Study the Torah with Academic Scholarship

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

Torah, Composition

Torat Emet: Why I am a Torah-True Jew

Prof. Rabbi

Judith Hauptman

,

,

The Grain and Pomegranates of Mei Merivah (מי מריבה)

Faced with a lack of water, the Israelites complain to Moses that they “have no grain or pomegranates.” This narrative discontinuity together with other textual anomalies suggest that interwoven into the Merivah story is the missing opening verses of the non-Priestly spies story.

Dr. Rabbi

David Frankel

,

,

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

,

,

Theology, Not Biblical Studies

Dr.

Tova Ganzel

,

,

How the Concept of Mosaic Authorship Developed

In the Persian period, the Torah, which is made up of various law collections, was ascribed to Moses as revealed by YHWH. A parallel development was taking place in Achaemenid Persia that sheds light on this process: The sacred texts called the Avesta, that contain the law​​ (dāta) and tradition (daēnā) of Zoroastrianism​, were being collectively ascribed to Zarathustra (Zoroaster) as revealed by Ahuramazdā.

Dr.

Yishai Kiel

,

,

The Challenges of Ancient Near Eastern Antecedents to the Torah

Thoughts on Torah Min HaShamayim

Dr. Rabbi

Michael Harris

,

,

The Ancient Practice of Attributing Texts and Ideas to Moses

Ancient scribes would write as if Moses was the author, or they would claim that a tradition was originally stated by Moses, but they did not intend to convey a historical fact with this description. Instead, they meant that a given tradition was “authentically” Jewish, or God’s will and that Moses would have approved. I call this phenomenon “Mosaic Discourse.”

Prof.

Hindy Najman

,

,

Why Deuteronomy Has an Account of Aaron's Death in the Wrong Place

Bewildered, Rashi asks why Deuteronomy records Aaron’s death at Moserah (not Mt. Hor) and why it does so in the middle of Moses’ description of his (second) forty-day stay upon Mount Horeb. Academic biblical scholarship sheds light on these questions.

Dr.

David Ben-Gad HaCohen

,

,

Socio-Religious Background and Stabilization

Prof.

Emanuel Tov

,

,

Understanding Deuteronomy on Its Own Terms

Sefer Devarim describes itself as Moses’ only account of God’s one revelation, and its opening passage, הואיל משה באר את התורה הזאת, means that he wrote it down (and not that he expounded on the rest of the Torah in Deuteronomy).

Dr.

Itamar Kislev

,

,

Who Wrote the Torah According to the Torah?

Jewish and Christian tradition ascribes authorship of the Pentateuch to Moses in the 13th century B.C.E. Is this what the Pentateuch itself implies about who wrote it and when?

Prof.

Christopher A. Rollston

,

,