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An Introduction to Biblical Law
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An Introduction to Biblical Law


Eerdmans 2017

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Gathering Interest


In this book William Morrow surveys four major law collections in Exodus–Deuteronomy and shows how they each enabled the people of Israel to create and sustain a community of faith.

Treating biblical law as dynamic systems of thought facilitating ancient Israel’s efforts at self-definition, Morrow describes four different social contexts that gave rise to biblical law: Israel at the holy mountain (the Ten Commandments); Israel in the village assembly (Exodus 20:22–23:19); Israel in the courts of the Lord (priestly and holiness rules in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers); and Israel in the city (Deuteronomy).

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Features informed, accessible textbook on law collections in the Pentateuch
  • Includes discussion of controversial subjects such as slavery, revenge, gender inequality, religious intolerance, and contradictions between bodies of biblical law
  • Helps students and other serious readers make sense out of texts in the Pentateuch that are often seen as obscure


  • Thinking about Biblical Law
    • Introduction: Water from Sinai
    • The Laws in Scripture: Dates and Origins
    • Biblical Law: Mosaic or a Mosaic?
    • Approaches to the Law: Text and Context
  • Israel at the Holy Mountain
    • The Ten Commandments: Introduction
    • The Second Commandment: Revealing the Nature of God
    • Further Reading: The Decalogue
  • Israel in the Village Assembly
    • The Covenant Code: Introduction
    • Restoration or Revenge? The Case of the Goring Ox
    • The Bible and Slavery: Humanitarian Concerns
    • Further Reading: The Covenant Code
  • Israel in the Courts of the Lord
    • Priestly and Holiness Law: Introduction
    • The Tabernacle: A Palace in the Wilderness
    • Sacrifice: Communication and Community-Making
    • Gift Offerings: Commitment and Belonging
    • Hazards of the Holy Life 1: Debt Offerings
    • Hazards of the Holy Life 2: Food, Death, Sex, and Birth
    • The Holiness Code: Crops, Tattoos, and Loving Your Neighbor
    • Jubilee: Utopia or Practicality?
    • Further Reading: Priestly and Holiness Writings
  • Israel in the City
    • Deuteronomy: Introduction
    • Covenant Theology and Religious Intolerance: Israel and the Canaanites
    • Revolution: Centralization of the Cult
    • Justice at the Gates: Capital Crimes and Judicial Reform
    • The Limits of Social Solidarity: Women in Deuteronomic Law
    • Further Reading: Deuteronomy

Praise for the Print Edition

It is hard to imagine a clearer or more accessible introduction to biblical law. This is the product of a mature voice that offers a significant bridge between careful scholarship and theologically engaged readers. An impressive achievement.

—Bernard M. Levinson, University of Minnesota

William Morrow’s Introduction to Biblical Law is the book that we have needed in this field. It summarizes the major law collections, covers the key interpretive methods used, and discusses contemporary applications. It is significant that this resource incorporates theological considerations, including New Testament parallels. Such content, along with the clear writing and lack of arcane language, means that Morrow’s book can be used in congregational settings as well as academic ones. I am certainly looking forward to using it in my classes.

—Cheryl B. Anderson, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Morrow is an outstanding biblical scholar and ideally suited to write this book. It’s accessible and insightful, and it doesn’t shy away from difficult scholarly or interpretive issues. While many people prefer the stories of the Pentateuch, Morrow demonstrates how fascinating and compelling the ‘water from Sinai’ (read the intro!) can be.

—Bruce Wells, Saint Joseph’s University

Product Details

  • Title: An Introduction to Biblical Law
  • Author: William S. Morrow
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Pages: 286
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: History and Culture

About William S. Morrow

William S. Morrow is professor of Hebrew and Hebrew Scriptures at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. His previous books include Protest against God: The Eclipse of a Biblical Tradition.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition