Volume 1

Ancient Hebrew Literature Beyond “The Bible”

Volume Editor, James Nati

For the earliest Jewish readers and writers, there was no “Bible.” Instead the literature from this period constitutes a surprisingly broad spectrum of sacred texts from Genesis and the Books of Enoch to hundreds of different Psalms attributed to David but often not found in modern Bibles. If the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls along with decades of new research has proven that “Bible” is a misleading anachronism for the Second Temple period, can we create a new and better picture of Christianity and Judaism’s earliest known religious literature?

Issue 1 (Spring 2021): Towards a New Map of Second Temple Literature: Revelation, Rewriting, and Genre Before the Bible.

Molly Zahn proposes ways to develop more useful, evidence-based new categories for the earliest Hebrew literature, based on her new book, Genres of Rewriting in Second Temple Judaism: Scribal Composition & Transmission (Cambridge University Press, 2020).


Elena Dugan on mapping Second Temple Literature at the intersection of apocalypses and manuscripts and new ways of imagining textuality in the Second Temple period and beyond.

Nathan Mastnjak on how the prophetic literature helps us define scripture before “the Bible.”

Eva Mroczek on using ancient theories of literary production to remap Second Temple literature.

Issue 2 (Fall 2021) What is Scripture? Are canonical texts inevitable, or can our relationship with sacred writing form multiple patterns?

David Lambert lays out this question based on his forthcoming Is Bible Scripture? Reassembling the Biblical in Ancient Judaism and Beyond.

Responses from:

John Barton

Laura Carlson Hasler

Chontel Syfox