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In Quest of the Historical Pharisees Paperback – April 9, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 548 pages
  • Publisher: Baylor University Press (April 9, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932792724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932792720
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,270,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Whether as parents, foils, or both, the Pharisees have always been a focus of interest for anyone interested in the genesis of Christianity or of rabbinic Judaism. This volume allows serious readers an opportunity to learn the sources, to follow the debates, and so to understand and assess a revolution in historical and theological scholarship.

—Daniel R. Schwartz, Professor of Ancient Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This is an important book in so many ways. It demonstrates eloquently that "what we can't show, we don't know"-that much of what we assert about Pharisees is simply not supported by the evidence. But it also reminds us that "objective" description is not a matter of either choosing or amalgamating sources, but of realizing that how the Pharisees were perceived and presented is indeed also some part of who they were. We also see how interpretation reveals the interpreter as well as the text: in these assured and well-informed analyses, we also discern the moral and intellectual character of the scholar. Not least, we are confronted with those other Pharisees-of Jewish and Christian mythology and contemporary critical controversy, who long outlived their historical counterparts but who still haunt and fascinate us.

—Philip Davies, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield

About the Author

Jacob Neusner is a Research Professor of Theology and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College.

Bruce D. Chilton is Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion, Rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, and Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard College.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rudy on December 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Since years I teach introduction to the New Testament and speak, of course, also about the Pharisees, mostly based on the New Testament and Josephus. Neusner's book now gives me a much deeper and more objective view of this Jewish group. Real scholars put Josephus' passages in the context of his whole work and so correct my former view. I am very grateful for such a scholarly work by several excellent scholars. It will change my presentation of the Pharisees dramatically. And I thank Amazon for publishing this work which, I hope, many will read and study.

P.S. How I wish the two DVD's I have ordered in August and September would have also arrived. But I gave up all hope and will not order a DVD anymore. From other sources they arrive but not from Amazon. Pity for the money I paid
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