Mroczek’s book explores how Jews read their texts before the concepts of the “book” and the “Bible” came to shape their interpretations. Refocusing on the literary, her book provides a fresh prospective on these well-known sources, encouraging a different scholarly approach. As she explains:
Using familiar sources, such as the Psalms, the Book of Ben Sira (Sirach), and the Book of Jubilees, it tells an unfamiliar story about sacred writing not yet contained in a particular and unified Bible. In the minds of ancient Jewish writers, written revelation took fundamentally different shapes: as a wildly varied imagined repertoire stretching back to the dawn of time, only partially accessible, yet with new discoveries always around the corner. The study shows how even our most basic concepts–like “Bible” and “book”–are historically contingent and culturally particular.
Hear more from Mroczek about her book in the podcast below from the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan.
Eva Mroczek is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis. She received her PhD from the DSR in 2012 and was supervised by Hindy Najman.