Seminar in the Religion of Ancient Israel
Dr. John C. Reeves
Office hours: W 5:00-6:00; R 2:30-3:30; or by appointment
‘Les Sémites n’ont jamais eu de mythologie.’ — Ernest Renan, Histoire générale et système comparé des langues sémitiques (4th ed.; Paris: Michel Lévy frères, 1863), 7.
The topic for the seminar this semester falls under the general rubric of ‘Bible and myth.’ We will engage in a comparative examination of select myths and mythologems contained in Hebrew Bible and Jewish parascriptural sources (apocrypha/pseudepigrapha, midrash, and kabbalah) in the light of older (or in some cases contemporary) Mesopotamian and West Semitic mythologies and religions. Considerable attention will be devoted to some of the methodological issues surrounding the use of the category ‘myth’ by modern western scholars in the study of ancient Near Eastern religiosity, including its biblical expressions.
The following textbooks are required for this course:
Henri Frankfort, et al., eds., The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946).
Bruce Lincoln, Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1999).
Stephanie Dalley, Myths from Mesopotamia (rev. ed.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
Simon B. Parker, ed., Ugaritic Narrative Poetry (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1997).
Absent the capacity to work directly with the Hebrew text, a responsible western language translation of the Hebrew Bible. I recommend using Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures: The New JPS Translation According to the Traditional Hebrew Text (Philadelphia & Jerusalem: The Jewish Publication Society, 1985).
Supplementary readings will be assigned and/or distributed by the instructor as needed.
a. Research project. One (1) formal research project to be presented in oral and written form (at least 20 double-spaced pages, exclusive of notes and list of sources) that focuses upon a particular topic relevant to the comparative study of biblical and ancient Near Eastern mythology. In consultation with the instructor, the student should select a topic of individual interest that permits such an extended exposition, analysis and/or evaluation. The topic for one’s project should be selected no later than the March 4 class meeting. The project will be presented orally (approximately 15 minutes) at the final class meeting (April 22); the final written versions of the papers are due by 12:00 PM Friday, May 1. The research project accounts for 50% of the course grade.
b. Weekly seminar papers. During a portion of almost every class meeting, students will orally expound and collectively discuss the content of at least one secondary article or essay that has been previously assigned by the instructor. Individual students may be asked to initiate and guide our discussions. The readings will come from the bibliography of articles provided below and assignments from Frankfort or Lincoln. Students should prepare and submit a written seminar paper that concisely expounds and analyzes the major points of each assigned article or chapter. The maximum length of the seminar paper will be two (2) pages. The instructor’s assessment of the seminar papers accounts for 25% of the final course grade.
c. Individual involvement. Almost perfect attendance (see below) is an essential requirement for this course. Each class meeting builds upon the knowledge gained during previous meetings. Moreover, in-class discussion, close reading, and analysis by both the instructor and class members comprises a significant portion of every class meeting. Preparation for every class usually involves the completion of a series of assigned readings and/or written assignment(s), and individual students are often asked to initiate our collective examination and discussion of the weekly topics. Students are expected to contribute in an informed manner to the public analysis and discussion of any assigned topic. The instructor’s assessment of one’s attendance, class preparation, additional written assignments, and informed oral contributions will constitute 25% of the final course grade.
d. Zakhor (Remember!): Mastery of the assigned readings and diligent class attendance are necessary prerequisites for the successful completion of this course. Each student is responsible for all lectures, class discussions, assignments, and announcements, whether or not he/she is present when they occur.
a. The grading scale used in this course is as follows:
|91-95+||A||demonstrable mastery of material–outstanding performance|
|81-90||B||satisfactory performance of assignments|
|71-80||C||inadequate and/or faulty understanding of material|
|0-70||U||unacceptable graduate-level work|
b. One of the requirements of this course is to complete the work of the course on time. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons for late work—an illness or other emergency. ‘Emergency,’ however, does not include your social involvements, travel plans, job schedule, disk and/or printer failures, the state of your love life, your obligations to other courses, or general malaise over the state of the world. The world has been in a mess as long as anyone can remember, and most of the world’s work is done by people whose lives are a mass of futility and discontent. If you haven’t learned yet, you had better learn now to work under the conditions of the world as it is. Therefore:
1) All missed work will be averaged as a 0 in the computation of the course grade. No exceptions will be considered or granted.
