Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Philosophy and Religion

First Advisor

James Bos

Relational Format



The Hebrew Bible contains numerous laws dealing with property and land. Many different areas of thought are worked in to these laws. In addition, land/property laws were applied to many different aspects of the Israelites' social life. However, when utilized by the authors of the New Testament and the Mishnah and Talmud, the Hebrew Bible concept of property was altered in drastically different ways. The first section of this thesis outlines key land and property laws found in the Hebrew Bible as they relate to divine ownership and inheritance, the monarchy, the poor, and the family within ancient Israelite society. The second section of this thesis addresses the concept of property, namely with respect to the poor, found in the Gospel of Luke and that found within several letters of the apostle Paul, namely with respect to divine inheritance. These concepts are outlined and compared with those found in the Hebrew Bible in order to understand the ways in which early Christianity adapted the laws of the Hebrew Bible, reinterpreting them which led to an abstraction of these concepts and a shift in focus toward riches and inheritance to be gained for the afterlife. Lastly, key concepts relating to land/property laws from rabbinic literature are outlined and analyzed in the third section of this thesis. Examples of property laws found within the Mishnah and Talmud are compared with their Hebrew Bible counterparts in order to understand how Rabbinic Judaism made use of the laws of the Hebrew Bible by organizing and reifying these laws, making them more applicable for Jews during the Rabbinic Period. The thesis ends with an overview of all the property laws and concepts discussed and a brief comparison of the New Testament and rabbinic literature with regards to their adaptations of concepts and laws pertaining to property.

Included in

Religion Commons



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