Introduction: The Basic Thesis and Background
This introduction provides an overview to the comparative study of the Covenant Code and Mesopotamian law, particularly the Laws of Hammurabi. It provides a summary of the argument of the book and contrasts the views of other recent academic studies, including those of Eckart Otto, Raymond Westbrook, Ludger Schwienhort-Schönberger, Ralf Rothenbusch, and Bernard Jackson. It also discusses methodological questions and problems arising in the comparative study of Near Eastern law, including similarities as proof of literary borrowing and the "hermaneutics of legal innovation" (as pioneered by Bernard Levinson) or compositional logic of the text.
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