“The Right Chorale”: Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation
Levinson, Bernard M.
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008 pp. xxiii+333. $187.50
Forschungen zum Alten Testament, 54
Description: This book presents twelve selected investigations of textual composition, interpretation, revision, and transmission. With these studies, Bernard Levinson draws upon the literary forebears of biblical law in cuneiform literature and its reinterpretation in the Second Temple period to provide the horizon of ancient Israelite legal exegesis. The volume makes a sustained argument about the nature of textuality in ancient Israel: Israelite scribes were sophisticated readers, authors, and thinkers who were conscious of their place in literary and intellectual history, even as they sought to renew and transform their cultural patrimony in significant ways. Originally published over a decade and a half, the significantly revised and updated studies gathered here explore the connections between law and narrative, demonstrate the close ties between Deuteronomy and the Neo-Assyrian loyalty oath tradition, address the literary relationship of Deuteronomy and the Covenant Code, reflect upon important questions of methodology, and explore the contributions of the Bible to later western intellectual history. Its solutions to several text-critical cruxes in Deuteronomy 13 have been accepted into Biblia Hebraica Quinta. The volume offers essential reading for an understanding of the Pentateuch and biblical law.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature
Review by J. Glen Taylor
Citation: J. Glen Taylor, review of Bernard M. Levinson, “The Right Chorale”: Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).
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