The Formation of the Hebrew Bible: A New Reconstruction

ISBN : 9780199742608

David M. Carr
544 ページ
163 x 242 mm

In The Formation of the Hebrew Bible David Carr rethinks both the methods and historical orientation points for research into the growth of the Hebrew Bible into its present form. Building on his prior work, Writing on the Tablet of the Heart (Oxford, 2005), he explores both the possibilities and limits of reconstruction of pre-stages of the Bible. The method he advocates is a "methodologically modest" investigation of those pre-stages, utilizing criteria and models derived from his survey of documented examples of textual revision in the Ancient Near East. The result is a new picture of the formation of the Hebrew Bible, with insights on the initial emergence of Hebrew literary textuality, the development of the first Hexateuch, and the final formation of the Hebrew Bible. Where some have advocated dating the bulk of the Hebrew Bible in a single period, whether relatively early (Neo-Assyrian) or late (Persian or Hellenistic), Carr uncovers specific evidence that the Hebrew Bible contains texts dating across Israelite history, even the early pre-exilic period (10th-9th centuries). He traces the impact of Neo-Assyrian imperialism on eighth and seventh century Israelite textuality. He uses studies of collective trauma to identify marks of the reshaping and collection of traditions in response to the destruction of Jerusalem and Babylonian exile. He develops a picture of varied Priestly reshaping of narrative and prophetic traditions in the Second Temple period, including the move toward eschatological and apocalyptic themes and genres. And he uses manuscript evidence from Qumran and the Septuagint to find clues to the final literary shaping of the proto-Masoretic text, likely under the Hasmonean monarchy.


Introduction: The Oral-Written Model and the Formation of the Hebrew Bible
Part One: Methodological Prologue: Textual Transmission in the Ancient World and How to Reconstruct It
Chapter One: Memory Variants and Evidence of Oral-Written Transmission of Israelite Literature
Chapter Two: Documented Cases of Transmission History, Part 1: Two Cases
Chapter Three: Documented Cases of Transmission History, Part 2: Broader Trends
Chapter Four: From Documented Growth to Method in Reconstruction of Growth
Part Two: Excavating the History of the Formation of the Hebrew Bible
Chapter Five: The Hasmonean Period: Finalization of Scripture in an Increasingly Greek World
Chapter Six: The Hellenistic Period up to the Hasmonean Monarchy: Priestly and Diaspora Textuality
Chapter Seven: The Persian Period: Textuality of Persian-Sponsored Returnees
Chapter Eight: The Babylonian Period: Trauma, Exile and the Transition to Post-Monarchal Textuality
Chapter Nine: Bible for Exiles: The Reshaping of Stories about Israel's Earliest History
Chapter Ten: Textuality Under Empire: Reflexes of Neo-Assyrian Domination
Chapter Eleven: From the Neo-Assyrian to Hasmonean Periods: Preliminary Conclusions and Outlook
Part Three: The Shape of Literary Textuality in the Early Pre-Exilic Period
Chapter Twelve: Early States in the Highlands of Judah-Israel and Evidence for Literary Textuality in Them
Chapter Thirteen: Royal Psalms: Locating Judah and Israel's Early Pro-Royal Literature
Chapter Fourteen: Proverbs and Israel's Early Oral-Written Curriculum
Chapter Fifteen: Other Supposedly Solomonic Books: Song of Songs and Qohelet
Chapter Sixteen: Other Biblical Texts Potentially from the Early Monarchal Period
Chapter Seventeen: Toward a New Picture of Early Monarchal Texts in the Hebrew Bible
Select Bibliography
Select Index of Primary Text Citations
Index of Subjects


Professor of Hebrew Bible, Union Theological Seminary