Thursday, 5 February 2015
Judaism, the First Phase: the Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism,
Joseph Blenkinsopp, Eerdmans, 2009, page 160
Blenkinsopp starts the next chapter, about Ezra and Nehemiah as Ideological oints of Reference, with the assertion:
The book Ezra-Nehemiah was put together to promote a particular understanding of Israel, the agenda of a particular party and an ideology imported from the Babylonian diaspora which drew its insiration primarily from certain aspects of Deuteronomic theory and the "law of the temple" in Ezekiel 40-48.
Benkinsopp discusses whether Ezra and Nehemiah were partners or rivals. Some scholars suggest that the book of Ezra was written after Nehemiah and placed before the Nehemiah narrative to try and establish priestly precedent.
Neverthesless, Blenkinsopp does ask some pertinant questions:
Did Ezra and Nehemiah continue to function as reference points during the following centuries? What became of their program? To what extent was it successful?
These are questions, Blenkinsopp argues, which can and should be asked.