A JOURNEY THROUGH TORAH: A Critique of the Documentary Hypothesis

A JOURNEY THROUGH TORAH: A Critique of the Documentary Hypothesis
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    A JOURNEY THROUGH TORAH: A Critique of the Documentary Hypothesis

    by Ben Zion Katz

    Hardcover, 144 pages
    Urim Publications, 2012 
    ISBN: 978-965-524-088-7

    The Torah is the basis of all Judaism. In traditional Jewish thought, the Torah is considered to have been dictated by God to Moses, and the text of the Torah that we possess is considered to be a record of that revelation. It has been claimed that modern, critical biblical scholarship and traditional Judaism are irreconcilable. This book demonstrates that modern biblical scholarship is not as scientific as its proponents make it out to be, while traditional Jewish exegesis is more critical than is commonly appreciated. A synthesis of the two approaches is presented in the concluding chapter.

    About the Author:
    Ben Zion Katz is a Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and is an Attending Physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. He is the author of over 50 original medical publications as well as many book chapters and editorials on medical matters. He has taught for the Florence Melton Adult Jewish Education Program of Hebrew University, the Dawn Schuman Institute for Jewish Learning and Limmud Chicago, and published articles of Jewish interest in Tradition, Jewish Bible Quarterly and Bekhol Derakhekha Daehu (Journal of Torah and Scholarship). He lives in the Chicago area with his wife and three daughters.

    Praise for A Journey Through Torah:
    "Ben Katz has written a refreshing new approach to biblical scholarship, one that shows that the differences between classical Jewish Bible commentary and modern critical approaches to the Bible are not as unbridgeable as many still seem to think. In his well-argued view, the Documentary Hypothesis is not as foolproof as once thought, and the classical Jewish commentators are not the fundamentalists many continue to believe them to be. In other words, their differing approaches can often complement one another, which is what Dr. Katz does so deftly."
    - David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies University of Toronto

    "The author feels that, in light of modern scholarship, 'the strictly traditional approach' especially as it has come to be espoused in our times, is no longer tenable" (p. 129). However, "there is a middle-ground approach within Jewish tradition for a critical approach" that "a serious, yet open-minded person of faith" can accept (p. 130). Jewish tradition has been able to accommodate ideas about the age of the world and evolution through the creative and judicious use of traditional source material, and Ben Zion Katz believes that this can likewise apply to the findings of academic biblical scholarship. This is a well researched and thoughtful book, which takes an unflinching look at a very serious matter facing traditional Jews today. Even if one does not agree with the author's conclusions, it is necessary to open up a discussion of this issue and endeavor to reach some sort of modus vivendi with it for intellectually honest traditional Jews. This book is heartily recommended, and Urim Publications must be commended for publishing this unique, daring, and very much needed work."
    - Rabbi Dr. Simcha Rosenberg, The Jewish Bible Quarterly