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In: The Dead Sea Scrolls
Author: Eyal Regev


There are several diverences between the laws of cult and the pre-supposition regarding ritual and impurity in the Priestly Schools and the book of Deuteronomy. Both sources regard the relationship between the priest and the laity and the access to the sacred in diverent ways. The fundamental reason that lies at the base of these diverent cultic systems is distinct perceptions of holiness. The diverence is not in the concept of what is holy and what is profane, but rather in the understanding of what holiness really is. The Priestly Schools view holiness as dynamic, sensitive and dangerous, and maintain that the access to the sacred should be limited. In contrast, in Deuteronomy holiness is static, and the access to the sacred is far less restricted, since it is not dangerous or threatening. In other words, in Deuteronomy holiness is not an active entity but a status. These opposing world-views regarding the holy are actually related to general conceptions about the character of the relationship between humans and nature on the one hand, and between man and God on the other hand.

In: Vetus Testamentum
In: Contextualizing Jewish Temples
Author: Eyal Regev

Reading Josephus between the lines reveals the rebels’ claim of Roman desecration of the Jewish religion, and specifically of the Jerusalem Temple cult, as well as the rebels’ actions during the Great Revolt to liberate the Temple. In the following article, the rebels’ ideology will be evaluated in light of the Romanization of the cult throughout the Empire, and of the politicization of the Jerusalem Temple in particular. It will be shown that, like other cult-based native revolts against Rome, the rebels were not primarily bothered by direct violations of the Jewish law, such as the alleged deification of the emperor; rather, their ire was directed toward the more implicit Roman intervention in the Temple cult. Finally, I will argue that for the rebels, the Roman governor Florus’ passive support for pagan violation of Jewish ritual rites in Caesarea as well as his plundering of the Temple treasury in 66 C.E., finally proved the last straw.

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
In: New Perspectives on Old Texts
In: Echoes from the Caves: Qumran and the New Testament