- Tapa blanda: 240 páginas
- Editor: Harpercollins Publishers Inc (12 de febrero de 2010)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 006254828X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062548283
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº640.314 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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Sinai and Zion: An Entry into the Jewish Bible (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 12 feb 2010
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Descripción del producto
"A challenging, exciting work in Jewish theology. Not to be missed." -- Ruth Segal Bernards, "Sh'ma""A significant advance in Jewish-Christian understanding could be made if Christians would read "Sinai and Zion."" -- John Simpson, "Provident Book Finder""The best introduction I know to the Jewish faith presented in the Hebrew Scripture." -- Eugene B. Borowitz, Hebrew Union College-jewish Institute of Religion"Beautifully written, theologically sensitive, and ecumenical." -- Richard J. Clifford, S.J., Weston School of Theology"It is a book which has been longed for. It is also a very good book." -- T. R. Hobbs, "Biblical Theology Bulletin""In this eminently readable work of biblical scholarship of the highest order, Levenson enables that Bible's many voices to speak for themselves and yet communicate a coherent religious vision." -- Robert L. Cohn, "Journal of Religion"
Reseña del editor
A treasury of religious thought and faith--places the symbolic world of the Bible in its original context.Ver Descripción del producto
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"Sinai and Zion" is easy to read but to grasp it fully, one must read slowly with either a No. 2 pencil or a fresh stack of post-it notes. Levenson presents very profound ideas derived from numerous scriptural citations. Although the discussion is focused on the two traditions (Sinai and Zion), his comments often have broader applications.
I found that the book is not organized in a way that I could easily go back and sift out particular gems (there are so many, after all). While Levenson does provide a scripture and an author index, there is no subject index.
The book is divided into three parts, each with subsections. I find it difficult to understand the subsections as parts of a hierarchical outline. In some ways, the subsections each seemed like separate essays on different aspects of the main topic treated in that part of the book. The book can be used as a reference book for Bible study if one looks up section head topics or specific scriptural references.
"Sinai and Zion" is a rewarding book to read.
Sinai & Zion is Jon D. Levenson's contribution to developing a decidedly Jewish understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures by "delineate a theology of the Old Testament alone" (1). Levenson is qualified to do this as he himself comes from a Jewish background and is familiar with rabbinical tradition. His work has demonstrated remarkable resilience as it enters its third decade in print. In his approach, Levenson has opted to focus primarily on the message of Jewish tradition over and above historical criticism. Specifically, he follows the traditions associated with the two great mountains of Jewish history, Sinai and Zion, and the covenants that accompany them: the Mosaic covenant and the Davidic Covenant.
Levenson has arranged his work into three major parts. The first segment addresses the theology of Mount Sinai and the torah-centric ideology it produces in its teachings of covenant. The second segment outlines the importance of Mount Zion and the role the temple played in later Israelite faith. Finally, the third section addresses the relationship between these two locations and theologies and how they affect an understanding of Jewish faith as a whole.
The theophany at Mount Sinai is arguably the most important event in Jewish history. It is here the law is given, the nature of Israel as a people is established, the presence of God is granted, and the character of its people is outlined. In fleshing out a theology of Sinai in Part I of his book, Levenson focuses extensively on the covenantal ideology that developed out of the tradition. This understanding of covenant is the driving force behind the importance of Sinai.
For Levenson, the importance of the Sinaitic covenant is inescapably linked with its similarities to suzerain-vassal treaties of the Ancient Near East. For this conclusion, he relies heavily upon the work of George Mendenhall and others pertaining to Hittite treaties. Levenson argues, "The correlation ... cannot be coincidental. Israel has become the vassal of YHWH; YHWH has become the suzerain of Israel" (35). This relationship gives meaning to the entirety of the Mosaic covenant while employing a framework which is essential to Jewish theology. Levenson argues that Sinai sets the stage for how Israel views itself, its relationship with YHWH, its relationship with outsiders, even its relationship with other Gods. In sum, Sinai is to be understood as the mountain of identification and definition.
