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An Introduction to Early Judaism


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About the Author

James C. VanderKam is the John A. O'Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame. Among his many other books are The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible, The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, and the two-volume commentary on the book of Jubilees in the Hermeneia series. He also served as an editor for thirteen volumes in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series and was editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature from 2006 to 2012.


Alan J. Avery-Peck
"A scholar at the forefront of today's flourishing interest in the study of ancient Judaism, James VanderKam clearly explains Second Temple history and religion, including the period's main groups and institutions and the entire range of literature they produced, from the Apocrypha to the Dead Sea Scrolls. The period VanderKam covers is vital to understanding all subsequent Jewish and Christian history, and his introduction to it is complete, accessible, and overall top-notch." Amy-Jill Levine
"Combining meticulous historical reconstruction with detailed commentary on literary productions and archaeological remains, James VanderKam here offers a comprehensive introduction to early Judaism that places texts within their proper contexts. His accessible, engaging style and helpful organization make this volume ideal for classroom use." Frank Moore Cross
"James VanderKam has written a superb introduction to early Judaism, including its history, literature, and religious institutions--a handbook that will be useful to every student or scholar who is interested in this period. VanderKam's sketch of the history and literature of the period is written simply and precisely, unencumbered by footnotes. His book, however, reveals a full, critical knowledge of the field. His epitomes of the literature of the period are particularly well done--brief, generally conservative in discussing debated issues, leaving out little of importance. New lore from the Dead Sea Scrolls and data from recent excavations are also well treated. I recommend this volume without qualification." Publishers Weekly
"VanderKam offers a fine and accessible introduction to early Judaism. . . Elementary but elegant, this primer is perfect for classroom or individual use." Journal for the Study of Judaism
"One of the best-written exemplars of its genre. Both its didactic structure and enjoyable style make it capable of being a widely read scholarly best-seller."

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