Page 22 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 51

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During his extremely productive career,
H a ran has dea lt with varied aspects o f biblical and Juda ic
studies. H aran has regu la r recourse to p re-m odern Jewish and
Christian scholarship as well as to Greek and Latin sources in
study ing realia. A pp rop r ia te to his position as Yehezkel
Kaufmann Professor o f Bible Studies, Haran has devoted n u ­
merous articles to the phenom ena o f the Israelite cult, such
as the sanctuary, the ten t o f meeting, prayer, the activity o f
the Priestly school and the relation betwedn P and Ezekiel.
H aran may be considered a reconstructed Kaufmannian, who
challenges K aufmann’s claim tha t Israelite religion was mono­
th e is tic f rom its b e g in n in g s ; a n d K a u fm a n n ’s q u a s i­
fundamentalist readings o f Joshua-Judges. Some o f H a ran ’s cul-
tic research is encapsulated in
Temples and Temple-Service in An­
cient Israel
(Oxford, 1978), which was rep r in ted with revisions
in 1985. In the past ten years H a ran ’s literary-critical researches
have led him into the realia o f ancient writing. In his own words,
“Study o f the History and transmission o f biblical litera tu re must
take into account the actual circumstances o f scribal activity in
biblical times.”13He has been exam ining the scribal, paleograph-
ical conditions un d e r which biblical books came into being and
the tangible form these books took du r ing the ages. He has
also been exam ining the realia o f writing, scribal education, lit­
eracy and the mechanics o f book production . One especially
suggestive conclusion o f H a ran ’s recent research is tha t the shift
in the early Second Tem p le period from the use o f cheap pa­
pyrus as a writing material to the more durab le and expensive
parchm en t indicates activity associated with canonization.
Hurvitz’s work centers on the history and d e ­
velopment o f the Hebrew language in the biblical and post-
biblical period. Hurvitz combines linguistic study with literary
criticism to classify genres and to date biblical literature . In n u ­
merous articles, Hurvitz’s particu lar emphasis has been the
study o f late biblical Hebrew (LBH) and especially the P(riestly)
source o f the Pentateuch. O f special interest in this rega rd is
the book,
Linguistic Study of the Relationship between the Priestly
Source and the Book of Ezekiel
(Paris, 1982). At the hea r t o f
Hurvitz’s method is atten tion to two methodological principles
requ ired in linguistic diachronic analysis: 1) linguistic distribu-
Journal of Jewish Studies
32 (1982), 161.