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Dictionary of Judaism in the biblical period : 450 B.C.E. to 600 C.E. /
Jacob Neusner, editor in chief ; William Scott Green, editor.
New York : Macmillan Library Reference ; London : Simon & Schuster and Prentice Hall International, c1996.
2 v. : maps.
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New York : Macmillan Library Reference ; London : Simon & Schuster and Prentice Hall International, c1996.
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Appeared in Choice on 1996-09-01:
This superb new work is a classic in the making, delivering more than its title indicates. "Biblical period" refers not to the time of which the Bible speaks, but to the era during which both Judaism and Christianity were established and canonized--from before 450 BCE when the Pentateuch was formulated to the close of the Babylonian Talmud around 600 CE. It also covers a wide range of subjects not found in similar works, including the composition of the Dead Sea Scrolls; the writings of Philo and Josephus; the New Testament as well as the classic writings of Judaism beyond the Scriptures, such as the Mishnah, Tosephta, the two Talmuds, and Midrashic collections. The work includes words, terms, rituals, customs, and theological categories found not only in those works but also in those written about the Jews in many languages. Even difficult concepts are presented in a uniformly lucid manner. Although many are brief, most subjects receive a third of a column, while two or more pages are devoted to major categories. Numerous cross-references present terms in a transliteration of the original language or its contemporary translation. A good introduction provides a concise explanation of a very rational transliteration scheme necessary for an array of highly complicated subjects. Nine good maps add a graphic portrait of more than a millennium of Near Eastern history. Although the articles are not signed, the internationally renowned contributing scholars are listed, including Protestants and Catholics as well as Jews. The work is handsomely produced and printed in large, clear type. Very highly recommended for all libraries. D. Kranzler Queensborough Community College, CUNY
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, June 1996
Choice, September 1996
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