[b-hebrew] Re: Dating of Leviticus

Bearpecs at aol.com Bearpecs at aol.com
Mon Jun 21 21:22:47 EDT 2004

In a message dated 6/21/2004 5:21:53 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
bsr15 at cantsl.canterbury.ac.nz writes:

I  recently purchased two of the three commentaries on Leviticus by  Milgrom

I think what you mean is two of the three volumes in Milgrom's commentary  on 
Leviticus (Anchor Bible).
I am a BIG fan of Milgrom.  I find his approach to be a great balance  of 
respect for established scholarship and willingness to think outside the  box.  
Regarding the dating of Leviticus, I find it refreshing that he sees  the text 
as developing from two distinct but related "schools" (P and  H) rather than 
an individual author or authors, with one school (H)  revising the text at 
several points in time.  I found his reasoning  compelling for assigning some 
strata to an early period and others quite  late.  His understanding of Leviticus' 
approach to social justice  (particularly the relationship between sabbatical 
years, jubilee, laws of  slavery, etc.) is brilliant.  For the purposes of 
this list, I should point  out his sensitivity to the nuances of vocabulary, 
particularly the use by  different sources of different words for similar 
concepts or the same word for  different concepts.  He uses comparative Semitic 
philology  judiciously and well.  
Note that Barukh Levine, who did the Anchor Bible commentary on Numbers,  
differs from Milgrom on a number of important issues.  It is interesting  
therefore to read in the Anchor Bible commentary series Milgrom on Leviticus and  
Levine on Numbers; and then read in the Jewish Publication Society commentary  
series Levine on Leviticus and Milgrom on Numbers.

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