Between Athens And Jerusalem / Edition 2

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A landmark study of Hellenistic Judaism by one of the world's recognized experts.

One of the most creative and consequential collisions in Western culture involved the encounter of Judaism with Hellenism. In his widely acclaimed study of the intellectual and moral relationship between "Athens and Jerusalem," John J. Collins examines the literature of Hellenistic Judaism, treating not only the introductory questions of date, authorship, and provenance, but also the larger question of Jewish identity in the Greco-Roman world.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Biblical Literature
This important work is fresh and suggestive. . . . An impressive display of insight and careful scholarship. . . . Exemplary in both its design and its execution.
Religious Studies Review
"As an introduction and an exegetical tool, this book is indispensable for study of the ancient literature and especially of the fragmentary material. It provides us with an innovative perspective on Jewish religion, theology, and culture in the Greco-Roman period."
Catholic David E. Aune in Biblical Quarterly
"A remarkable book. . . . Collins has provided us with an exceptionally well-crafted discussion of the variety of religious self-definitions that characterized Egyptian diaspora Judaism."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802843722
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/1999
  • Series: Biblical Resource Series
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xii
Preface to the Second Edition xiii
Abbreviations xiv
Introduction 1
The Diaspora Setting 3
Gentile Perceptions of Judaism 6
Jewish Apologetics 14
Hellenistic Judaism and Judea 16
The Constraints of the Tradition 19
Relations with the Gentile Environment 24
Prospect 25
Part 1 National and Political Identity
1. The Uses of the Past 29
The Faithful Chroniclers 33
Demetrius 33
The Followers of Demetrius 35
History and Romance 37
Artapanus 37
Eupolemus 46
Pseudo-Eupolemus? 47
Thallus and Cleodemus 51
Pseudo-Hecataeus 52
The Epic Poets 54
Philo 54
Theodotus 57
Jewish Historiography in the First Century C.E. 60
Conclusion 62
2. Religion and Politics: The Ptolemaic Era 64
The History of the Jews in Ptolemaic Egypt 64
Onias and Leontopolis 69
The Background of Onias 73
The Tale of the Tobiads 74
2 Maccabees and the Oniads 77
2 Maccabees and the Diaspora 78
The Third Sibyl 83
The Content of Sibylline Oracle 3 87
The Seventh King 88
The Analogy with the Persian Period 91
The King from the Sun 92
Jerusalem and the Gentile Kings 95
A Ptolemaic Messiah 95
The Provenance of Sibylline Oracle 3 96
The Letter of Aristeas 97
Joseph and Aseneth 103
Greek Esther 110
3. Religion and Politics: The Roman Period 113
The Status of the Jews in Roman Egypt 113
The Third Book of Maccabees 122
Philo's Politics 131
The Events of 66-73 C.E. 138
The Background of the Great Revolt 140
The Fifth Sibyl 143
The Later Sibyllines 150
Conclusion 151
Part 2 Identity Through Ethics and Piety
4. The Common Ethic 155
Judaism according to Hecataeus 155
The Basis for a Common Ethic 157
The Sibylline Oracles 160
The Third Sibyl 160
Sibylline Oracle 5 165
Sibylline Oracle 4 166
The Sibylline Fragments 167
Pseudo-Phocylides 168
The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs 174
The Testaments and the Covenant Form 177
The Content of the Exhortations 179
Homiletic Material in the Testaments 179
The Ethic of the Testaments 183
The Role of the Synagogue 184
5. Philosophical Judaism 186
Aristobulus 186
Poetic Forgeries 190
Pseudo-Aristeas 191
The Wisdom of Solomon 195
Fourth Maccabees 202
6. The Mysteries of God 210
Mystic Judaism 210
A Mystic Ritual? 211
Mystic Philosophy 214
Esotericism 217
Heavenly Revelations 219
The Pseudo-Orphic Fragments 219
Ezekiel the Tragedian 224
Joseph and Aseneth 230
Ritual Elements in Joseph and Aseneth? 232
Group Membership 234
The Episode of the Honeycomb 235
The Representative Roles of Joseph and Aseneth 236
A Corpus Permixtum 237
Lack of Sectarian Character 238
The Prayer of Joseph 239
The Testament of Job 240
The Struggle with Satan 242
The Confrontation with the Friends 243
The Role of the Women 244
The Religion of the Testament of Job 245
The Books of Adam and Eve 246
The Testament of Abraham 248
The Perspective on Death 250
The View of Judaism 251
2 Enoch 252
The Hortatory Message 253
3 Baruch 255
The Attitude toward Jerusalem 257
A System of Individual Rewards 258
Conclusion 259
7. Jews and Gentiles 261
A Jewish Mission? 262
The "God-fearers" 264
The Function of the Literature 270
Conclusion 273
Bibliography 276
Subjects 303
Modern Authors 307
Ancient Literature 315
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