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Explaining Change In Judaism In Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

Religions in the ancient world were generally conservative, for good theological and social reasons. Judaism in late antiquity was no different. Judaism in the third century CE was markedly different from Judaism at the start of the third century BCE. In principle, Jews believed that God might intervene directly in history, as had, after all, happened quite frequently in the past according to the Bible. In the Temple service, the High Priest could make major innovations: 'Johanan the High Priest did away with the Avowal concerning the Tithe. He too made an end also of the "Awakeners" and the "Stunners" '. The original biblical injunction was clear enough: 'Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts.

Keywords: Bible; High Priest; Judaism; late antiquity; Temple service

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