Sunday, July 22, 2018

Dershowitz on the redaction of Leviticus 18

REDACTION CRITICISM: The Secret History of Leviticus Idan Dershowitz, NYT).
Like many ancient texts, Leviticus was created gradually over a long period and includes the words of more than one writer. Many scholars believe that the section in which Leviticus 18 appears was added by a comparatively late editor, perhaps one who worked more than a century after the oldest material in the book was composed. An earlier edition of Leviticus, then, may have been silent on the matter of sex between men.

But I think a stronger claim is warranted. ...
This is a quite interesting reconstruction of the composition history of Leviticus 18 and its prohibitions of male-to-male sex and incest. The essay is based on a scholarly article that you can read in full on Dr. Dershowitz's page: Pre-print: Revealing Nakedness and Concealing Homosexual Intercourse: Legal and Lexical Evolution in Leviticus 18.

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