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 →

Michael D. Coogan: The Golden Calf Incident

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 138. Closer examination of the narrative in Exodus 32, however, reveals much complexity. First, despite the ancient interpretation found in Psalm 106, the calf is apparently not a symbol of another deity, a false god as it... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: The Importance of Covenant

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Literary and Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 118. The concept of covenant is central to the Bible. Its significance is indicated by its thematic importance in P, which is organized around three covenants, those between God and Noah, God and Abraham, and God and... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: Embellishment in the Exodus Story

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Literary and Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 108. Given the importance of the Exodus, it is not surprising that the tendency to embellish what had originally occurred is evident among the accounts we have of this central event. For example, how many people escaped... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: Tricking Yahweh

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Literary and Historical Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 99. Following the narrative of the call of Moses in chapters 3.1-4.17 is a short passage (4.24-26) oddly inconsistent with the larger plot. Moses has finally acceded to the divine command to return to Egypt and to... Continue Reading →

Michael D. Coogan: ANE Parallels to Genesis 12-50

Michael D. Coogan, The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, third edition (OUP, 2014), 83. Many elements of the plot of Genesis 12-50 are found in other ancient literatures. Among these, one of the most significant is the epic of Kirta (also called Keret), partially preserved on three clay tablets found at Ugarit....The... Continue Reading →

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