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Religious Variety And The Temple In The Late Second Temple Period And Its Aftermath

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Chapter Summary

For the past quarter of a century the standard narrative of the history of variety within Judaism in the first two centuries CE has assumed a radical change following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. This chapter re-examines, in particular by questioning whether any of the groups attested from pre-70 Judaism really separated themselves from the Temple, and whether variety within Judaism really came to an end after 70 when the Temple was destroyed. The basis of this re-evaluation will lie in the application of two principles: the need to avoid hindsight from later Jewish and Christian traditions in the interpretation of evidence from this period, and the need to take account of the preservation of almost all such evidence through those traditions.

Keywords: Judaism; Temple Christian traditions; Jewish traditions



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