Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Cohen, ShayeJ. D. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah / Shaye J.D. Cohen.— 2nd ed. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah has ratings and 31 reviews. Tsun said: REVIEW AND CRITIQUE Shaye J. D. Cohen, S. From the Maccabees to the. In this new edition of a best-selling classic, Shaye Cohen offers a thorough analysis of Judaism’s development from the early years of the.

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From the Maccabees to the Mishnah

This chapter discusses the “separation” that took place between Judaism and Mihsnah. He argues that this is appropriate in a work of history rather than theology, and would probably not agree that this in itself demonstrates a certain philosophical if not theological orientation.

Cohen also assume the existence of more than one Isaiah. What the chapter reveals is that this was a lengthy process and not nearly as clear-cut as it has been so frequently rhe. But he assumes this for Nehemiah p.

Read it closely and carefully, and interact with it rigorously. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah.

From the Maccabees to the Mishnah – Shaye J. D. Cohen – Google Books

There’s a lot we don’t know. Overall an excellent introduction to obviously a complex and transformative time for Jewish history.

In the political sphere, the general response was Jewish submission, based on the teaching of Jeremiah. He points out that Ezra was a scribe and could reasonably have legitimated his religious authority with his erudition. Why do the misshnah appear nonsectarian?

From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, Third Edition (Paper)

Canonization, the recognition of authority, is a process, but even a process can have significant steps along the way. Contents Chronology and Definitions. For most people tue is found in this book should be more than sufficient to inform and revise many commonly held assumptions about Jews, Judaism: Christian or rabbinic bias. The religious and social chaos of the day enabled Christianity’s variant ideas to flourish long enough to become stabilized well enough to survive expulsion from Judaism.


Cohen offers students more than just history, but an understanding of the social and cultural context of Judaism as it developed into the formative period of rabbinic Judaism.

Review of From the Maccabees to the Mishnah by Shaye J. D. Cohen. | Kenneth Cherney –

He traces some of this back to Ezekiel’s proclamation that each person is rewarded according to his own works. Now re-reading, with our study group. This conclusion has relevance to the authority of the Jamnia conference. Preexilic Israel believed that God administered justice in this world. The Deuteronomic historian was satisfied with the doctrine of corporate responsibility, but the Chronicler was not In fact in some cases it is difficult to see that a “separation” actually took place since because there was no common communion between the two groups.

Some takeaways—perhaps not new to you, but new to me: Cohen again emphasizes diversity of schools of thought.

Sectarianism would foster apocalyptic thought, especially eschatological speculation, but the dualistic social perspective seems antecedent. A timeline of the Second Temple period is one handy feature. Cohen further explains the development of apocalyptic ideas: Chapter 8, which treats the latter subject, is new material in the edition.

Judaism’s interest in Noahide laws may have been prompted by Christianity’s success with gentiles, or it may have pre-dated Christianity with the religious category of God-fearer. They served as places for prayer, study, and meeting; the relative importance of these three functions differed according nishnah location.


Previously read inand turned to again and again as a resource for studying the Second Temple period.

The author of Chronicles, a work of the Persian or early Hellenistic period, implemented this theory in his revision of the book of Kings. Most Jews adapted at least some Greek customs; the question was not whether but ffom much. How many books published in the s are still useful today, let alone continue to remain required reading?

Moments like these in the book took away from the books strength. He challenges assessments of the reasons for the separation of Judaism and Christianity and is far more sanguine about the “dominance” of ghe rabbis in Judaism during the Roman and early Byzantine periods. In my judgment, Cohen assesses the New Testament, and Christian evidence on the period more generally, scrupulously and even generously: I do misjnah know how Cohen reconciles miahnah seeming contradiction; my suspicion is that belief in hereafter shouldn’t be in his list.

What was especially interesting is the way prayer supplemented and eventually replaced sacrifices, making participation in the religion accessible to more people. True, rabbis tolerated great diversity of thought, even recording opposing arguments without selecting a winner.

However, his point is valid:

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