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The History of the Pentateuch: Combining Literary and Archaeological Approaches

English title The History of the Pentateuch: Combining Literary and Archaeological Approaches
Applicant Schmid Konrad
Number 160785
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Theologische Fakultät Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Religious studies, Theology
Start/End 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2019
Approved amount 1'771'596.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Religious studies, Theology
Archaeology

Keywords (5)

Archäologie; Bibel; Pentateuch; Datierung; Literaturgeschichte

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
The Pentateuch is one of the most important and most intensively researched bodies of literature in the Western world, and its impact on history, literature, art, philosophy, culture, and religion is tremendous. Critical analysis of the Pentateuch arose in the 17th century and has made significant progress to the present day. However, all the manuscripts we have postdate the composition of the Pentateuch by several centuries, and the earliest evidence at our disposal occurs in the Dead Sea Scrolls. This situation presents a considerable challenge for reconstructing the history of the Pentateuch, largely obscuring the time, place, and authorship of its various texts. This project, a joint enterprise of scholars from Zurich, Lausanne, and Tel Aviv, strives to develop new methodological approaches to this problem by combining literary and archaeological / historical approaches.
Lay summary
Der Pentateuch, das sind die ersten fünf Bücher der Bibel, gehört zu den wichtigsten Texten der westlichen Welt. Wann sie entstanden sind, ist trotz intensiver Forschung seit über 200 Jahren umstritten. Der Grund dafür liegt im Wesentlichen in der schwierigen Bezeugungslage: Der Pentateuch existiert als Text vollständig nur in mittelalterlichen Handschriften. Die Fragmente vom Toten Meer, die aus dem 2. und 1. Jh.v.Chr. stammen, bezeugen nur etwa 5-10% des Textbestandes. Um methodisch in der Klärung der historischen Ursprungssituation der Pentateuchtexte weiter zu kommen, bedarf es neuer Zugangsweise. Dieses Projekt vereinigt archäologische und literarische Methoden, um die historische Einordnung des Pentateuch näher bestimmen zu können. Dazu arbeiten Bibelwissenschaftler aus der Schweiz mit führenden Archäologen aus Israel (Tel Aviv) zusammen.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 14.08.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
The Archaeology of the Days of Baasha?
FinkelsteinIsrael, KleimanAssaf (2019), The Archaeology of the Days of Baasha?, in Revue Biblique, 126(2), 277-296.
Banned Birds: The Birds of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14
Altmann Peter (2019), Banned Birds: The Birds of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Deuteronomium 12,13–19: Zur Lokalisierung des einen Maqom
HenselBenedikt (2019), Deuteronomium 12,13–19: Zur Lokalisierung des einen Maqom, in Biblische Notizen. Neue Folge, 182, 9-43.
Essen und Trinken. Lebenswelten der Bibel
AltmannPeter, Al-SuadiSoham (2019), Essen und Trinken. Lebenswelten der Bibel, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh.
From Core to Centre: Issues of Centralization in Numbers and Deuteronomy
PyschnyKatharina (2019), From Core to Centre: Issues of Centralization in Numbers and Deuteronomy, in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, 8(3), 287-312.
How to Identify a Persian Period Text in the Pentateuch
SchmidKonrad (2019), How to Identify a Persian Period Text in the Pentateuch, in Lackowski Mark, Bautsch Richard J. (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 101-118.
Introduction: Comparing Animal Lexica in Ancient Cultures
AngeliniAnna, NihanChristophe (2019), Introduction: Comparing Animal Lexica in Ancient Cultures, in Altorientalische Forschungen, 46(1), 53-60.
Mythos oder Geschichte? Die historische Kritik an der Bibel und ihre theologische Bedeutung
SchmidKonrad (2019), Mythos oder Geschichte? Die historische Kritik an der Bibel und ihre theologische Bedeutung, in Bühler Pierre (ed.), Verlag der Fachvereine, Zürich, 31-50.
On the Relationship of Judah and Samaria in Post-Exilic Times: A Farewell to the Conflict Paradigm
Hensel Benedikt (2019), On the Relationship of Judah and Samaria in Post-Exilic Times: A Farewell to the Conflict Paradigm, in Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 44(1), 19-42.
