Item description for Revelation Restored: Divine Writ And Critical Responses (Radical Traditions) by David Weiss Halivni...
Overview Renowned Judaic scholar David Weiss Halivni explores internal inconsistencies in the Pentateuch and examines the question of how the Rabbinic tradition has been able to accommodate evidence of human intervention in a text that derives its authority from divine revelation.
Publishers Description 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.
Awards and Recognitions Revelation Restored: Divine Writ And Critical Responses (Radical Traditions) by David Weiss Halivni has received the following awards and recognitions -
National Jewish Book Award - 1997 Winner - Scholarship category
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More About David Weiss Halivni
David Weiss Halivni is Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Classical Jewish Civilization at Columbia University. He is the author of the nine-volume commentary "Sources and Traditions" and "Revelation Restored: Divine Writ and Critical Responses" (WestviewPress 1997).
David Weiss Halivni currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. David Weiss Halivni has an academic affiliation as follows - Columbia University.
David Weiss Halivni has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Revelation Restored: Divine Writ And Critical Responses (Radical Traditions)?
Disappointing Nov 30, 2003
The author attempts to revicit his methodology in Talmudic studies on biblical studies, without really doing it. He creates a philosophy called Chatu Israel, which means that the text of the bible was lost, but he does not deal with it specifically.
very interesting . . . Jul 9, 2002
for the reasons stated by another reviewer. But this book does beg a few questions. I think Halivni could have gone into more detail about his reasons for believing the Torah's text is imperfect - perhaps by discussing in more depth classical commentators' attempts to explain away those imperfections, and then responding to those attempts. And the entire argument begs a question: if the written Torah is imperfect, how can the oral Torah be any less so?
Ezra Restored the Revelation Given to Moses. Feb 21, 1999
In this fascinating and provocative book, Rabbi Halivni is arguing that although the written Torah -- the Chumash or Pentateuch -- was most probably "compiled" by Ezra and his entourage after the return from the Babylonian exile, it is nonetheless still 'Holy Writ' because the work of Ezra was a successful "restoration" of the Torah given to Moses. Although Halivni probably does not mean that the structure and textual surface of the Chumash closely resembles whatever written Torah crossed the Jordan with Joshua, Halivni does most likely mean that the content of the Chumash reliably expresses the content of the Sinaitic revelation, and contains remnants of whatever writings Moses produced or had produced during the Sinai sojourn.
If there is some uncertainty about Halivni's views concerning the superficial similarity of the Chumash with the original written Torah, it is because Halivni's focus is on the evidence for and theological implications of the notion that the present written Torah is the product of a restorative project by Ezra and his entourage. Halivni argues that the very fact that the Chumash contains uncertain passages, self-contradictions, and laws at variance with the Oral Torah, means that the compilers were working with source documents that were already considered so sacred that the compilers felt they could not make any corrections to the text being compiled. They selected and arranged the scriptural heritage, but they dared not correct it or add to it. Their project was to "restore" a unified written Torah from the strands and traditions available to them. They operated more like those who restore damaged paintings, than as painters.
Halivni aims to show that traditional Judaism can survive the onslaught of critical scholarship because the probablility that the written Torah is a composite document compiled from strands and traditions doesn't mean that it isn't a trustworthy "restoration" of the Torah given to Moses. If the component strands and traditions were various reliable witnesses to, or remanants of, the original Sinaitic revelation, then a restorative compilation of those trustworthy witnesses renders a written Torah which is Holy Writ.
There are many interesting sub-arguments in this book, all insightful, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in Jewish Biblical Criticism or theology of revelation.