2004
Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0960-2720
  • E-ISSN: 2666-9730

Abstract

Summary

This article gives a synopsis of the various perspectives which existed in Early Judaism on the attitude believers should have towards society. We look at writings from Persian, Hellenistic and Roman times and from different movements. While studying how these Jewish authors saw the required relationship to society, i.e. to people who do not belong to their own community, we understand the importance Scripture had for all these groups, but we meet divergent ways of interpreting (the rest of) the Old Testament, also influenced by circumstances. Of course, it is easy to study each writing (or even passage) as reflecting a different kind of theology, but a synthesising explanation of the differences, in spite of all uncertainties and inconsistencies, can give us insight into how participation in society and guarding the Jewish identity were combined. This insight is relevant for understanding lived religion today and therefore moves beyond the existing knowledge and relevancy of biblical and Jewish Studies.

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2021-12-06
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