Polemical Propaganda of the Golah Community against the Gibeonites: Historical Background of Joshua 9 and 2 Samuel 21 in the Early Persian Period
Lee-Sak Yitzhak (2019), Polemical Propaganda of the Golah Community against the Gibeonites: Historical Background of Joshua 9 and 2 Samuel 21 in the Early Persian Period, in Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 44(1), 115-132.
The Memory of the Kingdom of Geshur in Biblical Literature
Sergi Omer (2019), The Memory of the Kingdom of Geshur in Biblical Literature, in Berlejung Angelika, Maeir Aren M. (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 315-330.
Aarons’ Vestments in Exodus 28 and Priestly Leadership
NihanChristophe, RhyderJulia (2018), Aarons’ Vestments in Exodus 28 and Priestly Leadership, in Pyschny Katharina, Schulz Sarah (ed.), De Gruyter, Berlin, 45-67.
Abraham Traditions and Cult Politics in the Persian Period: Moriyyāh and Šalēm in Genesis
Nihan Christophe (2018), Abraham Traditions and Cult Politics in the Persian Period: Moriyyāh and Šalēm in Genesis, in Wöhrle Jakob, Brett Mark (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 259-281.
Ägypten als Chaosmacht: Die Vernichtung des ägyptischen Heers am Schilfmeer als Begründung der Herrlichkeit Gottes im perserzeitlichen Exodusbuch
SchmidKonrad (2018), Ägypten als Chaosmacht: Die Vernichtung des ägyptischen Heers am Schilfmeer als Begründung der Herrlichkeit Gottes im perserzeitlichen Exodusbuch, in Aegyptiaca, 3, 149-157.
Comments on the Archaeology and History of Tell el-Far‘ah North (Biblical Tirzah) in the Iron IIA
KleimanAssaf (2018), Comments on the Archaeology and History of Tell el-Far‘ah North (Biblical Tirzah) in the Iron IIA, in Semitica, 60, 85-104.
Cult Centralization in the Persian Period: Biblical and Historical Perspectives
HenselBenedikt (2018), Cult Centralization in the Persian Period: Biblical and Historical Perspectives, in Semitica, 60, 221-272.
Das JHWH-Heiligtum am Garizim: Ein archäologischer Befund und seine literar- und theologiegeschichtliche Einordnung
Hensel Benedikt (2018), Das JHWH-Heiligtum am Garizim: Ein archäologischer Befund und seine literar- und theologiegeschichtliche Einordnung, in Vetus Testamentum, 68(1), 73-93.
Die Priesterschrift als antike Historiographie. Quellen und Darstellungsweise der politischen und religiösen Geschichte der Levante in den priesterschriftlichen Erzelternerzählungen
SchmidKonrad (2018), Die Priesterschrift als antike Historiographie. Quellen und Darstellungsweise der politischen und religiösen Geschichte der Levante in den priesterschriftlichen Erzelternerzählungen, in Wöhrle Jakob, Brett Mark G. (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 93-111.
Editorial Introduction
RömerThomas, Ben-Dor EvianShirly (2018), Editorial Introduction, in Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, 18, vi-vii.
Feasting like Royalty in a Time of Famine: Reflections on the Meaning and Composition of the Feast in Gen 43:15–34
AltmannPeter (2018), Feasting like Royalty in a Time of Famine: Reflections on the Meaning and Composition of the Feast in Gen 43:15–34, in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 130, 349-363.
Jacob and the Aramaean Identity of Ancient Israel between the Judges and the Prophets
Sergi Omer (2018), Jacob and the Aramaean Identity of Ancient Israel between the Judges and the Prophets, in Wöhrle Jakob, Brett Mark G. (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 283-305.
Levitical Cities
Lee-SakYitzhak (2018), Levitical Cities, De Gruyter, Berlin.
Overcoming the Sub-Deuteronomism and Sub-Chronicism of Historiography in Biblical Studies: The Case of the Samaritans
SchmidKonrad (2018), Overcoming the Sub-Deuteronomism and Sub-Chronicism of Historiography in Biblical Studies: The Case of the Samaritans, in Kartveit Magnar, Knoppers Gary (ed.), De Gruyter, Berlin, 17-30.
