Boston, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc., 2001. Softbound. Octavos, paper covers, xiv, 276 pp., indexes, xiv, 318 pp., indexes + xiv, 250 pp., indexes, xii, 228 pp., indexes, xii, 190 pp., b/w photos, indexes + xii, 342 pp., indexes, xii, 196 pp., indexes, xii, 271 pp., indexes. Very Good. Item #38587
Jacob Neusner (vols. 1, 2, and 3) and his colleagues Alan Avery-Peck (vol. 2) and Bruce Chilton (vol. 3) have assembled a stellar team of scholars in producing what has already become an essential reference work for the study of Judaism in Late Antiquity. Originally written in nine separate volumes, Judaism in Late Antiquity now appears, unabridged, in three. The entire work seeks to offer readers both a broad perspective on the shape of Judaism while also opening the way to understanding unique issues. It does not disappoint.
VOLUME 1, including contributions by Paul Flesher, William Scott Green, Günter Stemberg, James F. Strange, looks at the literary and archeological sources to answer the question, “What are the sources for the study of Judaism in Late Antiquity.” Part two of this volume then guides the reader into how those sources help in the reconstruction of the history of “various Judaic systems in antiquity.” VOLUME 2 concentrates on the issues and debates in ancient Judaism, that is, those topics that animate scholarly dialogue today. Thus volume 2 , under the expert tutelage of Philip Davies, Lester Grabbe, and, among others, Louis Feldman, Steve Mason, James D. G. Dunn, challenges the reader with “systematic presentations of a distinctive viewpoint and very particular results” (preface, vol. 2) on such hot topics as the Law in Judaism, the use of rabbinic sources, and the place of groups within Second Temple Judaism, such as the Pharisees and Sadducees or the Samaritans. Scholars like Eric Meyers, Jodi Magness, and Joseph Naveh devote roughly 180 pages to the thorny question of the special problem of the synagogue.Using the technique of debate and response the articles bring the reader to the nub of the issues quickly and decisively. VOLUME 3 takes a look from a variety of sources and points of view at topics and themes at the center of scholarly debate, namely, resurrection and aferlife in the various writings of Judaism: Wisdom literature, Psalms, Apocalyptic Literature, Pseudepigraph, Philo and Josephus, and Qumran, among others. Again, top scholars like George Nicklesburg, John J. Collins, Roland Murphy, Richard Elliot Friedman, and Leon Rutgers bring to bear on these topics years of experience. The second half of volume 3 looks at Qumran with the same intensity. Editors Neusner, Avery-Peck, and Chilton must be commended for this generous gift both to the scholarly guild and to the general reader looking for a thought-provoking overview of the main issues in the central academic conversations.
Articles in Volume One are "Introduction: The Scholarly Study of Judaism and Its Sources," William Scott Green, "Non-Rabbinic Literature," Günter Stemberger, "The Targumim," Paul Flesher, "The Art and Archaeolgy of Ancient Judaism," James F. Strange, "Defining Rabbinic Literature and its Principle Parts," Jacob Neusner, "The Mishanh, Tosefta, and the Talmuds," Alan J. Avery-Peck, "Rabbinic Midrash," Gary G. Porton, "Jewish Liturgy and Jewish Scholarship," Lawrence Hoffman, "Major Issues in the Study and Understanding of Jewish Mysticism," Ithamar Gruenwald, "Hellenistic Judaism," Lester L. Grabbe, "The Judaica System of the Dead Sea Scrolls," Johann Maier, "The Judaism of the Synagogues [Focusing on the Synagogue of Dura-Europus]," Joanthan A. Goldstein, "Rabbinic Judaism: Its History and Hermeneutics," Jacob Neusner, "Judiasm in the Land of Israel in the First Century," James D.G. Dunn, "Jesus within Judaism," Bruce Chilton, "History of Judaism: its Periods in Antiquity," Gabriele Boccaccini.
