Halakhah was important no matter how it was understood.
And remarkable improvements in Jewish-Catholic relations.
How the Hasmoneans changed halakhah.
Talmudic rabbis never forgave the combining of priesthood with the monarchy.
A point of controversy.
A political movement.
Little is known about the sect, but they certainly weren’t all hypocrites.
Probably, but the rabbis didn’t want anyone to know.
In the 2nd century BCE, after centuries of living in a province of one or another empire, Jews won themselves a powerful independent kingdom. In. . .
Two major sects came to prominence after the Maccabean revolt in the 2nd century BCE. What did they believe, and what divided them?
Twenty years ago, a scholarly consensus identified the Dead Sea Scrolls with the ascetic Essene community at Qumran. Now the picture is more complicated.
A recent book claims otherwise, but we possess far too little evidence to make confident claims about what ancient Jews accepted as Scripture before the rabbinic period.
Contrary to Reza Aslan’s claims, Jesus was not an intolerant ethnocentric nationalist—and neither were the majority of Jews at the time.
A new collection of essays argues that the early rabbis succeeded by offering ordinary Jews the opportunity to be spiritual without renouncing a worldly way of life.