The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism: Tracing the Origins of Legal Obligation from Ezra to Qumran
Leiden: Brill, 2018 pp. xi + 251. $114.00
Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, 187
Description: 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.
Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, History, Ancient Near Eastern History, Persian Period, History of Judaism, Social-Scientific Approaches
Review by Phillip Michael Lasater
Citation: Phillip Michael Lasater, review of Jonathan Vroom, The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism: Tracing the Origins of Legal Obligation from Ezra to Qumran, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).
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