Haran, Menahem

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HARAN, MENAHEM (1924– ), Bible scholar. Haran was born in Soviet Russia, where his father had him secretly taught the Bible by a tutor. Brought by his family to Palestine in 1933, Haran grew up in Tel Aviv and served in the Israeli army during the War of Independence. He earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and, aside from visiting professorships in the United States and Europe, spent his entire academic career there. A student of Yehezkel *Kaufmann, much of Haran's work concentrates on biblical religion and cult, attempting to uncover the underlying conceptions of the Bible's detailed rituals. His studies of the cultic appurtenances, the cherubs, the ark, incense, and priestly garments compare the biblical material with the cultic realia of the larger ancient Near East. With Kaufmann, Haran dates the P(riestly) source of the Torah earlier than the d(euteronomic) source, but argues that p was made public at a later time. Against Kaufmann, Haran sees the e(lohistic) source as distinct, and views it as the inspiration of many of d's concepts. Haran believes that the four documentary sources identified by classical critics, j, e, p, and d extend beyond the Pentaetuch, through Joshua to Kings. Beginning in the 1980s Haran began to study the physical form of the Bible, including writing materials, scribal practices, and codicology. Yet another significant area of Haran's interest is study of canon and the process of canonization. His publications include Libraries in Antiquity (1996); The Biblical Collection (1996); and with M. Sæbǿ (eds.), Hebrew Bible/Old Testament … Interpretation (1996).


V.A. Hurowitz, in: M. Fox, V.A. Hurowitz et al. (eds.), Texts, Temples and Traditions … Tribute Haran (1996), 13–22. For Haran bibliography through 1995, see ibid, 23–35.

[S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)]