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Title: The use of Torah in Ezra-Nehemiah
Author: Hepburn, Iain C.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2010
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The manner in which Torah is understood alters the manner in which the use of it is determined. This biblical „law‟ has traditionally been understood to prescribe legal remedies and obligations for the cases it treats. However, this prescriptive understanding is increasingly seen as an anachronistic caricature in need of revision. Current alternative proposals based upon an indicative model are still fundamentally legal in nature. Considering the implications derived from the relational character of narrative and covenant this thesis postulates that a similar underpinning of Torah would be feasible. It is in this context that the thesis attempts to examine an example of use to determine the nature of Torah. As a snapshot of a particular time and context the Yehud example of Ezra-Nehemiah was chosen on the basis of the prescriptive association and the consequential difficulties the texts offer. Indeed, the complications derived from adopting the more legalistic approach usually results in questions being raised over the reliability of the text. In particular, the conflict in matching Ezra 9-10 and the genuine use of a legalistic Torah has given rise to much scholarship intent on identifying the alternative events behind the text. Assumptions on the required manipulation of the material and the genuine reasons motivating the religious leader are variously offered at the expense of the consequently unreliable text. In contrast, the relational approach allows for a genuine Torah basis to the text, which effectively removes the need for creative explanations. In addition, the relational approach also provides a greater correlation between the Ezra and Nehemiah text with an emphasis on the empowerment of a community with direct access to the Torah. It is on this basis that this thesis concludes that the use of the Torah in Ezra-Nehemiah indicates that the text should be understood as relational.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Jewish law