Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics

Critical Praise for Bernard M. Levinson

Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation

“Levinson’s important study restores biblical scholarship to its proper ambience—the painstaking discipline of textual analysis. . . .

This elegant study . . . deserves the widestreadership. Levinson opens up a whole new approach to biblical studies which. . . will prove very much more profitable than much recent work purporting to illuminate our understanding of Scripture.”

—Anthony Phillips, Journal of Theological Studies 50 (1999): 181

“[T]his innovative study opens a whole range of literary and hermeneutical questions that will recharge the study of biblical legal literature. Essential for all scholars, students, and libraries.”

—Marvin A. Sweeney, Religious Studies Review 25 (1999): 72

“In my judgment it provides a better model than any previously developed for understanding the motivation and interpretative techniques that lie behind Deuteronomy.”

—John Barton, Journal of Religion 79:4 (1999): 650–51

“Levinson sheds important new light on the authors who created Deuteronomy and on the evolution of biblical exegesis during the biblical period.”

—Gary Anderson, Bible Review 15 (1999): 12

“This is a careful technical study, which incorporates the positions of the major scholars in the field . . . one will not be able to do serious study of Deuteronomy without consulting this book.”

The Bible Today

“. . . Levinson has written a thorough, well-argued and detailed study which will provoke much reflection on the relationship between Deuteronomy and earlier text.”

—Peter J. Harland, Vetus Testamentum 50 (2000): 131–32

“Levinson’s book is a tour de force.”

—G. J. Wenham, Journal of Semitic Studies 46 (2001): 155–56

“. . . Levinson demonstrates very clearly in this book that tendentious revision and replacement of older traditions played a large role in the formation of biblical literature. In doing so, he has made a major contribution to our understanding of the composition of Deuteronomy, the Hebrew Bible, and religious hermeneutics generally.”

—James W. Watts, Jewish Quarterly Review 91 (2001): 526–29

“Une bibliographie et plusieurs index (auteurs, thèmes, références bibliques et littéraires) facilitent l’utilisation de ce livre présenté avec beaucoup de clarté, l’abondance des notes manifestant sa maîtrise de la bibliographie, en particulier de la plus récente.” [A bibliography and several indexes (author, subject, and biblical and other sources) facilitate usage of a book that is presented with supreme clarity and an abundance of notes illustrating the author’s mastery of the subject’s bibliography, particularly the most recent works.]

—André Lemaire, Revue des études juives 159 (2000): 271

“. . . a major contribution to the study of biblical law. While his primary focus is the agenda and methods of the Deuteronomic compliers, Levinson’s discussion has significant implications for a range of issues related to ancient legal practice as well as ancient hermeneutics. Such a significant and multi-pronged volume invites ongoing assessment and debate.”

—Carolyn Pressler, Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte 6 (2000): 314–19

“Levinson’s book is excellent. He shows how the legal material is critical for a theological reading of the Old Testament. His demonstration that the authors of Deuteronomy reinterpreted past traditions and even transformed them invites modern faith communities (both Jewish and Christian) to continue this reinterpretation and reappropriation today.”

—Andrew G. Vaughn, Princeton Seminary Bulletin 21 (2000): 373–74