In Praise of Editing in the Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays in Retrospect
Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2012 pp. xvi + 304. $120.00
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 39
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Description: Yairah Amit is a leading Israeli scholar of the Hebrew Bible who has published some of her articles only in Hebrew. Most of them are here translated for the first time.
As she compiled the volume, she discovered that this collection of 19 essays had a common denominator: they are all about the process of editing that has gone on in the creation of the Hebrew Bible, a process that Amit looks on with some favour. Hence her title, In Praise of Editing. The Bible, she argues, is a long carefully edited book, which means that it is not a chance agglomeration of materials bound together, but rather a complete and carefully selected library.
Among the essays in this volume are: Who Decided to Open the Torah with the Creation of the Sabbath?, The Garden of Eden as Utopia, Repetition as Poetic Principle, Who Is Afraid of Multiple Voices?, Editorial Considerations Regarding Ending, Who Is Lent to the Lord? Ask the Editor, To Include or Not to Include? Editorial Considerations Regarding the Whole.
What makes this volume unique among collections of essays is her decision to add a personal preface to each article, highlighting it from an additional subjective angle. Sometimes the preface reflects her relationship to the subject and its ideology, sometimes the circumstances in which the article was written or published. At other times, readers may learn about the teachers who guided her first steps in the field, and about her own relationship to various issues in biblical research. These prefaces, she believes, show the researcher not as a rigid professional, but as a more rounded human person.
This is the fourth volume of the Amsterdam Studies in the Bible and Religion (ed. Athalya Brenner), a sub-series of the Bible in the Modern World and Hebrew Bible Monographs.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible / Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism
Review by Richard G. Smith
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Citation: Richard G. Smith, review of Yairah Amit, In Praise of Editing in the Hebrew Bible: Collected Essays in Retrospect, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).
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