Biblical Bibliographies
Charles Conroy [www.cjconroy.net]



Literacy, Writing, and the Making of Books/Scrolls in Ancient Israel



[see also:  History of OT literature,  Oral tradition,  Scribal culture]



The bibliography is divided into two main sections as follows:

I.    Literacy and writing in ancient Israel and surrounding cultures

1.   Ancient Israel

Aḥituv, S. – A. Mazar, "The Inscriptions from Tel Reḥov and Their Contribution to the Study of Script and Writing During Iron Age IIA", in E. Eshel – Y. Levin (eds.), 'See, I Will Bring a Scroll Recounting What Befell Me' (Ps 40:8): Epigraphy and Daily Life from the Bible to the Talmud, Dedicated to the Memory of Professor Hanan Eshel (JAJSup 12; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014) 39-68.

Alexander, P. S., "Literacy among Jews in Second Temple Palestine: Reflections on the Evidence from Qumran", in W. M. F. J. Baasten – W. T. van Peursen (eds.), Hamlet On a Hill: Semitic and Greek Studies Presented to Professor T. Muraoka on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday (OLA 118; Leuven: Peeters, 2003) 3-25.

Avigad, N., "Hebrew Seals and Sealings and their Significance for Biblical Research", in J. A. Emerton (ed.), Congress Volume Jerusalem 1986 (VTSup 40; Leiden: Brill, 1988) 7-16.

Berge, K., "Literacy, Utopia and Memory: Is There a Public Teaching in Deuteronomy?", JHS volume 12, article 3 (2012). (online here; download directly here)

Brett, M. G., "Literacy and Domination: G. A. Herion's Sociology of History Writing", JSOT 37 (1987) 15-40. Reprinted (same title) in D. J. Chalcraft (ed.), Social-Scientific Old Testament Criticism. A Sheffield Reader (The Biblical Seminar, 47; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997) 109-134.

Camp, C. V., "Oralities, Literacies, and Colonialisms in Antiquity and Contemporary Scholarship", in J. A. Draper (ed.), Pages in Orality, Literacy, and Colonialism in Antiquity (Semeia Studies, 47; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004) 193-217.

Carr, D. M., "Torah on the Heart: Literary Jewish Textuality Within Its Ancient Near Eastern Context", Oral Tradition 25 (2010) 17-39. Can be downloaded here.

Coogan, M. D., "Literacy and the Formation of Biblical Literature", in P. H. Williams, Jr. – T. Hiebert (eds.), Realia Dei: Essays in Archaeology and Biblical Interpretation in Honor of Edward F. Campbell, Jr., at His Retirement (Homage Series, 23; Atlanta, GA: Scholars, 1999) 47-61.

Davies, G., "Some Uses of Writing in Ancient Israel in the Light of Recently Published Inscriptions", in P. A. Bienkowski – C. Mee – E. Slater (eds.), Writing and Ancient Near Eastern Society: Papers in Honour of Alan R. Millard (LHB/OTS 426; London & New York: T & T Clark, 2005) 155-174.

Davies, P. R. – T. Römer (eds.), Writing the Bible: Scribes, Scribalism and Script (BibleWorld; Durham: Acumen, 2013).

Demsky, A. – M. Bar-Ilan, "Writing in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism", in M. J. Mulder (ed.), Mikra. Text, Translation, Reading and Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum. Section 2: The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud, Volume 1; Assen – Maastricht: Van Gorcum; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988) 1-38. [This volume was later reprinted as a paperback first at: Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2004, and then at Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010.]

Demsky, A., "Literacy", in E. M. Meyers (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. Vol. III (New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997) 362-369.

Demsky, A., ידיעת ספר בישראל בעת חעתיקה [Literacy in Ancient Israel] (The Biblical Encyclopaedia Library, 28; Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2012).

Demsky, A., "Researching Literacy in Ancient Israel – New Approaches and Recent Developments", in E. Eshel – Y. Levin (eds.), 'See, I Will Bring a Scroll Recounting What Befell Me' (Ps 40:8): Epigraphy and Daily Life from the Bible to the Talmud, Dedicated to the Memory of Professor Hanan Eshel (JAJSup 12; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014) 89-104.

