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Series:

Jonathan Vroom

methodology for identifying when written law came to be treated as a source of binding obligation in early Judaism; interpretation is the key. The fact that the interpretation of binding norms looks different from the interpretation of other kinds of normative statements is intuitive. For example, we treat a

Series:

Jonathan Vroom

of the rule of law can provide a clear and productive methodology. 2 The Rule of Law and Legal Interpretation The concept of the rule of law is essential for our goal of identifying the interpretive reasoning that is applied to binding directives. In its most basic form, the rule of law is the notion

Series:

Jonathan Vroom

—are just one type of norm. 65 Although LeFebvre frames his methodology according to this prescriptive-descriptive dichotomy, he does in fact show an awareness of the multivalent nature of normativity, since his ‘descriptive’ function for law includes ‘precedential’ and ‘didactic’ functions. 66 Framing his

Series:

Jonathan Vroom

achieves the status of binding law, then any interpretive engagement with that text will be primarily concerned with these challenges. This chapter is divided into three main sections. First, I address two methodological issues that affect my analysis of the penal codes: their literary relationship and

Series:

Jonathan Vroom

methodology is focused on methods of interpretation—what the scribes did with the text—rather than motives for interpretation—why scribes did what they did with the text. She clearly places more weight on methods rather than motives. Zahn’s emphasis reflects this general tendency in much scholarship. 51 While

The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism

Tracing the Origins of Legal Obligation from Ezra to Qumran

Series:

Jonathan Vroom

In 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.

Series:

Jonathan Vroom

to any long-term text that possesses practical authority. This ideal is important for my methodology because the rule of law is comprised of eight essential requirements that govern the manner in which law is interpreted. When a long-duration text is viewed as the source of binding obligation, its

Series:

Jonathan Vroom

, however, argues that TS was not a sectarian product because TS differs too greatly from the halakhic methodology found in CD and the Community Rule, and lacks the polemically charged language that characterizes all known sectarian literature. 9 Schiffman’s arguments seem the most persuasive. The change