Biblical law has had a profound influence on Western culture, but it must be understood in its historical context. It arose in the context of the tradition of Mesopotamian law, where scribes exhibited their flair for justice by writing statutes on a repertoire of traditional cases, of which the most outstanding example is the Laws of Hammurabi. Rarely did legal texts explicitly discuss legal principles. Three collections of formal legal statutes are found in the Hebrew Bible. The Book of the Covenant is most like Mesopotamian law in dealing with disputes arising in an agrarian society. The priestly law consists of two sources, the priestly source that aims at protecting the welfare of the people by the performance of sacred rituals and the Holiness source that seeks to sanctify the everyday activities of the people. Deuteronomy aims at ritual and social reforms. Among the most debated issues in scholarship today is biblical law's view of women.
Religion Compass – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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