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From Text to Tradition : A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism
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From Text to Tradition : A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  63 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published March 1st 1991 by Ktav Publishing House
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[Name Redacted]
Overall, this is an excellent review of Jewish history from the beginning of the Second Temple period to the Rabbinic period of the middle ages. It is exceptional for its focus on the Jewish perspective of history and for its focus on the Jewish people. Schiffman is a devout Rabbinic Jew himself, but where his prejudices are evident (which is very infrequently) he is refreshingly honest about them.

My only complaints were the way he sort of "skipped over" the Jewish reactions to Christianity (a
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
In no way is my review of this work made toward the validity of a religion as a divine vehicle, or a comment about the positive or negative aspects of any religion in general. This book appears to be written toward the edification of the Hebrew people, already believers in the divine sanctification of their culture and system of beliefs. The author attempts to justify the current method of Judaism with a direct line to the ancient cultus. Due to the obvious bias of the author no one can consider ...more
Charlene Mathe
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a good comprehensive review of Judaism in the second temple period. The writing is exceptionally clear. For instance, several times the author defines a term that might not be familiar to the lay reader, such as "sapiential" (p.124) or "Diadochi" (p. 63). More commonly, authors expect the reader to know these terms or look them up in a dictionary. Schiffman slips in the definition seamlessly, and I really appreciate this. I also liked the author's frequent lists, such as the tractates of ...more
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a really great -Brief- history of the Jewish tradition through one of the most important developmental times in the religions history. The author writes in a way that holds your attention and does not have very much dry material, in the sense that there is not a lot of just facts upon facts. There is enough explanation that it is not overwhelming and is easy to understand.
Noah Dropkin
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good survey of the period - second temple Judaism, perhaps the most fascinating era in the history of Judaism. Outlines the historical and thought trends that transformed Judaism from sacrifice-based to rabbinic. I wish we knew even more about this period.
Very good primer text on Second Temple period history and the early rabbinate. I used this in a college course with the companion volume _Texts and Traditions_.
Jun 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Good overview of early rabbinical period and the historical context of formative Judaism
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
easy to read. makes the whole process understandable.
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: judaism
Not an easy read, but overall very good
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: judaism
A nice concise, middle of the road history of the formation of rabbinic judaism.
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