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Products>Hermeneia: Jubilees: A Commentary in Two Volumes (Herm)

Hermeneia: Jubilees: A Commentary in Two Volumes (Herm)

ISBN: 9780800660352

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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.

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Key Features

  • Provides thorough introduction to Jubilees
  • Includes section-by-section commentary
  • Offers critical and historical commentary to the Bible with discussion of each interpretive problem

Top Highlights

“Allf are evil and there is no peace during the days of that evil generation.” (Page 670)

“in 1 Enoch 6, where they decide on their own to leave heaven in order to mate with women” (Page 50)

“and that the one not desire harm for his brotherb but onlyc love for one another” (Page 937)

“Fora all have acted wickedly; every mouth speaks what is sinful” (Page 670)

“from the fifth/fourth centuries bce to the first century ce” (Page 25)

Praise for the Print Edition

James C. VanderKam’s masterful commentary on the Book of Jubilees is a landmark achievement. It has all the qualities we hope for in a scholarly commentary–and much more. The sheer learning is stunning. The research is painstaking. The coverage of the secondary literature is exhaustive and balanced. The textual analysis is careful and perceptive. And not least, the writing is cogent, accessible and jargon-free. Certain to become the standard reference-work, VanderKam’s commentary is a fitting tribute to a scholar who has devoted a lifetime of study to one of the most fascinating, challenging, and influential documents from Judaism of the Second Temple period.

—William Adler, NC State University

James C. VanderKam has studied the Book of Jubilees for more than forty years, beginning with his dissertation at Harvard. He has edited the Ethiopic text and the Hebrew fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls. No scholar has ever been so well qualified to write a commentary on this major document of Judaism between the Bible and the Mishnah. This magisterial volume is simply the most thorough and most authoritative commentary on Jubilees ever written.

—John J. Collins, Yale Divinity School

James C. VanderKam has been at the forefront of scholarship on Jubilees for four decades, and throughout that time has produced sophisticated tools and erudite studies that have paved the way for all others in the field. His new comprehensive commentary is the culmination of these efforts, combining his earlier body of research with fresh insights, interacting with other scholars’ work on Jubilees, and analyzing every aspect of the book, from textual discussion of words and phrases to broader questions regarding the book as a whole. The fields of biblical and postbiblical studies, Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient Judaism and early Christianity, have been in need of this kind of commentary for some time, and VanderKam has provided one that will serve as a foundation for all subsequent scholarship on the book.

—Michael Segal, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Product Details

James C. VanderKam is John A. O’Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame. He has edited twelve volumes in the series Discoveries in the Judaean Desert and is a member of the editorial committee for the remaining unpublished Dead Sea scrolls. He is one of the two editors in chief of the Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2000) and author of the prize-winning The Dead Sea Scrolls Today (1994), From Revelation to Canon: Studies in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature (2000), An Introduction to Early Judaism (2001), The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2002), and From Joshua to Caiaphas: High Priests after the Exile (Fortress Press, 2004). Prof. VanderKam is the editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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Digital list price: $79.99
Save $16.00 (20%)