Today, we moderns call Genesis a book. That is, a whole and complete text. However, Biblical scholarship suggests it may, instead, be a collection and compendium of varying and sometimes contradictory mythologies of the known world, rooted in ancient Canaanite, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Akkadian traditions. Ancient writers would have known it as an "account," a retelling … Continue reading Genesis I-III: The Birth of Law
What is a lawgiver? In exploring this question, we turn to Moses, the earliest example of a lawgiver, and we contrast his character with others who came before him, such Abraham or King Hammurabi. Moses Breaking the Tablets by Rembrandt in 1659 Abraham, the teacher of the Israelites, is a father of a people -of … Continue reading Moses as Lawgiver
In the most pivotal moment of the Torah, Moses is called "up" the mountain of Sinai to retrieve the law for the Israelites (Exodus 19-20). The Mosaic law is too important for the Lord to come "down" the mountain, and communicate it to the people. Instead, the Lord ensures a shroud of secrecy behind the creation … Continue reading What Is Mosaic Law?