What was the ancient exegetes' attitude to the biblical texts? Did they consider them `sacred' in the sense that the words were the inviolable utterances of God? Or did they when necessary modify and adapt holy writ for their own purposes? This book examines the question of exegetical modifications from the post-Qumran perspective of textual pluriformity of literalism that runs through ancient exegeses and translations. The Qumran Commentators and Paul
complemented their fulfilment-exegeses by paying close attention to the verbal formations of the biblical texts. The hermeneutical principles underlying their exegeses involved a multiplex of competing forces
that at the same time sought to make scripture relevant while guarding it from changes. In so far as the label 'post-biblical exegesis' describes a clear separation between the written, authoritative texts and its interpretation, the distinction is overdrawn, for the ancients were not merely commentators, but also in some sense authors of the biblical texts.
`This book is of considerable importance ... This book raises issues which should be addressed by all concerned with the study of the Qumran Scrolls and the New Testament.'
James E. Harding, Journal of Jewish Studies, 50.2