Hellenistic Jewish Literature

Lester L. Grabbe

in Jewish Studies

ISBN: 9780199840731
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
Hellenistic Jewish Literature


Surveying Hellenistic literature is not an easy task. Although the term normally applies to literature in Greek (or possibly in Latin), there is evidence that a great deal of literature originating in Hebrew and Aramaic was translated into Greek at some point; and other literature presently preserved in Syriac, Latin, and other languages was probably written originally in Greek. This survey is mainly limited to the works that originated in Greek (2 Maccabees) or that circulated widely in Greek in the Jewish community (e.g., 1 Maccabees). There is also the question of general Hellenistic influence on the Jews and Judaism, because the Jews (whether in the Greek diaspora or in Palestine) were living in the wider Hellenistic world that followed the conquests of Alexander the Great. Although this entry focuses on the literature, for a detailed wider study of Hellenism and the Jews, see Grabbe 2004– (Volume 2, chapter 6; cited under General Overviews). In addition to Second Temple Jewish literature, sections consider Inscriptions and Papyri (some of which relate directly or indirectly to the Jews and their historical context), Greek in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek and Rabbinic Judaism, and the question of Language Usage among the Jews of the general Hellenistic period up to the fall of the Second Temple.

Article.  12892 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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