Chapter

The Persian Period

David M. Carr

in The Formation of the Hebrew Bible

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199742608
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918737 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742608.003.0008
The Persian Period

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Once again, this chapter opens with a historical survey of the Persian period (including brief treatment of the order of Ezra and Nehemiah) and discussion of the question of broader Persian sponsorship for restoration of returnee community. Next comes a survey of texts likely dated to this period, from the Nehemiah Memoir and Rebuilding-Ezra narrative to early portions of Haggai and Zechariah, to Psalm 107 (in its present form) and the poetry of Job. This leads into discussion of the formation of the P/Non-P Hexateuch through combination of P and non-P traditions (possibly supported in some way by Persian governmental authorization) and the rise of a “Pentateuch” to prominence by the end of the period. Though the probability of other Persian-period reshaping of yet other biblical traditions is affirmed, questions are raised in the conclusion about their extent (especially given the limited scale of the scribal apparatus at the time) and identifiability (given the fact that they are modelled on and molded into older materials).

Keywords: Ezra; Nehemiah; Job; Persian period; Psalm 107; Pentateuch; Hexateuch; governmental authorization

Chapter.  12025 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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