The papers in this volume are organized around the ambition to reboot the writing of history about Jews and Christians in the first two centuries CE. Many are convinced of the need for a new perspective on this crucial period that saw both the birth of rabbinic Judaism and apostolic Christianity and their parting of ways. Yet the traditional paradigm of Judaism and Christianity as being two totally different systems of life and thought still predominates in thought, handbooks, and programs of research and teaching. As a result, the sources are still being read as reflecting two separate histories, one Jewish and the other Christian.
The contributors to the present work were invited to attempt to approach the ancient Jewish and Christian sources as belonging to one single history, precisely in order to get a better view of the process that separated both communities. In doing so, it is necessary to pay constant attention to the common factor affecting both communities: the Roman Empire. Roman history and Roman archaeology should provide the basis on which to study and write the shared history of Jews and Christians and the process of their separation.
A basic intuition is that the series of wars between Jews and Romans between 66 and 135 CE – a phenomenon unrivalled in antiquity – must have played a major role in this process. Thus the papers are arranged around three focal points: (1) the varieties of Jewish and Christian expression in late Second Temple times, (2) the socio-economic, military, and ideological processes during the period of the revolts, and (3) the post-revolt Jewish and Christian identities that emerged. As such, the volume is part of a larger project that is to result in a source book and a history of Jews and Christians in the first and second centuries.
In the framework of a larger research project into ‘New Perspectives on Paul and the Jews’, eight scholars from Europe, Israel, and North America join forces in querying Paul’s relationship to Jews and Judaism. The sample text selected for this inquiry is the Second Letter to the Corinthians, a document particularly suited for this purpose as it reflects violent clashes between Paul and rivalling Jews and Jewish Christians. While the first three articles address more general literary and historical questions, the following five present in-depth case studies of much-studied passages from the letter and the underlying issues. An introductory essay queries how in the case at hand we can gain an adequate understanding of Paul’s theology while fully respecting his particular place in Judaism.
Dead Sea Scrolls Handbook presents Hebrew and Aramaic transcriptions of approximately 450 non-biblical texts from Qumran, arranged according to the sequential number of the composition and the Qumran Cave. Thus, the texts are arranged as follows: 1Q14, 1QpHab, 1Q15, 1Q16, 1Q17, and so forth. This arrangement provides straightforward access to the texts in a single volume and facilitates usage of the
Handbook’s texts, derived from the works of competent and accomplished Qumran scholars, represent significant contributions to Qumran studies.
Jewish Education from Antiquity to the Middle Ages fifteen scholars offer specialist studies on Jewish education from the areas of their expertise. This tightly themed volume in honour of Philip S. Alexander has some essays that look at individual manuscripts, some that consider larger literary corpora, and some that are more thematically organised.
Jewish education has been addressed largely as a matter of the study house, the bet midrash. Here a richer range of texts and themes discloses a wide variety of activity in several spheres of Jewish life. In addition, some notable non-Jewish sources provide a wider context for the discourse than is often the case.