By Etienne Nodet
Translated via J. Edward Crowley. This radical reconstruction of the origins of Judaism starts off via looking at that Josephus's assets at the early historical past of Israel don't consider the Bible and that the oldest rabbinic traditions express no signal of a biblical origin. one other attention-grabbing query is raised by way of the Samaritan declare, on the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, they had only in the near past got the Sabbath from the Jews. From such information, Nodet creates a finished line of argument that finds significant assets of Judaism, as symbolized within the subtitle of his paintings: Joshua was once the one that proven in the neighborhood in writing a statute and a legislations on the Shechem meeting, whereas the Mishnah used to be the last word metamorphosis of traditions introduced from Babylon and mixed with Judaean influences.
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Extra resources for A Search for the Origins of Judaism: From Joshua to the Mishnah
44-47, which paints a picture of an ideal epoch, in the context of lists of notable families and their functions (Neh. 11-12) which extends beyond the epoch of Nehemiah himself. 1). Perhaps this was artificially attributed to Nehemiah, in order to enhance his stature. If there was such an enhancement of Nehemiah's role, there rises again the question raised earlier about the legitimacy in the eyes of the Persian authorities of Nehemiah's work in Jerusalem. According to the Memoirs, he had at his disposal documents accrediting him to provincial authorities, so that the local opponents had no legal title to cause him difficulties.
In Against Apion, Josephus is not worried about this aspect, since his only purpose is to gather together the testimonies of historians. In the Jewish Antiquities, on the contrary, he composes a somewhat involved paragraph, beginning with the prisoners captured owing to the observance of the Sabbath, and ending with the voluntary migrations on account of Ptolemy's benevolence. He does not quote Hecateus, but he bridges the gap by indicating that Ptolemy understood, from their response to the messengers of Alexander after the defeat of Darius (cf.
The general arrangement of 1 Maccabees shows a similar tendency, but the important thing here is to note that this result is achieved at the price of some literary contortions which have left their mark. The accounts describing the parties provide an insight into the ideas of Josephus. 119-66; after having named in order the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essenes, the rest of the account is devoted almost entirely to the Essenes (§ 119-61), as if they had pride of place with the author. 171-73, which refers to the previous list in The Jewish War and indeed generally follows it in regard to the Pharisees and the Sadducees, but slips between them a single-sentence summary on the Essenes.
A Search for the Origins of Judaism: From Joshua to the Mishnah by Etienne Nodet