James VanderKam Assembles the First History of the Jewish High Priests
MINNEAPOLIS (October 18, 2004)— From one of the most authoritative and respected scholars of early Judaism comes From Joshua to Caiaphus: High Priests after the Exile, a unique history of the central actors in Israel’s religious and civil history. Beginning late in the Old Testament period and continuing for the next six hundred years, the Jewish high priests were often the most important members of Jewish society. They not only possessed religious authority but also exercised political control. This book gathers and assesses the surviving evidence about each of the fifty-one men who served as high priest from about 515 BCE until approximately 70 CE when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.
''The primary purpose of this history of the high priests in the Second Temple age has been to gather and assess all of the available information about each one of them, from Joshua in the late sixth century BCE to Phannias during the Jewish revolt against Rome (66–70 CE). A secondary aim has been to investigate the status of these high-ranking officials—specifically whether they also wielded civic authority. . . .“James VanderKam has written the first complete history of the high priests in the Second Temple period. Like all VanderKam’s work, this is marked by clarity of style, thoroughness of coverage, and sound judgment. An Indispensable reference work for the study of Second Temple Judaism.”
“It is worth emphasizing what this book is and is not. It is a history of the Second Temple high priests; it is not a history of the priesthood. . . . The book is not primarily a history of the Second Temple period, although the history regularly impinges on the narrative and provides the organizing principle of the presentation.''
— from the Preface
—John J. Collins, Author of Introduction to the Hebrew Bible with CD-ROM
“An extremely significant comprehensive study of the high priesthood of the Second Temple. It is becoming increasingly clear how all-important the priesthood was in early Judaism. This study is now the indispensable starting point for sorting through the texts and research on this topic.”
—David M. Carr, Author of Writing on the Tablet of the Heart
“VanderKam shows how to sustain a historical narrative while presenting the detailed exegesis and nuanced judgments that inform and support it. His meticulous research brings to life in their contexts the influential personages who populate the world of the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, and Josephus and provides fresh insights and historical refinements for students of Second Temple Judaism and first-century Christianity. A Mature piece of historical analysis.”
—George W. E. Nickelsburg, Author of Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins
James VanderKam is the John A. O'Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is the author of numerous works, including The Dead Sea Scrolls Today (1994), An Introduction to Early Judaism (2001), The Book of Jubilees (2001), and The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (with Peter Flint, 2002).
Format: Hardcover 568 pages 6 x 9 inches
Item No: 0800626176
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