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Mapping Second Temple Judaism

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Chapter Summary

Robert Henry Charles has been cited in this chapter as an example a towering figure from an earlier era who found two major traditions in second temple Judaism and attributed them to two related but distinguishable groups. In Beyond the Essene Hypothesis, Boccaccini has made a case that the Qumran community as we know it from its texts was a group that broke away from the Enochians, that is, the Essenes as described by Philo and Josephus. The Qumranians were characterized by a radical dualism and a denial of angelic and human freedom. The works of Plöger, Hanson, and Boccaccini are a few of the attempts to sketch the lines of Jewish thought in various parts of the second temple period, but they are useful examples, each in its own way, of the kinds of results to which scholars have come.

Keywords: Enochians; Essene Hypothesis; Jewish thought; Josephus; Philo; Qumran community; second temple Judaism

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