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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law
Strawn, Brent, editor

New York: Oxford University Press, 2015 pp. 1176 (2 vols.). $395.00


Description: The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law (OEBL) provides the most up-to-date and extensive treatment of the Bible and law yet attempted, both updating and expanding the scope of previous scholarship in the field. In comprehensive overviews, scholars at the forefront of biblical studies and law address three foci: biblical law itself--its nature, collections, and genres; the ancient contexts of biblical law, throughout the ancient Mediterranean (ancient Near Eastern, Greco-Roman, and Early Jewish); and the afterlife and influence of biblical law in antiquity and in modern jurisprudence around the world. Essays include treatments of the Book of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, Greek Law, and the Laws of Hammurapi, but also testimony and witness, property, ritual, rhetoric, gender, and sexual legislation. The two-volume Encyclopedia contains 130 entries ranging in length from 3,000 to 7,000 words. With bibliographic references and suggestions for further reading, each entry provides a thorough overview of the topic and serves as an entrance point to further original research for both seasoned scholars and beginning students. Given its full-orbed exploration of biblical law and its detailed summary of current scholarship, the OEBL is guaranteed to secure a privileged place in the history of biblical and legal scholarship.

Subjects: Bible, Literature, Methods, Other Methods

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Review by Bernard S. Jackson
Published 6/30/2016
Citation: Bernard S. Jackson, review of Brent Strawn, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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