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The Jews in the Greek Age Paperback – October 1, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0674474918 ISBN-10: 0674474910
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bickerman's sovereign command of Greek and Jewish sources reinforces a bold historical imagination in this detailed account of the first centuries of significant contact between the Jews and the Greeks. This is a work that is as delightful to read as it is magisterial. (G. W. Bowersock)

The last posthumous work of one of the greatest of all scholars of Judaism in Graeco-Roman antiquity...Note the power and brilliance, as well as the (as ever) bold and controversial character of its representation of Judaism and Jewish history in the period between Alexander and the Maccabees. (Fergus Millar Journal of Jewish Studies)

Highly readable and packed with information, much of which will be new even to those with some knowledge of one side or the other, Jewish or Greek. (Jasper Griffin New York Review of Books)

[Bickerman] displays the qualities of a great historian: mastery of primary sources, wide learning in other areas, careful yet often bold judgments, and ability to write a lively narrative. (Daniel J. Harrington Theological Studies)

Review

Bickerman's sovereign command of Greek and Jewish sources reinforces a bold historical imagination in this detailed account of the first centuries of significant contact between the Jews and the Greeks. This is a work that is as delightful to read as it is magisterial. (G. W. Bowersock) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (September 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674474910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674474918
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,410,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Big Dave on September 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
_The Jews in the Greek Age_ is an excellent primer to the Intertestamental Period.
Beginning with Alexander the Great and running through the beginning of the Common Era, the book is organized roughly chronologically and by theme. Chapters treat in some detail such important issues as the Septuagint, the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, Aramaic literature, Jewish religious practices, the economy of Palestine during the period, the development of priestly and scribal classes, etc.
Bickerman's prose is elegant and readable without sacrificing detail, and a substantial bibliography organized by subject provides a great starting point for further research into specific questions. You'll want to read this in connection with any study of the Deuterocanonical books, the Pseudepigrapha or the Dead Sea Scrolls, or even as a useful bridge between study of the Old Testament and the New.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on November 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Elia Bickerman's research is vast, and he covers with great detail the period of his well chosen title.
The Book is written in a wonderful, elegant, tone. It is written for readers that have an understanding of Hellenism since it is not a primer. It has interesting details such as the Jews living outside the Judean confines, by presenting us with the documentary evidence of the Jews in Elephantine Egypt. From Bickerman we get an understanding that the Jews of this area were not, in behavior, as the Jews in Judea. The Elephantine Jewish community was a garrison that was covering the defense of the frontier of Egypt. Thus, what we know now as Rabbinic Judaism, was not the norm there. Furthermore,even in the Judean region there were also variations on the theme of what was the proper behavior for Jews.
The example I gave of the Elephantine community- and without much detail not to spoil it for the reader- is but one example. Bickerman jumps from one document to another weaving a wonderful tapestry of social, religious and political behavior of these Jews in all the areas of the Hellenistic Empire of which we have documents.
After reading the book one time, the reader will consult this treasure trove again and again because of the ample evidence and scholarship of Bickerman's narrative. If there is one criticism to make, is the issue of dates that are not in of Greek Philosophers: he presents, assuming that the reader can place them without consulting other sources.
This is a minimal argument against the author. I recommend this book to all readers interested in Hellenism, the variations of Judaism prior to normative Judaism and Greek philosophy itself. Bickerman is indeed a complete education on the Greek Age.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Steiner on November 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I always find myself coming back to this book. Bickerman's ideas inspired many to rethink Hellenistic Jewish history, and for good reason. An excellent book. The editors deserve a lot of credit for turning these notes into a very useful book, shedding light on some corners of the period not examined by others.
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By C Pierce on December 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Helpful on Greek v Hebrew as influences mutually and on Christianity.
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