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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Poverty, Law, and Divine Justice in Persian and Hellenistic Judah
Ro, Johannes Unsok

Atlanta: SBL Press, 2018 pp. xv + 300. $38.95

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Description: Johannes Unsok Ro employs philological, historical, and sociological approaches to investigate the close connections between socioeconomic structures, social inequality, and theological developments in the Judean communities in Persian- and Hellenistic-era Palestine. Ro contends that competing points of view from communities of lay returnees, priestly returnees, and communities of resident Judeans and Samaritans were juxtaposed within the Hebrew Bible, which took shape during the postexilic period. By exploring issues such as the relationship between the shaping of the canon and literacy in the Judean community, the term strangers in the biblical law codes, the socioeconomic structures of Judean communities reflected in the biblical law codes, the development of the theological concept of divine punitive justice, the piety of the poor in certain psalms, and the concept of poverty in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ro illustrates that the communities behind each text and its redactions can be ascertained through sociological and theological lenses.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Persian Period, History of Judaism, Form, Tradition and Redaction Criticism, Social-Scientific Approaches, Dead Sea Scrolls

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Review by Brandon R. Grafius
Published 7/4/2019
Citation: Brandon R. Grafius, review of Johannes Unsok Ro, Poverty, Law, and Divine Justice in Persian and Hellenistic Judah, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


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