Remembering and Reconstructing Abraham: Abraham’s Family and the Literary History of the Pentateuch
SchmidKonrad (2018), Remembering and Reconstructing Abraham: Abraham’s Family and the Literary History of the Pentateuch, in Bormann Lukas (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 9-31.
The Biblical Writings in the Late Eighth Century B.C.E.
SchmidKonrad (2018), The Biblical Writings in the Late Eighth Century B.C.E., in Farber Zev, Wright Jacob L. (ed.), SBL Press, Atlanta GA, 493-501.
The Kingdom of Geshur and the Expansion of Aram-Damascus into the Northern Jordan Valley: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives
Sergi Omer, Kleiman Assaf (2018), The Kingdom of Geshur and the Expansion of Aram-Damascus into the Northern Jordan Valley: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives, in Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 379, 1-18.
The Past and Future of Biblical Egyptology
Ben-Dor Evian Shirly (2018), The Past and Future of Biblical Egyptology, in Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections, 18, 1-11.
“Israel” in the Joseph Story (Gen 37–50)
Schmid Konrad (2017), “Israel” in the Joseph Story (Gen 37–50), in Lipschits Oded, Adams Matthew J., Gadot Yuval (ed.), Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake IN, 355-364.
A Corpus of North Israelite Texts in the Days of Jeroboam II?
Finkelstein Israel (2017), A Corpus of North Israelite Texts in the Days of Jeroboam II?, in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel, 262-289.
Abraham Traditions between Mamre and Jerusalem [Hebrew]
Lipschits Oded (2017), Abraham Traditions between Mamre and Jerusalem [Hebrew], in Beit Mikra, 62, 222-253.
Bethel Revisited
Lipschits Oded (2017), Bethel Revisited, in Lipschits Oded, Gadot Yuval, Adams Matthew J. (ed.), Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake IN, 233-246.
Cult Activity at Megiddo in the Iron Age: New Evidence and a Long-Term Perspective
Kleiman Assaf, Cohen Margaret E., Hall Erin, Homsher Robert S., Finkelstein Israel (2017), Cult Activity at Megiddo in the Iron Age: New Evidence and a Long-Term Perspective, in Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins, 133, 24-52.
Le lieu unique choisi par YHWH et la pluralité des temples dans l’idéologie deuteronomiste
Römer Thomas (2017), Le lieu unique choisi par YHWH et la pluralité des temples dans l’idéologie deuteronomiste, in Judaïsme Ancien – Ancient Judaism, 5, 1-22.
Le pectoral d’Aaron et la figure du grand prêtre dans les traditions sacerdotales du Pentateuque
Nihan Christophe (2017), Le pectoral d’Aaron et la figure du grand prêtre dans les traditions sacerdotales du Pentateuque, in Kotzé Gideon R., Jonker Louis C., Maier Christl M. (ed.), Brill, Leiden, 23-55.
Taming Egypt: The Impact of Persian Imperial Ideology and Politics on the Biblical Exodus Account
Schmid Konrad (2017), Taming Egypt: The Impact of Persian Imperial Ideology and Politics on the Biblical Exodus Account, in Schoonover Myles, Popović Mladen, Vandenberghe Marijn (ed.), Brill, Leiden, 13-29.
The Faunal Evidence from Early Roman Jerusalem: The People behind the Garbage
Spiciarich Abra, Gadot Yuval, Sapir-Hen Lidar (2017), The Faunal Evidence from Early Roman Jerusalem: The People behind the Garbage, in Tel Aviv, 44, 98-117.
The Pre-Priestly Abraham Narratives from Monarchic to Persian Times
Lipschits Oded, Römer Thomas, Gonzalez Hervé (2017), The Pre-Priestly Abraham Narratives from Monarchic to Persian Times, in Semitica, 59, 261-296.
Von Jakob zu Israel. Das antike Israel auf dem Weg zum Judentum im Spiegel der Fortschreibungsgeschichte der Jakobüberlieferungen der Genesis
Schmid Konrad (2017), Von Jakob zu Israel. Das antike Israel auf dem Weg zum Judentum im Spiegel der Fortschreibungsgeschichte der Jakobüberlieferungen der Genesis, in Grohmann Marianne (ed.), Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Neukirchen-Vluyn, 33-67.
