Eyal Regev presents an inter-disciplinary analysis of the Hasmoneans: How they perceived themselves and their role in Jewish history, and how they wanted to be perceived by their subjects. By exploring the ways—some common among ancient monarchies, others unique—in which the Hasmoneans shored up their authority, the author reveals the deliberate and innovative construction of a national politico-religious ideology. Regev discusses the Hasmoneans’ use of Temple and its cult, government and subsequent kingship, and their symbolic representations as reflected in their coins and palaces in comparison with contemporary Hellenistic kingdoms. The volume uncovers the cultural and social character of the Hasmoneans as rulers as well as of their state or kingdom. Merging historical sources with archaeological findings, Jewish perspectives and Hellenistic settings, a traditional text-oriented, historical-critical method with comparative and socio-anthropological approaches, The Hasmoneans aims to be the defining work on the cultural and social character of the priestly family that forms one of Jewish history’s most inspiring and instructive chapters.
Author: John J. Collins
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2017-02-14
"Judaism is often understood as the way of life defined by the Torah of Moses, but it was not always so. This book identifies key moments in the rise of the Torah, beginning with the formation of Deuteronomy, advancing through the reform of Ezra, the impact of the suppression of the Torah by Antiochus Epiphanes and the consequent Maccabean revolt, and the rise of Jewish sectarianism. It also discusses variant forms of Judaism, some of which are not Torah-centered and others which construe the Torah through the lenses of Hellenistic culture or through higher, apocalyptic, revelation. It concludes with the critique of the Torah in the writings of Paul"-- Prové de l'editor.
Author: Matthew V. Novenson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-04-03
Messianism is one of the great themes in intellectual history. But because it has done so much important ideological work for the people who have written about it, the historical roots of the discourse have been obscured from view. What did it mean to talk about "messiahs" in the ancient world, before the idea of messianism became a philosophical juggernaut, dictating the terms for all subsequent discussion of the topic? In this book, Matthew V. Novenson offers a revisionist account of messianism in antiquity. He shows that, for the ancient Jews and Christians who used the term, a messiah was not an article of faith but a manner of speaking. It was a scriptural figure of speech, one among numerous others, useful for thinking about kinds of political order: present or future, real or ideal, monarchic or theocratic, dynastic or charismatic, and other variations besides. The early Christians famously seized upon the title "messiah" (in Greek, "Christ") for their founding hero and molded the sense of the term in certain ways; but, Novenson shows, this is just what all ancient messiah texts do, each in its own way. If we hope to understand the ancient texts about messiahs (from Deutero-Isaiah to the Parables of Enoch, from the Qumran Community Rule to the Gospel of John, from the Pseudo-Clementines to Sefer Zerubbabel), we must learn to think not in terms of a world-historical idea but of a language game, of so many creative reuses of an archaic Israelite idiom. In The Grammar of Messianism, Novenson demonstrates the possibility and the benefit of thinking of messianism in this way.
Heinz-Wolfgang Kuhn informs about the excavations on et-Tell at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, directed by the Israeli archaeologist Rami Arav, professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Prof. Richard Freund of the University of Hartford as Project Director. It is now possible to identify the hill with Bethsaida/Julias, which is mentioned, among other texts, in the New Testament gospels (seven times), by the Jewish historian Josephus and in Rabbinical literature. This volume has a twofold purpose: On the one hand, the 15 collected essays in English and German, complemented by the Munich excavation plans, enable the reader to follow the course of the excavations from the very beginning in 1987. The emphasis of the collected essays (beginning with an article published in 1989) lies on the levels of the Hellenistic-Early Roman period, giving a continuous description of the excavations, as they developed over such a long time. On the other hand, one finds here the current data of the excavations, with many important details concerning the Hellenistic-Early Roman period, with the author focussing especially on the first half of the first century CE, the time of Jesus’ activity at Bethsaida, as can be shown through historical-critical research. In particular, an overview is given of all the coins of the Herods (from Herod the Great to Agrippa II, including five coins of Philip, the ruler at the time of Jesus), of finds of columns, figurines and decorated stones, and there are lists of the so-called Herodian oil lamps and the typical Jewish stone vessels from the Early Roman period. The question of a small pagan Hellenistic-Early Roman temple is discussed, illustrated with many pictures. The excavation plans of the whole area and including all excavated levels from Iron Age IIA on (with an exact grid), extending over 25 years, are unique since they can never be redrawn, due to the normal destruction of nature and ongoing excavations.
This is the first of a four-volume groundbreaking study of Christological origins. The fruit of twenty years research, Jesus Monotheism lays out a new paradigm that goes beyond the now widely held view that Paul and others held to an unprecedented "Christological monotheism." There was already, in Second Temple Judaism and in the Bible, a kind of "christological monotheism." But it is first with Jesus and his followers that a human figure is included in the identity of the one God as a fully divine person. Volume 1 lays out the arguments of an emerging consensus, championed by Larry Hurtado and Richard Bauckham, that from its Jewish beginnings the Christian community had a high Christology and worshipped Jesus as a divine figure. New data is adduced to support that case. But there are weaknesses in the emerging consensus. For example, it underplays the incarnation and does not convincingly explain what caused the earliest Christology. The recent study of Adam traditions, the findings of Enoch literature specialists, and of those who have explored a Jewish and Christian debt to Greco-Roman Ruler Cult traditions, all point towards a fresh approach to both the origins and shape of the earliest divine Christology.
