Aryeh Amihay

PhD, Princeton University
Biblical Studies, Ancient Judaism, Legal Theory
HSSB 3048
Office Hours:
F 10:00-12:00 [by Zoom]
Time Period: Spring 2021
Personal Website:
Curriculum Vitae:


Aryeh Amihay teaches Judaism and philosophy of law. His research focuses on ancient Judaism, including the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and rabbinic literature. His most recent book analyzes the sectarian laws found in the Judean Desert Scrolls through contemporary legal theory. He has a BA in biblical studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a PhD in Religion from Princeton University. He is currently working on two projects: an examination of silence and censored speech from the Hebrew Bible to the rabbinic period, and a comprehensive reassessment of a pseudepigraphic work named The Lives of the Prophets.


Noah and His Book(s) (2010): Collected studies on post-biblical traditions of the flood hero in Second Temple Judaism (including the Book of Enoch and other pseudepigraphic works, the Judean Desert Scrolls, Josephus, and Philo), Early Christian texts and art, rabbinic literature and the Qur’an. Published by the Society of Biblical Literature.

Theory and Practice in Essene Law (2016): A novel approach for the study of the sectarian laws of the Essenes, as found among the Judean Desert Scrolls, through the use of legal theory. The book highlights the gaps between theory and practice through its division into legal notions (e.g. hierarchy, obligation, intent, and retribution) and legal practices (e.g. initiation, officers, reproof, and punishment). It further proposes a new suggestion for the emergence of the Yahad, based on the roles of the Examiner and the Instructor in the two major legal codes, the Damascus Document and the Community Rule. Published by Oxford University Press.


  • Rebels in Biblical and Chinese Texts: A Comparative Study on the Interplay of Myth and History,” Religions 11 (2020): 1-21.
  • “The Stones and the Rock: Jewish and Christian Elements in Vita Jeremiah,” in Biblical Themes and Traditions in the Pseudepigrapha, ed. Craig Evans and Paul Sloan (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).
  • “Ritual Law: Sacrifice and Ηoly Days,” in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Law, ed. Pamela Barmash, 79-99. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.
  • Biblical Myths and the Inversion Principle: A Neostructuralist Approach,” Journal of Biblical Literature 137.3 (2018): 555-79.
  • “Law and Society in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Preliminary Remarks,” Diné Israel 29 (2013): 1-32.
  • “Intentionality and the ‘High Hand’ in the Pentateuch and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Jewish Law Association Studies 23 (2012): 1-12.
  • “Noah in Rabbinic Literature,” in Noah and his Book(s) (SBLEJL 28; ed. Michael. E. Stone, Aryeh Amihay and Vered Hillel; Atlanta, Ga.: SBL, 2010), 193-214.
  • The following entries in the Encyclopedia for the Bible and Its Reception: Ascension (Second Temple); Cloud (Second Temple); Flood (Rabbinic and Medieval Judaism); Guilt (rabbinic); Imagery (rabbinic); Lawgiver (rabbinic); Lawlessness (rabbinic)

Courses Taught:

(Sample syllabi available on homepage)

  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
  • Introduction to Judaism
  • Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • Introduction to Religious Studies


  • Biblical Formation and Reception in Light of the Flood Narrative
  • The Early Christian Movement
  • Gender and Body in Jewish Literature
  • Gender in Judaism
  • Law and Religion
  • Literature and Religion of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • Modern Hebrew Prose and Poetry
  • The Poetics of Midrash
  • Rabbinic Literature
  • Religion, Law, and Society
  • Religions in Judea from the Maccabees to the Rabbis
  • Studies in Jewish Law