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Rewriting Scripture in Second Temple Times

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback

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The biblical manuscripts found at Qumran, contends Sidnie White Crawford, reflect a spectrum of text movement from authoritative scriptural traditions to completely new compositions. Treating six major groups of texts, she shows how differences in the texts result from a particular understanding of the work of the scribe, not merely to copy but also to interpret, update, and make relevant the Scripture for the contemporary Jewish community of the time. This scribal practice led to texts that were "rewritten" or "reworked" and considered no less important or accurate than the originals. Propounding a new theory of how these texts cohere as a group, Crawford offers an original and provocative work for readers interested in the Second Temple period.

Sidnie White Crawford is professor of Hebrew Bible and chair of the Classics and Religious Studies Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also the author of The Temple Scroll and Related Texts and past president of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0802847404
ISBN-13: 9780802847409
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description



The biblical manuscripts found at Qumran, contends Sidnie White Crawford, reflect a spectrum of text movement from authoritative scriptural traditions to completely new compositions. Treating six major groups of texts, she shows how differences in the texts result from a particular understanding of the work of the scribe -- not merely to copy but also to interpret, update, and make relevant the Scripture for the contemporary Jewish community of the time. Thisáscribal practice led to texts that were "rewritten" or "reworked" and considered no less important or accurate than the originals.

Propounding a new theory of how these texts cohere as a group, Crawford offers an original and provocative work for readers interested in the Second Temple period.

Editorial Reviews

Benjamin G. Wright
— Lehigh University
"In this book Sidnie White Crawford illuminates the variety of creative ways that Jews told and retold their scriptural stories. A leading scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, she brings erudition and clarity to the issue of how the Jewish scriptures were ’rewritten,' from harmonization and expansion at one end of the spectrum to brand-new compositions, some of which claim scriptural authority for themselves, at the other end. Rewriting Scripture in Second Temple Times offers new and fresh insights that are sure to change the shape of the debate. Specialists and nonspecialists alike will want to read this engaging study."

Emanuel Tov
— Hebrew University, Jerusalem
"This monograph contains a creative combination of instructive, innovative background material on the rewriting procedures and thorough text analyses. Very well written, the book is a must for all those interested in the history of Scripture exegesis, Qumran studies, and textual criticism."

Eugene Ulrich
— University of Notre Dame
"The Scriptures were still developing and their boundaries shifting until the early Christian era. Sidnie White Crawford, having edited scrolls of both biblical and debatably parabiblical status, is uniquely qualified as a guide to the compositions along that newly illumined but ill-defined border. She provides a balanced, judicious, and eminently readable account of how a spectrum of recently discovered ancient authors developed their traditional Scriptures."

Bibliotheca Orientalis
"An instructive and very stimulating discussion of procedures of rewriting' Scripture at Qumran."

Reviews in Religion & Theology
"This book would certainly appeal to students interested in literary and exegetical studies of the Hebrew Bible, as well as Qumran studies and the Second Temple Period. . . . A very interesting read!"
 
Society for Old Testament Study Booklist
"The format of the book, a well-written account, is consistently argued with a bibliography for each chapter, making this book a welcome addition to the series."
 
Interpretation
"This is a highly readable book that presents complicated textual observations of Dead Sea Scrolls study in impressively lucid terms."
 
Journal of Near Eastern Studies
"This volume is characterized by clarity in its presentation and judiciousness in engaging with the scholarly issues. . . . An indispensable resource for students and scholars interested in the history of the Hebrew Bible and ancient scriptural interpretation."
 

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