The Rise and Fall of the Judaean State: A Political, Social and Religious History of the Second Commonwealth - Vol. 3

The Rise and Fall of the Judaean State: A Political, Social and Religious History of the Second Commonwealth - Vol. 3

The Rise and Fall of the Judaean State: A Political, Social and Religious History of the Second Commonwealth - Vol. 3

The Rise and Fall of the Judaean State: A Political, Social and Religious History of the Second Commonwealth - Vol. 3

Excerpt

The present volume is the last of the books and articles written by Professor Solomon Zeitlin during a span of more than sixty years of research, teaching, and writing. Professor Zeitlin passed away on December 28, 1976 (7 Tebet 5737) at the age of ninety. He was born on May 28, 1886. To the scholarly world he was known as the "stubborn controversialist" because of his determined conclusions, particularly that the findings at Qumran had no relevance to the life and literature of the Second Commonwealth period. He often observed that "the Scrolls were not composed during the pre-Christian period nor during the first century of the Christian era." He maintained that to include the Scrolls among the documents of that era was a falsification of history. He always insisted that internal evidence was superior even to archaeological and paleographical findings; the latter could only serve as supports, not as foundations. Despite occasional dissent and snide remarks charging him with stubbornness and disregard of archaeological evidence, Zeitlin maintained that one could not rely on "parallels" or "authorities" in archaeological discovery, for at times these "conclusions" had been called into question or altered by later findings and research. The paramountcy of internal evidence in a text, the full understanding of the context -- Rabbinic, classical, apocryphal, or scrolls -- always guided . . .

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