A bad man theory of religious law (Numbers 15:30-31 and its afterlife)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article explores early Jewish conceptions of the “bad man” as reflected in the hermeneutic legacy of one seminal biblical passage (Num 15:30-31) in order to discern the most egregious forms of religious wrongs. This offers a prism for gauging whether early iterations of “Judaism” were so fully aligned with law and praxis that this constituted the entirety of religious life and its ultimate measure. Or, alternatively, whether one can already perceive in classical Jewish discourse an acknowledgement, or even an articulation, of a “religious” or “theological” nucleus apart from the normative order.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw as Religion, Religion as Law
EditorsBenjamin Porat, David C. Flatto
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Print)9781108486538
StatePublished - 2022


  • law and religion
  • theology
  • faith
  • Numbers
  • Qumran
  • Rabbis
  • midrash
  • excision
  • heresy
  • World to Come

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Bible -- Numbers -- XV, 30-31 -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Manual of discipline -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Sifrei -- Criticism, interpretation, etc
  • Jewish law


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