Leuchter-Levites at the gate

theoutwardquest

In The Levites and the Boundaries of Israelite Identity Mark Leuchter deals with Deuteronomy as a text composed retrospectively in about -622.

The story about the discovery of the scroll in the Temple is fiction. What really happened is that after Josiah put an end to the priests offering incense at shrines around Jerusalem (2 Kings 23:5), his action proved highly unpopular. Josiah engaged Levite scribes to write Deuteronomy as a justification for what he had done.

All I will say about this is that it seems to me unnecessary and overly dismissive of signs that point to an older origin for Deuteronomy.

In spite of that, there is much that is thought-provoking in Leuchter’s discussion.

He makes a very interesting case that, before Deuteronomy, books were the property of priests and exclusively held at temples as esoteric holy items. In Exodus 32:31-33 Moses asks God to either…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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