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Judaisms and Their Messiahs at the Turn of the Christian Eraby Jacob Neusner
Synopses & Reviews
While Jews in ancient Israel had much in common, in fact there existed no such thing as an orthodox Judaism. Diverse Judaisms, each with its own way of life, world view, and definition of the social entity (or Israel) to whom it spoke, flourished. Since there was no single Judaism, there was no single Messiah-idea or Messianic doctrine. Various readings of the Messiah theme reached definition in the various unrelated religious systems or Judaisms produced by those Jews--hence "Judaisms" and "their Messiahs." In this book, distinguished specialists in late antiquity Judaisms, including Christian scholars, take up the differing place and role of the Messiah-idea. Dealing with the best-documented Judaic systems--the Essene community at Qumran, Christian Judaisms represented by Matthew and Mark, the nascent rabbinic Judaism portrayed in the Mishnah, the Judaic system implicit in the writings of Philo--each author works out how a given system treats the Messiah theme.
While Jews in the land of Israel in ancient times shared much in common - scripture, reverence for the Temple and its cult, some traits as one â€˜Orthodoxâ€™Judaism. Diverse â€˜Judaismsâ€™flourished, each with its particular way of life, world view, and definition of the social entity, or â€˜Israelâ€™. Because there was no single, unitary Judaism, there also was no one â€˜Messiah-ideaâ€™or â€˜Messianic doctrineâ€™. Various readings of the Messiah-theme reached definition in the various, unrelated religious systems or Judaisms produced by those Jews - hence â€˜Judaismsâ€™and â€˜their Messiahsâ€™.
Well documented contributions evaluate the differing concepts of Messianic doctrine that characterized the varied religious practices of ancient Judaism.
In its approach to evidence, not harmonizing but analyzing and differentiating, this book marks a revolutionary shift in the study of ancient Judaism and Christianity.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introduction: Messiah in Judaism: rethinking the question William Scott Green; 2. Wisdom makes a difference: alternatives to 'Messianic' configurations Burton L. Mack; 3. Salvation without and with a Messiah: developing beliefs in writings ascribed to enoch George W. E. Nickelsburg; 4. How the authors of 1 and 2 Maccabees treated to 'Messianic' promises Jonathan A. Goldstein; 5. Messianism in the Maccabean period John J. Collins; 6. Waiting for the Messiah: the spiritual universe of the Qumran convenanters Shemaryahu Talmon; 7. Philo and Messiah Richard D. Hecht; 8. Messiah and Gospel George Macrae, S. J.; 9. Christology in Mark's Gospel Howard Clark Kee; 10. The question of the Messiah in 4 Ezra Michael E. Stone; 11. From Jewish Messianology to Christian christology: some caveats and perspectives J. H. Charlesworth; 12. Mishnah and Messiah Jacob Neusner; General index; Index to biblical and hermeneutical texts.
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