The Divine Symphony: the Bible’s Many Voices

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Israel Knohl is best known for his The Sanctuary of Silence (Philadelphia: JPS, 1995), in which he defended an early dating for P, and proposed that the Holiness Code is a priestly response to prophetic critique. His latest book builds on his earlier research to suggest that the Bible consists of a number of separate different literary and ideological currents which developed in relative isolation from each other and were only combined at a late stage. The multiplicity of traditions resulted in attempts to reconcile contradictions, for instance in Chronicles, but also in the tolerance for diversity characteristic of later Jewish literature. He proposes strong readings of the different schools; each, according to Knohl, had a clearly demarcated and profound ideological position, whose legacy was sectarian controversy in the Second Temple period. His interpretations are invariably fascinating and insightful; however, their very clarity and definitiveness, as well as the succinctness of the book, often makes one wish for more argumentation and uncertainty. Literary history is rarely clear; especially when one is dealing with the ancient past, one is often arguing in a vacuum.

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  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution 4.0 International
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  • Citation for previous publication
    • Landy, F., (2004-2005). The Divine Symphony: the Bible’s Many Voices .  Journal of Hebrew Scriptures , 5(), .