Judaism, the First Phase: The Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009 - Religion - 262 pages
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Most studies of how early Judaism related to the non-Jewish world and how it was perceived by others start no earlier than the Hellenistic period. Joseph Blenkinsopp argues that we must go further back, to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and its temple and the liquidation of the political and religious infrastructure ? monarchy, priesthood, scribalism, prophecy ? which had sustained the Judean state for centuries. / Moving beyond the ideologically driven approaches of scholars over the past two centuries, he explores such pragmatic issues as the emergence of a distinctive group identity in the aftermath of the fall of the Judean state, the degree of continuity-discontinuity between national identity before the exile and competition among distinct group for legitimacy after it, and the historical realities behind the idea of a ?restoration? in a fundamentally different world, with neither monarchy nor statehood and a much-diminished temple. / Judaism, the First Phase is a fresh ? and potentially stunning ? look at Jewish origins, tracing the legacy of Ezra and Nehemiah. Ideal for scholars and students.
  

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Contents

Origins
12
Judeans or Jews?
19
Eduard Meyer vs Julius Wellhausen
28
A New Situation
32
Who Are the Children of Abraham?
37
Ezra
44
The Ezra Story
46
1834
48
Ezekiels Law of the Temple trat habbayit
133
1 The Status of Foreigners
136
2 Marriage Policy and Ritual Ethnicity
142
3 Temple Priests and Altar Priests
145
4 The Privileges and Duties of the Secular Ruler
153
5 The Land
156
Ezra and Nehemiah History and Ideology
160
Chronicles First Esdras Josephus
163

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61
3 The Intermarriage Crisis Ezra 910
63
The Ezra Profile
71
Ezra and the Golah
78
Nehemiah
86
The Nehemiah Memoir in Its Contemporary Setting
93
The Memoir Compared with Egyptian Commemorative Inscriptions
94
Genre and Literary Character of the Memoir
97
The Nehemiah Memoir in the Context of the Book Nehemiah 113
100
The Nehemiah Profile
108
EzraNehemiah The Roots of the Ideology
117
Projections of a Restored Past in Postdisaster Prophecy
122
The Prehistory of the Ideology in EzraNehemiah
125
Temple and Divine Presence
129
Ben Sira and II Maccabees
171
Ezra Between the Canonical Book and Rabbinic Attestations
176
How Lasting Were the Achievements of Ezra and Nehemiah?
180
The Sectarian Element in Early Judaism
189
Aspects of Sectarianism in EzraNehemiah
196
Antecedents and Continuities
205
Sectarian Origins in the Babylonian Diaspora
214
Legal Interpretations and Practice in EzraNehemiah and Late Second Temple Sects
222
Provisional Conclusion in Four Propositions
228
Bibliography
231
Index of Subjects
248
Index of Biblical and Other Ancient Texts
252
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Joseph Blenkinsopp is John A. O'Brien Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His other works include"Opening the Sealed Book", "Treasures Old and New", and the three-volume Anchor Bible commentary on Isaiah.

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