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Pentateuch

Ptolemy II’s Gift to the Temple in the Letter of Aristeas

The Letter of Aristeas embellishes its account of Ptolemy’s gift of a table and bowls to the Jerusalem Temple with what Greek rhetoric calls ekphrasis, a graphic description of a thing or person intended to bring the subject vividly to the eyes of the reader. What is the purpose of this embellishment?

Prof.

Benjamin G. Wright III

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Deuteronomy: The First Torah

Before the Five Books of Moses were compiled as a complete work, evidence from Deuteronomy as well as from Joshua and Kings shows that Deuteronomy itself was known as “the Torah.”

Dr.

David Glatt-Gilad

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Is the Torah a Pentateuch or Hexateuch?

Does the Torah end with Deuteronomy or Joshua? The answer depends on whether we view the Torah as a law collection or as a narrative about a promise fulfilled.

Prof.

Marc Zvi Brettler

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Does the Torah End with “The End”?

Traditional and Critical Perspectives on the Ending of The Torah

Prof.

Richard Elliott Friedman

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Why Is the Torah Divided into Five Books?

The division of the Torah into five books is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, yet this division is ancient. Already in Second Temple times, Philo speaks of it, and by the early first millenium C.E., the Torah became known by the Greek name, Pentateuch, literally, “five scrolls.” Is this division due to practical, thematic, or symbolic considerations?

Dr.

Elaine Goodfriend

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