'This just might be the best book I've read in a long time. It's challenged my assumptions about the development of the Hebrew Bible and the role of innovation alongside preservation ... I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the issues of early biblical interpretation and the formation of the biblical canon. Specialists across the board in religious studies and biblical studies would profit from a closer look at Levinson's book. I'm recommending it to everyone I know - NT students, rabbinics experts, early Christian studies people, Hebrew Bible colleagues - you know who you are - read this book!' Biblia Hebraica blog
'Perhaps I am biased, but it seems to me to be beyond any reasonable doubt that, behind the final form of the canonical, biblical text lies evidence of a lively, imaginative, and creative use of interpretation, reinterpretation, and reapplication of earlier texts. It is a complex, living, creative achievement which, for just this reason, invites constant, continuing invention, as Levinson maintains. I certainly find this book itself a delightful, informative, and stimulating one to read.' Journal of Theological Studies
'The bibliographical essay is an excellent overview of research on what is now often called 'inner-biblical exegesis', and it will serve as a superb tool for beginners and seasoned researchers alike. The other essays span a vast array of methodological problems and exegetical insights and are at the forefront of current research into legal traditions in the HB. A highly welcome volume.' Society for Old Testament Study Book List
'The book deserves a wide readership. It would serve well as a text for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses that deal with inner-biblical exegesis. One can also hope that scholars in other fields will read it and take to heart Levinson's argument for the reintegration of biblical studies into the core of academic work in the humanities. In addition, there are faith communities that would be encouraged by Levinson's insight into the nature of canon and the necessity for ongoing reinterpretation of tradition. The book's research is thorough, its argument forceful, its writing elegant, and it is blessedly short. If books can be placed into tribes, may this one's increase.' Review of Biblical Literature
'The book's most innovative contribution lies in its first ... half, which explores the relation between biblical studies and the humanities ... As [Levinson] notes ... [the] deeply rooted separation of Jerusalem from Athens has been to no one's advantage. His discussion of the relationship between the concept of ethics in Kant and in Ezekiel demonstrates how much both disciplines might gain from such a conversation ... The essays that constitute the first half of this book are the product of more than a decade and a half of research and deliberation. Their sustained and fluent reflection on important issues will reward contemplation by biblical schol...
Bernard M. Levinson holds the Berman Family Chair of Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible at the University of Minnesota. He is author of Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation (1997), which won the 1999 Salo W. Baron Award for Best First Book in Literature and Thought from the American Academy for Jewish Research. He is coeditor of four volumes, most recently The Pentateuch as Torah: New Models for Understanding Its Promulgation and Acceptance (2007), and the author of The Right Chorale: Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation (2008). The interdisciplinary significance of his work has been recognized with appointments to both the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Berlin Institute for Advanced Study.
1. Biblical studies as the meeting point of the humanities; 2. Rethinking the relation between 'canon' and 'exegesis'; 3. The problem of innovation within the formative canon; 4. The reworking of the principle of transgenerational punishment: four case studies; 5. The canon as sponsor of innovation; 6. The phenomenon of rewriting within the Hebrew Bible: a bibliographic essay on 'inner-biblical exegesis' in the history of scholarship.