Jewish Studies

The Formation of the Pentateuch

Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America
Ed. by Jan C. Gertz, Bernard M. Levinson, Dalit Rom-Shiloni, and Konrad Schmid

[Die Entstehung des Pentateuch. Ein Brückenschlag zwischen den akademischen Kulturen Europas, Israels und Nordamerikas.]

2016. XI, 1204 pages.

Forschungen zum Alten Testament 111

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ISBN 978-3-16-153883-4
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Published in English.
Despite nearly two centuries of scholarship on the Pentateuch, its historical origins and its literary history are still a subject of intense debate. This volume seeks to stimulate international discussion about the Pentateuch in order to help the discipline move toward a set of shared assumptions and a common discourse.
The Pentateuch lies at the heart of the Western humanities. Yet despite nearly two centuries of scholarship, its historical origins and its literary history are still a subject of intense discussion. Critical scholarship has isolated multiple layers of tradition, inconsistent laws, and narratives that could only have originated from separate communities within ancient Israel, and were joined together at a relatively late stage by a process of splicing and editing.
Recent developments in academic biblical studies, however, jeopardize the revolutionary progress that has been accomplished over the last two centuries. The past forty years of scholarship have witnessed not simply a proliferation of intellectual models, but the fragmentation of discourse within the three main research centers of Europe, Israel, and North America. Even when they employ the same terminology (redactor, author, source, exegesis), scholars often mean quite different things. Concepts taken for granted by one group of scholars (such as the existence of the Elohist source) are dismissed out of hand by other scholarly communities.
In effect, independent and sometimes competing scholarly discourses have emerged in Europe, Israel, and North America. Each centers on the Pentateuch, each operates with its own set of working assumptions, and each is confident of its own claims. This volume seeks to stimulate international discussion about the Pentateuch in order to help the discipline move toward a set of shared assumptions and a common discourse. With the wide range of perspectives examined, this publication is an invaluable resource for subsequent research.
Survey of contents
Jan Christian Gertz/Bernard M. Levinson/Dalit Rom-Shiloni/Konrad Schmid: Convergence and Divergence in Pentateuchal Theory

1. Empirical Perspectives on the Composition of the Pentateuch
Jan Christian Gertz: Introduction – Christopher Rollston: Intellectual Infrastructure and the Writing of the Pentateuch: Empirical Models from Iron Age Inscriptions – David P. Wright: The Covenant Code Appendix (Exod 23:20–33), Neo-Assyrian Sources, and Implications for Pentateuchal Study – David M. Carr: Data to Inform Ongoing Debates about the Formation of the Pentateuch: From Documented Cases of Transmission History to Survey of Rabbinic Exegesis – Molly M. Zahn: Inner-Biblical Exegesis: The View from beyond the Bible – Armin Lange: From Many to One: Some Thoughts on the Textual Standardization of the Torah

2. Can the Pentateuch Be Read in its Present Form? Narrative Continuity in the Pentateuch in Comparative Perspective
Jeffrey Stackert: Introduction – Jean Louis Ska: What Do We Mean by Plot and by Narrative Continuity? – Yairah Amit: Travel Narratives and the Message of Genesis – Joel S. Baden: Why is the Pentateuch Unreadable? or, Why Are We Doing This Anyway? – Jeffrey Stackert: Pentateuchal Coherence and the Science of Reading – Jean-Pierre Sonnet: Does the Pentateuch Tell of Its Redactional Genesis? The Characters of Yhwh and Moses as Agents of Fortschreibung in the Pentateuch's Narrated World

3. How to Date Biblical Texts?
Shimon Gesundheit: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Linguistic Dating – Erhard Blum: The Linguistic Dating of Biblical Texts: An Approach with Methodical Limitations – Jan Joosten: Diachronic Linguistics and the Date of the Pentateuch – William Schniedewind: Linguistic Dating, Writing Systems, and the Pentateuchal Sources – Thomas Römer: How to Date Pentateuchal Texts: Some Case Studies – Noam Mizrahi: Historical Linguistics as a Chronological Control in Pentateuchal Research: The Linguistic Watershed of the Mid-Sixth Century BCE – Jakob Wöhrle: There's no Master Key! The Literary Character of the Priestly Stratum and the Formation of the Pentateuch – Frank H. Polak: Oral Platform and Language Usage in the Abraham Narrative – Frank H. Polak: Story Telling and Redaction: Varieties of Language Usage in the Exodus Narrative

4. The Significance of Second Temple Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Formation of the Pentateuch
Bernard M. Levinson: Introduction – Sidnie White Crawford: What Constitutes a Scriptural Text? The History of Scholarship on Qumran Manuscript 4Q158 – Molly M. Zahn: Scribal Revision and the Composition of the Pentateuch: Methodological Questions Raised by 4Q158 Fragments 1–2 – Reinhard G. Kratz: Reworked Pentateuch and Pentateuchal Theory – Richard J. Bautch: »Holy Seed«: Ezra's Rhetoric and the Formation of the Pentateuch – Sara Japhet: What May Be Learned from Ezra-Nehemiah about the Composition of the Pentateuch?

