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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

[Re]Reading Again: A Mosaic Reading of Numbers 25
Rees, Anthony

London: Bloomsbury, 2015 pp. x + 191. $104.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 589


Description: Guided by the metaphor of the art form known as a mosaic, this book advocates a pluralistic approach to biblical studies. Rees argues that the text itself can be described as a 'mosaic', with each new reading adding to the mosaic. Interpretation is therefore both observation and invention, or contribution.When [re]reading the text, one cannot but be aware of what has been seen before, even if it at first may seem unfamiliar. He thus rejects the idea of a definitive reading. Examining Numbers 25, Rees argues that the various methods employed to interpret this text (narrative, feminist, postcolonial as well as a more 'traditional' historical-critical reading) enable us to see different things as we read from different places. A further analysis of the book's interpretative history, including the rewritten histories of Josephus and Philo, allows us to discover that creativity has forever been a part of the reading process. Moving on to explore the contributions of more recent commentators, Rees concludes that an embrace of diversity, of collegiality, may well point to a new future in Biblical Studies.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Numbers, Literature, Methods, Ideological Critique, Feminist Approaches, Postcolonial Approaches, Other Methods

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Review by L. Michael Morales
Published 6/16/2016
Citation: L. Michael Morales, review of Anthony Rees, [Re]Reading Again: A Mosaic Reading of Numbers 25, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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