Right Chorale: Studies in Biblical Law & Interpretation

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This book presents twelve selected investigations of textual composition, interpretation, revision, and transmission. With these studies, Bernard Levinson draws upon the literary forebears of biblical law in cuneiform literature and its reinterpretation in the Second Temple period to provide the horizon of ancient Israelite legal exegesis. The volume makes a sustained argument about the nature of textuality in ancient Israel: Israelite scribes were sophisticated readers, authors, and thinkers who were conscious of their place in literary and intellectual history, even as they sought to renew and transform their cultural patrimony in significant ways. Originally published over a decade and a half, the significantly revised and updated studies gathered here explore the connections between law and narrative, show the close connections between Deuteronomy and the Neo-Assyrian loyalty oath tradition, address the literary relationship of Deuteronomy and the Covenant Code, reflect upon important questions of methodology, and explore the contributions of the Bible to later western intellectual history. The volume offers essential reading for an understanding of the Pentateuch and biblical law.This collection of essays is a testimony to Levinson's methodological brilliance and broad perspective as a bridge-builder between the various factions of Hebrew Bible scholarship.Armin Lange in Journal of Ancient Judaism 1 (2010), S. 122The collection as a whole triumphantly vindicates the significance of biblical law, the essential function of diachronic analysis (source and redaction criticism, and historical contextualization) in interpretation, and, especially in the last section, the established positions of the critical tradition in the succession of Wellhausen. The footnotes and bibliography are a superb resource for the study of biblical law. And the publishers have produced a beautiful volume worthily complementing a fine text.Walter J. Houston in Journal of Semitic Studies 55 (2010), S. 312-313
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Bernard M. Levinson, Inhaber des Berman Family Chair of Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible an der University of Minnesota (Professor of Classical and Near Eastern Studies and of Law). 1997 Mitglied des Institute of Advanced Study (Princeton); 2007 Fellow am Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; 2010 Fellow am National Humanities Center (Research Triangle Park); 2012 Fellow am Institute for Advanced Studies (Jerusalem).
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Table of Contents

I. Setting the Agenda: Why Biblical Law Matters 1.The Right Chorale: From the Poetics of Biblical Narrative to the Hermeneutics of the Hebrew Bible 2.The Seductions of the Garden: The Genesis of Hermeneutics as Critique 3.The Covenant at Mount Sinai: The Argument of Revelation4.Deuteronomy's Conception of Law as an Ideal Type: A Missing Chapter in the History of Constitutional Law II. The Paradigm of Legal Hermeneutics: Close Studies and Test Cases 5.The Effected Object in Contractual Legal Language: The Semantics of If You Purchase a Hebrew Slave (Exodus 21:2) 6.Textual Criticism, Assyriology, and the History of Interpretation: Deuteronomy 13:7a as a Test Case in Method 7.Recovering the Lost Original Meaning of ??? ???? ???? (Deuteronomy 13:9) 8.But You Shall Surely Kill Him!: The Text-Critical and Neo-Assyrian Evidence for MT Deuteronomy 13:10 III. Debate and Dialogue: The Question of Method 9.The Case for Revision and Interpolation within the Biblical Legal Corpora 10.Calum M. Carmichael's Approach to the Laws of Deuteronomy 11.The Hermeneutics of Tradition in Deuteronomy: A Reply to J. G. McConville 12.Is the Covenant Code an Exilic Composition? A Response to John Van Seters
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