Rabbinic Judaism in the Making: A Chapter in the History of the Halakhah from Ezra to Judah I by Alexander GuttmanTitle: Rabbinic Judaism in the Making: A Chapter in the History of the Halakhah from Ezra to Judah I
Author: Alexander Guttman
Publisher: Wayne State University Press (January 1, 1970)
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Rabbinic Judaism in the Making: A Chapter in the History of the Halakhah from Ezra to Judah I by Alexander Guttman
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Through the ages theology in Judaism has played roles of varying importance. But the role of theology is minor compared with that of law and observance. This book is devoted to a study of the evolution of normative Judaism from the time of Ezra (ca. 400 B.C.) to Judah I, the Prince (ca. 200 A.D.). Its focus upon law represents a realistic approach to the history of applied Judaism.
In applied Judaism, changes are usually introduced or endorsed by a recognized leadership, be it an institution, such as the Sanhedrin, or by individual leaders, such as the "Princes." While the origins of newly introduced laws are most important for certain historians, they are secondary from the viewpoint of the history of applied religion. Thus Professor Guttmann carefully traces the activities of the leaders and leading institutions of mainstream Judaism which were focused mainly on deeds.
Normative Judaism has represented the mainstream of Judaism since antiquity. One of its most controversial phases is the Pharisaic, which in its later stage is contemporaneous with Early Christianity and clashes with it. Professor Guttmann shows that classical Pharisaic Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism are congenial but not identical. The perplexing question as to why the Pharisees are occasionally referred to derogatorily in the Talmud, as well as in Josephus, finds a new answer here based on previously overlooked historical facts.
Rabbinic Judaism in the Making is the first study in English to trace the evolution of Rabbinic Law and Rabbinic Judaism. A concise history of post-biblical normative Judaism in antiquity, Mr. Guttmanns's book concentrates on the crucial inter-testamental period, and should be valuable to students of ancient history, those interested in the history of the inter-testamental period, both Christian and Jewish theologians, ministers and rabbis.