Friday, May 20, 2011

The Descriptive Tabernacle Texts of the Pentateuch

Here is a relatively old article that attempts to use the Tabernacle description to try to identify the composition of the Pentateuch, perhaps in a unique yet similar style to the Documentary/Supplementary Hypothesis.

It is called "The Descriptive Tabernacle Texts of the Pentateuch" by Baruch A. Levine, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1965), 307-318.

Here is an excerpt:

"Exodus 35-39, Leviticus 8-9, and Numbers 7 are descriptive accounts of the construction of the ark and Tabernacle, their consecration, and the initiation of the priestly cult. Our method in studying these texts will be form-critical in that we are interested primarily in the tales of textual materials utilized by the writers of the Pentateuch and not in the various documentary sources which are adduced for the Pentateuch. The descriptive tabernacle texts bear affinities to other records preserved in the Bible, and also to extra-biblical archival material from many parts of the ancient Near East, principally Mesopotamia. In analyzing these Tabernacle accounts we will be attempting to identify the forms, or types, which they represent. Such analysis cannot normally yield an exact date for the texts under consideration, but it can afford insight into the process of the composition of the Pentateuch and into the origins of its institutions."

You can read and download the entire article at this link.

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