Biblical Exegesis in Second Temple Literature (Bar Ilan)

Below are videos of the papers from the “Biblical Exegesis in Second Temple Literature” section of the conference “Biblical Exegesis through the Ages” at Bar-Ilan University on May 9, 2018.

דבורה דימנט (אוניברסיטת חיפה) ‘כתוב בספר’: ספרים ולוחות בספרות ארמית יהודית מימי הבית השני

Moshe J. Bernstein (Yeshiva University), “Reading the Genesis Apocryphon as Biblical Commentary”


Michael Segal (Hebrew University), “Early Biblical Exegesis in the Septuagint”


אסתי אשל (אוניברסיטת בר-אילן), “ושאלו להון ספרא וחכמתא וקושטא” :לימוד והעברת ידע במגילה החיצונית ובספרות קרובה

Lawrence H. Schiffman (New York University), “Biblical Exegesis in the Temple Scroll”

James Kugel (Bar-Ilan University), “The Legendization of Midrash in Second Temple Time”



Modern Biblical scholarship and traditional Jewish belief – James Kugel

Professor James Kugel (Harvard University) delivered one of the papers at the 2013 Limmud Conference, “Modern Biblical scholarship and traditional Jewish belief”.

Did Moses really write the Torah? Is there any archaeological evidence that the Exodus took place? Did the Israelites really conquer Canaan and settle there? Most biblical scholars in universities tend to answer all these questions with a ‘No.’ What then is a religious Jew to make of all this? A different way of approaching the question.

James Kugel: How to Read the Bible

Professor James Kugel (Harvard University) discusses Jewish interpretation of the Bible, in two lectures for the Eshkolot project, May 29-30, 2011.

Prof. of Literature James Kugel (Harvard) talks of how the Jewish tradition of textual interpretation evolved and how, in its, turn, it changed our understanding of the Bible.

Part 1:

Part 2:

A handout is available in Russian.

James Kugel: “Judaism: An Odd Sort of Religion of Laws”

James Kugel delivers a lecture on how Judaism got to be the way it is, a religion centrally concerned with laws, entitled “Judaism: An Odd Sort of Religion of Laws”. The lecture, delivered on on April 12, 2010, was the eighth Joseph S. Gruss Lecture and marked the Inauguration of The Tikvah Center for Law and Jewish Civilization, New York University Law School.

James Kugel at Pardes Institute on ‘Has Modern Scholarship Killed the Bible’?

The third annual Hershdorfer-Kantrowitz-Brettler Lecture Series at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in 2012 was presented by James Kugel on the topic of ‘Has Modern Biblical Scholarship Killed the Bible?’

Lecture 1 (January 4, 2012): ‘The Very Beginnings of Biblical Interpretation’

Lecture 2 (January 11, 2012): ‘The Book of Jubilees: the Oldest Commentary on the Book of Genesis’

Lecture 3 (January 18, 2012): ‘The Rise of Modern Biblical Scholarship’

Lecture 4 (January 25, 2012): ‘Has Modern Biblical Scholarship Killed the Bible?’