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Theology, Josephus, and Understandings of Ancient Judaism

Jonathan Klawans

in Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199928613
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980567 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199928613.003.0001
Theology, Josephus, and Understandings of Ancient Judaism

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This chapter reviews Josephus’s testimony regarding ancient Jewish theology and highlights issues raised in current scholarship, such as Josephus’s sources, biases, and historical veracity. This chapter also reviews some problematic tendencies in current scholarship on ancient Judaism, such as (1) the presumption that sectarian disputes were primarily (or even exclusively) about Jewish law and (2) the assumption that Judaism shattered in the wake of the destruction of the second temple. This chapter also discusses issues relating to comparing Josephus’s accounts of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes with, respectively, rabbinic sources, the wisdom tradition, and the sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls.

Keywords: Halakhah; Zadokites; wisdom; Rabbinic literature; sectarianism; ancient Jewish

Chapter.  18158 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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