Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition

Yale University Press
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At once a study of biblical theology and modern Jewish thought, this volume describes a “participatory theory of revelation” as it addresses the ways biblical authors and contemporary theologians alike understand the process of revelation and hence the authority of the law. Benjamin Sommer maintains that the Pentateuch’s authors intend not only to convey God’s will but to express Israel’s interpretation of and response to that divine will. Thus Sommer’s close readings of biblical texts bolster liberal theologies of modern Judaism, especially those of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Franz Rosenzweig. This bold view of revelation puts a premium on human agency and attests to the grandeur of a God who accomplishes a providential task through the free will of the human subjects under divine authority. Yet, even though the Pentateuch’s authors hold diverse views of revelation, all of them regard the binding authority of the law as sacrosanct. Sommer’s book demonstrates why a law-observant religious Jew can be open to discoveries about the Bible that seem nontraditional or even antireligious.
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About the author

Benjamin D. Sommer, PhD, is professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languagesat The Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as directorof the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern Universityand as a visiting faculty member at Hebrew University and the Shalom HartmanInstitute. He is currently working on the Jewish Publication Societycommentary on the book of Psalms. His first book, A Prophet Reads Scripture: Allusion in Isaiah 40 66, was awarded the Salo Wittmayer Baron Prizeby the American Academy for Jewish Research. His second book, The Bodiesof God and the World of Ancient Israel, received the Jeremy Schnitzer Prizefrom the Association of Jewish Studies.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Yale University Press
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Published on
Jun 30, 2015
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780300158953
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / Israel & Palestine
Religion / Judaism / History
Religion / Judaism / Sacred Writings
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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About the author:
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