Description: Understanding the Pentateuch as a Scripture is a unique account of the first five books of the Bible, describing how Jews and Christians ritualize the Pentateuch as a scripture by interpreting it, by performing its text and contents, and by venerating the physical scroll and book. Pentateuchal studies are known for intense focus on questions of how and when the first five books of the Bible were composed, edited, and canonized as scripture. Rather than such purely historical, literary, or theological approaches, Hebrew Bible scholar James W. Watts organizes this description of the Pentateuch from the perspectives of comparative scriptures and religious studies. He describes how the Pentateuch has been used in the centuries since it began to function as a scripture in the time of Ezra, and the origins of its ritualization before that time.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Literary Approaches, Canonical Criticism, History of Interpretation, Reception History
Review by Benjamin D. Sommer
Citation: Benjamin D. Sommer, review of James W. Watts, Understanding the Pentateuch as a Scripture, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).
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