File Size: 972 KB
Print Length: 305 pages
Publisher: HarperOne (September 12, 2017)
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Along the way, Professor Friedman shines shafts of gentle on historical, theological and ethical conditions that are usually glossed over or left unanswered for lay readers – historical problems, like Moses’s Egyptian or Midianite history; theological, such as the Bible’s early on references to plural gods and the gradual as opposed to abrupt emergence of monotheism; and ethical, such as the situation made across the Biblical text for loving one’s neighbors as oneself.
On the end of this trip, Professor Friedman challenges us to take into account the ways inside which these ancient concerns continue to make a new difference these days. Among those ways, his readers cannot help but think about how exactly much there might be regarding us to learn through a multidisciplinary approach to the challenges all of us deal with, in our own fields of interest and inside our own lives and times., I read half of this book inside an e-reader, and We heard the other half as an audiobook (narrated by Friedman himself). Right now there is a lot to be said about this.
First, Richard Elliott Friedman any of my perfect favorite scholars. Reading his / her work is much such as opening the doors to a detective story. One associated with his earlier books, < i> Who Wrote typically the Bible< /i> is usually a must read regarding anyone interested in how typically the Hebrew Bible was composed. Although not strictly necessary, We highly recommend that you study that book before reading this one. In each, you can feel like an individual are following the methods of a Sherlock Sherlock holmes who is a specialist inside Ancient Israel (at the very least that's how I feel).
Secondly, Friedman has typically the art of picking typically the most interesting parts associated with the study of Longevity at least present it to you in a really interesting way. As a result, you like the book a fantastic deal.
Finally, Friedman is usually one of those students who critically challenges recognized Bible scholarship presenting solid arguments for his situation. He is a fantastic defender of the existence associated with a pre-exilic priestly supply (P), an idea held previously by Yehezkel Vertreter, and also by S. Mowinckel. Now he will try to propose a a lot more robust theory regarding the exodus that actually does are the cause of several oddities, especially concerning the Levitic tribe.
This publication comes just in moment when there is (in my non-expert opinion) a great angry division among students of Ancient Israel, specifically pertaining to the figures of David and Salomon, plus the existence of a new unified kingdom under their own rule. William Dever offers denounced an inclination towards a new postmodern hyperskepticism (sometimes together with political agendas) that is usually affecting the field. This has led to some of these unique scholars to the level of stating that the structure of the earliest writings of the Hebrew Bible took place centuries later as compared to the consensus (more free now than before) right now holds, there was zero united kingdom, and there is no David nor Salomon. Friedman's job in this specific book is far a lot more problematic, because there is usually a minimum of an archaological facts of David's dynasty, nevertheless there is close to zero archaeological evidence for Moses or an Exodus.
A single of the issues that he handles is typically the many years that archaeologists and Bible literary experts didn't communicate much together. Right now, we usually are seeing a predicament where each are sitting down to discuss the evidence accumulated simply by both fields, and trying to present one of the most logical profile they can.
Generally there is a consensus among scholars of a couple of things: 1. That if there was an Exodus, this did not happen inside the way that the Torah states; and second . that though highly fictionalized, typically the stories regarding Moses and the Exodus must possess had some basis inside a thing that happened. This publication is not a metallic bullet that proves that Moses existed or that there was an Exodus. However, this book builds on the most recent findings from archaeology, genetics, Bible criticism, as well as other fields that have substantiated the hypothesis that there was indeed a great Exodus, but it turned out not necessarily of all Israelites (whose tribes were all local from Canaan), but only as a small number of people who would later turn out to be the Levitic tribe. Making use of the Documentary hypothesis widely accepted by scholars nowadays, he shows that you can find habits that are produced from Egyptian customs, highly suggesting which they lived amongst the Egyptians for a while. The sources that they had written (namely the elohist, typically the priestly, and the deuteronomist sources) are all concerned with the welfare associated with slaves and foreigners, regarding circumcision, Egyptian names, typically the Ark of the Covenant's similarities with Egyptian bateau, and so on.
Friedman also shows what some scholars have believed regarding years, that the Levites on the whole put a fantastic importance to Madian, a new region the location where the shasu worshiped the god Yahu (or Yahweh). Apparently, ancient resources seem to indicate that Moses was either of Silk origin or even a Madianite. Within either case, he evidently drove a small number of people out of Egypt, interacted using the shasu in Madian, sometime later it was (after Israel made itself against the Hazor nobility and destroyed it) these pilgrims established a new solidarity using the Israelites, getting its priestly sector. Later, as Friedman shows inside his book, the expertise of this specific small group gradually grew to become the historical memory of the entire nation, each moment with more fantastic components because time went by. The way he argues just about all of this with fantastic clarity and with a new great sense of humor causes this book very fascinating.
