Biblical Law

In this class we will study the concept of biblical law from a number of perspectives. Centering the primary sources, we will first explore the three major “law codes” found in the Pentateuch and discuss issues around their origins, including but not limited to their literary relationships to other biblical and Mesopotamian legal texts, their relationship to practiced law in the ancient Middle East, their literary/narrative contexts, and their relationship to scribal culture. In the latter half of this class we will turn to issues of law in the Second Temple period. We will examine the questions about the influence of Torah on legal texts at Qumran and on legal thought in this period more broadly.

Biblical Law Syllabus – Fall 2020