Opening the Books of Moses presents an introduction to the first five books of the Bible. It is written for any student engaged in the scholarly study of these most central of biblical texts. The aim throughout is to examine the books with a view to illuminating the ideas, beliefs and experiences of the time. This broad overview provides: a survey of the current state of Pentateuchal research; an analysis of how the texts were shaped by their time and audience; an outline of Jewish areas in the Persian period; the study concludes with an analysis of key concerns in the study of the Pentateuch, notably the Torah, geography, ethnicity, the nature of Yahweh and other deities, theories of cult, treaties and oaths, and Moses himself.
'This Prolegomenon and the project it portends is 'just what the doctor ordered' to cure the current impasse in Pentateuchal studies. If the promised series of books on the biblical Torah to follow adhere to the high standard of scholarship, simplicity of language, ease of prose, and joy-in-reading of this volume they will be extremely useful.' --Jim West, Quartz Hill School of Theology
'The work is scholarly but accessible...the introduction makes a valuable contribution. Essential.' --Choice