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Inventing God's law : how the covenant code of the Bible used and revised the laws of Hammurabi

Author: David P Wright
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2012, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Most scholars believe that the numerous similarities between the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:23-23:19) and Mesopotamian law collections, especially the Laws of Hammurabi (c. 1750 BCE), are due to oral traditions that extended from the second to the first millennium. David Wright offers a fundamentally new understanding of the Covenant Code, arguing that it depends directly and primarily upon the Laws of Hammurabi and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Sources
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David P Wright
ISBN: 9780195304756 0195304756 9780199974955 0199974950
OCLC Number: 830454532
Description: xiv, 589 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction: The basic thesis and background --
pt. 1. Primary evidence for dependence : sequential correspondences and date --
The casuistic laws --
The apodictic laws --
Opportunity and date for the use of Hammurabi's and other cuneiform laws --
pt. 2. Compositional logic of the covenant code --
Debt-slavery and the seduction of a maiden (Exodus 21:2-11; 22:15-16) --
Homicide, injury, miscarriage, and talion (Exodus 21:12-14, 18-27) --
Child rebellion, kidnapping, sorcery, bestiality, illicit sacrifice (Exodus 21:15-17; 22:17-19) --
The goring ox and negligence (Exodus 21:28-36) --
Animal theft, crop destruction, deposit, and burglary (Exodus 21:37-22:8) --
Animal injury, death, and rental (Exodus 22:9-14) --
The themes and ideology of the apodictic laws (Exodus 20:23-26; 21:1; 22:20-23:19) --
Redactional growth in the apodictic laws and the covenant code's relationship to the Exodus narrative --
Conclusions.
Responsibility: David P. Wright.

Abstract:

Most scholars believe that the numerous similarities between the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:23-23:19) and Mesopotamian law collections, especially the Laws of Hammurabi (c. 1750 BCE), are due to oral traditions that extended from the second to the first millennium. David Wright offers a fundamentally new understanding of the Covenant Code, arguing that it depends directly and primarily upon the Laws of Hammurabi and that the use of this source text occurred during the Ned-Assyrian period (740-640 BCE), when Mesopotamia exerted strong political and cultural influence over Israel and Judah and when the Laws of Hammurabi were actively copied in Mesopotamia as a literary-canonical text. Inventing God's Law demonstrates that the Covenant Code is primarily a creative academic work rather than a repository of everyday legal practices, and that it transformed a paradigmatic and prestigious legal text of Israel's and Judah's imperial overlords into a symbolic rejection of foreign hegemony. Finally, Wright examines the relationship of the Covenant Code to the narrative of the book of Exodus in context of the development of the Pentateuch as a whole.

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Wright has made a major contribution to our understanding of the composition of CC even if one accepts only the barest bones version of his thesisEL.No account of the history of CC's composition will Read more...

 
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