended the methodological concerns of these earlier sessions while embarking in new directions.The Pentateuch (or Proto-Pentateuch) as an existing literary entity served as the point of departure as the contributors sought to investigate its growing acceptance as a prestigious and constitutional document in the larger life of the community during the Achaemenid and Hellenistic periods. There is no doubt that the reception of the Pentateuch as authoritative tora ('instruction') led to this tora becoming one of the defining pillars of the religious practices of Jews and Samaritans. Since antiquity, the five books of Moses have served as a sacred constitution, foundational for both belief and practice.
However long the process of authorization took, this was, by all accounts, a monumental achievement in the history of these peoples and indeed an important moment in the history of the ancient world.In the long development of Western societies, the Pentateuch has served as a major influence on the development of law, political philosophy, and social thought. The question is: when, how, where, and why did the rise of the Torah occur?
ISBN:
9781575061405
9781575061405
Category:
Biblical studies & exegesis
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
30-06-2007
Language:
English, Greek, modern (1453-), Hebrew
Publisher:
Eisenbrauns
Country of origin:
United States
Pages:
368
Dimensions (mm):
229x152x32mm
Weight:
0.77kg

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