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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

When God Wanted to Destroy the Chosen People: Biblical Traditions and Theology on the Move
Kugler, Gili

Berlin: de Gruyter, 2019 pp. xi + 223. $99.99

Series Information
Beihefte zur Zeitschrift fŁr die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 515

Description: According to narratives in the Bible the threats of the peopleís end come from various sources, but the most significant threat comes, as learned from the Pentateuch, from God himself. What is the theological meaning of this tradition? In what circumstances did it evolve? How did it stand alongside other theological and socio-political concepts known to the ancient authors and their diverse audience? The book employs a diachronic method that explores the stages of the traditionís formation and development, revealing the authorsí exegetical purposes and ploys, and tracing the historical realities of their time. The book proposes that the motif of the threat of destruction existed in various forms prior to the creation of the stories recorded in the final text of the Pentateuch. The inclusion of the motif within specific literary contexts attenuated the concept of destruction by presenting it as a phenomenon of specific moments in the past. Nevertheless, the threat was resurrected repeatedly by various authors, for use as a precedent or a justification for present affliction.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Literary Approaches, Theological Approaches

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Review by Jeffery M. Leonard
Published 8/27/2020
Citation: Jeffery M. Leonard, review of Gili Kugler, When God Wanted to Destroy the Chosen People: Biblical Traditions and Theology on the Move, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

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