Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Hebrew Bible, history, Book of Mormon, tradition


Biblical scholar Margaret Barker has argued that Judaism was reformed initially in response to the discovery of the “book of the law” (2 Kings 22: 8; 2 Chronicles 34:14) in King Josiah’s time (reigned 640–609 B.C.) and later in response to the destruction of the Israelite monarchy and the experience of the exile. Those reforms were carried out by a priestly group known to scholars as the Deuteronomists, credited with editing the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (to celebrate Josiah and to address aspects of later Jewish history) and leaving a distinct imprint on the Hebrew Bible.