Author: David A. deSilva
Publisher: Baker Books
Release Date: 2018-02-20
This comprehensive, up-to-date introduction to the Old Testament apocryphal books summarizes their context, message, and significance. The first edition has been very well reviewed and widely adopted. It is the most substantial introduction to the Apocrypha available and has become a standard authority on the topic. The second edition has been substantially revised and updated throughout to reflect the latest scholarship. The book includes a foreword by James H. Charlesworth.
Author: Linda Zollschan
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2016-12-08
Rome and Judaea explores the nature of Judaea’s first diplomatic mission to Rome during the Maccabean revolt: did it result in a sanctioned treaty or was it founded instead on amity? This book breaks new ground in this debate by bringing to light the "Roman-Jewish Friendship tablet," a newly discovered piece of evidence that challenges the theory Rome ratified an official treaty with Judaea. Incorporating interdisciplinary research and this new textual evidence, the book argues that Roman-Jewish relations during the Maccabean revolt were motivated by the Roman concept of diplomatic friendship, or amicitia.
In Turning Proverbs towards Torah, Elisa Uusimäki offers a detailed analysis of 4Q525, an early Jewish wisdom text known from Qumran. Main themes include the reuse of Proverbs to incorporate the concept of torah and aspects of Jewish pedagogy.
The Nehemiah Memoir, the narrative of the royal cupbearer sent to rebuild Jerusalem, is central to Ezra-Nehemiah’s account of Persian Judah. Yet its emphasis on one individual’s efforts makes it a text that ill-fits the book’s story of a communal restoration. Sean Burt analyzes the nature of this curious text through the lens of genre criticism and identifies the impact of its use of genres on its early reception in Ezra-Nehemiah. Drawing upon contemporary theorists of literary genre, within the field of biblical studies and beyond, he builds an understanding of genre capable of addressing both its flexibility and its necessarily historical horizon. Burt argues that the Nehemiah Memoir makes use of two ancient genres: the novelistic court tale (e.g. Esther, Ahiqar, and others) and the “official memorial,” or “biographical” genre used across the ancient Near East by kings and other governmental officials for individual commemoration. This study contends that the narrative subtly shifts genres as it unfolds, from court tale to memorial. Nehemiah the courtier becomes Nehemiah the governor. While these genres reveal an affinity to one another, they also highlight a central contradiction in the narrative’s portrait of Nehemiah. Nehemiah is, like the people of Jerusalem, beholden to the whims of a foreign ruler, but he also simultaneously represents Persia’s power over Jerusalem. Burt concludes that the Nehemiah Memoir’s combination of these two ultimately incommensurate genres can account for how the writers of Ezra-Nehemiah modified and corrected Nehemiah’s problematic story to integrate it into Ezra-Nehemiah’s vision of a holistic restoration enacted by a unified people.
Kenneth Atkinson tells the exciting story of the nine decades of the Hasmonean rule of Judea (152 - 63 BCE) by going beyond the accounts of the Hasmoneans in Josephus in order to bring together new evidence to reconstruct how the Hasmonean family transformed their kingdom into a state that lasted until the arrival of the Romans. Atkinson reconstructs the relationships between the Hasmonean state and the rulers of the Seleucid and the Ptolemaic Empires, the Itureans, the Nabateans, the Parthians, the Armenians, the Cappadocians, and the Roman Republic. He draws on a variety of previously unused sources, including papyrological documentation, inscriptions, archaeological evidence, numismatics, Dead Sea Scrolls, pseudepigrapha, and textual sources from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine periods. Atkinson also explores how Josephus's political and social situation in Flavian Rome affected his accounts of the Hasmoneans and why any study of the Hasmonean state must go beyond Josephus to gain a full appreciation of this unique historical period that shaped Second Temple Judaism, and created the conditions for the rise of the Herodian dynasty and the emergence of Christianity.
This volume brings together different disciplines, some for the first time, The contrubutions reflect on a wide range of literary, archaeological, documentary, epigraphic and numismatic sources and their bearing on the historical context of the Jewish revolt against Rome and on our own historical methods.
Author: Robert M. Royalty
Release Date: 2013
Heresy is a central concept in the formation of Orthodox Christianity. Where does this notion come from? This book traces the construction of the idea of 'heresy' in the rhetoric of ideological disagreements in Second Temple Jewish and early Christian texts and in the development of the polemical rhetoric against 'heretics,' called heresiology. Here, author Robert Royalty argues, one finds the origin of what comes to be labelled 'heresy' in the second century. In other words, there was such as thing as 'heresy' in ancient Jewish and Christian discourse before it was called 'heresy.' And by the end of the first century, the notion of heresy was integral to the political positioning of the early orthodox Christian party within the Roman Empire and the range of other Christian communities. This book is an original contribution to the field of Early Christian studies. Recent treatments of the origins of heresy and Christian identity have focused on the second century rather than on the earlier texts including the New Testament. The book further makes a methodological contribution by blurring the line between New Testament Studies and Early Christian studies, employing ideological and post-colonial critical methods.
This book considers the early history of Jewish-Christian relations through a focus on the fallen angels. The book of Genesis tersely refers to "sons of God" marrying "daughters of men" in the days before the Flood. The nature of their sins is explored in the Book of the Watchers, an apocalypse from the third century BCE, written in the name of Enoch. This apocalypse accuses the fallen angels of corrupting humankind through their teachings of metalworking, cosmetology, magic, and divination. Wayward angels are here blamed for the very origins of evil on the earth.