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The following editorial reviews were found on the publisher's website on September 13, 2012:
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“This highly innovative collection of essays effectively orients students of the Hebrew Bible/Old
Testament to the many facets of contemporary Pentateuch studies. One of the major benefits of the volume is that it truly offers several ‘new models’ for Pentateuch studies that are not hampered by tenuous and lengthy discussions of redaction criticism. Further, these new models are informative for as well as intelligible to non-specialized audiences. This volume is bound to make a valuable addition to the bookshelves of students, seminarians and scholars alike.”
—Andrew B. Perrin, Toronto Journal of Theology 24 (2008) 262–263.
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“This collection of 14 substantive essays aims to account for the reception of the Pentateuch as a uniquely authoritative document in the Persian and Hellenistic periods. The distinguished contributors to this erudite volume propose different models for how, when, why and where this took place. Readers will appreciate the introductory essay by the editors that surveys the complex and contested field explored, for the essayists present a bewildering array of theories. Most of the essays interact with the theory of a ‘Persian imperial authorization’ of the Torah, and this book represents the most sustained discussion of that theory since Persia and Torah (2001), edited by James W. Watts. . . . This is a useful volume for anyone who wants to come up to speed with what is happening in Pentateuchal studies. It shows the field is in flux, indeed it appears to be in crisis, with no theory able to secure a scholarly consensus.”
—Gregory Goswell, Australian Biblical Review.
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“This informative and well-written volume provides an excellent entry-point for scholars, advanced undergraduates and graduate students to explore the fast-changing world of Pentateuchal theory and the relationship of the Torah to its literary and cultural environment.”
—Daniel M. O’Hare, Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 8 (2008): 253–57.
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“There are many more very fine essays in this volume, and anyone interested in pentateuchal and/or Achaemenid studies would greatly benefit from every one of them.”
—Charles Halton, Bulletin of Biblical Research 19:2 (2009).
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“The editors are to be congratulated for focusing on ‘cutting edge’ issues, helping to transpose these conference papers into tightly-organized but accessible essays (with all lengthy German and French quotations translated into English), and bringing these provocative pieces of first-class scholarship to a wider audience speedily.”
—Gordon J. Hamilton, Studies in Religion, 2008.
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“This volume significantly advances our understanding of the processes leading to the establishment of the Torah in its present forms as the foundation document of the Jewish and Samaritan communities. . . . The essays . . . taken as a whole . . . form a contribution which no future work on the subject will be able to ignore.”
—W. J. Houston, Vetus Testamentum 59 (2009)
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The following editorial reviews were found on the publisher's website on September 13, 2012:
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“This volume of essays is a “must have” for any researcher, teacher, graduate student, or high-level
undergraduate student interested in the promulgation and acceptance of the Pentateuch/Torah as authoritative sacred writings for the Jewish and Samarian communities during the late Persian and early Hellenistic Periods. While these 14 essays started out as papers given at an international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature held in Edinburgh (July 2006)m collectively, they read as much more than a standard proceedings volume. Each essay provides an overview of past research into an aspect of the development of Torah during the post-exilic period, a critique of weaknesses in those approaches, and a proposal for (a) new way(s) of understanding how the first five books became the foundational text not only for the Jewish communities in Yehud/Judea and the diaspora but also for (b) the Samarian (later Samaritan) community.
“The editors are to be congratulated for focusing on ‘cutting edge’ issues, helping to transpose these conference papers into tightly-organized but accessible essays (with all lengthy German and French quotations translated into English), and bringing these provocative pieces of first-class scholarship to a wider audience speedily.”
—Gordon J. Hamilton, Studies in Religion, 2008.
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“The Torah as the Pentateuch stimulates thinking, keeps the debate alive, and is a good resource for pentateuchal studies.”
—Patrick Mazani, Andrews University Seminary Studies 46 (2008): 282–86.
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“Der vorliegende Aufsatzband ist das Ergebnis einer Tagung der Arbeitsgruppe ‘Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Law’ der Internationalen Konferenz des Society of Biblical Literature in Edinburgh, 2006, und gibt einen hervorragenden Einblick in die aktuelle Diskussionslage in der Pentateuch-Forschung.”
—Tobias H. Duncker and Reinhard Achenbach, Zeitschrift für Altorientalische und Biblische Rechtsgeschichte 14 (2008): 499–506.
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“Le volume reflète le travail d’un atelier organisé lors de la rencontre internationale de la Society of Biblical Literature à Édimbourg en 2006. Ces rencontres forment un lieu important d’échanges entre l’Europe et l’Amérique du Nord en matière d’exégèse biblique. En ce qui concerne la problématique liée à la promulgation de la Torah en tant que loi religieuse, le volume prouve surtout que l’on est encore très loin d’un quelconque consensus.”
—Jan Joosten, Revue d’histoire et de philosophie religieuses 88 (2008): 233–35.
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“Insgesamt ergibt sich mit dem Sammelband ein repräsentativer Überblick über die derzeitige Forschung zum Themenbereich um Abschulss und Durchsetzung des Pentateuchs. Der Sammelband bietet sich dabei auch für einen schnellen Neueinstieg in diesen wichtigen Forschungsbereich an und ist trotz der besonderen Ausrichtung auf den englischsprachigen Markt auch für den deutschsprachigen Wissenschaftsraum sehr zu empfehllen.”
—Raik Heckl, Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 105 (2010): 197–203.
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http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/KNOPENTAT
 

