Scholars Forum: Murmuring against Moses

Book cover of Murmuring against Moses: the Contentious History and Contested Future of Pentateuchal Studies
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I would like to draw attention to an event that will be of interest to students and scholars in Biblical studies. This lecture will open up a range of topics in this field!

The University Core at Seton Hall will virtually host its second Scholars’ Forum in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (CIT) on March 29, 2023 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. (EDT) on TEAMS. Jeffrey Morrow will be presenting on his book, Murmuring against Moses: the Contentious History and Contested Future of Pentateuchal Studies (Emmaus Academic, 2023), which he co-authored with John Bergsma.

According to the publisher’s abstract, Dr. Morrow’s and Dr. Bergsma’s volume offers a shifting paradigm for Biblical studies. Their research outlines the history on Pentateuchal research and contests conventional approaches that view the Torah as a fragmentary, and often disconnected, collection of sources. Alternatively, the two scholars advance and reclaim academic positions that view the Pentateuch as a predominately cohesive collection of pre-exilic sources:

“For much of the history of both Judaism and Christianity, the Pentateuch—first five books of the Bible—was understood to be the unified work of a single inspired author: Moses. Yet the standard view in modern biblical scholarship contends that the Pentateuch is a composite text made up of fragments from diverse and even discrepant sources that originated centuries after the events it purports to describe. In Murmuring against Moses, John Bergsma and Jeffrey Morrow provide a critical narrative of the emergence of modern Pentateuchal studies and challenge the scholarly consensus by highlighting the weaknesses of the modern paradigms and mustering an array of new evidence for the Pentateuch’s antiquity. By shedding light on the past history of research and the present developments in the field, Bergsma and Morrow give fresh voice to a growing scholarly dissatisfaction with standard critical approaches and make an important contribution toward charting a more promising future for Pentateuchal studies.”

You can read more about the event, including how to join, here.

Jeffery Morrow, Ph.D. is Professor of Undergraduate Theology in Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST). He was named Researcher of the Year at ICSST in 2013, 2017 and 2022 and was a Visiting Scholar, Princeton Theological Seminary, 2015-2016. Morrow’s other books include Modern Biblical Criticism as a Tool of Statecraft (1700-1900), co-authored with Scott W. Hahn, (Emmaus Academic, 2020), and Alfred Loisy and Modern Biblical Studies (The Catholic University of America Press, 2019).

John Bergsma, Ph.D is Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.  He is the author of The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran (VTSup 115; Brill, 2007); A Catholic Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament (Ignatius, 2018), and Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Penguin Random House, 2019). His peer-reviewed scholarship on Old and New Testament topics and the Dead Sea Scrolls have appeared in the journals BiblicaCatholic Biblical QuarterlyDead Sea DiscoveriesJournal of Biblical Literature Vetus Testamentum, and in essay collections, festschrifts, dictionaries and encyclopedias published by Brill, Continuum/T&T Clark, Eerdmans, Eisenbrauns, Harrassowitz, Kohlhammer, Oxford, and Westminster/John Knox Press.

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