Description: [This is a two-volume set.] Jubilees—so called because of its concern with marking forty-nine-year periods (or "jubilees") in Israel's history—is an ancient rewriting of Genesis and the first part of Exodus from the point of view of an anonymous second-century BCE Jewish author. Its distinctive perspective-as well as its apparent popularity at Qumran-make it particularly important for any reconstruction of early Judaism. James C. VanderKam, the world's foremost authority on Jubilees, offers a new translation based on his own critical editions of all the available textual evidence, including the Hebrew fragments preserved at Qumran (which he first published in Discoveries in the Judean Desert, vol. 13), as well as the first full running commentary on the book in the English language. Jubilees approaches the book as a rewriting of scripture but also as a literary work in its own right. The commentary explains the text and the teachings of the author with comprehensive coverage of the modern scholarship devoted to them. The introduction sets the book in its second-century BCE context, traces its sources in the Bible and in other early Jewish texts, and describes its influence on Jewish and Christian writers.
Subjects: Bible, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Pseudepigrapha, Literature, Dead Sea Scrolls
Review by James Kugel
Citation: James Kugel, review of James C. VanderKam, Jubilees: A Commentary on the Book of Jubilees, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).
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