A Law Book for the Diaspora: Revision in the Study of the by John Van Seters

By John Van Seters

The basis for all examine of biblical legislations is the idea that the Covenant Code is the oldest criminal code within the Hebrew Bible and that every one different legislation are revisions of that code. This ebook units forth the unconventional speculation that these legislation within the covenant code which are just like Deuteronomy and the Holiness Code are actually later than either one of those, and accordingly cannot be taken because the starting place of Hebrew legislation.

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64 It was composed systematically by the hands of editors who reworked it, expanding and restructuring it according to a plan. Each compositional layer can be recognized by means of literary structural rules and elements, for example, different legal styles, number and person of those addressed, key terms, chiasm and framing structures. At the beginning of the compositional history stand two lawbooks: the religious laws of Exod 34:11–16 and the casuistic lawbook, the mishpatim. The largest part of the Covenant Code was constructed by combining these two lawbooks (the second-person singular layer).

85 This is the diffusionist approach to comparison. By typological comparison is meant “comparisons between societies and cultures which are far apart both geographically and chronologically”86 and where historical connections are quite unlikely. In such cases the perceived parallels are sociological or anthropological, arising out of similar social and human conditions. This is the evolutionist approach to comparison. It is unnecessary for the present discussion to review the debate between diffusionist and evolutionist theories of cultural comparison; we need only recognize the usefulness of the distinction between the two types of comparison and avoid confusion between them.

He states at the outset of his discussion of the Covenant Code: Every study of the so-called Book of the Covenant in Ex 20:22–23:33 can and must begin with the following assertions, which are recognized today as indisputable facts: 1. The Book of the Covenant is older than Deuteronomy and so is the oldest law book in the Old Testament. . g. the parenetic bases for law) are said to be deuteronomistic, and hence dependent upon Deuteronomy. 2. The Book of the Covenant demonstrates all of those characteristics that distinguish biblical law .

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