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Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (Library Of Ancient Israel) [Paperback]

By Philip Davies (Author)
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Item description for Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (Library Of Ancient Israel) by Philip Davies...

Overview
Scribes and Schools is an examination of the processes which led to the canonization of the Hebrew Bible. Philip Davies sheds light on the social reasons for the development of the canon and in so doing presents a clear picture of how the Bible came into being. Volumes in the Library of Ancient Israel draw on multiple disciplines--such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and literary criticism--to illuminate the everyday realities and social subtleties these ancient cultures experienced. This series employs sophisticated methods resulting in original contributions that depict the reality of the people behind the Hebrew Bible and interprets these insights for a wide variety of readers.

Publishers Description

"Scribes and Schools" is an examination of the processes which led to the canonization of the Hebrew Bible. Philip Davies sheds light on the social reasons for the development of the canon and in so doing presents a clear picture of how the Bible came into being.

Volumes in the Library of Ancient Israel draw on multiple disciplines--such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and literary criticism--to illuminate the everyday realities and social subtleties these ancient cultures experienced. This series employs sophisticated methods resulting in original contributions that depict the reality of the people behind the Hebrew Bible and interprets these insights for a wide variety of readers.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   232
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.12" Width: 6.16" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.78 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1998
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
Series  Library Of Ancient Israel  
ISBN  0664227287  
ISBN13  9780664227289  


Availability  73 units.
Availability accurate as of Mar 24, 2017 06:19.
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More About Philip Davies


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Philip R. Davies is Professor of Biblical Studies in the University of Sheffield, UK.

Philip Davies has an academic affiliation as follows - Brunel University, UK Brunel University, UK Brunel University, UK Brun.

Philip Davies has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Biblical Seminar (Paperback)
  2. Library of Ancient Israel


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Old Testament > Old Testament
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > History of Religion


Christian Product Categories
Books > Education (K-12) > Social Science > History



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Reviews - What do customers think about Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures?

The What, Where, Who, When, Why, and How of O.T. Canonization  Jan 7, 2008
Professor Davies' text offers a carefully qualified socio-historical survey and discussion of the principal issues surrounding canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures in 220 pages.
 
A Tantalizing Look At How The Bible May Have Come To Be  Nov 15, 2001
Philip Davies has a reputation as one of the more extreme members of the recent school of Biblical minimalists/revisionists. However, in "Scribes and Schools" he keeps himself fairly well restrained and highly referenced. The result is a book that, while not conclusively definitive, intrigues the reader with a wealth of possibilities about how the canon of the Bible grew into the one we are familiar with today.

He starts by introducing us to the idea of canons generally, moves to those who controlled the technology of writing in the ancient world, a hereditary international class of scribes attached to palaces and temples, and how they operated in the fairly well-documented societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. He then reviews various approaches taken by scholars regarding these issues in Judaism, and summarizes Israelite and Judean history from the monarchic to the Roman periods. The remainder of the book is devoted to specific divisions of the Bible: the Torah, Prophets, Widsom Literature and Apocryphal writings, taking into account the libraries at and around Qumran. The final chapter considers the final form: the transition of canonical collections of literature into Holy Books as we now know them.

The book is fairly short, written in a rather dry, academic style, and good enough to recommend to anyone thinking about the Bible's growth into its present form. Sometimes Davies is insightful, as when he suggests a Persian period date for the composition of Deuteronomy on the basis of its diminished notion of the role of the king, which would have been unsuitable for a monarchic state but well-adapted to a colonial one. Other times he is less so, as when he suggests that the oldest parts of 1Enoch were composed at the same time as the oldest parts of Genesis, since it is quite clear in comparing these texts that they come from totally different literary and conceptual universes! Davies also refers to obscure sources which is very interesting, at least to me.

 
Poor scholarship based on little evidence  Aug 21, 2001
Davies want to make an argument so badly, that he ignores all of the data that contradicts him. His effort here is to prove that the bible was not just redacted (something every scholar agrees on), but was composed out of hole cloth by scribes at a very point and that the text has no historic basis. You may want to know why he wants do this, but first lets review the evidence that proves him wrong.

1- Davies tries to argue that biblical Hebrew is a scribal language created by these mysterious scribes to give the text an ancient gloss. The problem is that we have countless examples of ancient Hebrew from archeology dated 800-1000 years before the time when Davies puts the text as being composed. Moreover, why can you find no Greek rooted words in the Hebrew Bible, if that was the lingua franca when it was written?

2- The Hebrew Bible is filled with place and personal names that were not current in the Hellenistic period, but were in use in the iron age, when most archeologists place the events. If the redactors were not working from old texts, how would they know the names of places destroyed centuries before?

3- The Hebrew Bible does not represent in any way the dominant Hellenistic world view that was in place when Davies claims the text was written. In fact you can see this by looking at the book of Daniel, probably the latest book in the bible and the only one to reflect this later world view.

Why does Davies ignore all of the evidence to put forward an argument that is patently false? He is part of a fringe group of scholars, self styled 'biblical revisionists' who are looking to attack the Hebrew Bible in an effort to prove that Jews have no history or historic connection to the land of Israel. It is pathetic when serious scholars prostitute academic credentials in an effort to make a purely political argument.

For a tremendous critique of Davies and his colleagues work, see Dever's "What did the bible writers know.' It i s an awful title, but an excellent and thoughtful text.

 
Thought provoking original view  Feb 13, 1999
Traces the development of scribes and the notion of canon in ancient Israel and other ancient cultures. I found it made me rethink what I thought I "knew" about the development of the canon.
 

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