Articles in Volume II are "'Law' in Early Judaism," Philip R. Davies, "Sadducees and Pharisees," Lester L. Grabbe, "Issues in Samaritianism," R.J. Coggins, "Theories of Qumran," Johann Maier, "The Current State of Qumran Studies: Crisis in the Scrollery. A Dying Consensus," Albert I. Baumgarten, "Rabbinic Sources for Historical Study: A Debate with Ze'ev Safrai," Jacob Neusner, "Rabbinic Sources as Historical: A Response to Prefessor Neusner," Ze'ev Safrai, "Rabbinic Sources for Historical Study," Günter Stemberger, "Rabbinic Literature of Late Antiquity as a Source for Historical Study," Richard Kalmin, "Rabbinic Sources for Historical Study, " David Kraemer, "Rabbinic Sources for Historical Study," Louis H. Feldman, "The Butchering of Jewish Texts to Feed the Masses," Herbert W. Basser, "The Historical-Critical Method and Late Second Temple Judaic Writings," Jonathan G. Campbell, "Revisiting Josephus's Pharisees," Steve Mason, "Was Judaism Particularist or Universalist?" James D.G. Dunn, "Rabbinic Judaism in Nihilistic Perspective: The Goldberg-Schäfer School and the Theory of the Empty Text," Jacob Neusner, "The Targumim and Judaism of the First Century," Bruce Chilton, "The Status of Women in Ancient Judaism," Mayer I. Gruber, "Women as Other in Rabbinic Literature," Judith R. Baskin, "Who Was a Jew?" Gary G. Porton, "Who Were the Pharisees?" Ellis Rivkin, "The Pharisees: A Response to Steve Mason," Lester L. Grabbe, "Philo and Philosophy," Robert M. Berchman, "Judaism and Particularism: A Reply to James Dunn," William Scott Green, "David Weiss Halivni's 'Sources and Tranditions' Revisited," Jacob Neusner, "Adin Steinsaltz's Three Misconstructions of the Talmud," Jacob Neusner, "The Question of the Synagogue: The Problem of Typlogy," Jodi Magness, "The Dating of the Gush Halav Synagogue: A Response to Jodi Magness," Eric M. Meyers, "Synagogue Typlogy and Khirbet Shema': A Response to Jodi Magness," James F. Strange, "A Response to Eric M. Meyers and James F. Strange," Jodi Magness, "The Synagogue as Metaphor," James F. Strange, "Prologemenon to a Theory of Early Synagogue Development," Paul V.M. Flesher, "The Ancient Synagogues at BAr'am" Mordechai Aviam, "Appendix: AN Aramaic Amulet from Bar'am," Joseph Naveh.
Articles in Volume II are "Introduction: The Four Approaches to the Description of Ancient Judaism(s): Nominalist, Harmonistic, Theological, and Historical," Jacob Neusner, "Death and Afterlife: The Biblical Silence," Richard Elliott Friedman and Shawna Dolansky Overton, "Death and Afterlife in the Psalms," John Goldingay, "Memory as Immortality: Countering the Dreaded 'Death after Death' in Ancient Israelite Society," Brian B. Schmist, "Death and Afterlife in the Wisdom Literature," Roland E. Murphy, "The Afterlife in Apocalyptic Literature," John J. Collins, "Judgement, Life-After-Death, and Resurrection in the Apocrypha and the Non-Apocalyptic Pseudepigrapha," George W.E. Nicholsburg, "Eschatology in Philo and Josphus," Lester L. Grabbe, "Death, Resurrection, and Life after Death in the Qumran Scrolls," Philip Davies, "Resurrection in the Gospels," Bruce Chilton, "Death and Afterlife in the Early Rabbinic Sources: The Mishnah, Tosefta, and Early Midrash Compilations," Alan J. Avery-Peck, "Death and Afterlife in the Later Rabbinic Sources: The Two Talmuds and Associated Midrash-Compilations," Jacob Neusner, "Death and Afterlife: The Inscritional Evidence," Leonard V. Rutgers, "The Resurrection of the Dead and the Sources of the Palestinian Targums to the Pentateuch," Paul V.M. Flesher, "What is "a Judaism"?: Seeing the Dead Sea Library as the Statement of a Coherent Judaic Religious System," Jacob Neusner, "The Construction of Israel in the Sectarian Rule Books," John J. Collins, "The Archaeology of Everyday Life at Qumran," James F. Strange, "Jewish Law at Qumran," Lawrence H. Schiffman, "Purity at Qumran: Cultic and Domstic,"Johann Maier, "The Calendar at Qumran," Martin G. Abegg, Jr., "Women in the Religious System of Qumran," Mayer I. Gruber, "What Did the Jews of Qumran Know about God and How Did They Know It? Revelation and God in the Dead Sea Scrolls," Edward M. Cook, "The Torah at Qumran," Philip R. Davies, "The Shape of the 'Bible' at Qumran," Philip W. Flint, "Biblical Intrpretation at Qumran," Craig A. Evans, "History and Eschatology at Qumran: Messiah," Todd S. Beall, "Wisdom at Qumran," Torleif Elgvin, "Paul's and Qumran's Judaism," Heikki Räisänen, "The Gospel of John and the Community Rule of Qumran: A Comparison of Systems," Adriana Destro & Mauro Pesce, "Reading the Scrolls Systematically," Bruce D. Chilton.