Peter Dubovský

The Building of the First Temple

A Study in Redactional, Text-Critical and Historical Perspective

[Der Bau des ersten Tempels. Eine Untersuchung in redaktioneller, textkritischer und historischer Perspektive.]

2015. XVII, 264 pages.

Forschungen zum Alten Testament 103

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Published in English.
Had a priest working in Solomon's temple been transferred to Josiah's or Zedekiah's temple, would he have recognized it? Peter Dubovský shows that the biblical texts provide enough evidence to conclude that the pre-exilic temple underwent at least three important reconstructions.
In this monograph Peter Dubovský explores the biblical and extra-biblical material in order to determine whether the pre-exilic temple underwent any reconstructions. The study of ancient Near Eastern material provides a background to how and why temples changed. The author's work is dedicated to the study of notes and comments spread over various parts of the Bible. He argues that there is enough evidence to prove that the pre-exilic temple of Jerusalem underwent important changes. What then can we say about 1 Kings 6–8 that attribute the construction of the temple in its full glory to Solomon? Thumbing through the commentaries on 1 Kings is sufficient to persuade even the most casual reader that the text is full of problems. The syntax is often incomprehensible, the grammar is unclear, and above all the different manuscripts disagree on the description of the first temple. Peter Dubovský's basic presupposition is that since the temple represented the most important building/institution in ancient Israel, it was only natural that the texts describing the temple underwent several redactions and were often glossed. He synthetizes the results and proposes a chronological development of the temple of Jerusalem as well as a minimalist version and also ventures to offer a more nuanced model. This conclusion, on the one hand, should be ultimately confronted with the results of archaeological excavation once they become available; on the other hand, this study can point to some nuances that only a text can preserve and no archaeologist can ever unearth.

Peter Dubovský Born 1965; 2005 ThD from Harvard Divinity School; 1999 SSL from the Pontifical Biblical Institute; dean at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome and professor of the Old Testament and history.


The following reviews are known:

In: Zeitschr. f. d. Alttestamentl. Wissenschaft — 129 (2017), S. 139–140
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (12/2018) (Ziony Zevit)
In: Revue Biblique — 124 (2017), S. 121–123 (Lukasz Popko)
In: Studia Biblica Athanasiana — 17 (2016), S. 163 (X.G.)
In: Jahrbuch f.Liturgik u.Hymnologie — 2016, S. 114–115 (Hermann Michael Niemann)
In: Old Testament Abstracts — 39 (2016), S. 474–475 (C.T.B.)
In: Nouvelle Revue Théologique — 139 (2017), S. 474–475 (Raymond Jahae)