The essays in
Sacred Texts and Disparate Interpretations cover an array of core themes from various areas of Qumran studies, including textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple history, philology, paleography, Wisdom and religious poetry.
Contributors to this volume generally consider these themes from a historical perspective, trying to find new solutions to old questions and entering in constructive dialogue with the opinions of other scholars. Paleographic investigations, textual criticism as well as literary and philological approaches make this volume a valuable contribution to the variegated and often highly specialized directions of inquiry into the contents and historical background of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.
The Origins of Midrash
: From Teaching to Text, Paul Mandel presents a comprehensive study of the words
midrash from the Bible until the early rabbinic periods (3rd century CE). In contrast to current understandings in which the words are identified with modes of analysis of the biblical text, Mandel claims that they refer to instruction in law and not to an interpretation of text.
Mandel traces the use of these words as they are associated with the scribe (
doresh ha-torah in the Dead Sea scrolls, the “exegetes of the laws” in the writings of Josephus and the rabbinic “sage” (
ḥakham), showing the development of the uses of
midrash as a form of instruction throughout these periods.