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  1. ANE Author
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Masterpiece
    March 20, 2019
    ANE Author
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I really took more time reading this volume than his other books because I really was searching for some clue of what people were objecting to. What I discovered was much ado about nothing, along with some very stunning eisegesis of personal opinions into what Professor Walton was trying to express, which I believe he did admirably. When seeking to clarify and overturn paradigms, there will always be people reacting instead of carefully considering what is being expressed. I see what his critics did, but I completely disagree with their assessment. For the record, I am a teacher of Torah from the ancient Near Eastern perspective and have even written multiple books about it. I would not take kindly to any manhandling of the source material, and so even when I disagreed on a few minor things, I could not fault his analysis of the data. For years, my co-teachers and I (all of whom, Jewish and Gentile, teach Torah as well as NT studies) have all been leaning towards an understanding of the Pentateuch as wisdom literature--but Walton expressed certain things in terms that my own mind and studies had not yet taken them. I learned a great deal, and even when I had a slight disagreement, I still learned. This is the hallmark of a great book, and a great teacher.
  2. Debbie from ChristFocus
    Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    Lacked clarity and wasn't convincing
    January 7, 2019
    Debbie from ChristFocus
    Harrison, AR
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 1
    Value: 1
    Meets Expectations: 1
    This book uses very academic language, which didn't serve to clearly communicate the author's ideas. Even the examples didn't clarify things. He argues that the Torah does not contain a legal code but was intended to teach wisdom so that those who made judgments would have a certain sense of what was a good and a bad judgment. After muddling through it, all I can say is that he didn't convince me with his arguments. Here are some examples, as I understand them:

    1) The Torah is not comprehensive (covering every type of judgment or civil code needed to run a society), therefore it doesn't contain any actual laws that were intended to be obeyed and used when judging cases. 2) Even though the leaders were supposed to regularly read through the Torah and their rulings may match what is given in the Torah, they aren't actually referring to it since they don't specifically quote that law when making their ruling. (Talk about imposing modern Western standards on a different, ancient culture!) 3) The Code of Hammurabi appears to be a listing of judgments that were intended to show off what a just king he was, so all "they sure look like laws" lists must be the same type of thing rather than an actual list of laws. 4) Because the Hebrew words for "obey" and "keep" [as in, keep my commandments] can be used in a different sense about wisdom sayings, they can't refer to actual keeping of laws even when the wording seems to indicate that.

    And so on. The author seemed certain he is right, stated that anyone who disagrees must prove him wrong, but he twisted anything that might be used as proof with poor arguments so he can dismiss it. Not impressed.

    I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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