The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, Vroom identifies a development in the authority of written law that took place in early Judaism. Ever since Assyriologists began to recognize that the Mesopotamian law collections did not function as law codes do today—as a source of binding obligation—scholars have grappled with the question of when the Pentateuchal legal corpora came to be treated as legally binding. Vroom draws from legal theory to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of legal authority, and develops a methodology for identifying instances in which legal texts were treated as binding law by ancient interpreters. This method is applied to a selection of legal-interpretive texts: Ezra-Nehemiah, Temple Scroll, the Qumran rule texts, and the Samaritan Pentateuch.
The discovery of the Babatha archive provided scholars with unique opportunities for reconstructing the life of Jews in second-century Arabia. Although legal issues and especially the question of the relationship between Roman and local law have received attention in a number of publications, this study presents the first complete overview of the legal situation as presented in the Babatha as well as the Salome Komaise archive, using references to law in the documents' texts as the key element for understanding what law is applicable to these documents. By distinguishing between two levels in the papyri, of substantive and of formal law, a new understanding is reached of the part both Roman and local law played in legal reality.