• Todd Hanneken deposited Jubilees on Humanities Commons 1 year, 8 months ago

    For length, coherence, and antiquity, Jubilees is one of the most significant works of early Jewish literature. It represents a major stage in Jewish history, as Jerusalem emerged from a crisis of confrontation with Hellenistic culture and empire. Jubilees finds a plan for Jewish identity in the interpretation of the traditional books. At the same time, Jubilees solves problems in Genesis and Exodus, particularly when God or national heroes appear in unflattering light. Jubilees reconstructs the heavenly tablets that dictate God’s perfect justice and the proper behavior for God’s people. Even as most of Judaism and Christianity went on to reject the claim of revelation and many of the teachings, the same basic tools of narrative and legal exegesis continued to thrive. Through those Jews who did accept the heavenly tablets as presented therein, the book would go on to be copied, cited, rewritten, and interpreted as scripture. Jubilees is therefore essential to understanding the communities that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. The study of Jubilees can also give us broader insight into the formation of group identity, including early Christianity, based on claims of revelation, biblical interpretation, and legal innovation.