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An excellent introduction to the Pentateuch, but …

“When Jean Louis Ska’s Introduzione alla lettura del Pentateuco was first published in Italy, it was quickly hailed as the most attractive and usable introduction to the Pentateuch to appear in modern times. Because of its strengths, it was soon translated into French.

The English translation published by Eisenbrauns has been completely reviewed and updated (including the bibliography) by Ska. Among the book’s many strengths are its close attention to the ways in which modern cultural history has affected Pentateuchal interpretation, attention to providing the kinds of examples that are helpful to students, presentation of a good balance between the history of interpretation and the data of the text, and the clarity of Ska’s writing.

For both students and scholars, many consider this book the best contemporary introduction to the Pentateuch.”

Yes it is an excellent book, but I wonder how it is possible that a professor of a catholic institution like the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome is not able to give a catholic view of the Pentateuch’s exegesis! Yes it is important to know the Pentateuch’s research history, but it is also important to say that the exegetical research has huge limits. One of these is that the modern exegesis doesn’t dialogue withe the scientific results of the archaeological digs in Palestine (click here).

Almost all the exegetical theories presented by Ska are no more than conjectures based on the literary analysis of the Pentateuch’s texts! The exegetes have to ask themselves: what can be realistically said about the Pentateuch authorship? It is TOTALLY true that Moses is not the Pentateuch’s author? It is TOTALLY true that the Pentateuch has been written in the VI century BC? Exegetes must be humble if they want to discover the truth. First they have to admit that exegesis can give some answers but not all answers to the Bible issues!

Simone Venturini

Scrittore

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