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The following editorial reviews were found on the publisher's website on February 15, 2011:
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"The articles collected in this volume originated in four panels on biblical and ancient Near Eastern law convened during the 2006 International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Edinburgh. The panels investigated “the promulgation and acceptance of the Pentateuch as a prestigious writing in the late Persian and early Hellenistic periods” (p. 1). However, the editors correctly note that the collection of articles goes well beyond conventional conference proceedings. All the articles were extensively revised, often repeatedly, in a thorough peer review process involving referees and the editors. While the editors offer thanks and apologies for the work they imposed on the authors, they need make no apologies to the readers of the final volume. The extensive review process shows in the consistently high quality of the work included." —David A. Bosworth, The Catholic University of America in Journal of Hebrew Scriptures, Volume 9 (2009).
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"These excellent essays were first presented as papers or oral presentations at the 2006 international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, and they were edited (very nicely) for publication in this volume in ways to render them more accessible to a wider audience of biblical scholars. . . . I find the first three essays (Schmid, Carr, and Hagedorn) to be most valuable in providing nuance to the debate about the Persian role in the emergence of the Pentateuch. The essays by Nihan and Plummer provide valuable insight on particular issues germane to the wider discussion of the Samaritans. The other essays also provide food for thought to scholars interested in the diverse issues discussed by the authors. Even though the central theme is the emergence of an authoritative Pentateuch, the authors touch on a number of topics that can be valuable for the scholarly interests of readers in the wider field of biblical studies and Judaica.
"Even though the central theme is the emergence of an authoritative Pentateuch, the authors touch on a number of topics that can be valuable for the scholarly interests of readers in the wider field of biblical studies and Judaica."—Robert Gnuse, Loyola University in Catholic Biblical Quarterly 70 (2008): 867-69.
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"The contributors to this volume seek models helping to understand the Pentateuch's rise to prominence as a foundational collection of Scriptures in early Judaism and Samaritanism. Most of them focus on the growing acceptance of the Pentateuch in the Achaemenid and Hellenistic periods. In their endeavour Frei's theory of a Persian imperial authorization often serves as a starting point. In their instructive introduction, the editors sketch the larger issues that lie at the background of the questions dealt with in the volume.... The volume is very well edited. Indexes enhance the usefulness of the collection." —J. Lust in Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 84/1 (2008).
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"There are many more very fine essays in this volume, and anyone interested in pentateuchal and/or Achaemenid studies would greatly benefit from every one of them."—Charles Halton in The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Bulletin of Biblical Research, 19.2 (2009).
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http://www.eisenbrauns.com/item/KNOPENTAT
 

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The following editorial reviews were found on the publisher's website on February 15, 2011:
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". . . valuable collection of essays."
—Graham I. Davies (Cambridge), SOTS Book List 2009 =JSOT 33 (2009): 157–58.
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"One of the reasons of organizing the Edinburgh panels has been the mostly negative reactions to the theory of "Persian imperial authorization" during the last decade (cf. J. W. Watts [ed.], Persia and Torah, SBLSymS 17; Atlanta, 2001), which had long provided a suitable political background for understanding the promulgation of the Pentateuch. . . . Never have so many interesting details and far- reaching aspects of the canonization of the Pentateuch been presented before in one book. I feel obliged to thank the editors for having organized this conference and done such an excellent editorial work. As they explain (p. 18), all essays were "doubly refereed" and "extensively revised" in order to provide the volume with a higher degree of consistence and legibility than normal. And I can confirm that the editors succeeded in their demanding task in most cases.
Of course, such a conference volume is not able to set a new solution on the road to complete success. In some cases there are remarkable convergences between the different essays; in other cases they more or less contradict each other. Thus, one may regret that the internal dispute of the different authors is not reported. In my view, one can draw the following consequences from the essays of the present volume:
First, the process of the edition and promulgation of the Pentateuch seems to have come to an end already in the Persian period, because in the early Hellenistic period the authority of the Torah was widely accepted, as can be shown by the report on the Jews by Hecataeus from Abdera, the translation of the Septuagint, the book of Jesus Sirah, and the Qumran texts (van der Kooij, Crawford), even though specific items, like the inclusion or exclusion of aliens, could still have been disputed by different parties (Gratz). Second, the authorization of the Torah cannot sufficiently be explained by an ongoing internal scribal discussion (Otto, Ska). It must have included a public or even an institutional aspect, as the biblical tradition and Greek parallels show: this means the writing down of the law and reading it in public (Schaper, Hagedorn, Knoppers/Harvey). In this context it should be remembered that all biblical law codes, the Book of the Covenant, the Deuteronomic Law, and the Holiness Code, were already stylized for the purpose of being read to the people (addressee in the 2nd-pers. sing. or pl.). Third, the promulgation of the Pentateuch probably was a process in which three different parties were involved. It can no longer be explained as an internal Judean activity; at least, the proto-Samaritans have to be included (Nihan, Pummer), probably "from the very time of its inception" (Nihan). Moreover, as Pummer rightly pointed out, there must have been an external political force which insisted on an agreement between the Judeans and the proto-Samaritans. Even if one questions the specific model of a Persian imperial authorization in this connection, one should perhaps consider a specific interest of the Persians in limiting the rivalries between their provinces Judah and Samaria, after these had become the southwestern borderline to independent Egypt.
Thus, this significant volume makes good progress in clarifying the circumstances under which the Torah was canonized. It will be appreciated by all scholars who are engaged in the recent Pentateuchal discussion, to which it has made a remarkable contribution."
—Rainer Albertz, Munster, January 2009, in Journal for the Study of Judaism
 

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All reviews - 4