Summary and Info
We are greatly indebted to Dr. Redford for this thorough piece of work. It illustrates the need for monographs which can gather together the accumulated results of sustained research with more amplitude than is possible in an article and more detail than is possible in a commentary. There are many other distinct chunks of tradition in the OT, particularly in the Pentateuch, which deserve such treatment. Redford's work includes a comprehensive review of past work, a fresh and painstaking examination of several salient issues, and some constructive conclusions.The special problems presented by the Joseph story warrant examination in detachment from the rest of the Pentateuch. As Redford's work shows, too many issues have been prejudged because results (or hypotheses) derived from surrounding materials have been permitted to influence, if not to dictate, the outcome of investigating Genesis 37-50. A parade example is the use of the divine names, and other contrastive vocabulary-pairs, as hallmarks of the source documents J and E. As Redford shows, Yahweh is restricted to ch. 39. Furthermore, other pairs, like Israel/Jacob, while not correlating with this first clue, do have to some extent a concomitant distribution with the Judah/Reuben motifs.
More About the Author
Donald Bruce Redford (born September 2, 1934) is a Canadian Egyptologist and archaeologist, currently Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Pennsylvania State University.
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