Transforming Literature into Scripture examines how the early textual traditions of ancient Israel - stories, laws, and rituals - were transformed into sacred writings. By comparing evidence from two key collections from antiquity - the royal library at Nineveh and the biblical manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls - the book traces the stabilisation of textual traditions in the ancient Near East towards fixed literary prototypes. The study presents a new methodology which enables the quantification, categorisation and statistical analysis of texts from different languages, writing systems, and media. The methodology is tested on wide range of text genres from the cuneiform and biblical traditions in order to determine which texts tend towards stabilised forms. Transforming Literature into Scripture reveals how authoritative literary collections metamorphosed into fixed ritualised texts and will be of interest to scholars across Biblical, Judaic and Literary Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Authoritative texts in the Hebrew and Cuneiform traditions 2. Formulating a new comparative approach 3. Choosing the right texts 4. Study One: Enuma Anu Enlil Tablet 63 5. Study Two: Mul.Apin 6. Study Three: The Laws of Hammurabi 7. Study Four: Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh 8. Study Five: Mis Pi 9. Study Six: Manuscripts of Pentateuchal texts from near the Dead Sea 10. Interpreting the Evidence Notes Bibliography Index
Russell Hobson is an Honorary Associate in the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies at the University of Sydney.