2) All written work is due on the dates scheduled in the syllabus, or on the date announced by the instructor in class (often the next class meeting). ‘Late’ work will not be accepted from students who were privy to its oral evaluation and discussion (i.e., you were present in class while we ‘went over it’ but you neglected to do it beforehand). In the event of one’s absence, ‘late’ submissions bear the following penalties: one day late/one letter grade; two days late/two letter grades; three or more days late/U. Please note: these ‘days’ are calendar days, not class meeting days. For accounting purposes, letter grades bear the following values: A=95; A-=92; B+=88; B=85; B-=82; C+=78; C=75; C-=72; U=35. Seminar papers are assessed according to the following formulae: √+ = A; √ = B; √- = C. An untyped paper or written assignment automatically receives the grade U, as do those typed submissions which violate the required parameters or which the instructor deems physically unacceptable and/or grammatically incomprehensible.
3) Since your diligent physical participation is critical for the success of this course, attendance at class meetings will be monitored by the instructor. One absence is regrettable; two absences are the limit of tolerability. Three (3) or more absences will result in an automatic U for the course. Please note that the instructor does not distinguish ‘excused’ from ‘unexcused’ absences. Unsanctioned late arrivals and early departures will be tallied as absences.
4) Policy regarding Audits: the instructor expects auditors (whether formally enrolled as such or not) to meet the same attendance, preparation, and oral participation standards as those students who are taking the course for credit. The instructor does not expect auditors to prepare and/or submit any written assignments.
c. Assistance and solicitation of criticism is your right as a member of the class. It is not a privilege to be granted or withheld. Do not hesitate to request it nor wait too late in the course for it to be of help.
Rough Course Outline
1. Introduction: historical, geographical, and linguistic overview
a. sources for reconstructing ‘Assyro-Babylonian’ culture
b. sources for reconstructing West Semitic/Canaanite culture
c. sources for reconstructing Israelite culture
d. initial reflections and caveats on myth and mythopoiesis
Jacobsen apud Frankfort (chaps. 5-7).
Frankforts, chap. 1.
Lincoln, chaps. 1-7.
2. Some intimations of a ‘suppressed’ biblical mythology
a. Plurality of godhead?
Gen 1:26; 3:22; 6:1-4; 11:7; Exod 15:11; Deut 32:8 (LXX and Qumran); Psalm 29:1-11; Psalm 82:1-8; Job 38:4-7.
b. Gendered godhead?
Gen 2:4a; Gen 1:1; Prov 8:22-31; 1 Kgs 15:13; 18:19; 2 Kgs 18:1-5; 21:1-7; 23:4-7.
c. semi-divine Adam in Eden?
Gen 3:1-24; Ezek 28:11-19.
Parker, Aqhat (pp. 49-80).
Ezek 14:14, 20; 28:3.
3. Divine combat
Parker, Baal Cycle (pp. 81-180); CAT 1.83 (pp. 192-93).
Psalm 74:12-17; Psalm 89:10-14; Psalm 77:16-18; Isa 51:9-11; Job 26:12-13; Psalm 93:1-5.
4. Ascent to heaven/descent to hell
Gen 5:21-24; 1 Kgs 22:1-28; 2 Kgs 2:1-18; Isa 6:1-13.
Dalley, 182-202 (Adapa; Etana).
Dalley; 154-81 (Descent of Ishtar; Nergal and Ereshkigal).
Isa 14:3-20a; Ezek 32:17-30; Psalm 82:6-7.
Parker, Rapiuma texts (pp. 196-205).
Gilgamesh, Tablet XII (Dalley, 120-25).
5. The universal Flood
Dalley, 1-38; 109-16 (Atrahasis; Gilgamesh, Tablet XI).
6. Heroes and kings
Dalley, 39-153 (Epic of Gilgamesh).
Parker, Kirta (pp. 9-48).
Gen 3:1-24; 25:19-34; 27:1-33:20; Judg 13:1-16:31; 2 Sam 21:15-22; 23:8-38; Psalm 2:1-12; 18:1-51; 21:1-14; 45:1-18; 1 Chr 29:23.
7. Concluding remarks and reflections on myth and mythopoiesis
Frankforts, chap. 1 and concluding chapter.
Lincoln, chaps. 1-7.
Additional Articles for Discussion
James Barr, “The Meaning of ‘Mythology’ in Relation to the Old Testament,” Vetus Testamentum 9 (1959): 1-10.
William Bascom, “The Forms of Folklore: Prose Narratives,” Journal of American Folklore (= JAF) 78 (1965): 3-20.
