Signs of Sin
Seriousness of Offence in Biblical Law
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 312
What makes one crime more serious than another, and why? This book investigates the problem of "seriousness of offence" in English law from the comparative perspective of biblical law. Burnside takes a semiotic approach to show how biblical conceptions of seriousness are synthesised and communicated through various descriptive and performative registers. Seven case studies show that biblical law discriminates between the seriousness of different offences and between the relative seriousness of the same offence when committed by different people or when performed in different ways. Recurring elements include location and the offender's social statue. The closing chapter considers some of the implications for the current debate about crime and punishment.
"There are several very positive aspects to The Signs of Sin. The cultural gap between the modern and biblical world is often recognized, but few have sought to tease out the implications for the study of OT law as Burnside does...The Signs of Sin is a fine study of an important topic...more advanced students and others interested in biblical law or passages discussed in depth will find plenty to stimulate reflection." -Themelios, 30/2 * Themelios *