As Judaism develops, we find that the traditions surrounding Mount Zion slowly overshadow Mount Sinai. This transition is less about replacement and more about continuation according to Part II of Levenson's book. Wherein "Sinai was the mountain of Israel's infancy" (89), Zion becomes the symbol of Israel's maturity as a nation. The Sinaitic experience was rooted it the Mosaic Covenant and an understanding of suzerain-vassal treaties, but, Levenson contends, the Davidic covenant, which is central to the Zion experience is a covenant of grant carrying kingship implications. This distinction in covenant types alters the understanding of the interaction between YHWH and humanity; YHWH is bound while Israel receives.
According to the author, Zion differs from Sinai as it is clearly portrayed as a "cosmic mountain" (111). This distinction places Zion and the temple as a touching point for the divine and humanity. In essence, "Jerusalem is simply the earthly manifestation of the heavenly Temple" (140) that is connected with creation and perfection as it stands timelessly in the center of the world as a place of divine importance. Levenson utilizes exegesis of eight separate passages to illustrate the multi-faced purpose of Zion in connecting YHWH with Israel. The author summarizes the distinction between Sinai and Zion by noting that Sinai provides the possibility of meaningful history while Zion allowed meaning above history (141-2).
In his concluding segment, Levenson describes the relationship between Sinai and Zion as one of complex succession. He argues this succession was not primarily chronological with Zion replacing Sinai in importance, nor was it geographical with the North affirming Sinai while the South affirmed Zion. Rather, the theological underpinnings of these two traditions are complementary as each emphasizes a different aspect of Israel's relationship with YHWH. When described relationally, Zion "inherited the legacy of Sinai" (206) and in many ways continued the "Sinaitic experience on a new mountain" (206). For Levenson, Sinai establishes the people of God and their relationship with God, while Zion serves as a microcosmic touching point between humanity and divinity.
As with any concise treatment of theology, Jewish or otherwise, Levenson's work offers readers numerous strengths along with a few shortcomings. The most notable strength this work provides is the very approach that the author employs in engaging Jewish scripture. Levenson is able to offer his readers a fresh take on Jewish theology by addressing the task from a strictly Jewish perspective. Moreover, the author is also able to question historical Jewish approaches to the scripture when the traditional conclusions miss the larger picture. The organization of the text was logical and easy to follow as the author utilizes summary and textual division in a helpful manner. From a scholastic standpoint, Levenson successfully and skillfully employs myriad approaches as he combines historical, literary, exegetical, and philosophical understandings of Jewish theology. Finally, Levenson does a masterful job of portraying the role Sinai and Zion play in understanding YHWH and Israel and their interaction in history.
Numerous weaknesses are also apparent in reading Sinai & Zion. The most glaring is Levenson's inability to cast a picture of Jewish scripture and theology as a whole as his subtitle suggests is his intention. While his work provides an excellent account of Sinai and Zion in Jewish literature and does a fantastic job of illustrating the relationship between the two, he nonetheless fails to connect these two essential concepts to a coherent idea of the Jewish Bible. Perhaps this is more a fault of titling than of content. In this same vein, the author's conclusion lacks coherence and introduces more frivolous tangents than helpful summations.
With these critiques in mind, noting that most address the author's layout and aim rather than accuracy of content, there are several important ideas the author introduces that interact well with the whole of Old Testament scholarship. First, Levenson's treatment of the importance of covenant is admirable, especially as he places it in its Ancient Near East context of suzerain-vassal treaties and covenants of grant. This socio-historical interaction provides essential insights even if the reader disagrees with the implications he draws. Second, the author recognizes the overall action of YHWH in history as he connects the perfection of Eden with the place of Zion. This, coupled with his overall approach, provides an understanding of the people of God as they encounter the presence of God and seek the place of God.
In conclusion, Levenson's work in Sinai & Zion provides a fresh perspective on the two essential ideological locations and covenants in Jewish scripture. He weaves together an excellent account of the Jewish understanding of the two Mountains of God and the relationship that exists between them. His multi-faceted approach offers depth and insight despite the fact the book fails to paint a clear picture of Jewish scripture as a whole. In the end, its contribution is noteworthy especially in its offering of a decidedly Jewish approach to Israelite culture and Jewish scripture.