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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Between Temple and Torah: Essays on Priests, Scribes, and Visionaries in the Second Temple Period and Beyond
Himmelfarb, Martha

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013 pp. xii + 399. €129.00

Series Information
Texts and Studies in Ancient Judaism, 151


Description: This volume contains articles by Martha Himmelfarb on topics in Second Temple Judaism and the development and reception of Second Temple traditions in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. The section on "Priests, Temples, and Torah” addresses the themes of its title in texts from the Bible to the Mishnah. "Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls” contains articles analyzing the intensification of the biblical purity laws, particularly the laws for genital discharge, in the major legal documents from the Scrolls. In "Judaism and Hellenism” the author explores the relationship between these two ancient cultures by examining the ancient and modern historiography of the Maccabean Revolt and the role of the Torah in ancient Jewish adaptations of Greek culture. The last two sections of the volume follow texts and traditions of the Second Temple period into late antiquity and the Middle Ages. The articles in "Heavenly Ascent” consider the relationship between the ascent apocalypses of the Second Temple period and later works involving heavenly ascent, particularly the hekhalot texts. In the final section, "The Pseudepigrapha and Medieval Jewish Literature,” Himmelfarb investigates evidence for knowledge of works of the Second Temple period by medieval Jews with consideration of the channels by which the works might have reached these later readers.

Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Judaism

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Review by L. Michael Morales
Published 2/5/2015
Citation: L. Michael Morales, review of Martha Himmelfarb, Between Temple and Torah: Essays on Priests, Scribes, and Visionaries in the Second Temple Period and Beyond, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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