5. Evidence for Redactional Activity in the Pentateuch
Konrad Schmid: Introduction – Jean Louis Ska: Some Empirical Evidence in Favor of Redaction Criticism – Christoph Levin: The Pentateuch: A Compilation by Redactors – Konrad Schmid: Post-Priestly Additions in the Pentateuch: A Survey of Scholarship

6. The Integration of Pre-Existing Literary Material in the Pentateuch and the Impact Upon its Final Shape
Joel S. Baden: Introduction – Rainer Albertz: Noncontinuous Literary Sources Taken up in the Book of Exodus – Itamar Kislev: The Story of the Gadites and the Reubenites (Numbers 32): A Case Study for an Approach to a Pentateuchal Text – Karin Finsterbusch: Integrating the Song of Moses into Deuteronomy and Reshaping the Narrative: Different Solutions in MT Deut 31:1–32:47 and (the Hebrew Vorlage of) LXX Deut 31:1–32:47 – David P. Wright: Source Dependence and the Development of the Pentateuch: The Case of Leviticus 24

7. Historical Geography of the Pentateuch and Archaeological Perspectives
Jan Christian Gertz: Introduction – David Ben-Gad HaCohen: Biblical Criticism from a Geographer's Perspective: »Transjordan« as a Test Case – Israel Finkelstein/Thomas Römer: Early North Israelite »Memories« on Moab – Thomas B. Dozeman: The Historical Geography of the Pentateuch and Archaeological Perspectives – Jan Christian Gertz: Hezekiah, Moses, and the Nehushtan: Some Remarks on a Case Study for a Correlation of the History of Religion in the Monarchical Period with the History of the Formation of the Hebrew Bible – Angela Roskop Erisman: For the Border of the Ammonites Was … Where? Historical Geography and Biblical Interpretation in Numbers 21

8. Do the Pentateuchal Sources Extend into the Former Prophets?
Konrad Schmid: Introduction – Baruch J. Schwartz: The Pentateuchal Sources and the Former Prophets: A Documentarian's Perspective – Cynthia Edenburg: Joshua 1–5 within Hexateuch, Enneateuch and Deuteronomistic History Models – Thomas Römer: The Problem of the Hexateuch

9. Rethinking the Relationship Between the Law and the Prophets
Dalit Rom-Shiloni: Introduction – Konrad Schmid: The Prophets after the Law or the Law after the Prophets? Terminological, Biblical, and Historical Perspectives – Marvin A. Sweeney: Hosea's Reading of Pentateuchal Narratives: A Window for a Foundational E Stratum – Reinhard Achenbach: The Sermon on the Sabbath in Jer 17:19–27 and the Torah – Georg Fischer: ותפשׂי התורה לא ידעוני (Jer 2:8): The Relationship of the Book of Jeremiah to the Torah – Dalit Rom-Shiloni: Compositional Harmonization: Priestly and Deuteronomic References in Jeremiah—An Earlier Stage of a Recognized Interpretive Technique – John Kessler: Patterns of »Descriptive Curse Formulae« in the Hebrew Bible, with Special Attention to Leviticus 26 and Amos 4:6–12 – Mark J. Boda: Reading Zechariah 9–14 with the Law and the Prophets: Sibling Rivalry and Prophetic Crisis – Jakob Wöhrle: Jacob, Moses, and Levi: Pentateuchal Figures in the Book of the Twelve – Christophe Nihan: Branching Mosaic and Prophetic Discourses on the Exile: Leviticus 26 and Ezekiel – Ariel Kopilovitz: What Kind of Priestly Writings did Ezekiel Know? The Case of Leviticus 26 – Michael A. Lyons: How Have We Changed? Older and Newer Arguments about the Relationship of Ezekiel and the Holiness Code – Tova Ganzel/Risa Levitt Kohn: Ezekiel's Use of Leviticus 26

10. Reading for Unity, Reading for Multiplicity: Theological Implications of the Study of the Pentateuch's Composition
Benjamin Sommer: Introduction – Benjamin Sommer: Book or Anthology? The Pentateuch as Jewish Scripture – Markus Witte: Methodological Reflections on a Theology of the Pentateuch – Jean-Pierre Sonnet: The Dynamic of Closure in the Pentateuch – James W. Watts: Narratives, Lists, Rhetoric, Ritual, and the Pentateuch as a Scripture

Jan C. Gertz is Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg.

Bernard M. Levinson is Professor of Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible and of Law at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Dalit Rom-Shiloni is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Department of Biblical Studies, Tel Aviv University.

Konrad Schmid Born 1965; professor of Old Testament and Ancient Judaism at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland.


The following reviews are known:

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In: http://crbmi.orgh/ — (3/2019) (Stephen D. Campbell)
In: Theologische Revue — 114 (2018), S. 107–108 (Ulrich Dahmen)
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In: Journal for the Study of the OT — 41.5 (2017) (A. Graeme Auld)
In: Europ. Journal of Theology — 28 (2019), S. 6–10 (Torsten Uhlig)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 142 (2017), S. 1026–1029 (Christian Frevel)
In: Biblische Notizen — 177 (2018), S. 147–149 (Thomas Hieke)
In: — (4/2018) (Siegbert Riecker)
In: Studia Biblica Athanasiana — 18 (2017), S. 120–122 (X.G.)
In: Revue Théologique de Louvain — 49 (2018), pp. 250–254 (Didier Luciani)
In: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung — 113 (2018), S. 144–151 (Wolfgang Oswald)
In: Zeitschr. f. d. Alttestamentl. Wissenschaft — 129 (2017), S. 450–452 (Uwe Becker)
In: Svensk Exegetisk Arsbok — 83 (2018), pp. 224–228 (Josef Forsling)
In: Reviews of Biblical and Early Christian Studies — (9/2017) (William L. Kelly)
In: Interpretation — 73 (2019), S. 403–405 (Joel S. Burnett)
In: Religious Studies Review — 44 (2018), p. 481 (Shaul Stampfer)
In: Verkündigung u. Forschung — 64 (2019), S. 4–18 + 19–32 (A. Grund-Wittenberg/Walter Bührer)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (1/2019) (Edward L. Greenstein/Reinhard Müller/Mark S.Smith)
In: Theologia Reformata — 3 (2021), pp. 291–292 (T. de Ridder)