John Byron shares some of his work on Cain and Abel. Included is a 1:06:08 video presentation titled “Rewriting the Bible,” which discusses interpretive methods employed in Second Temple Judaism.
From the video, here’s the thinking John said informed the interpretive methods of Second Temple Judaism that he’s describing:
They had four assumptions about Scripture:
1. The Bible is a cryptic document. It was assumed that beyond the apparent meaning of the text there was also a hidden meaning.
2. The Bible is a book of instruction, not a record of things that happened. Things were recorded with a purpose, that the readers might learn vital lessons.
3. Scripture is perfect and harmonious in itself. Any apparent contradictions were viewed not as mistakes, but as an allusion to something hidden that needed to be clarified through proper interpretation.
4. All Scripture is divinely sanctioned or inspired. This means that everything in the Bible is seen as coming from God.
He also includes a paper he’s published entitled Cain and Abel in Second Temple Literature and Beyond.
These resources and more can be found at The Biblical World: Cain and Abel: Some of my work now available online.