The Origins of Judaism: An Archaeological-Historical Reappraisal

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Yale University Press
Publish Date
6.38 X 9.29 X 1.1 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author
Yonatan Adler is associate professor in the department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Ariel University in Israel. He has served as a member of the State of Israel's Council for Archaeology since his 2018 appointment by the Minister of Culture.
"A bravura study. . . . Adler's facility with a wide range of historical evidence is as impressive as it is persuasive. . . . Buoyed by penetrating historical analysis and lay reader-friendly prose, this is sure to become a key text in future discussions of Jewish religious history."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A highly learned and carefully reasoned contribution to this longstanding and often contentious discussion."--Jon D. Levenson, Mosaic

"The intellectual parameters of this ambitious project are nothing short of breathtaking. This is a very serious work that calls for much admiration and praise."--Eric Meyers, Duke University

"An impressive and important book--the rare case of the ability of one scholar to master the textual sources and the archaeological data, combine them into a comprehensive thesis, and arrive at a well-argued and persuasive solution to one of the thorniest questions in the history of Judaism."--Amihai Mazar, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"This pioneering and provocative book constitutes a major contribution to contemporary scholarship on the origins of Judaism. Adler carefully juxtaposes archaeological and literary evidence on key aspects of ancient Jewish identity formation, reframing the debate on the origins of Judaism in terms of what can be established--the facts on the ground. Anyone seriously interested in Judaism's origins will want to engage with this book."--Jonathan Klawans, Boston University

"Yonatan Adler's challenging and judicious analysis of a wealth of archaeological and textual data argues convincingly for the profound significance of the early Hellenistic period in the formation of Judaism as we know it."--Lawrence Schiffman, New York University

"Based on a fascinating and comprehensive analysis of texts and archaeology, Adler concludes that Judaism emerged either in the early Hellenistic period or in the period following the Maccabean revolt, when, he argues persuasively, the Hasmoneans adopted Pentateuchal law to unify the population of the new Jewish state."--Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill