Friday, December 4, 2009

In the Mail: The Right Chorale

"The Right Chorale": Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation
2008. XXIII, 432 pages. plus 34 figures. FAT 54
ISBN 978-3-16-149382-9
cloth € 99.00

Thanks to the kind folks at Mohr Siebeck who sent along a copy of Bernard Levinson's recent book, "The Right Chorale": Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation. It looks excellent, and I simply must come up with an excuse to read it sooner, rather than later. I will, of course, review it in depth here in the coming months. For now, here's the publisher's description:
This book presents twelve selected investigations of textual composition, interpretation, revision, and transmission. With these studies, Bernard Levinson draws upon the literary forebears of biblical law in cuneiform literature and its reinterpretation in the Second Temple period to provide the horizon of ancient Israelite legal exegesis. The volume makes a sustained argument about the nature of textuality in ancient Israel: Israelite scribes were sophisticated readers, authors, and thinkers who were conscious of their place in literary and intellectual history, even as they sought to renew and transform their cultural patrimony in significant ways. Originally published over a decade and a half, the significantly revised and updated studies gathered here explore the connections between law and narrative, show the close connections between Deuteronomy and the Neo-Assyrian loyalty oath tradition, address the literary relationship of Deuteronomy and the Covenant Code, reflect upon important questions of methodology, and explore the contributions of the Bible to later western intellectual history. The volume offers essential reading for an understanding of the Pentateuch and biblical law.

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