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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity
Najman, Hindy

Leiden: Brill, 2010 pp. xxii + 278. $154.00

Series Information
Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, 53

Description: How did ancient Jewish authors claim authority for their interpretations? How, after the “end of prophecy”, could they claim the authority of revelation? Whom did one have to be, or aspire to be, in order to merit authority? Hindy Najman addresses these questions through close readings of ancient Jewish texts, e.g., Ezra-Nehemiah, Philo of Alexandria, 4Ezra, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Jubilees. In Seconding Sinai (Brill, 2003), Najman reconceived pseudepigraphy, developing the idea of a Mosaic discourse that comprised a series of ancient texts attributed to Moses. Here she develops the broader notion of a discourse tied to a founder, situating practices of pseudepigraphy and authoritative interpretation within a variety of ways of seeking perfection in ancient Judaism.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Historical Books, Ezra, Nehemiah, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, Old Testament Apocrypha, 2 Esdras (4 Ezra), Literature

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Review by Marius Nel
Published 10/4/2011
Citation: Marius Nel, review of Hindy Najman, Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2011).

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