The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran

A History of Interpretation


The observation of the Jubilee Year 2000 by many Christian groups worldwide generated renewed interest in the theological, historical, and socio-economic aspects of the biblical jubilee. This book begins with an analysis of the historical origins of the jubilee institution in ancient Israel, and then traces the reinterpretation of the jubilee and the text of Leviticus 25 through the Old Testament, the Second Temple literature, and the Qumran documents. It demonstrates that, with the passage of time, the socio-economic implementation of the jubilee is increasingly de-emphasized in favor of an eschatological interpretation, in which the jubilee itself functions as a type of the final age, and cycles of jubilee years are employed to calculate when this age will arrive.
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Biographical Note

John S. Bergsma, Ph.D. (2004) in Theology, University of Notre Dame (Indiana) is Assistant Professor of Theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio). His scholarship has appeared in Vetus Testamentum, Biblica, JBL, Dead Sea Discoveries, and other journals.


Biblical scholars, especially specialists in biblical law, Pentateuchal source criticism, the Holiness Code, Ezekiel, Second Temple eschatology and chronology, Qumran studies, and biblical intertextuality generally.

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