Saturday, November 27, 2010

SBL Paper on Deuteronomy and Hittite Literature

Just adding on to what Michael said below, I thought the SBL was great. Hanging with Michael in Atlanta's cheapest hotel was awesome. I never knew he talked in his sleep. I learned a lot of really interesting stuff!

One of my favorite papers from the SBL was Joshua Bermann's comparison of Deut 13 with passages from Late Bronze Age (c. 14th-13th century BC) Hittite literature. (Click on the title of the post to see the full text.) I didn't know what to expect heading into the session, but Bermann made a really convincing case that Deuteronomy shared strong parallels with these ancient texts. Unfortunately, I'm afraid most scholars of biblical law are not going to know what to do with his data, because the view that Deuteronomy is a seventh-century BC text influenced by Assyrian literature is firmly entrenched in scholarship (and that's an understatement).


Nick said...

Awesome new site design :)

petebrown said...

Hi John,

This is a neat theory but if it is true how does it fit in with the stuff you've published which argues (convincingly!) that P should be taken as an older source than D.

Are we just talking about a older kernel of Deuteronomy going back to the time of Moses here?

Also does the theory if true maybe prove too much. On the common view that the exodus would have occurred in the reign of Ramses II doesn't this push back D to even before the time of Moses?

Inquiring minds want to know :)

Bob the Builder said...

I find this site very accurate and a reliable recourse for my students