In "From Epic to Canon," Frank Moore Cross discusses specific
issues that illuminate central questions about the Hebrew Bible and
those who created and preserved it. He challenges the persistent
attempt to read Protestant theological polemic against law into
ancient Israel. Cross uncovers the continuities between the
institutions of kinship and of covenant, which he describes as
"extended kinship." He examines the social structures of ancient
Israel and reveals that beneath its later social and cultural
accretions, the concept of covenant--as opposed to codified
law--was a vital part of Israel's earliest institutions. He then
draws parallels between the expression of kinship and covenant
among the Israelites and that practiced by other ancient societies,
as well as in primitive societies.
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