Draper, J. A. (ed.), Pages in Orality, Literacy, and Colonialism in Antiquity (Semeia Studies, 47; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2004).

Haran, M., "On the Diffusion of Literacy and Schools in Ancient Israel", in J. A. Emerton (ed.), Congress Volume Jerusalem 1986 (VTSup 40; Leiden: Brill, 1988) 81-95.

Hardmeier, C., "Schriftgebrauch und Literaturbildung im Milieu der Jerusalemer Führungseliten in spätvorexilischer Zeit (Jeremia 36)", in I. Kottsieper – R. Schmitt – J. Wöhrle (eds.), Berührungspunkte: Studien zur Sozial- und Religionsgeschichte Israels und seiner Umwelt. Festschrift für Rainer Albertz zu seinem 65. Geburtstag (AOAT 350; Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2008) 267-290.

Hardmeier, C., "Zur schriftgestützten Expertentätigkeit Jeremias im Milieu der Jerusalemer Führungseliten (Jeremia 36). Prophetische Literaturbildung und die Neuinterpretation älterer Expertisen in Jeremia 21-23", in J. Schaper (ed.), Die Textualisierung der Religion (FAT 62; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009) 105-149. Reprinted [same title] in C. Hardmeier, Geschichtsdivinatorik in der vorexilischen Schriftprophetie. Studien zu den Primärschriften in Jesaja, Zefanja und Jeremia (Textpragmatische Studien zur Hebräischen Bibel, 5; Zürich: Theologischer Verlag, 2013) 209-242.

Hess, R. S., "Literacy in Iron Age Israel", in V. P. Long – D. W. Baker – G. J. Wenham (eds.), Windows Into Old Testament History: Evidence, Argument, and the Crisis of "Biblical Israel" (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2002) 82-102.

Hess, R. S., "Writing About Writing: Abecedaries and Evidence for Literacy in Ancient Israel", VT 56 (2006) 342-346.

Hess, R. S., "Questions of Reading and Writing in Ancient Israel", BBR 19 (2009) 1-9.

Hezser, C., Jewish Literacy in Roman Palestine (TSAJ 81; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2001).

Hurtado, L. – C. Keith, "Writing and Book Production in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods", in J. C. Paget – J. Schaper (eds.), The New Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 1: From the Beginnings to 600 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 63-80.

Lemaire, A., "Schools and Literacy in Ancient Israel and Early Judaism", in L. G. Perdue (ed.), The Blackwell Companion to the Hebrew Bible (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001) 207-217.

Millard, A. R., "An Assessment of the Evidence for Writing in Ancient Israel", in J. Amitai (ed.), Biblical Archaeology Today. Proceedings of the International Congress on Biblical Archaeology, Jerusalem, April 1984 (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1985) 301-312. Responses by A. Demsky (349-353) and J. Naveh (354).

Millard, A. R., "The Knowledge of Writing in Iron Age Palestine", TynBul 46 (1995) 207-217.

Na’aman, N., "Literacy in the Negev in the Late Monarchical Period", in B. B. Schmidt (ed.), Contextualizing Israel's Sacred Writings: Ancient Literacy, Orality, and Literary Production (SBLAIL 22; Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015) 47-70.

Richelle, M., "Elusive Scrolls: Could Any Hebrew Literature Have Been Written Prior to the Eighth Century BCE?", VT 66 (2016) 556-594.

Ro, J. Unsok, "Socio-Economic Context of Post-Exilic Community and Literacy", ZAW 120 (2008) 597-611.

Rollston, C. A., "The Phoenician Script of the Tel Zayit Abecedary and Putative Evidence for Israelite Literacy", in R. Tappy – P. K. McCarter (eds.), Literate Culture and Tenth-Century Canaan: The Tel Zayit Abecedary in Context (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008) 61-96.

Rollston, C. A., Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age (SBLABS 11; Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature; Leiden: Brill, 2010).

