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The discovery in the Judaean desert between 1951 and 1961 of documentary papyri from the period of the Bar-Kochba Revolt in the early second century opened for the first time a window on the lives of Jewish lay people on the periphery of Judaea in a critical period of history. By the year 2000 these texts were published in full. Of particular interest was the light they shed on the interplay of Jewish, Greek and Roman law in the Roman provinces of Judaea and Arabia. In the current volume leading scholars from Europe, America and Israel debate the major questions raised by these texts and offer new insights into the material and its implications.