Numeri-Tagung: Torah in the Book of Numbers


Conference "Torah in the Book of Numbers"

Time:   April 12th–13th, 2011
Place:   Ruhr-University Bochum, Veranstaltungszentrum, Saal 1


Prof. Dr. Christian Frevel (Chairperson)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Pola
Prof. Dr. Aaron Schart
Kirsten Schäfers (conference assistant)


Kirsten Schäfers (conference assistant)


Flyer of the conference with schedule, map, hotel information, and more


Goal of the conference

While Numbers, the Fourth Book of Moses, has gained a mere peripheral interest in Pentateuchal discussions for quite a long time, the need for a redefinition of the role of this book has currently become more apparent. Contrary to the longtime underestimation, the so called priestly and post-priestly texts in the Book of Numbers play a decisive role in the formation processes of the Pentateuch. The invigorated debate has triggered new questions as, for instance, the literary connection of the non-priestly texts with the narrative thread in the Book of Exodus, the endpoint of the Priestly Narrative at Mount Sinai or beyond, or the relation between the legal material in the Book of Numbers and the priestly laws in the Books of Exodus and Leviticus. While there is a growing consensus that the Book of Numbers has incorporated very late material, the redactional processes forming the Book of Numbers as part of the Pentateuch are still debated.

The international conference “Torah in the Book of Numbers” brings together the expertise of scholars committed to the indicated field of research. The forum offered by the conference will in this way facilitate discussion and advancement of partly dissenting positions. The papers will each focus on case studies which are related to main issues of the Pentateuchal debate: The priestly texts in the Book of Numbers, the priestly laws and their relation to the legal texts in the Book of Leviticus and the Book of Deuteronomy. These reexaminations of inner redactional processes in the Book of Numbers are committed to the main interest of the conference, which is to understand the Book of Numbers within the formation of the Pentateuch as Torah. With this fresh approach the conference aims at giving new stimuli for the recent exegetical discussion on the Pentateuch.

Presentations of the conference

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
“Egypt Nostalgia” and the Formation of the Book of Numbers
Prof. Dr. Thomas Römer (Lausanne/Paris)

The Priestly Story of the Korah Rebellion – A New Proposal
Prof. Dr. Baruch J. Schwartz (Jerusalem)

Source Stratification, Secondary Additions, and the Documentary Hypothesis in the Book of Numbers. The Case of Numbers 17
Prof. Dr. Joel Baden (Yale)

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Numbers 32: The Problem of the Two and a Half Tribes and the Last Composition of the Book of Numbers
Prof. Dr. Olivier Artus (Paris)

Complementary Reading of the Torah in the Priestly Texts of Numbers 15
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Achenbach (Münster)

The Priestly Laws of Numbers and the Holiness Legislation – A Reassessment
Prof. Dr. Christophe Nihan (Lausanne)

Priestly Laws in Numbers – Providing Continuity in the Main Drama of Israel's Missing Its Aim
Prof. em. Dr. Horst Seebass (Bonn)

The Book of Numbers Read in a Horizon of a Postexilic Fortschreibung in the Book of Deuteronomy
Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. Eckart Otto (München)


Flyer of the conference

Poster of the conference


The speakers of the conference

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Achenbach

Prof. Dr. Olivier Artus

Prof. Dr. Joel Baden

Prof. Dr. Christophe Nihan

Prof. em. Dr. Dr. h.c. Eckart Otto

Prof. Dr. Thomas Römer

Prof. Dr. Baruch J. Schwartz

Prof. em. Dr. Horst Seebass