One of the few areas of consensus in modern Deuteronomy scholarship is the contention that within the book of Deuteronomy there is a program of reform that was nothing short of revolutionary. Although there are divergent views regarding the specific details of this revolutionary program, most scholars agree that, in fundamental and profound ways, Deuteronomy was radical in its vision. This vision was expressed in key ideas: centralization of worship, secularization, and demythologization (of earlier traditions). However, Vogt argues that these ideas fail to account adequately for the data of the text of Deuteronomy itself. Instead, he claims, at the heart of Deuteronomic theology is the principle of the supremacy of Yahweh, which is to be acknowledged by all generations of Israelites through adherence to Torah. Thus, the book of Deuteronomy is in fact radical and countercultural but not in the ways that are usually adduced. It is radical in its rejection of ANE models of kingship and institutional permanence, in its emphasis on the holiness of life lived out before Yahweh, and in its elevation of Yahweh and his Torah. In the introductory chapter, the structure and ideology of the book are examined. Chapter 1 then examines some of the ways in which the theology of Deuteronomy has been understood, namely, in terms of centralization, secularization, and demythologization. Chapters 2Ė5 evaluate key texts that are used to support the idea that centralization, secularization, and demythologization are at the heart of the theology of Deuteronomy. An alternative reading of the texts is presented that highlights the supremacy of Yahweh and Torah. The final chapter investigates the theological and ideological implications of this alternative reading of key texts.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pentateuch, Deuteronomy, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Theology
Review by William Morrow
Citation: William Morrow, review of Peter T. Vogt, Deuteronomic Theology and the Significance of Torah: A Reappraisal, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2007).
Review by Trent C. Butler
Citation: Trent C. Butler, review of Peter T. Vogt, Deuteronomic Theology and the Significance of Torah: A Reappraisal, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).
Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.