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.
Re-Imagining Abraham: A Re-Assessment of the Influence of Deuteronomism in Genesis Megan Warner revisits the tradition that Genesis was edited by editors sympathetic to the theology of the Deuteronomist. On the basis of close, contextual readings of the four passages most commonly attributed to (semi-)Deuteronomistic hands, Warner argues that editorial use of Deuteronomistic language and themes points not to a sympathy with Deuteronomistic theology but rather to a sustained project to review and even subvert that theology. Warner’s ‘re-imagining’ of Abraham demonstrates how Israel’s forebear was ‘re-imagined’ in the post-exilic context for the purpose of offering the returning exiles a way forward at a time when all the old certainties, and even continued relationship with Yahweh, seemed lost.
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The Book of Exodus: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Exodus. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, including the history of Exodus in critical study, Exodus in literary and historical study, as well as the function of Exodus in the Pentateuch. The second section contains commentary on or interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Exodus, as well as essays on its formation, genres, and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Exodus in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores the theologies of the book of Exodus.
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.