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Title: Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That Shaped Early Judaism
Author: Simkovich, Malka Z
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society; Publication Date: 2018
Paperback; ISBN: 9780827612655
Volumes: 1; Pages: 384
List Price in Paper: $29.95 Our price: $24.99
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Exploring the world of the Second Temple period (539 BCE-70 CE), in particular the vastly diverse stories, commentaries, and other documents written by Jews during the last three centuries of this period, Malka Z. Simkovich takes us to Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, to the Jewish sectarians and the Roman-Jewish historian Josephus, to the Cairo genizah, and to the ancient caves that kept the secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls. As she recounts Jewish history during this vibrant, formative era, Simkovich analyzes some of the period's most important works for both familiar and possible meanings.
This volume interweaves past and present in four parts. Part 1 tells modern stories of discovery of Second Temple literature. Part 2 describes the Jewish communities that flourished both in the land of Israel and in the Diaspora. Part 3 explores the lives, worldviews, and significant writings of Second Temple authors. Part 4 examines how authors of the time introduced novel, rewritten, and/or expanded versions of Bible stories in hopes of imparting messages to the people.
Simkovich's popular style will engage readers in understanding the sometimes surprisingly creative ways Jews at this time chose to practice their religion and interpret its scriptures in light of a cultural setting so unlike that of their Israelite forefathers. Like many modern Jews today, they made an ancient religion meaningful in an ever-changing world.
Introduction: In Search of the Second Temple Era
Part 1. The Modern Recovery of Second Temple Literature
Chapter 1. The Cairo Genizah
Chapter 2. Manuscripts and Monasteries
Chapter 3. The Dead Sea Scrolls
Part 2. Jewish Life in the Second Temple Period
Chapter 4. Jerusalem
Chapter 5. Alexandria
Chapter 6. Antioch
Part 3. The Worldviews of Second Temple Writers
Chapter 7. The Wisdom Seekers
Chapter 8. The Sectarians
Chapter 9. Interpreters of Israelite History
Chapter 10. Josephus Flavius
Part 4. The Holy Texts of Second Temple Judaism
Chapter 11. The Codified Bible
Chapter 12. Rewriting the Bible
Chapter 13. The Expanded Bible
Glossary of Key Names, Places, and Books
Index by Passage