The Gilead between Aram and Israel: Political Borders, Cultural Interaction and the Question of Jacob and the Israelite Identity
Sergi Omer (2016), The Gilead between Aram and Israel: Political Borders, Cultural Interaction and the Question of Jacob and the Israelite Identity, in Sergi Omer, Hulster Izaak J. de, Oeming Manfred (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 333-354.
A North-Israelite Royal Administrative System and its Impact on Late-Monarchic Judah
Kleiman Assaf, A North-Israelite Royal Administrative System and its Impact on Late-Monarchic Judah, in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel.
Abraham zwischen Mamre und Jerusalem
Lipschits Oded, Abraham zwischen Mamre und Jerusalem, in Brett Mark, Wöhrle Jakob (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
An Early Iron Age Hoard from Area Q
HallErin, An Early Iron Age Hoard from Area Q, in Finkelstein Israel, Adams Matthew J., Martin Mario A.S. (ed.), Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv.
Back to the Rise of Ancient Israel: The Question of Identity and State Formation
Sergi Omer, Back to the Rise of Ancient Israel: The Question of Identity and State Formation, in Sergi Omer, Koch Ido, Lipschits Oded (ed.), Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake IN.
Benjamin in Retrospective: Stages in the Creation of the Territory of the Benjamin Tribe (7th–5th Centuries BCE)
LipschitsOded, Benjamin in Retrospective: Stages in the Creation of the Territory of the Benjamin Tribe (7th–5th Centuries BCE), in Krause Joachim J., Weingart Kristin, Sergi Omer (ed.), SBL Press, Atlanta GA.
Beyond Hazor: Urban Durability, Political Instability, and Collective Memory in the Northern Jordan Valley at the Turn of the Second Millennium BCE
KleimanAssaf, Beyond Hazor: Urban Durability, Political Instability, and Collective Memory in the Northern Jordan Valley at the Turn of the Second Millennium BCE, in Sergi Omer, Lipschits Oded, Koch Ido (ed.), Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake IN.
Birds in Transition: Bird Exploitation in the Southern Levant During the Late Bronze Age, Iron Age I, and Iron Age II
SpiciarichAbra, Birds in Transition: Bird Exploitation in the Southern Levant During the Late Bronze Age, Iron Age I, and Iron Age II, in Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.
Can We Reconstruct the Formation of Ancient Israelite Identity?
Sergi Omer, Can We Reconstruct the Formation of Ancient Israelite Identity?, in Welt des Orients.
Chickens, Partridges, and the tor of Ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible
Altmann Peter, Spiciarich Abra, Chickens, Partridges, and the tor of Ancient Israel and the Hebrew Bible, in Ugarit-Forschungen, 50.
Debating Temple and Torah in the Second Temple Period: Theological and Political Aspects of the Final Redaction(s) of the Pentateuch
HenselBenedikt, Debating Temple and Torah in the Second Temple Period: Theological and Political Aspects of the Final Redaction(s) of the Pentateuch, in Schröter Jens, Witte Markus (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Die Bedeutung Samarias für die formative period der alttestamentlichen Theologie- und Literaturgeschichte
Hensel Benedikt, Die Bedeutung Samarias für die formative period der alttestamentlichen Theologie- und Literaturgeschichte, in Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, 32(1), 20-48.
Die Rezeption priesterschriftlicher Traditionen in den Zentralisationsvorschriften des Deuteronomiums
NihanChristophe, Die Rezeption priesterschriftlicher Traditionen in den Zentralisationsvorschriften des Deuteronomiums, in Berner Christoph, Samuel Harald (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Edom through the Ages. On the Development of a Positive Image of Edom in the Jacob Narrative (Gen 25–36*) and in Other Pentateuchal Traditions
HenselBenedikt, Edom through the Ages. On the Development of a Positive Image of Edom in the Jacob Narrative (Gen 25–36*) and in Other Pentateuchal Traditions, in Hensel Benedikt (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Food Taboos and Biblical Prohibitions: Reassesssing Archaeological and Literary Perspectives
Angelini Anna, Spiciarich Arba, Altmann Peter (ed.), Food Taboos and Biblical Prohibitions: Reassesssing Archaeological and Literary Perspectives, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Hoarding at Tel Megiddo in the Late Bronze and Iron Age I
HallErin, Hoarding at Tel Megiddo in the Late Bronze and Iron Age I, in Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.
