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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation
Sailhamer, John H.

Downer's Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 2009 pp. 632. $40.00


Description: The Pentateuch is the foundation for understanding the Old Testament and the Bible as a whole. Yet through the centuries it has been probed and dissected, weighed and examined, its text peeled back for its underlying history, its discourse analyzed and its words weighed. Could there be any stone in Sinai yet unturned? Surprisingly, there is. From a career of study, John Sailhamer sums up his perspective on the Pentateuch by first settling the hermeneutical question of where we should set our attention. Rather than focus on the history behind the text, Sailhamer is convinced that it is the text itself that should be our primary focus. Along the way he demonstrates that this was in fact the focus of many interpreters in the precritical era. Persuaded of the singular vision of the Pentateuch, Sailhamer searches out clues left by the author and the later editor of the Pentateuch that will disclose the meaning of this great work. By paying particular attention to the poetic seams in the text, he rediscovers a message that surprisingly brings us to the threshold of the New Testament gospel.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Pentateuch, Literature


Review by Andrew Steinmann
Read the Review
Published 12/21/2012
Citation: Andrew Steinmann, review of John H. Sailhamer, The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).


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