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Inventing God's LawHow the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi$
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David P. Wright

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304756

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304756.001.0001

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Opportunity and Date for the Use of Hammurabi’s and Other Cuneiform Laws

Opportunity and Date for the Use of Hammurabi’s and Other Cuneiform Laws

(p.91) 4 Opportunity and Date for the Use of Hammurabi’s and Other Cuneiform Laws
Inventing God's Law

David P. Wright (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the inadequacy of other theories for explaining the similarities between the Covenant Code and the Laws of Hammurabi, including coincidence, the use of common scribal techniques, oral tradition, oral transmission of Hammurabi's text, and the use of an unknown mediating Northwest Semitic/Canaanite text. The chapter outlines in detail the evidence for placing the composition of the Covenant Code in the Neo-Assyrian period, between 740–640 BCE and the opportunity for the use of Hammurabi's Laws. It also discusses the wide attestation of the Laws of Hammurabi as a canonical-scribal text in the Neo-Assyrian period. It discusses the Covenant Code's occasional use of laws from other cuneiform law collections and the attestation of these other collections.

Keywords:   oral tradition, Akkadian, Laws of Hammurabi, texts and attestation, Neo-Assyrian period, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Deuteronomy, Middle Assyrian Laws, Laws of Eshnunna, Hittite Laws, redaction history

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