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Number of Pages: 182
Vendor: T&T Clark
Publication Date: 2006
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 X 0.56 (inches)|
Series: Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies
An introduction reviews previous scholarship, and concludes that the cultic aspects of Judges 17-18 have not been examined in any depth. It then goes on to deal with the historical and redactional issues which previous scholars have found interesting. The issues of provenance and dating are then examined with the conclusion that the text was written down in the immediate aftermath of the Assyrian conquest of Dan in an attempt to preserve its sacred traditions. The text therefore reflects the self-understanding of the priests of Dan in the period immediately prior to its fall. The text of Judges 17-18 is then subjected to a rhetorical critical examination, followed by a more traditional form critical study. The next section is a comparison of similar cultic foundation stories from other cultures. Three major chapters examine the three major cultic issues raised by the text itself: images, priests and divination. Each chapter draws on evidence from the Hebrew Bible and its environment in an attempt to clarify the nature of the cult of Dan. Broadly, each chapter concludes that although there were some features peculiar to the cult reflected by Dan, in general, the Danite cult was not greatly different from that of its neighbours. A final chapter deals with what the text says about the tribe of Levi, with the conclusion that according to Judges 17-18, there was once a secular tribe of Levi. The conclusion draws a brief picture of cultic life in Dan in its final years.
ZRM1 Stars Out Of 5Very DisappointingMarch 11, 2018ZRMQuality: 1Value: 1Meets Expectations: 1Unlike most CBD offerings, "Understanding Dan" and "Sacred Dan" had no description, review, or summary details available for perusal prior to my purchase. I delayed purchasing them for that reason, and due to their extremely high cost. Eventually, I obtained the finances to order these companion volumes. But, despite my high interest in this area of study, I was very disappointed in the ultimate return on this investment. I consider high-priced academic volumes to be worth the cost, IF I can glean but a nugget of topical insight. But alas, no such obtainment was to be had with either of these volumes. Since I hope to prevent another CBD customer from suffering a similar fate, I am posting my first-ever CBD book review to offer my advice (for what it is worth to you).
I realize we are one large body of believers with oft-differing opinions, but I would strongly recommend passing on both of these volumes and investing your money elsewhere. My reasons are given below:
CONTENT: First and foremost, be advised that these books are simply the bound doctoral thesis of seminary students. They are strongly influenced by "source critical" scholars of the Lutheran tradition (which is ironic since Luther advocated the strong "solo scriptura" view of the authority of scripture) and specifically, the Germanic "higher criticism" school of thought. To wit, the inspiration and inerrancy of scripture is given low regard in these volumes, and they contain persistent attacks against the authority of the Word of G-d. The Holy Bible is repeatedly dismissed as an "unreliable text," regardless of source manuscripts (LXX, Leningrad Codex, Masoretic, etc.). Any passages not understood by the authors, or that contradict their main thesis, are blamed on "unreliable text," or on "scribal errors," or "the work of a biased late-date redactor," or any number of similar excuses. This repeated disregard for the authority of scripture, and thinly veiled condescension that masqueraded as academic scholarship was wearisome to the point of intestinal dismay. Yes, I am aware of the difficulties of certain texts, but I am also aware of much better explanations that still maintain the integrity of the biblical text, than those derived by either of these authors. The authors mostly parroted other source critical scholars in a check-list fashion (as often seen in post-graduate citation and defense requirements), and offered no original analysis, no sound biblical exegesis, and certainly no spiritually-gifted insights. In short, there was nothing at all to be gleaned from either of these dry, lifeless, tomes. This made my long awaited expectations and high-dollar expenditures on these two volumes all the more painful.
QUALITY: Although far less important to me than content, the binding of these books were of poor quality and quickly became stressed from simple usage. This, of course, is typical of thesis bound works, that are typically constructed of low cost materials, but sold at incredible high mark-up due to the limited number of anticipated sales. However, I have seen much higher quality bindings through other publishers such as Harvard's Semitic Monograph series and others.
VALUE: The dismal content and poor book-binding quality leads to my low overall score for value.
EXPECTATIONS: As previously noted, these pricey volumes failed to meet expectations at all levels.
I hope this review is of value to future shoppers. My intent is not to offend, but simply to inform. If you subscribe to the dictates of "higher criticism" and have a low view of the authority of scripture, than these may be suitable purchases for you. However, the sparse content which IS suitable and defensible in their works can be derived on your own with nearly any good Bible, Hebrew lexicon, or commentary, without this gross cost expenditure.