Revelation Restored: Divine Writ and Critical Responses
Modern critical scholars divide the Pentateuch into distinct components, identifying areas of unevenness in the scriptural tradition, which point to several interwoven documents rather than one immaculate whole. While the conclusions reached by such critical scholarship are still matters of dispute, the inconsistencies which it has identified stand clearly before us and pose a serious challenge to the believer in divine revelation. How can a text marred by contradiction be the legacy of Sinai? How can there be reverence for holy scriptures that show signs of human intervention? David Weiss Halivni explores these questions, not by disputing the evidence itself or by defending the absolute integrity of the Pentateuchal words at all costs, but rather by accepting the inconsistencies of the text as such and asking how this text might yet be a divine legacy.Inconsistencies and unevenness in the Pentateuchal scriptures are not the discovery of modern textual science alone. Halivni demonstrates that the earliest stewards of the Torah, including some of those represented in the Bible itself, were aware of discrepancies within the tradition. From the Book of Chronicles through the commentaries of the Rabbis, sensitive readers have perceived maculations, which mitigate against the notion of an unblemished, divine document, and have responded to these maculations in different ways.Revelation Restored asserts that acknowledging and accounting for human intervention in the Pentateuchal text is not alien to the Biblical or Rabbinic tradition and need not belie the tradition of revelation. Moreover, it argues that through recognizing textual problems in the scriptures, as well as efforts to resolve them in tradition, we may learn not only about the nature of the Pentateuch itself but also about the ongoing relationship between its people and its source.
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according Amora Amoraim attributed Babylonian Talmud be'emet Bible biblical book of Nehemiah books of Ezra canonical Pentateuch Chate'u Christians cited commentary compilation contradictions correct critical scholar David Weiss Halivni Deuteronomy displaced divine editorial entourage evidence exegesis exegetical Exodus exposition Ezra the Scribe Ezra's day fact Gaon given to Moses God's Halakha le-Moshe mi-Sinai Hebrew holy human idolatry inconsistencies interpretation inviolability Israel Jerusalem Judah Judaism keri and ketiv maculate maculate text Maimonides Masoretic text Megillah Middle Ages Midrash Mishnah modern Moses on Sinai Moshe mi-Sinai Nehemiah nekudot notion Numbers observance opinion oral law oral Torah oral tradition Palestinian Talmud passage Passover Pentateuch Peshat plain meaning postcritical theology practice prophets quoted Rabbah rabbinic law Rashbam Rashi religious Jew return from exile Revelation Restored ritual Saadya sacred Sages says scrip scroll Shabbat soferim statement Sukkah Tannaitic textual theological tion verse written text written Torah written word Yochanan
Page 34 - And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall not be accepted, neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it : it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity.
Page 14 - And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate ; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel.
Page 23 - And they found written in the law which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month : and that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.
Page 14 - And Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand ; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law.
Page 14 - And they stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the LORD their God...
Page 5 - On the other hand, the belief in eternity the way Aristotle sees it — that is, the belief according to which the world exists in virtue of necessity, that no nature changes at all, and that the customary course of events cannot be modified with regard to anything — destroys the Law in its principle, necessarily gives the lie to every miracle, and reduces to inanity all the hopes and threats that the Law has held out, unless — by God!
Page 15 - Mar Zutra or, as some say, Mar "Ukba said: Originally the Torah was given to Israel" in Hebrew characters and in the sacred [Hebrew] language; later, in the times of Ezra, the Torah was given in Ashurith script and Aramaic language.
Page 66 - Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath ; but with him that standeth here with us this day...
Page 14 - Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them, and the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers.