This volume contains essays by some of the leading scholars in the study of the Jewish religious ideas in the Second Temple period, that led up to the development of early forms of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. Close attention is paid to the cosmological ideas to be found in the Ancient Near East and in the Hebrew Bible and to the manner in which the translators of the Hebrew Bible into Greek reflected the creativity with which Judaism engaged Hellenistic ideas about the cosmos and the creation. The concepts of heaven and divine power, human mortality, the forces of nature, combat myths, and the philosophy of wisdom, as they occur in 2 Maccabees, Ben Sira, Wisdom of Solomon and Tobit, are carefully analysed and compared with Greek and Roman world-views. There are also critical examinations of Dead Sea scroll texts, early Jewish prayers and Hebrew liturgical poetry and how they these adopt, adapt and alter earlier ideas. The editors have included appreciations of two major figures who played important roles in the study of the Second Temple period and in the history and development of the ISDCL, namely, Otto Kaiser and Alexander Di Lella, who died recently and are greatly missed by those in the field.
Michael W. Duggan, Calgary, Canada. Renate Egger-Wenzel, Salzburg, Austria. Stefan C. Reif, Cambridge, UK.