Richard M. Dorson, “The Eclipse of Solar Mythology,” JAF 68 (1955): 393-416.
Theodor H. Gaster, “Myth and Story,” Numen 1 (1954): 184-212.
______, “Some Ancient Oriental Folklore,” Folklore 49 (1938): 335-75.
Peter Hayman, “Monotheism—A Misused Word in Jewish Studies?” Journal of Jewish Studies (= JJS) 42 (1991): 1-15.
Moshe Idel, “Rabbinism versus Kabbalism: On G. Scholem’s Phenomenology of Judaism,” Modern Judaism 11 (1991): 281-96.
Irving Jacobs, “Elements of Near-Eastern Mythology in Rabbinic Aggadah,” JJS 28 (1977): 1-11.
Hans Jonas, “Myth and Mysticism: A Study of Objectification and Interiorization in Religious Thought,” Journal of Religion 49 (1969): 315-29.
Yehezkel Kaufmann, “The Bible and Mythological Polytheism,” Journal of Biblical Literature 70 (1951): 179-97.
Claude Lévi-Strauss, “The Structural Study of Myth,” JAF 68 (1955): 428-44.
F. Max Müller, “Comparative Mythology,” in idem, Chips from a German Workshop (5 vols.; New York: C. Scribner, 1871-81), 2:1-141.
______, “Semitic Monotheism,” in ibid., 1:337-74.
Maurice Olender, “Semites as Aryans,” in his The Languages of Paradise: Race, Religion, and Philology in the Nineteenth Century (trans. Arthur Goldhammer; Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992), 115-35.
Gershom Scholem, “Kabbalah and Myth,” in his On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 87-117.
Robert A. Segal, “The Myth and Ritual Theory: An Overview,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy (= JJTP) 6 (1997): 1-18.
Guy G. Stroumsa, “Jewish Myth and Ritual and the Beginnings of Comparative Religion: The Case of Richard Simon,” JJTP 6 (1997): 19-35.
Supplemental Bibliography for ‘Bible and Myth’
In response to student requests for recommendations regarding useful and enlightening discussions of certain topics, themes, and characters that are presented in class and/or readings, I offer the following suggestions for further study at the student’s leisure. I confine myself to materials which I myself have used with profit and which are currently available at Atkins Library.
It is often helpful for the student to begin with appropriate articles in the general encyclopaedias devoted to religious studies. At present, the standard one is The Encyclopaedia of Religion, 16 vols. (ed. Mircea Eliade; New York: Macmillan, 1988). Older but by no means less useful is Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 12 vols. (ed. James Hastings; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1908-21). There exist more specific encyclopaedias and/or dictionaries of mythology, myth, etc. which are shelved in the reference area, but I find them to be of limited value. With regard to Bible and biblical studies, the best reference encyclopaedia is The Anchor Bible Dictionary (6 vols.; New York: Doubleday, 1992). Also reliable but now somewhat dated are The Interpreters’ Dictionary of the Bible (4 vols.) and its Supplementary Volume (ed. George A. Buttrick; Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1962 & 1976), and the Harper’s Bible Dictionary (ed. Paul J. Achtemeier; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985). A new edition of The Interpreters’ Dictionary is currently in preparation. Highly recommended are the relevant articles in the new Encyclopaedia Judaica (22 vols.; Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA/Thomson Gale, 2007): this source can be accessed electronically through the Atkins catalog. Regrettably Atkins does not own the important Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (2d rev. ed.; ed. Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, and Pieter van der Horst; Leiden: Brill, 1999).
Web resources for ancient Near Eastern studies have mushroomed during the past decade or so, particularly with regard to the digitalization of texts (both primary and secondary) and images. The best entry point is www.etana.org. It features electronic editions of over one hundred important reference tools and a portal to Abzu, a massive bibliographic database of web-based resources devoted to ancient history and cultures.
General Studies and Collections
Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948).
Theodore H. Gaster, The Oldest Stories in the World (New York: Viking Press, 1952). Presents a selection of Babylonian, Hittite, and Canaanite myths.
S. H. Hooke, Middle Eastern Mythology (Baltimore: Penguin, 1963).
Wayne Horowitz, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1998).
Samuel Noah Kramer (ed.), Mythologies of the Ancient World (Garden City: Doubleday, 1961).
Henrietta McCall, Mesopotamian Myths (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990).
James B. Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3d ed.; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969). This has long been the standard English-language collection of representative samples of ancient Near Eastern literature.
