The Invention of Judaism

Torah and Jewish Identity from Deuteronomy to Paul

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John J. Collins
Taubman Lectures in Jewish Literature
  • Oakland, CA: 
    University of California Press
    , February
     2017.
     336 pages.
     $29.95.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780520294127.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Patrick Angiolillo forthcoming.

Description

Most people understand Judaism to be the Torah and the Torah to be Judaism. However, in The Invention of Judaism, John J. Collins persuasively argues this was not always the case. The Torah became the touchstone for most of Judaism’s adherents only in the hands of the rabbis of late antiquity. For 600 years prior, from the Babylonian Exile to the Roman destruction of the Second Temple, there was enormous variation in the way the Torah was understood. Collins provides a comprehensive account of the role of the Torah in ancient Judaism, exploring key moments in its history, beginning with the formation of Deuteronomy and continuing through the Maccabean revolt and the rise of Jewish sectarianism and early Christianity.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

John J. Collins is professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School. His books include Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography and The Apocalyptic Imagination. He is general editor of the Yale Anchor Bible Series.

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