The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition, and Interpretation  -     By: John H. Sailhamer
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The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition, and Interpretation

IVP Academic / 2009 / Paperback

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Arguably the most thoughtful and dynamic interpreter of the Pentateuch today, John H. Sailhammer has produced a monumental theological exposition of the Torah in The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition, and Interpretation that will take its place alongside, and make an excellent companion to, his classic The Pentateuch as Narrative.

Sailhamer's methodological strategy is simple enough even if difficult to apply. He wants to understand the Pentateuch on the micro level in its verbal form (i.e. phrases sentences, etc.), but also wants to glue those pieces together in order to gain a unified understanding of the whole. Yet, for Sailhamer this is not possible apart from an understanding of the authorial strategies employed by the biblical author(s?).

But Sailhamer's questions do not end here. Indeed, his additional questions give this book a character that make Sailhamer's definitive volume bringing together his vast knowledge of the Pentateuch and his exceptional scholarly acumen. Who was to use the Pentateuch as an authoritative document to dictate faith norms? What, if any, continuing relevance does it have for today? Finally, he asks the most important question: What does it mean to believe that the Pentateuch is the Word of God?These and many other questions give rise to what may be termed a "theological interpretation" of the Pentateuch. As such this book is a crucial resource for Pastors, students, and scholars who not only want to understand the Pentateuch as a document from history, but as a richly religious, thematically coherent, and theologically authoritative Scripture.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 610
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0830838678
ISBN-13: 9780830838677
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The Pentateuch is the foundation for understanding the Old Testament and the Bible as a whole. Yet through the centuries it has been probed and dissected, weighed and examined, its text peeled back for its underlying history, its discourse analyzed and its words weighed. Could there be any stone in Sinai yet unturned? Surprisingly, there is. From a career of study, John Sailhamer sums up his perspective on the Pentateuch by first settling the hermeneutical question of where we should set our attention. Rather than focus on the history behind the text, Sailhamer is convinced that it is the text itself that should be our primary focus. Along the way he demonstrates that this was in fact the focus of many interpreters in the precritical era. Persuaded of the singular vision of the Pentateuch, Sailhamer searches out clues left by the author and the later editor of the Pentateuch that will disclose the meaning of this great work. By paying particular attention to the poetic seams in the text, he rediscovers a message that surprisingly brings us to the threshold of the New Testament gospel.

Author Bio

John H. Sailhamer is professor of Old Testament at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Brea, California. He is the author of several books, including and

Editorial Reviews

"For years John Sailhamer has been pressing toward a comprehensive work on the Pentateuch, preparing the way with such works as his The Pentateuch as Narrative and a host of periodical publications on the subject. At last the magnum opus has appeared under the title The Meaning of the Pentateuch: Revelation, Composition and Interpretation. In typical Sailhamer fashion, he has left no stones unturned in any language necessary to get to primary and secondary sources, while at the same time offering fresh insights into the biblical texts and compelling invitations to the reader to view them in more holistic and integrative ways. Careful reading of the book will inevitably call for a reexamination of the issue of the Pentateuch's antiquity and its deliberate compositional strategy, a reassessment that will help to rehabilitate Torah as not the end product of Judaism but as the foundation of Israelite faith and practice."

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