Department of Classics

David Lambert, U.T. Austin: “The Composition of the Torah in the Pseudepigraphic Imagination”

Mon, October 19, 2009 | Texas Union African-American Culture Room, UNB 4.110

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Modern theories of the Torah’s composition have been a mainstay of biblical studies since their inception. Less attention has been paid, however, to how the composition of the “Five Books of Moses” was viewed in early Jewish and Christian communities. Most scholars have assumed that adherents to Scriptural authority believed the Torah was dictated word for word to Moses at Sinai.  This paper considers another earlier perspective found in the Book of Jubilees and its implications for appreciating what is novel in the late antique approach to Scripture as a document susceptible to commentary and interpretation.

David Lambert is a scholar of Classical Judaism who specializes in the Hebrew Bible, its history of interpretation, and Second Temple Judaism.  He also has interests in early Christianity and rabbinic Judaism.  His book Before Repentance: How the Rise of Repentance Changed the Way the Bible is Read is forthcoming from Princeton University Press.

For more information on the Workshop on Late Antiquity, contact: Na’ama Pat-El, npatel(at)

Sponsored by: UT Late Antiquity Group

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