This volume draws attention to ancient religious texts, especially the so-called 'non-canonical' texts, by focusing on how they were used or functioned in Early Judaism and Early Christianity.
The contributors are biblical scholars who have chosen one or more Jewish or Christian apocryphal or pseudepigraphical texts, with the aim of describing their ancient functions in their emerging social settings.
These show the fluidity of the notion of scripture in the early centuries of the Church and in Judaism of late antiquity, but they also show the value of examining the ancient religious texts that were not included in the Jewish or Christian biblical canons.
These chapters show that there is much that can be learned from examining and comparing these texts with canonical literature and evaluating them in their social context.
No ancient text was created in a vacuum, and the non-canonical writings aid in our interpretation not only of many canonical writings, but also shed considerable light on the context of both early Judaism and early Christianity.