How the Bible Became Holy

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9780300171914: How the Bible Became Holy

In this startling reinterpretation of biblical history, a leading scholar shows how the Bible became the sacred text it is today

In this sweeping narrative, Michael Satlow tells the fascinating story of how an ancient collection of obscure Israelite writings became the founding texts of both Judaism and Christianity, considered holy by followers of each faith. Drawing on cutting-edge historical and archeological research, he traces the story of how, when, and why Jews and Christians gradually granted authority to texts that had long lay dormant in a dusty temple archive. The Bible, Satlow maintains, was not the consecrated book it is now until quite late in its history.

He describes how elite scribes in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. began the process that led to the creation of several of our biblical texts. It was not until these were translated into Greek in Egypt in the second century B.C.E., however, that some Jews began to see them as culturally authoritative, comparable to Homer’s works in contemporary Greek society. Then, in the first century B.C.E. in Israel, political machinations resulted in the Sadducees assigning legal power to the writings. We see how the world Jesus was born into was largely biblically illiterate and how he knew very little about the texts upon which his apostles would base his spiritual leadership.

Synthesizing an enormous body of scholarly work, Satlow’s groundbreaking study offers provocative new assertions about commonly accepted interpretations of biblical history as well as a unique window into how two of the world’s great faiths came into being.

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From the Author:

Why did you decide to write this book?
Scholarship on the Bible and on the history of Jews and Christians in antiquity have changed our understanding of the past significantly. Yet I have found that my students, both in university and adult education classes, are largely unaware of these new developments. I wanted to open up a vibrant and complex world to this larger audience.
 
Did you encounter any surprises in your research?
Yes! I have been studying this material for most of my adult life, but nevertheless I constantly find myself revising my own understanding. After I added up these revisions, they led me to a larger picture that I did not expect. For example, understanding biblical law as largely academic exercises, or Paul as a largely typical upper-class intellectual Jew from Jerusalem, very much changed the way that I now approach the history of the period.
 
Did studying the Bible in a rigorous, historical way change your relationship with it?
To my mind, placing scripture within its larger historical context adds to, rather than detracts from, its value. The Bible is a remarkable book and remains important for me and my family. 
 
What were the greatest challenges in your research? 
Writing a history like this is a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle that is missing 90 percent of its pieces as well as the puzzle box lid showing the picture. In other words, I wanted to write a clean, accessible narrative, but I also had to approach the task with great humility. I hope that the result is a book that will start conversations.

About the Author:

Michael L. Satlow is Professor of Religious Studies and Judaic Studies at Brown University. He lives in Providence, RI.

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Michael L Satlow
Editore: Yale University Press April 2014 (2014)
ISBN 10: 0300171919 ISBN 13: 9780300171914
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press April 2014, 2014. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 130704

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Michael L. Satlow
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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this startling reinterpretation of biblical history, a leading scholar shows how the Bible became the sacred text it is today In this sweeping narrative, Michael Satlow tells the fascinating story of how an ancient collection of obscure Israelite writings became the founding texts of both Judaism and Christianity, considered holy by followers of each faith. Drawing on cutting-edge historical and archeological research, he traces the story of how, when, and why Jews and Christians gradually granted authority to texts that had long lay dormant in a dusty temple archive. The Bible, Satlow maintains, was not the consecrated book it is now until quite late in its history. He describes how elite scribes in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. began the process that led to the creation of several of our biblical texts. It was not until these were translated into Greek in Egypt in the second century B.C.E., however, that some Jews began to see them as culturally authoritative, comparable to Homer s works in contemporary Greek society. Then, in the first century B.C.E. in Israel, political machinations resulted in the Sadducees assigning legal power to the writings. We see how the world Jesus was born into was largely biblically illiterate and how he knew very little about the texts upon which his apostles would base his spiritual leadership. Synthesizing an enormous body of scholarly work, Satlow s groundbreaking study offers provocative new assertions about commonly accepted interpretations of biblical history as well as a unique window into how two of the world s great faiths came into being. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780300171914

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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this startling reinterpretation of biblical history, a leading scholar shows how the Bible became the sacred text it is today In this sweeping narrative, Michael Satlow tells the fascinating story of how an ancient collection of obscure Israelite writings became the founding texts of both Judaism and Christianity, considered holy by followers of each faith. Drawing on cutting-edge historical and archeological research, he traces the story of how, when, and why Jews and Christians gradually granted authority to texts that had long lay dormant in a dusty temple archive. The Bible, Satlow maintains, was not the consecrated book it is now until quite late in its history. He describes how elite scribes in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. began the process that led to the creation of several of our biblical texts. It was not until these were translated into Greek in Egypt in the second century B.C.E., however, that some Jews began to see them as culturally authoritative, comparable to Homer s works in contemporary Greek society. Then, in the first century B.C.E. in Israel, political machinations resulted in the Sadducees assigning legal power to the writings. We see how the world Jesus was born into was largely biblically illiterate and how he knew very little about the texts upon which his apostles would base his spiritual leadership. Synthesizing an enormous body of scholarly work, Satlow s groundbreaking study offers provocative new assertions about commonly accepted interpretations of biblical history as well as a unique window into how two of the world s great faiths came into being. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780300171914

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Descrizione libro Yale University Press, 2014. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: new. Signed by Michael Satlow. In this startling reinterpretation of biblical history, a leading scholar shows how the Bible became the sacred text it is today. Codice libro della libreria 10837

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