Book review: ‘Authoring the Old Testament’ is insightful and spiritually edifying

By Micah Klug

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, July 12 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, July 11 2014 3:51 p.m. MDT

"AUTHORING THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis-Deuteronomy," by David Bokovoy, Greg Kofford Books, $26.95, 248 pages (nf)

“Authoring the Old Testament: Genesis-Deuteronomy” focuses on the authorship of the first five books in the Bible. Primarily written for readers with membership in or great familiarity with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, author David Bokovoy provides insightful evidences relating biblical scholarship and its relationship to Mormonism.

Bokovoy begins his focus on identifying authorship of the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Old Testament. Past arguments have been made to give credit to Moses in authoring Genesis through Deuteronomy. However, Bokovoy takes the reader on an academic pursuit to prove that others wrote, compiled and edited these books.

Doublets and inconsistencies that are encountered through the Pentateuch are discovered and discussed. Bokovoy examines four sources of Judean and Israelite thought and authorship. The four sources include the Elohist source, the Yahwist source, the Priestly source and the Deuteronomic source. Within these four and distinctly separate sources placed throughout the Pentateuch, Bokovoy examines each of the source's unique emphasis, literary style, view of God, historical focus, emphasized figure and religious focus.

Bokovoy presents to the LDS reader criticisms and edifying knowledge about the Pearl of Great Price and the Book of Mormon, in comparison to the Bible. “Authoring the Old Testament” provides the reader with a greater understanding and insight into the Old Testament, along with other LDS scriptures.

Bokovoy has a doctorate in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East from Brandeis University. He has published several articles in a variety of academic venues, including the Journal of Biblical Literature, Vetus Testamentum, and Studies in the Bible and Antiquity. He is currently an associate instructor at the Languages and Literature Department for the University of Utah.

Micah Klug graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently resides in Rexburg, Idaho.

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