The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

2. Who Wrote the Old Testament and How?

The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter - Philip R. Davies†

Philip R. Davies† [+-]
University of Sheffield, (Emeritus)
Philip R. Davies, who died in 2018, was Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield. Educated at Oxford and St Andrews, Scotland, he edited, authored or co-authored 37 books on the Dead Sea Scrolls and various aspects of interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, including In Search of Ancient Israel (1992), Whose Bible Is It Anyway? (1995), Scribes and Schools: The Canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures (1998), The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2002) and Memories of Ancient Israel: An Introduction to Biblical History (2008). He was co-founder of Sheffield Academic Press and former President of the British Society for Old Testament Study and European Association of Biblical Studies.

Description

Here, we look at the people and processes that created the individual Jewish scriptures. We start with the processes because these point us to the authors. This includes not only initial composition or collection, but copying and recopying that always involved redrafting. (Only after these writings became ‘sacred scriptures’ were they retained in a fixed form.) The frequency and extent of these re-draftings can be deduced by comparing the surviving Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and analysing their structure and language. Such processes can also be directly observed within the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of biblical and non-biblical Jewish manuscripts, mostly in Hebrew, dating from the third century bce to the first century ce. Among these writings we find multiple copies of the same composition preserved together, demonstrating how rapidly and frequently texts could sometimes evolve.

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Citation

Davies, Philip. 2. Who Wrote the Old Testament and How?. The Bible for the Curious - A Brief Encounter. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 15-24 Nov 2018. ISBN 9781781797440. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=35683. Date accessed: 28 Jan 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.35683. Nov 2018

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