Judaism in Late Antiquity 1. The Literary and Archaeological Sources


Editor: Jacob Neusner
This volume introduces the sources of Judaism in late antiquity to scholars in adjacent fields, such as the study of the Old and New Testaments, Ancient History, the ancient Near East, and the history of religion. In two volumes, leading American, Israeli, and European specialists in the history, literature, theology, and archaeology of Judaism offer factual answers to the two questions that the study of any religion in ancient times must raise. The first is, what are the sources — written and in material culture — that inform us about that religion? The second is, how have we to understand those sources in reconstructing the history of various Judaic systems in antiquity. The chapters set forth in simple statements, intelligible to non-specialists, the facts which the sources provide. Because of the nature of the subject and acute interest in it, the specialists also raise some questions particular to the study of Judaism, dealing with its historical relationship with nascent Christianity in New Testament times. The work forms the starting point for the study of all the principal questions concerning Judaism in late antiquity and sets forth the most current, critical results of scholarship.
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Biographical Note

Jacob Neusner is Distinguished Research Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ, and Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, in England.

Review Quotes

' ...an extremely useful introduction to the sources of Judaism in antiquity...'
A.S. van der Woude, Journal for the Study of Judaism, 1995.
' Research libraries cannot do without this manual.'
Internationale Zeitschrift für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete, 1994/1995.

Table of contents

William Scott Green, 'Delineating the Evidence for Judaism in Late Antiquity.'
Judaism Outside of Rabbinic Sources:
Günter Stemberger, 'Non-Rabbinic Literature.'
Paul Flesher, 'Targumim.'
James F. Strange, 'Archaeology and Art.'
Rabbinic Sources:
Jacob Neusner, 'Defining Rabbinic Literature and its Principal Parts.'
Alan J. Avery-Peck, 'The Mishnah, Tosefta, and the Talmuds.'
Gary G. Porton, 'The Midrash-Compilations.'
Written Evidence of Synagogue Life:
Lawrence Hoffman, 'Liturgy.'


Those interested in Judaism in Hellenistic and Roman imperial times, the Old and New Testaments and the early Church, the origins of Rabbinic Judaism, as well as those with general interests in the history, archaeology, and religion of the Ancient World.

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