Introduction: Recent Research on the Jacob Cycle
HenselBenedikt, Introduction: Recent Research on the Jacob Cycle, in Hensel Benedikt (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Invisible Kingdoms? Settlement Oscillations in the Northern Jordan Valley and State Formation in Southwestern Syria
Kleiman Assaf, Invisible Kingdoms? Settlement Oscillations in the Northern Jordan Valley and State Formation in Southwestern Syria, in Berlejung Angelika, Maeir Aren M. (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
J’s Problem with the East: Observations on the So-Called Yahwist Texts in Genesis 1–25, Followed by Literary Historical Conclusions
Hutzli Jürg, J’s Problem with the East: Observations on the So-Called Yahwist Texts in Genesis 1–25, Followed by Literary Historical Conclusions, in Jeon Jaeyoung (ed.), SBL Press, Atlanta GA.
Living Outside the Land that was Promised: Priestly Ideology in Numbers 32
DavisJordan, Living Outside the Land that was Promised: Priestly Ideology in Numbers 32, in Hutzli Jürg, Davis Jordan (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Materialkultur, Verwaltung und Wirtschaft in Juda während der Perserzeit und die Rolle des Jerusalemer Tempels
LipschitsOded, Materialkultur, Verwaltung und Wirtschaft in Juda während der Perserzeit und die Rolle des Jerusalemer Tempels, in Achenbach Reinhard (ed.), Ugarit-Verlag, Münster.
Priestly(-like) Texts in Samuel and Kings
HutzliJürg, Priestly(-like) Texts in Samuel and Kings, in Sergi Omer, Römer Thomas, Koch Ido (ed.), Peeters, Leuven.
Purity, Taboo and Food in Antiquity: Some Theoretical and Methodological Issues
AngeliniAnna, AltmannPeter, Purity, Taboo and Food in Antiquity: Some Theoretical and Methodological Issues, in Angelini Anna, Spiciarich Arba, Altmann Peter (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Remembering Edom in the Exilic and Post-Exilic Period: Social Memory and Imagination
Edelman Diana V., Hensel Benedikt, Ben Zvi Ehud (ed.), Remembering Edom in the Exilic and Post-Exilic Period: Social Memory and Imagination, Equinox, Sheffield.
Seir (Person and Place)
HenselBenedikt, Seir (Person and Place), De Gruyter, Berlin.
The End of Cult Places in 8th Century Judah. Cult Reform or de facto Centralization?
KleimanSabine, The End of Cult Places in 8th Century Judah. Cult Reform or de facto Centralization?, in Witte Markus, Kamlah Jens (ed.), Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden.
The Historical Location of "P": Language, Geography and Material Culture
Hutzli Jürg, Davis Jordan (ed.), The Historical Location of "P": Language, Geography and Material Culture, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
The Inscriptions of Mount Gerizim and P
Hutzli Jürg, The Inscriptions of Mount Gerizim and P, in Davis Jordan, Hutzli Jürg (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
The Iron Age Gates of Megiddo: New Evidence and Updated Interpretation
FinkelsteinIsrael, AdamsMatthew J., HallErin, LevyEythan, The Iron Age Gates of Megiddo: New Evidence and Updated Interpretation, in Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv.
The Iron IIB Gate Shrine at Lachish: An Alternative Interpretation
KleimanSabine, The Iron IIB Gate Shrine at Lachish: An Alternative Interpretation, in Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv, 47(1).
The Jacob Cycle (Genesis 25–35): Compilation, Redaction and the Reception of the Biblical Narrative and Its Historical and Cultural Contexts
Hensel Benedikt (ed.), The Jacob Cycle (Genesis 25–35): Compilation, Redaction and the Reception of the Biblical Narrative and Its Historical and Cultural Contexts, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
The Origins of P. Literary Profiles and Strata of the Priestly Texts in Genesis 1 – Exodus 40
HutzliJürg, The Origins of P. Literary Profiles and Strata of the Priestly Texts in Genesis 1 – Exodus 40, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
The Reception and Idealization of the Torah in the Letter of Aristeas: The Case of the Dietary Laws
AngeliniAnna, The Reception and Idealization of the Torah in the Letter of Aristeas: The Case of the Dietary Laws, in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel.
