By Niels Peter Lemche
Until eventually the Seventies bible study belonged to the historical-critical college and had reached some degree the place all difficulties have been believed to were solved. Then all assumptions started to be became on their head. formerly, ancient stories constituted the spine of bible study; now, each point of biblical heritage started to be puzzled. the assumption of the outdated testomony as a resource of old details used to be changed by way of an figuring out of the texts as a method for early Jewish society to interpret its previous. bible study and the Failure of historical past brings jointly key essays which mirror the trajectory of this scholarly shift to be able to light up the kingdom of bible study at the present time. The early essays current historical-critical reports tracing historic info. additional essays hire a extra serious and interpretive point of view to ascertain seminal concerns starting from the Hellenistic contexts of biblical culture to the functioning of outdated testomony society.
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Additional info for Biblical Studies and the Failure of History: Changing Perspectives 3
The beginning of v. 2 should be corrected in accordance with Alt’s views. 3. The interpretation of this law must necessarily include the general debate on habiru and hupšu. I have tried to explain the words עבריand חפשיin � agreement� with the modern view on habiru and hupšu as sociologiclose � � cal denominations. 63 The thought Hebrew of Exodus 21:2 was necessarily an Israelite must be ruled out; but this does not exclude the possibility that he might have been. It is quite probable that impoverished Israelites or groups from the now resident Israelite tribes joined the habiru and it must have been difficult, at times, for the original inhabitants � to distinguish between Hebrews and Israelites among the roaming gangs of robbers.
In the context of the Book of the Covenant, these paragraphs do not contradict one another. The law of the Hebrew slave is placed at the beginning of the first part of the Book of the Covenant, Exodus 21:2–22:16, which is now generally considered the oldest part, and which in the opinion of many scholars – including myself – has strong links to Canaanite and Mesopotamian laws. This part is predominantly of a profane character (jus). Opposite it are the rules based on cult and religion (fas), which are to be found in the second part of the Book of the Covenant, Exodus 22:17–23:16 (19), and which, among other things, comprise the law of the fallow year.
In v. 4a, however, ארץappears once again, with the meaning ‘the national area’. In comparison, it may be mentioned that the fallow-year regulation of Exodus 23:10 ארץis not used in regard to ‘the country’, but instead refers to ‘the fields’. This may be taken as proof that the older fallow year regulation, Leviticus 25:3 (4b), has been interpreted and generalized by this later adaption. The final commentary in v. 6 also would be meaningless if not for the fact that, in vv. , arrangements of general value were referenced.
Biblical Studies and the Failure of History: Changing Perspectives 3 by Niels Peter Lemche