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In A Prophet Like Moses, Jeffrey Stackert offers a very intelligent and engaging book. Comparing ancient Near Eastern prophetic texts and grounding his approach in the current (and notably debated) Neo-Documentary Hypothesis, Stackert examines the prophetic dimensions of Moses identity and the different views of prophecy in the Pentateuchal sources. The book marks a significant contribution to biblical scholarship. Clear and well written, insightfuland highly recommended. (Mark S. Smith, Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, New York University)
An elegant and important contribution to current scholarship on the Pentateuch. Stackert reframes Wellhausens central questions about law and prophecy and delivers a compelling analysis of the distinctive positions in the Pentateuchal sources. It will evoke controversy in some quarters, but it is very solid scholarship. (Ronald Hendel, Dabby Professor of Hebrew Bible, University of California, Berkeley)
Stackert complicates the historical relationship between law and prophecy, by identifying an anti-prophetic tendency in the Elohist source in the pre-exilic period. In so doing, he undercuts the developmental view of Israelite religion associated with Wellhausen. This is a bold and ambitious book which is sure to ignite a debate that has far-reaching implications for our understanding of the religion of Israel. (John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale)
This is a fine book and a major addition to Pentateuchal studies. (Alan Le Grys, Religion)
Jeffrey Stackert addresses two of the oldest and most persistent problems in biblical studies: the relationship between prophecy and law in the Hebrew Bible and the utility of the Documentary Hypothesis for understanding Israelite religion. These topics have in many ways dominated pentateuchal studies and the investigation of Israelite religion since the nineteenth century, culminating in Julius Wellhausens influential Prolegomena to the History of Ancient Israel. Setting his inquiry against this backdrop while drawing on and extending recent developments in pentateuchal theory, Stackert tackles the subject through an investigation of the different presentations of Mosaic prophecy in the four Torah sources. His book shows that these texts contain a rich and longstanding debate over prophecy, its relation to law, and its place in Israelite religion.
With this argument, A Prophet Like Moses demonstrates a new role for the Documentary Hypothesis in discussions of Israelite religion. It also provides an opportunity for critical reflection on the history of the field of biblical studies. Stackert concludes with an argument for the importance of situating biblical studies and the study of ancient Israelite religion within the larger field of religious studies rather than treating them solely or even primarily as theological disciplines.
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