Ancient Judaism: New Visions and Views by Michael E. Stone

By Michael E. Stone

Ancient Judaism questions a huge variety of simple assumptions made by way of scholars of moment Temple Judaism and demands an intensive rethinking of ways to Jewish historical past reviews. Michael Stone demanding situations theologically conditioned histories of historic Judaism devised by way of later orthodoxies, even if Jewish or Christian, and he stresses the significance of realizing non secular event as a significant component within the composition of historical non secular records. Addressing the lifeless Sea Scrolls and apocalyptic literature in addition to contemporary theories, Stone emphasizes the beautiful complexity of either the uncooked info and the ensuing photo of Judaism in antiquity.

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39 What information about this period did the continuous Jewish tradi­ tion preserve, that tradition which came down to us in the Hebrew and Ar37. " 38. , the value judgements underlying the articles "Cabbala" and "Zohar" in the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1905, which is a sort of epitome of predominantly Jewish scholarship of the nineteenth century. Interestingly, the article on "Apocalypse" was written by a nonJew, Charles Cutler Torrey. Gershom G. Scholem presented the influence of nineteenthcentury liberal and rationalizing apologetic in the early pages of Major Trends in Jewish Mys­ ticism, 1-3.

One instance is the knowledge of parts of the book of Jubilees in the Middle Ages. E. in Italy. Knowledge of a variety of ancient texts and extracts from such texts was current in the circles of R. Moses the Preacher (HaDarsan) of Narbonne, though it is unclear how such material reached southwestern France in the eleventh century, whether directly or through a process of translation and subsequent retranslation. Some ancient Jewish material was trans55 56 54. The perception of the "dominant" may actually be determined by the cultural tradi­ tion that survived, as I have observed in note 22 above.

See Andrei Orlov's analysis, From Apocalypticism to Merkabah Mysticism, 371-76. In rabbinic sources, Shem, Noah's son, is identified as Melchizedek (see references in Orlov, 375, and other sources exist), whilst in 2 Enoch, Shem-Melchizedek becomes Nir-Melchizedek. The motivation for this transformation remains obscure, though the changing attitudes to the Noah material that appear as the Second Temple period advances may be related to it. As Orlov remarks, it is certainly purposeful. 12. " Most of this article discusses Levi's election to the priesthood, but Kugel briefly mentions the antediluvian high priesthood (citing Louis Ginzberg's Legends of the Jews), and he also discusses the pre-Levitical priestly actions of 34 Adam and Enoch and the State of the World innovation, and he is a heavenly redeemer figure also in the, itself obscure, liQMelchizedek document from Qumran.

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