Rollston, C. A., "Inscriptional Evidence for the Writings of the Earliest Texts of the Bible – Intellectual Infrastructure in Tenth- and Ninth-Century Israel, Judah, and the Southern Levant", in J. C. Gertz – B. M. Levinson – D. Rom-Shiloni – K. Schmid (eds.), The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Europe, Israel, and North America (FAT 111; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016) 15-45.

Sanders, S. L., "What Was the Alphabet For? The Rise of Written Vernaculars and the Making of Israelite National Literature", Maarav 11 (2004) 25-56.

Sanders, S. L. (ed.), Margins of Writing, Origins of Cultures (Oriental Institute Seminars, 2; Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2006 [corrected second printing 2007]). Can be downloaded here.

Sanders, S. L., "Writing and Early Iron Age Israel: Before National Scripts, Beyond Nations and States", in R. Tappy – P. K. McCarter (eds.), Literate Culture and Tenth-Century Canaan: The Tel Zayit Abecedary in Context (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008) 97-112.

Sanders, S. L., The Invention of Hebrew (Traditions; Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2009).

Schaack, T., Die Ungeduld des Papiers: Studien zum alttestamentlichen Verständnis des Schreibens anhand des Verbums katab im Kontext administrativer Vorgänge (BZAW 262; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1998).

Schaper, J., "Exilic and Post-Exilic Prophecy and the Orality-Literacy Problem", VT 55 (2005) 324-342.

Schaper, J., "The Living Word Engraved in Stone. The Interrelationship of the Oral and the Written and the Culture of Memory in the Books of Deuteronomy and Joshua", in L. T. Stuckenbruck – S. C. Barton – B. G. Wold (eds.), Memory in the Bible and Antiquity. The Fifth Durham-Tübingen Research Symposium (Durham, September 2004) (WUNT 212; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007) 9-23.

Schaper, J. (ed.), Die Textualisierung der Religion (FAT 62; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009).

Schmidt, B. B. (ed.), Contextualizing Israel's Sacred Writings: Ancient Literacy, Orality, and Literary Production (SBLAIL 22; Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015).

Schniedewind, W. M., "Orality and Literacy in Ancient Israel", Religious Studies Review 26 (2000) 327-332.

Shupak, N., "'Eat This Scroll' (Ezekiel 3:1): Writing as Symbol and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Sources", BO 70 (2013) 26-42.

Stott, K. M., Why Did They Write This Way? Reflections on References to Written Documents in the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Literature (LHB/OTS 492; New York & London: T & T Clark, 2008).

Tappy, R. E. – P. K. McCarter Jr. (eds.), Literate Culture and Tenth-Century Canaan: The Tel Zayit Abecedary in Context (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2008).

Toit, J. S. du, Textual Memory: Ancient Archives, Libraries and the Hebrew Bible (Social World of Biblical Antiquity, II/6; Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2011).

Weeks, S., "Literacy, Orality, and Literature in Israel", in J. K. Aitken – K. J. Dell – B. A. Mastin (eds.), On Stone and Scroll: Essays in Honour of Graham Ivor Davies (BZAW 420; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011) 465-478.

Young, I. M., "Israelite Literacy: Interpreting the Evidence (Parts I & II)", VT 48 (1998) 239-253, 408-422.

Young, I., "Israelite Literacy and Inscriptions: A Response to Richard Hess", VT 55 (2005) 565-568.

2.   Ancient Near East, including Egypt

Baines, J., "Literacy and Ancient Egyptian Society", Man 18 (1983) 572-599.

Baines, J. – C. Eyre, "Four Notes on Literacy," Göttinger Miszellen 61 (1983) 65-96. Reprinted in J. Baines, Visual and Written Culture in Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) 63-94.

Baines J., "Literacy, Social Organization, and the Archaeological Record: The Case of Early Egypt", in J. Gledhill – B. Bender – M. T. Larsen (eds.), State and Society: The Emergence and Development of Social Hierarchy and Political Centralization (One World Archaeology, 4; London: Unwin Hyman, 1988) 192-213. Reprinted in J. Baines, Visual and Written Culture in Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) 95-116.

Baines, J., Visual and Written Culture in Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).

