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The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity

In Canon, Eva MROCZEK, Hebrew Bible, Oxford University Press, Scribal culture, Second Temple, Shelby Bennet on December 11, 2019 at 11:56 pm

9780190279837

2019.12.17 | Eva Mroczek. The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. pp xi+269. ISBN: 9780190886080.

Review by Shelby Bennett, Trinity Western University.

Eva Mroczek makes a powerful contribution to re-thinking a central concept in Judaism and Christianity: “canon.” She explores and challenges the role and purpose of those who composed sacred texts that fall both inside and outside the covers of modern biblical collections. The book places the reader in the Second Temple period’s literary culture and illuminates a world teeming with scripture, but without a Bible.

The first chapter introduces a dominant theme of the book: the impact of a post-printing press “book” culture on our understanding of the Jewish literary culture that produced the Old Testament and Hebrew Bible. Mroczek argues that anachronistic concepts of canon and “book” still shape biblical scholarship today despite awareness of the issue. Read the rest of this entry »