Article

The Literature of the Second Temple Period

John J. Collins

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199280322
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199280322.013.0004

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 The Literature of the Second Temple Period

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Strictly speaking, the Second Temple period extends from the construction of the temple at the end of the sixth century bce to its destruction by the Romans in 70 ce. Some scholars would now argue that the entire biblical corpus belongs in this period. Even if one accepts the more traditional dating of biblical sources, the final edition of the Torah must be placed after the Exile. This article deals with this literature. The literature may be divided into three categories, based on provenance more than on literary genre, although each category has its own characteristics. These are the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha; the Dead Sea scrolls; and the literature of the Greek-speaking diaspora. The first and third categories were preserved by Christians, the second was only recently recovered from the caves by the Dead Sea.

Keywords: Apocrypha; Pseudepigrapha; Dead Sea Scrolls; diaspora Judaism; Second Temple; Torah

Article.  12381 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies ; History of Religion

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