Tightening the Bonds between Edom and Israel (Gen 33:1–17*): On the Further Development of Edom’s Role within the Fortschreibung of the Jacob Cycle in the Exilic and Early Persian Periods
HenselBenedikt, Tightening the Bonds between Edom and Israel (Gen 33:1–17*): On the Further Development of Edom’s Role within the Fortschreibung of the Jacob Cycle in the Exilic and Early Persian Periods, in Vetus Testamentum.
To Eat or Not to Eat: Studies on the Biblical Dietary Prohibitions
Altmann Peter, Angelini Anna, To Eat or Not to Eat: Studies on the Biblical Dietary Prohibitions, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible: State of the Field, Desiderata and Research Perspectives in a Necessary Debate on the Formative Period of Judaism(s)
HenselBenedikt, Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible: State of the Field, Desiderata and Research Perspectives in a Necessary Debate on the Formative Period of Judaism(s), in Hensel Benedikt, Adamczewski Bartosz, Nocquet Dany (ed.), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.
Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible: Tracing Perspectives of Group Identity from Judah, Samaria, and the Diaspora in Biblical Traditions
Adamczewski Bartosz, Hensel Benedikt, Nocquet Dany (ed.), Yahwistic Diversity and the Hebrew Bible: Tracing Perspectives of Group Identity from Judah, Samaria, and the Diaspora in Biblical Traditions, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University Israel (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
137746 Kommentar zu Genesis 12-50 (IEKAT / IECOT) 01.11.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)
194014 Food Taboo's and Biblical Prohibitions: Reassessing Archaeological and Literary Perspectives 01.03.2020 Open Access Books
189860 Banned Birds: The Birds of Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 01.09.2019 Open Access Books
153269 Vom Zion zum Sinai? Das literatur- und traditionsgeschichtliche Verhältnis der Gottesbergüberlieferungen im Alten Testament 01.09.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
131124 Die Diasporatheologie der JosephsgeschichteStudien zu ihrer historischen und theologischen Einordnung und ihrer Bedeutung für die Pentateuchforschung 01.06.2011 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The Pentateuch is one of the most important and most intensively researched bodies of literature in the Western world, and its impact on history, literature, art, philosophy, culture, and religion is tremendous. Critical analysis of the Pentateuch arose in the 17th century and has made significant progress to the present day. However, all the manuscripts we have postdate the composition of the Pentateuch by several centuries, and the earliest evidence at our disposal occurs in the Dead Sea Scrolls. This situation presents a considerable challenge for reconstructing the history of the Pentateuch, largely obscuring the time, place, and authorship of its various texts.This project strives to develop new methodological approaches to this problem by combining literary and archaeological / historical approaches. It brings together the expertise of leading scholars in the fields of Pentateuchal studies, archaeology, history, and historical geography, comprising three subprojects: Subproject A (responsible: Konrad Schmid): The Cultural and Historical World behind Genesis 25-50; Subproject B (responsible: Thomas Römer): The Historical Geography of Priestly Document and of the Priestly Literature in the Book of Numbers; and Subproject C (responsible: Christophe Nihan): Sanctuaries, Cult, and Ritual in Ancient Israel and Ancient Judah. The research in the subprojects will be co-directed under the joint supervision of a Pentateuchal scholar (from Lausanne or Zurich) and an archaeologist (from Tel Aviv; see the organization chart) and will be conducted by two doctoral students / post-docs (depending on the applications for the position). The three research groups will meet twice a year-once in Switzerland, once in Israel. The project will be opened by a starting conference, and a concluding conference will present the results to the scholarly community. The volumes resulting from these conferences will include evaluative pieces by the project leaders, assessing and synthesizing the project’s outcome, which will be published in an internationally renowned and accessible book series.Switzerland’s biblical studies faculties in Lausanne and Zurich provide excellent expertise and resources for the study of the Pentateuch, but there is no research group active in the field of archaeology, history, and historical geography of ancient Israel in Switzerland. Therefore, this Sinergia project proposal includes scholars from Tel Aviv University, a world-leading center in these disciplines with close connections to its Swiss partners.
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