Nazirites appear in a number of sources relevant to Judaism of the late Second Temple period. This book surveys the pertinent evidence and assesses what it reveals regarding the role of the Nazirite within Judaism of the late Second Temple and early Christian era.
The survey is arranged according to three primary sections: “Direct Evidence for Nazirites”; “Possible and Tangential Evidence for Nazirites”; and a final section, “Making Sense of the Evidence.” It concludes by arguing that the role of the Nazirite portrayed in sources was that of a religious devotee, and concomitant with biblical law, Nazirite devotion typically involved flexibility, personal freedom of expression, and adaptation to outside cultural norms.
Those interested in the Nazirite vow as portrayed in the New Testament and other relevant sources will find this study useful, as will those interested in Bible translation and interpretation in late Second Temple and early rabbinic literature.
Stuart Chepey, D.Phil. 2004, in Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, is an instructor of religion at Richland College, as well as The Parish Episcopal School, in Dallas, Texas.
"I welcome Chepey’s book, it is useful and stimulating. His characterization of the Nazirites is well-grounded and convincing. Stuart Chepey has presented us with an important study of a fascinating aspect of personal Jewish piety in the Second Temple period that has now finally
found appropriate attention."
Jürgen Zangenberg, University of Leiden
Students, scholars, and educated laymen, especially those interested in Luke's portrayal of Paul in the New Testament and the use of rabbinic literature as evidence for Jewish practice in the late Second Temple era.