Unity and Disunity in Ezra-Nehemiah: Redaction, Rhetoric, and Reader
Boda, Mark J. and Paul L. Redditt, editors
Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2008 pp. x + 384. $110.00
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 17
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Description: Until the late 1960s the scholarly consensus was that Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah was a single, unified literary work. Then arguments began to be mounted for treating Chronicles as a distinct composition, and the majority of scholars were swayed by these arguments, though others retained the older consensus view. In recent years, some scholars have begun to suggest that Ezra and Nehemiah are distinct literary entities. This new debate is the occasion for the present volume. Here scholars from around the globe (Canada, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Israel, Korea, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States) showcase current scholarly explanations for the final shape of this literary complex known as Ezra-Nehemiah. Fourteen scholars present their approach to the unity or disunity of this literature employing research methodologies that range from the diachronic to the synchronic. Critical responses to this emerging research are provided by three reviewers (Joseph Blenkinsopp, Tamara Eskenazi and Hugh Williamson) whose work laid the foundation in earlier decades for much of the discussion today. The result is a rich conversation which provides an enlightening resource for the study of these biblical books in particular as well as for reflection on the impact of one's interpretive framework on the study of ancient literature in general.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, Ezra, Nehemiah, Literature
Review by Andrew E. Steinmann
Citation: Andrew E. Steinmann, review of Mark J. Boda and Paul L. Redditt, eds., Unity and Disunity in Ezra-Nehemiah: Redaction, Rhetoric, and Reader, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).
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