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Published November 2017
How the Pentateuch employs narrative and law to provide the foundations for an ideal national and religious identity.The Pentateuch, in the Core Biblical Studies series, introduces the
Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
Deuteronomy. It combines a purely literary approach to reading the
final form of the Pentateuch with a historical reading of the text. The
literary approach emphasizes the structural role played by the
so-called toledoth (generations) formulae that trace the history of
humankind from Adam, through the ancestors of Israel, and finally to
Moses and Aaron as the founders of Israelâ€™s priesthood. The historical
reading of the text challenges the older model of source analysis to
argue instead for a model that traces the composition of the Pentateuch
from its origins in northern Israel during the 9th-8th centuries
B.C.E., (E), through its subsequent editions in Judah during the 8th-7th
centuries B.C.E,. (J and D), and finally through the final redaction in
the Persian period, (P).
Discussion throughout the volume focuses on how the text presents the origins or early history of Israel
and its ideals or how it employs narrative and law to provide the
foundations for an ideal national and religious identity.
The volume concludes with a brief treatment of how the Pentateuch is read in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.