Jack M. Sasson, ed., Civilizations of the Ancient Near East (4 vols.; New York: Scribner’s, 1995).
Jeremy Black, Reading Sumerian Poetry (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1998).
H. E. W. Crawford, Sumer and the Sumerians (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps That Once …: Sumerian Poetry in Translation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987).
Samuel Noah Kramer, In the World of Sumer: An Autobiography (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1986). Recounts his labors in almost single-handedly recovering the literature of Sumer.
______, Sumerian Mythology (rev. ed.; New York: Harper, 1961).
______, The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963).
Samuel Noah Kramer & John Maier, Myths of Enki, the Crafty God (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989).
The Literature of Ancient Sumer (trans. Jeremy Black, et al.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth (New York: Harper & Row, 1983).
Babylonia and Assyria
Jean Bottéro, Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning, and the Gods (trans. Zainab Bahrani and Marc Van De Mieroop; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).
______, Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia (trans. Teresa Lavender Fagan; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001).
Stephanie Dalley, ed., The Legacy of Mesopotamia (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1998).
Benjamin R. Foster, Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature (2 vols.; Potomac, Md.: CDL Press, 1996).
A. R. George, The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition, and Cuneiform Texts (2 vols.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
Alexander Heidel, The Babylonian Genesis (2d ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963).
______, The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels (2d ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949).
S. H. Hooke, Babylonian and Assyrian Religion (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1963).
Thorkild Jacobsen, The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976).
A. Leo Oppenheim, Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization (rev. ed.; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977).
H. W. F. Saggs, The Greatness That Was Babylon (New York: Hawthorn, 1962).
______, The Might That Was Assyria (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1984).
______, Babylonians (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).
Jeffrey H. Tigay, The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982).
P. C. Craigie, Ugarit and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1983).
Loren R. Fisher, ed., Ras Shamra Parallels: The Texts from Ugarit and the Hebrew Bible(3 vols.; Rome: Pontificium institutum biblicum, 1972- ).
Theodor H. Gaster, Thespis: Ritual, Myth and Drama in the Ancient Near East (New York: Henry Schuman, 1950).
J. C. L. Gibson, Canaanite Myths and Legends (2d ed.; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1978).
John Gray, The Canaanites (London: Thames and Hudson, 1964).
______, The Legacy of Canaan: The Ras Shamra Texts and Their Relevance to the Old Testament (2d rev. ed.; Leiden: Brill, 1965).
Cyrus H. Gordon, Ugarit and Minoan Crete (New York: Norton, 1966).
______, Ugaritic Textbook: Grammar, Texts in Transliteration, Cuneiform Selections, Glossary, Indices (repr., 1 vol. In 3 parts; Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1998).
William M. Schniedewind, A Primer on Ugaritic: Language, Culture, and Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Jonathan N. Tubb, Canaanites (Norman, Okla.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998).
The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949); 2nd edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970).
Walter Burkert, Greek Religion (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985).
______, “Oriental and Greek Mythology: The Meeting of Parallels,” in Interpretations of Greek Mythology (ed. Jan Bremmer; Totowa, N.J.: Barnes and Noble Books, 1986), 10-40.
______, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992).
______, Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2004).
Richard Buxton, Imaginary Greece: The Contexts of Mythology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
Francis M. Cornford, From Religion to Philosophy (repr. New York: Harper, 1957).
Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1993).
Robert Mondi, “Greek Mythic Thought in the Light of the Near East,” Approaches to Greek Myth (ed. Lowell Edmunds; Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), 141-98.
Paul Veyne, Did the Greeks Believe in Their Myths? An Essay on the Constitutive Imagination (trans. Paula Wissing; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988).
M. L. West, Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient (Oxford: Clarendon, 1971).
______, The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997).
Bible and Myth
William F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan: A Historical Analysis of Two Contrasting Faiths (New York: Doubleday, 1968).
Bernard F. Batto, Slaying the Dragon: Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1992).
Richard J. Clifford, Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible (Washington, D.C.: Catholic Biblical Association, 1994).
John Day, God’s Conflict With the Dragon and the Sea: Echoes of a Canaanite Myth in the Old Testament (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
Michael Fishbane, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).
James G. Frazer, Folk-lore in the Old Testament (3 vols.; London: Macmillan and Co., 1919).
Tikva Frymer-Kensky, In the Wake of the Goddesses: Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth (New York: The Free Press, 1992).
Theodore H. Gaster, Myth, Legend, and Custom in the Old Testament (New York: Harper & Row, 1969). Updates yet does not supplant the classic study of Frazer.
