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The Use of Deuteronomy 32:39 in Monotheistic Controversies in Rabbinic Literature

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Chapter Summary

The central theme of Deuteronomy can be stated in a single sentence: it is a call to the service of one God by an elect people centered around one sanctuary, through obedience to the law in the land which God has given. The belief in the one God is the central issue in the theology of Deuteronomy. The monotheistic statements of Deuteronomy are used by the monotheistic religions of Late Antiquity, Judaism and Christianity, to support their argument against those who did not believe in one God. This chapter concentrates on monotheistic texts of Deuteronomy, namely 32:39. Firstly, it discusses the form of Deut 32:39 in its literary context. Secondly, the chapter examines the Wirkungsgeschichte of this text in rabbinic literature. Due to the abundance of the material we confine ourselves to those texts in which one can identify some sort of controversy about the belief in one God.

Keywords: Christianity; Deuteronomy; God; Israel; Judaism; monotheistic texts; rabbinic literature

10.1163/9789004275775_016
/content/books/b9789004275775s016
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