Saturday, November 1, 2014

Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis - Deuteronomy

Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis - Deuteronomy
by David Bokovoy
Greg Kofford Books, 2014.  248 pgs.  Nonfiction.

     Dr. Bokovoy, associate professor of languages and literature at the University of Utah, brings the tenets of Higher Criticism (i.e., a textual consideration of scripture) to bear on the first five books of the Bible, the books of Moses and Abraham, and the Book of Mormon, from an LDS and scholarly perspective in this fascinating volume. Careful examination of the Pentateuch shows that these five books were unlikely to have been written by Moses, particularly the bits where he describes his own death. The greater likelihood is that more than one scribe wrote these stories down much later, each scribe emphasizing his own differing theological views, which goes far towards explaining some of the redundancies and contradictions of the biblical text. Bokovoy's beliefs as to the sources of the Pearl of Great Price, and his applications of the Higher Criticism to the Book of Mormon were a bit harder to follow--all the dots didn't seem quite connected. But this is not a book that one can breeze through once an hope to understand everything therein. In any case, Authoring the Old Testament is a thought-provoking, mind-expanding text for LDS readers and for anyone else interested in scriptural origins.

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