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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Scripture and Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Jassen, Alex

New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014 pp. xxii + 316. £65.00


Description: This book is the first work of its kind to examine legal exegesis in the Dead Sea Scrolls from the perspective of both the history of Jewish law and early Jewish scriptural interpretation. It shows how the Dead Sea Scrolls transform the meaning and application of biblical law to meet the needs of new historical and cultural settings. The Dead Sea Scrolls legal texts are examined through the comparative lens of law and legal interpretation in Second Temple Judaism and rabbinic Judaism. The creative interpretation of scriptural texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls responds to the tension between seemingly rigid authoritative scripture and the need for law and scripture to be perpetually evolving entities. The ongoing legal interpretation of scriptural texts frames the development of Jewish law at the same time as it shapes the nature of the biblical canon.

Subjects: Bible, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Dead Sea Scrolls, History of Interpretation

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Review by Ian Werrett
Published 9/22/2016
Citation: Ian Werrett, review of Alex Jassen, Scripture and Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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