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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 172 Reviews THE PEOPLE CALLED: THE GROWTH OF COMMUNITY IN THE BIBLE. By Paul D. Hanson. Pp. 564. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986. Cloth/Paper. The task Hanson sets for himself is to explain the contribution that biblical theology makes to understanding the notion of community. His ultimate purpose is practical since he sees his effort as "an invitation to learn from the style of God's people in the biblical era how a community of faith might constitute itself in our own day ..." (p. 529). He writes from the perspective of a Christian who holds the Bible to be nonnative for the faith and life of the Church. His treatment includes not only books of the Hebrew Bible but also intertestamental and NT texts since he wishes to shed light "on the lines of continuity extending from the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism on into Christianity ..." (p. 383). The title of the book derives from the author's conclusion that the Yahwistic notion of community was the product of "divine initiative and human response" (p. 3). Thus the community of faith is made up of people called from bondage to freedom. This call furnishes the people called with a new identity based on a bond with the God of righteousness and compassion . The people's response to all this is worship. The author repeatedly calls the reader's attention to what he tenns "the triadic notion of community ": righteousness, compassion, and worship. The approach that Hanson takes is historical and theological. He begins with the Exodus because he believes that it marks the birth of the Yahwistic notion of community. In his discussion of this and the subsequent periods of Israelite and Judahite history, Hanson reproduces prevailing scholarly opinions. For example, he accepts the documentary hypothesis, dates J to the time of Solomon, and sees Deuteronomy as a vehicle of northern prophetic tradition compiled by the Levites. Its discovery led to the 10sianic refonn. In his discussion of the postexilic period, he repeats the positions regarding tensions between the pragmatic and the visionary ideas of community that he expounded in his The Dawn ofApocalyptic. His real contribution in this book is his integration of all this data in a way that contemporary communities of faith can fmd illuminating. It is easy to find fault with a book that encompasses so much material. Lacunae are inevitable. For example, Hanson ignores the importance of ancient Near Eastern literature and religion for ancient Israel's life. Second , his focus is entirely on literary material. He makes no effort to see how the archaeological record may infonn his discussion of community. A Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 173 Reviews more serious problem is Hanson's inclination to regard the early fonns the Israelite community as nonnative for all later periods. He sees the diversity within the Jewish community during the post-exilic period as a problem rather than as a sign of theological maturity and creativity. The most serious drawback for the reader is Hanson's ponderous style of writing. Simpler, more straightforward rhetoric would help the reader appreciate the value of this basically very fme effort to help believers today understand the biblical idea of community. It would also shorten the length of the book and make its price more reasonable. Leslie J. Hoppe Catholic Theological Union Chicago, IL 60615 THE FUNCTION AND USE OF THE IMPERFECT FORMS WITH NUN PARAGOGICUM IN CLASSICAL HEBREW. By Jacob Hoftijzer. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 21. pp. 144. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1985. Paper. This monograph is intended to illustrate the author's approach to the analysis of the ancient Hebrew language. It consists of citations of the particular verbal forms being studied according to specific syntactical environments. These are grouped logically and presented in transcription. Such a catalogue of examples may prove useful to others, whether they agree with Hoftijzer's basic assumptions or not. The research was limited to a specific kind of verbal fonn, namely, that with nun paragogicum. These are mainly 3mp, ylqt:lll1n, and 2mp, tlqt:lll1n, with a few 2fs fonns, tlqt:lITn. There are 304 such forms in the Hebrew Bible as against more than 6600 forms without the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 172-173
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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