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5 Stars Out Of 5
February 15, 2008
Paradise to the Promise Passages, another excellent book, no theological writings in this books , this book represents what the Pentateuch is all about understanding the JEPD Sources, along with the First Five Books of the Bible. incredible.
Great example of why finding a textbook can be maddening. Part 2 (which comprised the first edition) is reader-friendly and free from technical matters, perfect for using with undergrads, even those who have never had a course on the Bible. (It is also filled with good insights.) But Part 1 (newly added for the second edition) is written for grad students and/or scholars! Undergrads will be overwhelmed and dazzled by Alexander's scholarship. But perhaps this is by design. The one thing undergrads (and many grads) are certain to come away with after reading Part 1 is the strong impression that they can place no confidence whatsoever in diachronic analyses of the Pentateuch. (And since Alexander is obviously such a brilliant scholar [which I don't doubt, by the way], this must be correct.) It's true, of course, that Pentateuchal source criticism has been in a state of upheaval for the past quarter century and that we haven't yet settled into a new paradigm. BUT is it really the case that virtually everything is up for question? Leaving aside extreme views at both ends of the spectrum, does any reasonable scholar doubt, for example, that Genesis 1, 5, 17, and 23 can confidently be identified as Priestly, and that it is still meaningful and helpful to do so? Part 1 is a valuable piece of scholarship, but it should have been published separately, as a scholarly monograph.
An outstanding overview of the Pentateuch. Part 1 discusses how each book has been understood in the past and where it might go in the future. Part 2 lays out the main themes and their importance, both in the past and for today- covering every major theme. He does this in a way that both layman and ministers can understand and use for personal study and for teaching.