The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) 0th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0300140217
ISBN-10: 0300140215
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"All mature students of the Bible--scholarly and lay, Jewish, Christian, and secular alike--can profit richly from his learned and elegant discussion."--Jon D. Levenson, Harvard University School of Divinity "It is clearly the best single introduction currently available on the Pentateuch."--Douglas A. Knight, Vanderbilt University School of Divinity "I know of no other book on the subject that is so eminently commendable for the range of information it contains, its readability, and the soundness and good sense of its judgments. It deserves the widest possible attention."--R. E. Clements, King's College, University of London

From the Publisher

A world-famous biblical scholar presents the only one-volume, comprehensive, and up-to-date analysis of the origin and meaning of the Pentateuch, and the extraordinary scholarship it has inspired. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (March 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140217
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,144,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John Switzer on August 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book by Blenkinsopp is an excellent resource for the study of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, also called the Torah or the Books of Moses). Though I do not recommend it for beginners who are just initiating their study of the Pentateuch, it will prove of great value for those who may be in the intermediate stage of study (and beyond) who wish to explore a healthy critique of the four-source hypothesis which has come to dominate this field of study.
Chapter One is especially valuable as Blenkinsopp provides an historical overview of Pentateuchal scholarship to date. This chapter brings the reader up to par and offers the author a starting point for his readable critique. In short, Blenkinsopp suggests that the hard lines of Pentateuchal source theory should be softened so that a multitude of influences can be discovered and appreciated. Perhaps the greatest insight of this author is the realization that no critical theory is perfect and that the insights of numerous theories can often prove useful.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. L. Bess on January 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blenkinsopp's introductory reference on the Pentateuch is excellent for that purpose. It's basic, it gets to the point. Hardly any parts are dry. His analysis of the text focuses on what he calls the 'interpretive process' starting with how the text interprets itself in its stages of composition. (141-3) In that respect it reads almost like a 'pocket' commentary on the text trying to stake it in its proper life-context, which is more welcoming than a trite analysis of the sources. He sees more unity in the Pentateuch than many other scholars, although he argues for the later dates of the primary sources. These address the exilic and postexilic situations. Here one can probably detect the influence of Van Seters, whose work Blenkinsopp discusses in chapter 2 continuing on into chapter 3. But Blenkinsopp makes many acute observations of his own throughout the book that are convincing. But there's not enough discussion of the prehistory of the Pentateuchal narratives. If the patriarchal sagas, for instance, had an original setting in preexilic times (113-16) although their incorporation in the Pentateuch as a whole might address exilic or post exilic times (e.g. 102), one still wants to know more about the earlier period, if possible.

This book is not for newbies beginning to study the Pentateuch, although at the beginning Blenkinsopp seems he couldn't decide. At one point he translates a German quote [6] but leaves untranslated a French quote. [20] He also condescends an almost Sunday school summary of the Pentateuchal story (31-3) written as if the reader is completely unfamiliar with it, but then he ascends into a discussion which lasts the remaining length of the book that no one needing such a summary would understand. For intermediate to advanced students.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By George on August 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've just struggled through the first two chapters only because it's on the essential reading list
Shouldn't an "introduction" book be more accessible for newbies?

My impression so far has been - very odd mix of apparently banal ( and non-systematic) observations expressed with very obscure language.
Take for example the statement in the first chapter that laws, lists and genealogies occupy one third more space than the narrative in the Pentateuch ( hmm.. one third of what? I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out the math, it is it the way to say "narrative occupies 1/3 of the entire Pentateuch; laws,lists and genealogies the other 2/3"? )

It certainly feels like it aims at a very knowledgeable and experienced reader; it is full with allusions, names, academic hints, terms which probably make sense for someone with extensive background in Biblical studies

I just started my studies so when he throws at me something like "Second Commonwealth" or presenting critique of someone's views without presenting the ideas, I'm lost

I will keep struggling with it because ,first, it's on the essential reading list and , second, so many people claim that he is not easily accessible bu good.

Hopefully later I will find it out myself
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just as described, the book is brand new with no markings. 100% recommend this seller!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By billystan346 on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one fantastic tool for feeding on the first five books of the Bible, otherwise known as the five books of Moses. There is more readible, understandable and usable in this book than in any five I have read. If you enjoy Bible study you will enjoy this book.
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The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
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