This volume is a concentrated examination of the varied roles of scribes and scribal practices in ancient Israel and Judah, shedding light on the social world of the Hebrew Bible. Divided into discussion of three key aspects, the book begins by assessing praxis and materiality, looking at the tools and materials used by scribes, where they came from and how they worked in specific contexts. The contributors then move to observe the power and status of scribal cultures, and how scribes functioned within their broader social world. Finally, the volume offers perspectives that examine ideological issues at play in both antiquity and the modern context(s) of biblical scholarship. Taken together, these essays demonstrate that no text is produced in a void, and no writer functions without a network of resources.
[E]ach of these essays contributes important insights on the ways that ancient scribes created their identity through the practice of their art. * Horizons: Journal of the College Theological Society * The volume will be useful to readers interested in philosophical, postmodern, and social-historical perspectives on the status and social environments of scribes in ancient Israel. * Journal for the Study of the Old Testament * With this volume, Mark Leuchter has assembled an excellent group of scholars. Together, they exhibit a diverse array of approaches to scribalism in the ancient Levant. The essays presented here situate the scribal praxes that initiated and shaped the biblical texts within their larger ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean contexts; they provide new and compelling models for understanding the formation and generic conventions of these texts; and they reflect on various receptions these texts have experienced over the course of their transmission. These essays invite the reader to contemplate the enduring legacy of Israelite scribal location and practice, and to ruminate on the assorted and pluriform modes of expression with which those ancient scribes imbued their writings. This collection of essays should not be missed. * JEREMY M. HUTTON, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA * This collection of ten essays brings together a variety of different voices on a topic of recent interest in the field of biblical studies: the scribal background of the Hebrew Bible. The various authors utilize a range of methods and evidence incorporating epigraphy and material culture, comparative data, philology and exegesis in order to reconstruct ancient scribal culture. Alongside this, contributors are attentive to the dynamics of social and cultural criticisms that are often neglected in the reconstruction of ancient scribalism. As such, this is a particularly timely, innovative and substantive contribution to an important area of developing research. * LAURA QUICK, University of Oxford, UK * This brilliant volume encourages Biblical scholars to move some of the attention away from the quest for "original text" and also consider the hands who copied the texts. By taking into consideration different historical eras, social contexts, locations, and approaches to the texts, and by addressing materials, medias, status of scribes, their training, transmission processes, and relationship between oral and written texts, the authors of this volume offer a new and complete understanding of the production of the Biblical texts. * HANNA TERVANOTKO, McMaster University, Canada *