Bienkowski, P. A. – C. Mee – E. Slater (eds.), Writing and Ancient Near Eastern Society: Papers in Honour of Alan R. Millard (JSOTSup 426; London & New York: T & T Clark, 2005).

Charpin, D., Lire et écrire à Babylone (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2008); = Reading and Writing in Babylon (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010).

Kitchen, K. A., "Now You See It, Now You Don't! The Monumental Use and Non-Use of Writing in the Ancient Near East", in P. A. Bienkowski – C. Mee – E. Slater (eds.), Writing and Ancient Near Eastern Society: Papers in Honour of Alan R. Millard (LHB/OTS 426; London & New York: T & T Clark, 2005) 175-187.

Lemaire, A., "Levantine Literacy ca. 1000-750 BCE", in B. B. Schmidt (ed.), Contextualizing Israel's Sacred Writings: Ancient Literacy, Orality, and Literary Production (SBLAIL 22; Atlanta, GA: SBL Press, 2015) 11-45.

Lesko, L. H. "Literature, Literacy, and Literati", in L. H. Lesko (ed.), Pharaoh's Workers. The Villagers of Deir el Medina (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994) 131-144.

MacDonald, M., "Literacy in an Oral Environment", in P. Bienkowski – C. Mee – E. Slater (eds.), Writing and Ancient Near Eastern Society: Papers in Honour of Alan R. Millard (JSOTSup 426; London: T & T Clark, 2005) 49-118.

Millard, A. R., "The Knowledge of Writing in Late Bronze Age Palestine", in K. Van Lerberghe – G. Voet (eds.), Languages and Cultures in Contact: At the Crossroads of Civilizations in the Syro-Mesopotamian Realm. Proceedings of the 42nd RAI (OLA 96; Leuven: Peeters, 1999) 317-326.

Parpola, S., "The Man Without a Scribe and the Question of Literacy in the Assyrian Empire", in B. Pongratz-Leisten – H. Kühne – P. Xella (eds.), Ana šadî Labnāni lū allik. Beiträge zu altorientalischen und mittelmeerischen Kulturen. Festschrift für Wolfgang Röllig (AOAT 247; Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1997) 315-324.

Schniedewind, W., "Writing and Book Production in the Ancient Near East", in J. C. Paget – J. Schaper (eds.), The New Cambridge History of the Bible. Vol. 1: From the Beginnings to 600 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) 46-62.

Shupak, N., "'Eat This Scroll' (Ezekiel 3:1): Writing as Symbol and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Sources", BO 70 (2013) 26-42.

Soldt, W. H. van, "The Extent of Literacy in Syria and Palestine during the Second Millennium B.C.E.", in L. Feliu – J. Liop – A. Millet Albà – J. Sanmartín (eds.), Time and History in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 56th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Barcelona, July 26-30, 2010 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2013) 19-31.

Thompson, D. J., "Language and Literacy in Early Hellenistic Egypt", in P. Bilde (ed.), Ethnicity in Hellenistic Egypt (Studies in Hellenistic Civilization, 3; Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 1992) 39-52.

Vanstiphout, H. L. J., "Memory and Literacy in Ancient Western Asia", in J. M. Sasson (gen. ed.), Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. Vol. 4 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995) 2181-2196.

Velde, H. te, "Scribes and Literacy in Ancient Egypt", in H. L. J. Vanstiphout – K. Jongeling – F. Leemhuis – G. J. Reinink (eds.), Scripta Signa Vocis. Studies about Scripts, Scriptures, Scribes and Languages in the Near East, Presented to J. H. Hospers (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1986) 253-264.

Wilcke, C., Wer las und schrieb in Babylonien und Assyrien? Überlegungen zur Literalität im Alten Zweistromland (Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-historische Klasse. Sitzungsberichte 2000, Heft 6; München: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2000).

3.   Ancient Greece

Harris, W. V., Ancient Literacy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989).

Havelock, E. A., The Literate Revolution in Greece and Its Cultural Consequences (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982).

Yunis, H. (ed.), Written Texts and the Rise of Literate Culture in Ancient Greece (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

II.    The material aspects of the production of scrolls/books

Frevel, C. (ed.), Medien im antiken Palästina. Materielle Kommunikation und Medialität als Thema der Palästinaarchäologie (FAT II/10; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005).

