Thursday, 18 April 2013

Perspectives on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve

Rainer Albertz, James D. Nogalski, and Jakob Wöhrle wrote "Perspectives on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve" wanting to show unity of the twelve Minor Prophets as one, complete Book of the Twelve. 

Matthew V. Moss of Durham University had a look at the book and reviews this latest compilation of essays intended to further the discussion of potential theories for how these twelve documents were stitched together into a unified book.
With few exceptions, the twenty-four essays that make up Perspectives adopt redaction criticism’s presuppositions and assume the reader’s familiarity with that methodology. As such, the intended readership of Perspectives is, in this author’s estimation, other established scholars interested in the formation and textual history of the BT as well as postgraduate students who already possess some familiarity with both redaction criticism and the previous debates on the unity of the BT.
As Sweeney explains it, “Analysis of the Book of the Twelve must begin with the synchronic task of assessing the final forms of the versional texts in question, e.g., the Septuagint, Masoretic, and other relevant forms, to address the diachronic question of their respective socio-religious, socio-political, and historical settings. Only then may work turn to the diachronic process of reconstructing the literary growth that led to those textual forms (23).” From this point and moving forward Sweeney is concerned with the different sequence of the first six of the twelve prophets as found in the Septuagint over and against that found in the Masoretic Text. Obviously, having Joel read in light of Micah provides a very different synchronic reading than one where Micah is read in light of Joel. Thus, different theological and socio-political circumstances are diachronically examined to explain the different sequences and their literary effects.

Please do find the review: Rainer Albertz, James D. Nogalski, and Jakob Wöhrle, Eds. Perspectives on the Formation of the Book of the Twelve: Methodological Foundations – Redactional Processes – Historical Insights. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012. ISBN 9783110283341. 


The Nash Papyrus (2nd century BC) contains a p...
The Nash Papyrus (2nd century BC) contains a portion of a pre-Masoretic Text, specifically the Ten Commandments and the Shema Yisrael prayer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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