Reading Law: The Rhetorical Shaping of the Pentateuch

Front Cover
A&C Black, Jun 1, 1999 - Religion - 189 pages
0 Reviews
Watts here argues that conventions of oral rhetoric were adapted to shape the literary form and contents of the Pentateuch. The large-scale structure-stories introducing lists of laws that conclude with divine sanctions-reproduces a common ancient strategy for persuasion. The laws' use of direct address, historical motivations and frequent repetitions serve rhetorical ends, and even the legal contradictions seem designed to appeal to competing constituencies. The instructional speeches of God and Moses reinforce the persuasive appeal by characterizing God as a just ruler and Moses as a faithful scribe. The Pentateuch was designed to persuade Persian-period Judaeans that this Torah should define their identity as Israel.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Chapter 1 READING
15
Chapter 2 RHETORIC
32
Chapter 3 INSTRUCTION
61
Chapter 4 COMMANDMENT
89
Chapter 5 LAW
131
Postscript on Rhetorical Ethics
162

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

James Watts is Associate Professor of Religion at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA. Paul House is Professor of Old Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Bibliographic information