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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,
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
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
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.
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