Saturday, February 03, 2018

Review of Gertz et al. (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch

THE RELIGION AND LITERATURE OF ANCIENT PALESTINE BLOG: Review of The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America, ed. J. Gertz, B. Levinson, D. Rom-Shiloni, K. Schmid (Mohr Siebeck, 2016) (Ryan Thomas).
The major challenge facing current research on the Pentateuch is outlined in the introduction: “In the three major centers of research on the Pentateuch-North America, Israel, and Europe-scholars tend to operate from such different premises, employ such divergent methods, and reach such inconsistent results that meaningful progress has become impossible. The models continue to proliferate but the communication seems only to diminish” (p. 3). Thus the lofty aim of the volume, “to further the international discussion about the Pentateuch in the hope that the academic cultures in Israel, Europe, and North America can move toward a set of shared assumptions and a common discourse” (p. 4).

I noted the publication of this book here.

I agree with the reviewer that this is exactly the kind of conversation we need if Pentateuchal source criticism is to make any progress beyond its current impasse. I have posted some of my own thoughts on the subject at the links given here.

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