Michael D. Coogan: Hard Pressed to Identify A Distinct Israel

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (Oxford University Press, 2014), 228. The cumulative evidence, then, suggests that the Israelite confederation was composed of groups of disparate origin, including Canaanites. What would have motivated such groups to join Israel? One factor could have been the persuasive power... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: The Importance of Nonbiblical Evidence

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP: 2014), 28. Yet despite undeniable chronological and geographical discontinuities, the literary, religious, and institutional traditions of the Levant, including ancient Israel, are best understood as part of a cultural continuum that, allowing for local particularities, was consistent and... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: The Deuteronomic School

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 186. The Deuteronomic school, as we have seen, had connections with both the Levitical priesthood and the prophets. It continued to revise its core text, the book of Deuteronomy, as Israel's circumstances changed from autonomous nation to... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: Deuteronomy and the Law of the King

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 183-184. The "law of the king" [Deuteronomy 17:14-20] seems to have been written with specific kings in mind, especially as they are described in the book of Kings. The extravagant acquisition of horses and gold and an enormous... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: The Problem of Kadesh

Micheal D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 165-166. Identification of most of the places named [the Priestly portions of Numbers] is very difficult, however; to some extent they are locations that were familiar to P in the mid-first millennium BCE. Moreover, P's itinerary is... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: Leviticus and P

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 146-147. [T]he book of Leviticus is a composite work. This is confirmed by the many editorial notes inserted throughout the text. The phrase "The LORD spoke to Moses" occurs over thirty times (and "to Moses and Aaron"... Continue Reading →

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