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IF THE LORD'S ANOINTED HAD LIVED

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The assassination of a Jewish high priest in 171 bce removed the one figure who might have been able to unite the Jews of Judah and successfully mediate between them and the Seleucid king. Had this popular character survived and returned to Judah, the successful revolt of a Maccabean-led Judean faction against the Seleucids would probably not have happened, and there would have been no Hasmonean dynasty, no interlude of national independence and a different history of relations with Rome, one that did not result in loss of land or temple (or priesthood). What kind of Judaism, almost certainly without Christianity (and without Islam?) would have persisted? What kind of religion would a Constantine have officially adopted (if any)? What sort of Western civilization, if any, might have resulted?

Affiliations: 1: University of Sheffield

10.1163/156851500750119132
/content/journals/10.1163/156851500750119132
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2000-01-01
2016-12-05

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