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The Hebrew Bible is only part of ancient Israel’s writings. Another collection of Jewish works has survived from late- and post-biblical times, a great library that bears witness to the rich spiritual life of Jews in that period. This library consists of the most varied sorts of texts: apocalyptic visions and prophecies, folktales and legends, collections of wise sayings, laws and rules of conduct, commentaries on Scripture, ancient prayers, and much, much more.
While specialists have studied individual texts or subsections of this vast library, Outside the Bible seeks for the first time to bring together all the major components into a single collection, gathering portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the biblical Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, and the writings of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus.
The editors have brought together these diverse works in order to highlight what has often been neglected; their common Jewish background. For this reason the commentaries that accompany the texts devote special attention to references to Hebrew Scripture and to issues of halakhah (Jewish law), their allusions to motifs and themes known from later Rabbinic writings in Talmud and Midrash, their evocation of recent or distant events in Jewish history, and their references to other texts in this collection.
The work of more than seventy contributing experts in a range of fields, Outside the Bible offers new insights into the development of Judaism and Early Christianity. This three-volume set of translations, introductions, and detailed commentaries is a must-have for scholars, students, and anyone interested in this great body of ancient Jewish writings.
The collection includes a general introduction and opening essays, new and revised translations, and detailed introductions, commentaries, and notes that place each text in its historical and cultural context. A timeline of the Second Temple Period, two appendixes (Books of the Bible; Second Temple Literature), and a general subject index complete the set.
LOUIS H. FELDMAN (1926–2017) was Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literature Emeritus at Yeshiva University, where he taught since 1955. Feldman’s many publications include Josephus and Modern Scholarship; Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World; and Josephus’s Interpretation of the Bible. A leading scholar of ancient Judaism and Hellenistic culture, Feldman is associate editor of Classical Weekly, managing editor of Classical World, and former editor of Hellenistic Literature for the Encyclopedia Judaica.
JAMES L. KUGEL is professor of Bible at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and the former Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature at Harvard University. Kugel specializes in the Hebrew Bible, the history of biblical exegesis, and the study of ancient Judaism. His many books include How to Read the Bible; The God of Old; and The Bible as It Was.
LAWRENCE H. SCHIFFMAN is professor of Judaic studies and vice provost of undergraduate education at Yeshiva University. Schiffman is former chair of New York University’s Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies and Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Schiffman is a leading scholar of ancient Judaism with special interest in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In addition to his many publications, he is the coeditor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls and editor of The Dead Sea Scrolls: Fifty Years after Their Discovery.
The Contributors: Patricia Ahearne-Kroll, Gary A. Anderson, Joseph L. Angel, Kenneth Atkinson, Harold W. Attridge, David E. Aune , John M. Barclay, Bezalel Bar-Kochva, Albert I. Baumgarten, Adam H. Becker, Ellen Birnbaum , Peder Borgen, Miryam T. Brand, George J. Brooke, Silvia Castelli, Esther G. Chazon, Naomi G. Cohen, John J. Collins, Sidnie White Crawford, David A. deSilva, Devorah Dimant, Lorenzo DiTommaso, Jean Duhaime, Peter Enns, Esther Eshel, Hanan Eshel, Daniel K. Falk, Louis H. Feldman, Michael V. Fox, Steven D. Fraade, David M. Goldenberg, Andrew D. Gross, Erich S. Gruen, Betsy Halpern-Amaru , Angela Kim Harkins, David M. Hay, Matthias Henze, Karina Martin Hogan, Howard Jacobson, Sara Japhet, Alex P. Jassen, Sara Raup Johnson, James L. Kugel, Alexander Kulik, Armin Lange, Matthew J. Morgenstern, Gohar Muradyan, George W. E. Nickelsburg, Maren R. Niehoff , Bilhah Nitzan, Sarah Judith Pearce, Annette Yoshiko Reed, David T. Runia, Lawrence H. Schiffman, Eileen Schuller, Daniel R. Schwartz, Michael Segal, Paul Spilsbury , Gregory E. Sterling, Michael E. Stone, Loren Theo Stuckenbruck, Michael D. Swartz, Aram Topchyan, Pablo Torijano, Emanuel Tov, Shani Berrin Tzoref, Pieter W. van der Horst, Walter T. Wilson, Benjamin G. Wright III, Miriam Zangi, and Yevgeniy Y. Zingerman .