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Biblical, Intertestamental and Patristic Studies
This book deals with various challenging problems in Jewish and early Christian thought and practice, within the general areas of the calendar and chronology. New problems are tackled, and old problems are reconsidered.
The new problems are intertestamental, and include the Qumran calendar, the stages in the development of Judaism between the Testaments, and the various chronologies used in early Judaism to measure past and future time. These chapters are mainly of Jewish interest, though the last-mentioned has a Christian bearing also, centring as it does on messianic expectation.
The old problems all have a Christian bearing, and are biblical or patristic, though illustrated here by intertestamental evidence. They include the relationship between the Sabbath and Sunday, the date of the crucifixion, the origin of Easter and Whitsun, and the date of Christmas.

This publication has also been published in hardback (no longer available).
Judaism and Christianity are both religions of history and remembrance and rely on calendars and accurate chronologies to recall and reenact the signal events in their histories. The import of dividing the day and night, of knowing the moment of Sabbath and Lord’s Day, of properly timing Passover and Easter cannot be overstated. Throughout the history of both religions, these issues were central to worship and practice of religion and had far-reaching effects from messianism to prophecy. But their very centrality meant they were issues of controversy and debate. Roger Beckwith looks carefully at the Jewish and Christian records concerning calendar and chronology, compares, contrasts, and challenges rival solutions to these complex questions. His breath of research — from the ancient Near East to Qumran, from Josephus and Philo to the Maccabean writings, and from the points of view of Paul and Jesus to the Fathers of the church — and his focus on the more controversial issues of dating make Calendar and Chronology an essential book for any serious scholar of history, liturgy, worship, and interpretation.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.
In: The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud, Volume 1 Mikra