The Deed and the Doer in the Bible: David Daube's Gifford Lectures, Volume 1

David Daube is not well known or much acknowledged in the United States, even among scripture scholars. In Britain, however, he is recognized as a world-class scholar. Daube, who died in 1999 after a distinguished career at Oxford and the University of Cali fornia–Berkeley, was a rare combination of a legal scholar who relentlessly thinks like a lawyer and a Jew who is at home in traditional Jewish textual methods and who gives sustained attention to both the biblical text and the derivative rabbinic tradition. His capacity to find freshness in the texts he reads makes considerable demands upon his readers. Indeed, for those who are accustomed to scanning or reading for a summary, Daube’s patient teasing of texts will seem tedious and excessively attentive to detail. But it is in the details that he finds the important learnings; he is like a lawyer reading the fine print.

 

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