Etched in Stone: The Emergence of the Decalogue
David H. AaronISBN: 0567029719;
The document known as The Ten Commandments, more formally referred to as The Decalogue, remains among the most controversial and complicated passages in the Hebrew Bible. Even today, the twentieth chapter of Exodus continues to serve as a major religious and ethical icon within popular culture and religious communities, despite its many unexplained elements. Lawsuits over the display of Decalogue Tablets have occupied courtrooms in more than half the states of this country. And yet, few people understand that there is not one, but three versions of what are usually called "The Ten Commandments." Moreover, when their ideological underpinnings are examined closely, these versions prove to be quite antithetical to one another. Even fewer are aware of the probability that these documents were written very late in the history of biblical literature-indeed, so late as to constitute a literary afterthought in the development of Israelite ethnic self-definition. In Etched in Stone: The...
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