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Vanderbilt University

1. Christian, Mark Alan. Levites and the Plenary Reception of Revelation.

Degree: PhD, Religion, 2011, Vanderbilt University

This project offers comprehensive theory to explain the origin of certain Pentateuchal passages that though few in number contrast sharply with the dominant traditions regarding the divine revelation at Mt. Sinai/Horeb. In the exegetical analyses of the germane passages, literary-historical and redactional models have been brought to bear and situated within the current international Pentateuchal debate. The research has both confirmed problems with wide-ranging redactional models and affirmed their necessity in explaining complex interweaving of contrasting viewpoints. Traditional notions of Pentateuchal authorship have left unsolved literary and literary-historical problems, especially with respect to the developmental stages apparent in the book of Deuteronomy, a text of critical importance for this study. This dissertation has explored the connections between the prophetically linked tradition of the Plenary Reception of Revelation (PRR; Israelites received direct, unmediated revelation from God as a community) and non-elite levitical priest-prophets based outside of urban centers. The research has shown that they supported this tradition and negotiated with elite priestly supporters of the dominant tradition (the Israelite community did not receive direct but rather mediated divine revelation) in behalf of its survival among the received tradition. In addition to literary analyses, the application of social (including archaeological), political, and legal theories have revealed a close working relationship between these Levites and lay leaders. Through their involvement in the making of Israelite literature, Levites saw to the inclusion of marginalized, âpopularâ traditions in the Hebrew Bible, which otherwise comprises a repository of traditions that affirms âofficialâ perspectives. I have found the following âpopularâ traditions advocated by the Levites to be closely interconnected: the PRR, positive and perhaps repeated experiences of direct encounter with the divine, an expansive notion of Israelite sanctification, and a pronounced openness to alien integration. My research has provided a window through which both the scholars and general readers of the Hebrew Bible can better view the contributions of local, non-elite priests and their lay constituents to the culture and religion of ancient Israel. Advisors/Committee Members: Douglas A. Knight (chair), Jack M. Sasson (committee member), Annalisa Azzoni (committee member), Robert Drews (committee member).

Subjects/Keywords: H; P; priestly code; torot; torah; theocratic; theocracy; redaction; redactional; priest; prophet; prophecy; priestly; elohist; Israel; Israelite priesthood; Israelite cult; priest-prophet; lay priests; quasi-priest; Verschriftung; Bearbeitung; Isaiah; Nehemiah; Leviticus; Holiness Code; Foucault; openness to the other; alien; theology; sociopolitical; political; theophany; Sinai; Horeb; Kings; sovereign; mountain of god; Yhwh; Elohim; Yahweh; Jhwh; Jesus; kumr; kmr; PRR; Phoenicia; Mesopotamia; Egypt; Persia; Persian period; Achaemenid; Achaemenid period; Neo-Babylonian; translate; translator; priestly power that empowers; reading tobit backwards and forwards; in search of halakhah; revisiting levitical authorship; hexateuch; pentateuch; enneateuch; decalogue; ten commandments; Aaron; aaronide; Zadok; zadokite; Moses; Mosegestalt; Josiah; Hezekiah; David; purity; impurity; sacerdotal; sacral; law; legal; instruction; residential cities; urban; rural; elite; Bethel; Jerusalem; Ezra; Isaiah; Deutero-Isaiah; Third Isaiah; Chronicles; Chronicler; corpus propheticum; ideology; HexRed; PentRed; School of Hexateuch redaction; School of HexRed; Deuteronomy; Deuteronomistic History; preexile; preexilic; exile; exilic; postexilic; Hellenistic; LXX; septuagint; targum; rabbi; rabbinic; priestly authorship; mosaic office; mosaic institution; covenant code; Deuteronomic code; law code; post-P; post-dtr; dtrD; Moab covenant; Horeb covenant; Sinai covenant; exodus; hebrew; greek; aramaic; tradent; iron age; bronze age; tribe; tribal; Assyrian; Akkadian; Sumerian; ancient near east; near eastern; Elephantine; kemarim; oral law; orality; Hosea; Judges; Ezekiel; Ezek 44; Exod 19; Isa 56; Jeremiah; Baruch; religious functionaries; cultic personnel; priestly personnel; foreign; contaminate; Auseinandersetzung; elders; female prophets; female prophecy; prophetess; priestess; village; Judah; yehud; judahite; northern Israel; administrative cities; northern kingdom; southern kingdom; Zion; psalms; psalter; Joshua; law of the king; D; liturgy; liturgical; enoch; fear; fear of the Lord; popular religion; official religion; middle-tier; middle-tier priests; Herrschaftswissen; levitism; Gattung; levitizing; levitisierung; Le jeu de persuasion; rhetoric; rhetorical persuasion; clergy; Samaritan Pentateuch; Zadokite-Levites; Aaronide-Levites; Book of Numbers; mediate; mediator; mediation; intermediary; Yahwistic; covenant renewal; diaspora; Offenbarung; benei yisrael; Landnahmeerzählung; Landnahme; Cultic competence; prophetic Competence; kingship; monarchy; Israelite monarchy; power network; high priest; socioreligious; centralization of the cult; mid-level priest; mid-level priests; second-level functionaries; second-level priest; residential cities; administrative cities; condensation of revelatory events; torah; torot

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Christian, M. A. (2011). Levites and the Plenary Reception of Revelation. (Doctoral Dissertation). Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from ;

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Christian, Mark Alan. “Levites and the Plenary Reception of Revelation.” 2011. Doctoral Dissertation, Vanderbilt University. Accessed February 20, 2020. ;.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Christian, Mark Alan. “Levites and the Plenary Reception of Revelation.” 2011. Web. 20 Feb 2020.


Christian MA. Levites and the Plenary Reception of Revelation. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. Vanderbilt University; 2011. [cited 2020 Feb 20]. Available from: ;.

Council of Science Editors:

Christian MA. Levites and the Plenary Reception of Revelation. [Doctoral Dissertation]. Vanderbilt University; 2011. Available from: ;