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The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text Hardcover – 3 Jun 2014
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Coogan is interested in the commandments not only as an ancient text but as a living, social one, and enjoys grappling with the issues that surround them today as much as he does providing historical background. Legislators, particularly, should read this book, before they try to mount tablets on the courthouse steps. Nicholas Mancuso, "The Daily Beast"--Nicholas Mancuso "The Daily Beast ""
[An] engrossing and enlightening guide. Ray Olson, "Booklist"--Ray Olson "Booklist ""
"Coogan is interested in the commandments not only as an ancient text but as a living, social one, and enjoys grappling with the issues that surround them today as much as he does providing historical background. Legislators, particularly, should read this book, before they try to mount tablets on the courthouse steps."--Nicholas Mancuso, The Daily Beast--Nicholas Mancuso "The Daily Beast "
"[An] engrossing and enlightening guide."--Ray Olson, Booklist--Ray Olson "Booklist "
"Coogan offers a nice, concise history of the Ten Commandments, in which he shows the development of the text itself, drawing on earlier legal codes which appear to have influenced them. He takes the reader through the code itself, comparing and contrasting the three versions in the OT."--Paul Mueller, Religious Studies Review--Paul Mueller"Religious Studies Review" (03/01/2015)
About the Author
Michael Coogan is director of publications for the Harvard Semitic Museum, lecturer on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Harvard Divinity School, editor of The New Oxford Annotated Bible, and author of God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says. He lives in Concord, MA.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Ten Commandments: A Short History of an Ancient Text is written in a style that is both engaging and easy to understand even if you're not a Bible scholar yourself. Coogan begins his exploration with an anecdote about the 1956 film The Ten Commandments and the lawsuits that ensued as a result of promotional tablet monuments installed on government property. (In the end these displays were deemed legal because they were found to be more historical than religious in nature.) By describing this interesting event, the author succeeds in both drawing readers in and opening up a whole host of questions and discussion topics. Those looking for advanced details on Abraham should follow this text with Abraham in History and Tradition.
Books on Biblical studies can often be dry and technical, but this one hits the mark by mixing up historical analysis with questions that we, today, might be curious about. Like why are there only ten commandments? Which commandments are outdated? Should the commandments still be held in such high regard? Did the people who lived when they were recorded, follow them closely?
Great book for scholars *and average readers!
Professor Coogan has performed a deep service to our literary community. Insane religious and/or legal-judicial lunatics can no longer cling to this stone nonsense as rooted in Divine Theocratic Prophecy! Ancient Teacher-Scribe literary productions were a product of all too human 'human beings'!
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