Haran, M., "Book-Scrolls in Israel in Pre-Exilic Times", JJS 33 (1982) 161-173.

Haran, M., "Book-Scrolls at the Beginning of the Second Temple Period. The Transition from Papyrus to Skins", HUCA 54 (1983) 111-122.

Haran, M., "More Concerning Book-Scrolls in Pre-Exilic Times", JJS 35 (1984) 84-85.

Haran, M., "Book-Size and the Device of Catch-Lines in the Biblical Canon", JJS 36 (1985) 1-11.

Haran, M., "Book-Size and the Thematic Cycles in the Pentateuch", in E. Blum – C. Macholz – E. W. Stegemann (eds.), Die hebräische Bibel und ihre zweifache Nachgeschichte. Festschrift für Rolf Rendtorff zum 65. Geburtstag (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1990) 165-176.

Lemaire, A., "Vom Ostrakon zur Schriftrolle – Überlegungen über die Entstehung der Bibel", in W. Röllig (ed.), XXII. Deutscher Orientalistentag, vom 21. bis 25. März 1983 in Tübingen. Ausgewählte Vorträge (ZDMG Supplement, VI; Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1985) 110-123.

Lemaire, A., "Writing and Writing Materials", ABD VI (1992) 999-1008.

Quack, J. F., "Medien der Alltagskultur in Ägypten und ihre Auswirkungen auf Palästina", in C. Frevel (ed.), Medien im antiken Palästina. Materielle Kommunikation und Medialität als Thema der Palästinaarchäologie (FAT II/10; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005) 237-268.

Schmid, K., "Buchtechnische und sachliche Prolegomena zur Enneateuchfrage", in M. Beck – U. Schorn (eds.), Auf dem Weg zur Endgestalt von Genesis bis II Regum: Festschrift Hans-Christoph Schmitt zum 65. Geburtstag (BZAW 370; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2006) 1-14.

Toorn, K. van der, "The Books of the Hebrew Bible As Material Artifacts", in J. D. Schloen (ed.), Exploring the Longue Durée: Essays in Honor of Lawrence E. Stager (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2009) 465-471.

Tov, E., Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert (STDJ 54; Leiden: Brill, 2004).

Tov, E., "The Writing of Biblical Texts with Special Attention to the Dead Sea Scrolls", in C. Cohen – A. Hurvitz – S. M. Paul (eds.), Sefer Moshe: The Moshe Weinfeld Jubilee Volume. Studies in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, Qumran, and Post-Biblical Judaism (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2004) 445-458.

Tov, E., "The Writing of Early Scrolls. Implications for the Literary Analysis of Hebrew Scriptures", in D. Böhler – I. Himbaza – P. Hugo (eds.), L'Ecrit et l'Esprit. Etudes d'histoire du texte et de théologie biblique en hommage à Adrian Schenker (OBO 214; Fribourg: Academic Press; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005) 355-371; = "L'écriture des anciens manuscrits. Implications pour l'analyse littéraire des Écritures hébraïques", in R. David – M. Jinbachian (eds.), Traduire la Bible Hébraïque: de la Septante à la Nouvelle Bible Segond. Translating the Hebrew Bible: from the Septuagint to the Nouvelle Bible Segond (Sciences bibliques, 15; Montreal: Médiaspaul, 2005) 29-53. Reprint of the English version in E. Tov, Hebrew Bible, Greek Bible, and Qumran: Collected Essays (TSAJ 121; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008) 206-220.

Tov, E., "The Writing of Early Scrolls and the Literary Analysis of Hebrew Scripture", DSD 13 (2006) 339-347.

Zwickel, W., "Kommunikationsmöglichkeiten im alten Israel: Ein Beitrag zu den Rahmenbedingungen der Verschriftlichung biblischer Texte", in F. Hartenstein – J. Krispenz – A. Schart (eds.), Schriftprophetie. Festschrift für Jörg Jeremias zum 65. Geburtstag (Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 2004) 459-479.