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Law, Literature, and Society in Legal Texts from Qumran

Papers from the Ninth Meeting of the International Organisation for Qumran Studies, Leuven 2016

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Edited by Jutta Jokiranta and Molly Zahn

Reflecting the increasing recognition of the importance of legal texts and issues in early Judaism, the essays in this collection examine halakhic and rule texts found at Qumran in light of the latest scholarship on text production, social organization, and material culture in early Judaism. The contributors present new interpretations of long-lived topics, such as the sobriquet “seekers of the smooth things,” the Treatise of the Two Spirits, and 4QMMT, and take up new approaches to purity issues, the role of the maśkil, and the Temple Scroll. The volume exemplifies the range of ways in which the Qumran legal texts help illuminate early Jewish culture as a whole.
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Linda M.A. Stone

Linda Stone’s analysis of the anti-Jewish polemic present in three closely-linked twelfth-century Psalms glosses brings a new source to the study of medieval Christian-Jewish relations. She reveals how its presence, within the parva, media and magna glosses compiled respectively, by Anselm of Laon, Gilbert of Poitiers and Peter Lombard, illuminates the various societal challenges facing the twelfth-century Church. She shows that, rather than a twelfth-century phenomenon, using such anti-Jewish terminology in Christian Psalms exegesis was a long-standing reflection of Christianity’s ambivalence towards Judaism. Moreover, demonstrating how her analysis of anti-Jewish terminology unravelled the Psalm glosses’ textual relationships, she suggests that analysis of its presence in other glossed books of the Bible could offer a further resource for uncovering their complexities.
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Jennifer Andruska

For some time scholars have debated whether the Song of Songs has connections to the wisdom genre and how this changes our understanding of it. In Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs, Jennifer Andruska shows that the influence of the wisdom genre on the Song is pervasive, running throughout the book, and offers an entirely new understanding of the book’s wisdom message. She demonstrates that the Song has combined elements of the ancient Near Eastern love song and wisdom genres to produce a wisdom literature about romantic love, inspiring readers to pursue a particular type of love relationship, modelled by the lovers throughout the poem, and aiming to transform them, through character formation, into wise lovers themselves.
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Kanade, di Goldene Medine?

Perspectives on Canadian-Jewish Literature and Culture / Perspectives sur la littérature et la culture juives canadiennes

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Edited by Krzysztof Majer, Justyna Fruzińska, Józef Kwaterko and Norman Ravvin

Kanade, di Goldene Medine offers a broad study of its field, with equal attention to English- and French-language materials and contexts. The volume’s essays highlight the fundamental link between the culture and life of Canadian Jews and their Polish roots. This focus brings Yiddish to the fore, in essays focusing on the history of Canadian Yiddish literature, and the relevance of the language for contemporary Canadian Chasidic communities. However, essays in this volume also highlight the writings of contemporary authors, working both in French and English. Thus, the collection explores culture at the borderlands of three languages, with an eye for the link between New Worlds and Old.

Kanade, di Goldene Medine apporte une contribution importante à l’étude de la littérature et la culture juives canadiennes, tout en étant attentif aux textes et contextes anglophone et francophone ainsi qu’à l’univers particulier des juifs hassidiques de Montréal. Le volume tient également compte du lien fondamental entre la créativité des juifs canadiens et leurs racines est-européennes, en particulier polonaises, et de la présence de la langue yiddish − ou de son imaginaire − dans leurs textes sous forme de traduction ou autotraduction. Le lecteur pourra cerner dans ce livre des perspectives transversales qui mettent en relation des itinéraires multiples et diversifiés noués entre le Nouveau Monde et le Vieux.
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Naomi S.S. Jacobs

In Delicious Prose: Reading the Tale of Tobit with Food and Drink, Naomi S.S. Jacobs explores how the numerous references to food, drink, and their consumption within The Book of Tobit help tell its story, promote righteous deeds and encourage resistance against a hostile dominant culture. Jacobs’ commentary includes up-to-date analyses of issues of translation, text-criticism, source criticism, redaction criticism, and issues of class and gender. Jacobs situates Tobit within a wide range of ancient writings sacred to Jews and Christians as well as writings and customs from the Ancient Near East, Ugarit, Greece, Rome, including a treasure trove of information about ancient foodways and medicine.
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Converts in the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Gēr and Mutable Ethnicity

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Carmen Palmer

Converts in the Dead Sea Scrolls examines the meaning of the term gēr in the Dead Sea Scrolls. While often interpreted as a resident alien, this study of the term as it is employed within scriptural rewriting in the Dead Sea Scrolls concludes that the gēr is a Gentile convert to Judaism. Contrasting the gēr in the Dead Sea Scrolls against scriptural predecessors, Carmen Palmer finds that a conversion is possible by means of mutable ethnicity. Furthermore, mutable features of ethnicity in the sectarian movement affiliated with the Dead Sea Scrolls include shared kinship, connection to land, and common culture in the practice of circumcision. The sectarian movement is not as closed toward Gentiles as has been commonly considered.
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The Origins of the Canon of the Hebrew Bible

An Analysis of Josephus and 4 Ezra

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Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow

In The Origins of the Canon of the Hebrew Bible: An Analysis of Josephus and 4 Ezra, Juan Carlos Ossandón Widow examines the thorny question of when, how, and why the collection of twenty-four books that today is known as the Hebrew Bible was formed. He carefully studies the two earliest testimonies in this regard—Josephus’ Against Apion and 4 Ezra—and proposes that, along with the tendency to idealize the past, which leads to consider that divine revelation to Israel has ceased, an important reason to specify a collection of Scriptures at the end of the first century CE consisted in the need to defend the received tradition to counter those that accepted more books.
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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts

Christian Origins and the Establishment of the Early Jesus Movement explores the events, people, and writings surrounding the founding of the early Jesus movement in the mid to late first century. The essays are divided into four parts, focused upon the movement’s formation, the production of its early Gospels, description of the Jesus movement itself, and the Jewish mission and its literature. This collection of essays includes chapters by a global cast of scholars from a variety of methodological and critical viewpoints, and continues the important Early Christianity in its Hellenistic Context series.
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The Book of Jeremiah

Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

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Edited by Jack Lundbom, Craig A. Evans and Bradford Anderson

Written by leading experts in the field, The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Jeremiah. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, and helps situate Jeremiah in the scribal culture of the ancient world, as well as in relation to the Torah and the Hebrew Prophets. The second section contains commentary on and interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Jeremiah, as well as essays on its genres and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Jeremiah in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores various theological aspects of the book of Jeremiah.
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Edited by Benjamin Reynolds and Gabriele Boccaccini

The essays in Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic, and Divine Messiahs seek to interpret John’s Jesus as part of Second Temple Jewish messianic expectations. The Fourth Gospel is rarely considered part of the world of early Judaism. While many have noted John’s Jewishness, most have not understood John’s Messiah as a Jewish messiah.
The Johannine Jesus, who descends from heaven, is declared the Word made flesh, and claims oneness with the Father, is no less Jewish than other messiahs depicted in early Judaism. John’s Jesus is at home on the spectrum of early Judaism’s royal, prophetic, and divine messiahs