A new model for the Pentateuch

Protestant theologian Rainer Albertz publishes commentary on the Book of Exodus

© Theologischer Verlag Zürich

In his new historical-critical commentary on the Book of Exodus protestant theologian Prof. Dr. Rainer Alberts presents a new model for explaining the formation of the Pentateuch. The commentary provides the reader with a detailed exegesis (about 700 pages) of a central part of that foundation chart (Torah, Pentateuch), by which ancient Israel intended to define its religious and ethnic identity after the loss of its own statehood in a new way. Aiming at this goal, different elite groups of priests and lay people had to find a compromise. The theological discussions about Israel’s historical, legal and cultic foundations, which were held by these groups over a period of about 500 years, including Israel’s relations to other nations, will be reconstructed from the given Hebrew text of the Book of Exodus by using literary- and composition-critical methods. The relevance of these discussions for the present day will be determined. That way a new model for explaining the formation of the Pentateuch will be tested. Finally, the reader will find several summaries and digressions to get some information about the possible historical background of the Exodus and Sinai events including the legal and cultic institutions derived from them.

Literature: Albertz, Rainer, Exodus, Ex 1-18 / Ex 19–40 (Zürcher Bibelkommentare AT, vol. 2.1 / vol. 2.2), Zürich: Theologischer Verlag Zürich 2012 / 2015.