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The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible

, 1992
ISBN: 9780300140217

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The Pentateuch (its Greek name, but also known as the Torah by the Hebrews) consists of the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. From Adam and Eve in the Garden, to Noah's Ark, to Moses' parting of the Red Sea, to its conclusion with the death of Moses, the Pentateuch contains some of the most important and memorable stories in Western civilization. In this richly detailed work, which has become a standard in the field, renowned biblical scholar Joseph Blenkinsopp unravels (as Harold Bloom did in The Book of J) the radical scholarly opinions on just where these ancient and powerful stories come from, how they were formed, and what significance they have today. In the classroom, when professors cover these books of Moses, they turn to Dr. Blenkinsopp's classic for reliable, accessible discussions of all the important details.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

If you like this title be sure to check out the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library (29 vols.).

  • Discusses the signficance, formation, and background of the stories within the Pentateuch
  • Provides an authoritative overview of the first five books of the Bible
  • Two Centuries of Pentateuchal Scholarship
  • The Basic Features of the Pentateuch: Structure and Chronology
  • Human Origins (Gen 1:1-11:26)
  • The Story of the Ancestors (Gen 11:27-50:26)
  • From Egypt to Canaan
  • Sinai, Covenant and Law
  • Concluding Reflections

Top Highlights

“Though the basic meaning of tôrāh is ‘instruction’ or ‘law,’ the Pentateuch or Torah is first and foremost a narrative.” (Page 31)

“In keeping with the revised Reuss-Graf-Kuenen dating, the basic premise of Wellhausen’s historical reconstruction was that the Mosaic law stands at the beginning not of Israel but of Judaism.” (Page 10)

“There is no longer a consensus on the existence of identifiable, continuous narrative sources covering the entire range of the Pentateuch from the pre-exilic period.” (Page 25)

“Edouard Reuss of the University of Strasbourg. Reuss pointed out that the pre-exilic prophets betray no familiarity with the Mosaic legal system, and that the ritual law in particular, closely related as it is to Ezekiel, could not have originated earlier than the exilic period (6th century b.c.).” (Page 7)

“From these considerations I would think it reasonable to draw the conclusion that taken by itself, the Pentateuch is not comparable to any of the works discussed.” (Page 41)

All mature students of the Bible—scholarly and lay, Jewish, Christian, and secular alike—can profit richly from his learned and elegant discussion.

—Jon D. Levenson, Albert A. List Professor of Jewish Studies, Harvard University School of Divinity

Joseph Blenkinsopp is the John A. O'Brien Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Educated at the University of London and Oxford, Blenkinsopp is a past president of the Catholic Biblical Association. He has received the National Religious Book Award for his highly acclaimed Prophecy and Canon. He is the author of the 3-volume commentary on Isaiah in the Anchor Yale Bible.


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  1. Richard D. Villanueva Sr.
  2. Reuven Milles

    Reuven Milles



Print list price: $33.00
Save $3.01 (9%)