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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Mitzvoth Ethics and the Jewish Bible: The End of Old Testament Theology
Ratheiser, Gershom†M.†H.

New York: T&T Clark, 2007 pp. xiv + 409. $145.00

Series Information
Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, 460


Description: Ratheiser's study provides the framework for a non-confessional, mitzvoth ethics-centered and historical-philological approach to the Jewish bible and deals with the basic steps of an alternative paradigmatic perspective on the biblical text. The author seeks to demostrate the ineptness of confessional and ahistorical approaches to the Jewish bible. Based on his observations and his survey of the history of interpretation of the Jewish bible, Ratheiser introduces an alternative hermeneutical-exegetical approach to the Jewish bible: the paradigm of examples. His study concludes that the biblical text is a collection of writings designed and formed from a specifically ethical-ethnic outlook. In other words, he regards the Jewish bible to be written as an etiology of ancient instruction by ancient Jews to Jews and for Jews. As such, it serves as a religious-ethical identity marker that provides ancient Jews and their descendants with an etiology of Jewish life. Ratheiser regards this religious-ethical agenda to have been the driving force in the minds of the final editors/compilers of the biblical text as we have it today.

Subjects: Methods, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Theology, Ethics

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Review by Walter Brueggemann
Published 5/10/2008
Citation: Walter Brueggemann, review of Gershom M. H. Ratheiser, Mitzvoth Ethics and the Jewish Bible: The End of Old Testament Theology, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2008).


Review by Ben Ollenburger
Published 9/19/2009
Citation: Ben Ollenburger, review of Gershom†M.†H. Ratheiser, Mitzvoth Ethics and the Jewish Bible: The End of Old Testament Theology, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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