Friday, February 03, 2012

New book: Greengus, "Laws in the Bible and in Early Rabbinic Collections"

NEW BOOK from Wipf and Stock:
Laws in the Bible and in Early Rabbinic Collections
The Legal Legacy of the Ancient Near East

By Samuel Greengus

Book Description

The remarkable discovery of ancient Near Eastern law collections or "codes," beginning with the Laws of Hammurabi and followed by many other collections in decades following, opened a new window upon biblical law. This volume seeks to examine within a single study all of the biblical laws that are similar in content with ancient Near Eastern laws from Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, and Hatti. The book also examines a small but important group of early rabbinic laws from postbiblical times that exhibit significant similarities with laws found in the ancient Near Eastern collections or "codes." This later group of laws, although absent from the Bible, are nevertheless of comparable antiquity. The presentation focuses on the actual law statements preserved in these ancient law "codes." The discussion then adds narratives, records, and reports of legal actions from ancient sources outside the laws-all of which relate to the formal law statements. The discourse is non-polemical in tone and does not seek to revisit all theories and interpretations. The format allows readers, including those who are new to the subject of biblical law, to engage the primary sources on their own.
(Via the Agade list.)