One more thing that took me personally completely abruptly was his / her discussion about how exactly, from a great Israel that believed in numerous gods, it wound up with one exclusive god, namely Yahweh Elohim. Most scholars believe that this move from polytheism to monotheism was progressive. Friedman argues when one looks for many associated with the details in typically the Torah, the story will be able to tell you how, from typically the point of view associated with the authors of typically the Torah, Yahweh ended by yourself: Yahweh " killed" typically the other gods alluded to in the text. I'll leave that elaboration to your reading, but We promise you that this is a very exciting view.
From what We could read and pay attention of the book, it has an apologetic tone in typically the discourse on these elements. This specific is not the type of apology that seeks to validate religious idea (this is not just what he tries to do), nevertheless one that seeks to display the cultural associated with these texts of the Hebrew Bible. He confronts some new atheists and unbelievers like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. At one level, he criticizes the latter's < i> The Lord Delusion< /i> regarding adopting a distorted model (from a scholarly standpoint) of the commandment " Really like thy neighbor as thyself". Friedman doesn't deny in any point the elements of the Bible which are objectionable, but he clarifies their occurrence in typically the book, while simultaneously valuing the positive aspects that we can find inside the Hebrew Bible and are now embedded inside our Western Judeo-Christian culture.
All in all, We highly recommend this reading. I thank Dr . Friedman for such a pleasure for the intellect, and opening for the general public this beautiful window in to the past., Great conjunction with Friedman's corpus of work, invaluable addition to biblical scholarship. Friedman makes a new compelling case that the fact of biblical history is situated somewhere between the minimalists and maximalists: The entire body of credible evidence and reasonable arguments supporting typically the Documentary Hypothesis continue to grow, while the smart and maximalist positions remain undermined by facts and logic; there was a great Exodus from Egypt; this likely involved only typically the Levites, who were a new non-homogenous group of Semitic/Asiatic peoples; they travelled to the land today known as Israel-Palestine and settled there with the peoples currently living there, possibly receiving the name Levite (Hebrew meaning 'added to') at that time; eventually these peoples came to share a national personality and a religious-ethno traditions, using the Levites given towns and tithes but not necessarily territory, and given charge of the religious-ethnic-historical training of the nation's individuals.
Friedmand also documents how, from the Levites (3 writers of the supply texts of the Torah have been Levites based on Friedman, together with the fourth writer sympathetic to the House associated with David), the world very first received the lasting idea of monotheism and issue for strangers - they may not have been the very first to generate these suggestions, but these ideas 'won' (Friedman's term) in historical past due to the basis laid by Judaism. Very interesting stuff on typically the 'death' of the numerous gods, inside the Bible's textual content as well as inside practical conditions in individual history and 'reality'.
Lines of evidence supporting typically the Levite-only, smaller exodus concept:
- Friedman quotes numerous minimalist and maximalist scholars who've produced statements of confidence that there was an exodus, but likely smaller as compared to two million people.
- Only Levites have Egyptian names -- he notes 8 documented in the Bible
- The original sources - ancient poetry - support the idea of a later Levite arrival and an exodus
- The Levite Torah authors maintained and were concerned with typically the Exodus story incl plague accounts, kindness to strangers/aliens/slaves and circumcision - not necessarily as much of a new concern in J
- The programs for the Tabernacle and the Ark contain numerous components that parallel typically the Battle Tent of Rameses and Egyptian barks, as well as other components of Levite composing show familiarity with Silk traditions.
-- Genetic testing shows typically the purity in the family tree of Aaronid priests, and the heterogeneous nature associated with the Levite family.
Friedman also calls attention through the entire book to the facts and arguments for typically the Documentary Hypothesis, which is usually further strengthened by this publication. Linguistic evidence, as yet unchallenged by the minimalists, displays pre-exilic dates for J, E, P as well as M. Textual and source-critical facts reveals the documents underlying the Torah as well as the work associated with later editors. During your stay on island might be legitimate dispute within the source document for particular words, sentences and also paragraphs, the basic premise that there were four separate texts that were mixed in stages holds one of the most water. Archaelogical findings always show the historical characteristics of some biblical tales, while casting doubt on other elements.
Friedman's composing style is very understandable for the layperson, whilst at the same moment rigorously argued and supported. I'm very curious right now about the origins and meanings behind the tales of the patriarchs, because well as the genealogies - hopefully Friedman may address this in upcoming work.
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