"Likely to be the standard work on this subject for years to come,
and to contribute to one of the most important debates in the
history of the Jewish people, on the very nature of Israel and the
--James R. Russell, Harvard University
"The modern biblical interpreter...faces a daunting task in
trying to unravel the intentions of the Torah's authors. S. does
not retreat from the challenge."
"An excellent and provocative read . . . challenges the reader
to rethink previously held suppositions concerning biblical
--Carl S. Ehrlich, York University
Is the Torah true? Do the five books of Moses provide an
accurate historical account of the people of ancient Israel's
In The Original Torah, S. David Sperling argues that, while
there is no archeological evidence to support much of the activity
chronicled in the Torah, a historical reality exists there if we
know how to seek it.
By noting the use of foreign words or mentions of technological
innovations scholars can often pinpoint the date and place in which
a text was written. Sperling examines the stories of the Torah
against their historical and geographic backgrounds and arrives at
a new conclusion: the tales of the Torah were originally composed
as allegories whose purpose was distinctly and intentionally
The book illustrates how the authors of the Pentateuch advanced
their political and religious agenda by attributing deeds of
historical figures like Jeroboam and David to ancient allegorical
characters like Abraham and Jacob. If "Abraham" had made peace with
Philistines, for example, then David could rely on a precedent to
do likewise. The OriginalTorah provides a new interpretive key to
the foundational document of both Judaism and Christianity.
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