Law, Power, and Justice in Ancient Israel  -     By: Douglas A. Knight
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Law, Power, and Justice in Ancient Israel

Westminster John Knox Press / 2011 / Hardcover

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Product Description

We often think of Israelite society in biblical terms. The truth is that there was never an exact match between Israelite social realities and biblical ideals. While it is true that those ideals were commanded of Israel and at times they did their best to live them, ultimately Israel still functioned in organic ways just as all societies do.

In Law, Power, and Justice in Ancient Israel Douglas Knight shows how the legal codes in Israel both matched and departed from the biblical ones. He examines the evidence for extra-biblical codes in local communities while also showing just hoe the biblical laws actually functioned in Israel.

Comprehensive in scope, and highly detailed this book promises to shed new light on some of Israel's most complex social questions and political perspectives. This is a ground-breaking study that should occupy a significant amount of time in the minds of Old Testament scholars.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0664221440
ISBN-13: 9780664221447
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.
Series: Library of Ancient Israel

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Publisher's Description

From leading Old Testament scholar Douglas A. Knight comes the latest volume in the Library of Ancient Israel series. Using socio-anthropological theory and archaeological evidence, Knight argues that while the laws in the Hebrew Bible tend to reflect the interests of those in power, the majority of ancient Israelites--located in villages--developed their own unwritten customary laws to regulate behavior and resolve legal conflicts in their own communities. This book includes numerous examples from village, city, and cult.

Volumes in the Library of Ancient Israel draw on multiple disciplines--such as archaeology, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and literary criticism--to illuminate the everyday realities and social subtleties these ancient cultures experienced. This series employs sophisticated methods resulting in original contributions that depict the reality of the people behind the Hebrew Bible and interprets these insights for a wide variety of readers.

Author Bio

Douglas A. Knight is Drucilla Moore Buffington Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University. He is the general editor of the Library of Ancient Israel.

Editorial Reviews

"Highly recommended for those concerned about the intersection of law and power in ancient Israel." Gale A. Yee, Nancy W. King Professor of Biblical Studies, Episcopal Divinity School
"Building painstakingly on archaeological data and social-anthropological theory, Knight exposes the gap between biblical rhetoric and historical reality." Philip R. Davies, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield
"A superb study of the legal texts of the Hebrew Bible and of the practice of law in ancient Israel." Norman K. Gottwald, Professor Emeritus, New York Theological Seminary
"Knight offers an excellent treatment of the laws of ancient Israel and provides a significant methodological model for future scholarly discussions of these laws." Cheryl B. Anderson, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
"This book represents the first social history of biblical law. It demonstrates how the legal system functioned within the society of ancient Israel. Although the starting point of the book is the social world of ancient Israel, it also informs the reader in a well-founded and reliable manner about the legal literature of the Hebrew Bible. In addition, it keeps in mind the archaeology of Palestine and the legal history of the Ancient Near East. A most welcome book." Eckart Otto, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
"Knight goes beyond a careful reading of ancient texts to reconstruct a compelling and realistic picture of legal systems at work in the villages, cities, and cultic settings of ancient Israel." D. Don Welch, Professor of Law and Professor of Religion, Vanderbilt University.
"Knight's book fills a large gap in the study of the legal systems of ancient Israel." Patrick D. Miller, Professor Emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary

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