By Bernard M. Levinson
Located on the boundary of conventional religious study, criminal historical past, and literary conception, Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of criminal Innovation exhibits how the laws of Deuteronomy displays the fight of its authors to resume overdue 7th- century Judean society. looking to shield their innovative imaginative and prescient through the neo-Assyrian main issue, the reformers grew to become to previous legislation, even if they disagreed with them, and revised them in the sort of manner as to lend authority to their new realizing of God's will. Passages that different students have lengthy seen as redundant, contradictory, or displaced really mirror the try through Deuteronomy's authors to sanction their new non secular goals earlier than the legacy of the past.
Drawing on historic close to jap legislations and knowledgeable via the wealthy insights of classical and medieval Jewish remark, Levinson offers a longer examine of 3 key passages within the criminal corpus: the unparalleled requirement for the centralization of worship, the legislation remodeling the previous Passover right into a pilgrimage competition, and the unit changing conventional village justice with a professionalized judiciary. He demonstrates the profound impression of centralization upon the constitution and association of the criminal corpus, whereas delivering a theoretical research of non secular swap and cultural renewal in old Israel. The book's end indicates how the innovations of authorship constructed in Deuteronomy supplied a version for later Israelite and submit- biblical literature.
Integrating the latest eu study at the redaction of Deuteronomy with present American and Israeli scholarship, Levinson argues that biblical interpretation needs to attend to either the diachronic and the synchronic dimensions of the textual content. His learn, which gives a brand new standpoint on intertextuality, the heritage of authorship, and strategies of criminal innovation within the historical international, will have interaction pentateuchal critics and historians of Israelite faith, whereas achieving out towards present concerns in literary concept and demanding criminal stories.
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Extra resources for Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation
4)These are the fixed times of Yahweh— sacred occasions, which you shall proclaim at their fixed time. A B C X C' B' A' The interpolation marks an inner-biblical tendency toward the programmatic incorporation of the Sabbath in the ritual calendar, even at the expense of distorting the original specificity of the calendar. The Purpose and Scope of This Book The aim of this book is to show, in depth, both how far-reaching the Deuteronomic transformation of Israelite religion and society was and how the authors of the legal corpus accomplished that program hermeneutically.
The syntactical play points to a triadic literary structure: in every place in the place in all your city-gates (v. 13) (v. 14) (v. 15) That same triadic literary structure translates into the following legal structure as it governs human action, both cultic and secular: Legal Status Legal Content Legal Locale Form of Expression (v. 13) Prohibited Random sacrifice Multiple sites Rhetorical deflection (v. 14) (v. 15) Prescribed Permitted Cultic centralization Secular slaughter Single site Periphrasis Multiple sites Metonym Deuteronomy's authors are hardly innocent, either in the lexicon or in the conceptual background that underlies this triadic literary-legal structure.
None of this is accidental. The Exodus altar law had the prestige of antiquity, was ascribed to Yahweh, likely circulated with the Covenant Code, and represented normative practice. Because of its prestige and normative status, 20. " That approach makes the relative clause merely state the obvious. More problematical, it also unintentionally reinterprets the clause, nearly verbatim, in light of Deut 12:13-14—and thereby reverses legal and literary history. There is further evidence against her analysis.