Ignaz Goldziher, Mythology Among the Hebrews and its Historical Development (London, 1877; repr., New York: Cooper Square, 1967).
Robert Graves and Raphael Patai, Hebrew Myths (New York: Doubleday, 1964). *Warning—to be used with great caution.
Judith M. Hadley, The Cult of Asherah in Ancient Israel and Judah: Evidence for a Hebrew Goddess (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).
Robert A. Oden, “Interpreting Biblical Myths,” in his The Bible Without Theology: The Theological Tradition and Alternatives to It (San Francisco, 1987; repr., Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000), 40-91.
Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess (3d ed.; Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990).
______, Man and Temple in Ancient Jewish Myth and Ritual (2d ed.; New York: Ktav, 1967).
______, Robert Graves and the Hebrew Myths: A Collaboration (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1992).
John W. Rogerson, Myth in Old Testament Interpretation (BZAW 134; Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1974).
Mark S. Smith, The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990).
______, The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel’s Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2001).
Nick Wyatt, Myths of Power: A Study of Royal Myth and Ideology in Ugaritic and Biblical Tradition (Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1996).
Myth and Folktale Studies
A. A. Aarne, The Types of the Folktale: A Classification and Bibliography (2d revision; Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1961).
D. L. Ashliman, A Guide to Folktales in the English Language: Based on the Aarne-Thompson Classification System (New York: Greenwood Press, 1987).
Neil Forsyth, “Appendix: Methods and Terms,” in his The Old Enemy: Satan & the Combat Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), 441-55.
G. S. Kirk, Myth: Its Meaning and Functions in Ancient and Other Cultures (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970).
Axel Olrik, Principles for Oral Narrative Research (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992).
Vladimir Propp, Morphology of the Folktale (2d ed., rev.; Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968).
Robert A. Segal, Theorizing About Myth (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999).
______, Myth: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Stith Thompson, Motif-Index of Folk-Literature: A Classification of Narrative Elements in Folktales, Ballads, Myths, Fables, Mediaeval Romances, Exempla, Fabliaux, Jest-Books, and Local Legends (Rev. and enl. ed.; 6 vols.; Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1955-58). The bible for motif and tale analysis.
______, The Folktale (repr. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977). See especially the Appendices.
Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Resources
R. H. Charles (ed.), The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English (2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913).
James H. Charlesworth (ed.), The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (2 vols.; Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1983-85).
______, The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, With A Supplement (Chico, Calif.: Scholars Press, 1981).
H. F. D. Sparks (ed.), The Apocryphal Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).
Postbiblical Mythology, Folktales, and Legends
Micha Joseph bin Gorion, Mimekor Yisrael: Classical Jewish Folktales (3 vols.; ed. Emanuel bin Gorion; Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976).
S. Daniel Breslauer, ed., The Seductiveness of Jewish Myth: Challenge or Response? (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997).
Stephanie Dalley, “Gilgamesh in the Arabian Nights,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1991): 1-17.
______, “The Tale of Buluqiya and the Alexander Romance in Jewish and Sufi Mystical Circles,” in Tracing the Threads: Studies in the Vitality of Jewish Pseudepigrapha (ed. John C. Reeves; Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1994), 239-69.
Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews (7 vols.; Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society, 1909-38). The fully annotated version of the popular one-volume Legends of the Bible, and a very useful resource for investigating the postbiblical development of biblical characters and events.
Galit Hasan-Rokem, Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003).
______, Web of Life: Folklore and Midrash in Rabbinic Literature (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000).
Irving Jacobs, The Midrashic Process: Tradition and Interpretation in Rabbinic Judaism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995).
Yehuda Liebes, Studies in Jewish Myth and Jewish Messianism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993).
Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, “From Mythic Motifs to Sustained Myth: The Revision of Rabbinic Traditions in Medieval Midrashim,” Harvard Theological Review 89 (1996): 131-59.
Howard Schwartz, Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Haim Schwarzbaum, “Prolegomenon,” in Moses Gaster, The Chronicles of Jerahmeel (repr., New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1971) 1-124. A rich bibliographical resource.
Jaroslav Stetkevych, “The Arabian Golden Bough and Kindred Branches: Frazer, Vergil, Homer, and Gilgamesh,” in his Muhammad and the Golden Bough: Reconstructing Arabian Myth (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), 83-105.
Eli Yassif, The Hebrew Folktale: History, Genre, Meaning (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999).