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Judaism: Practice and Belief, 63 BCE66 CE Paperback – August 1, 2016
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About the Author
- Publisher : Fortress Press (August 1, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 922 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1506406106
- ISBN-13 : 978-1506406107
- Item Weight : 1.71 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 2.3 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #658,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Christian readers will benefit from the detailed description of the temple, the Jewish festivals, and practices like fasting, tithing, prayer, sacrifices, and purification. The religious habitat of Jesus Christ and His apostles is reconstructed from the many available sources. A series of chapters is devoted to the common Judaism. What did the ordinary Jew believe? How was it practiced in private life and community with fellow believers? Was it widespread, common, so to say? The next part of the book is on the various groups and parties in this era: Aristocrats, Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and other pietists. Sanders is blessed with the gift to write accessible. The 7+ hours I spent reading in the book's first half is inviting me to continue, however, I need to read other review copies as well. Judaism will stay in my Kindle app to unearth the second half as well.
Among his views; that too many scholars have wrongly pitted the Phairisees against the aristocratic elite (p 339). He feels the Essenes were "not major players in politics and society" (p 341). He argues in favor of Jewish belief in covenantal nomism and that "suffering and death atone" (p 417) for sin. He also believes that a large majority of Jews at the time believed in some form of an afterlife, or, perhaps, renewed existence. The Sadducees were alone in opposing this view.
Don't miss: his discussion of pietist literature, including the Psalms of Solomon and the Testament of Moses. And anyone interested in the trial of Jesus will want to read his discussion of synedrions and how they judged.