Seers, Sibyls, and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism

Seers, Sibyls, and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism

Seers, Sibyls, and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism

Seers, Sibyls, and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism


John J. Collins offers readers a model for the scholarly study of all aspects of Judaism, from the Persian period through Late Antiqity, including its influence on early Christianity. The essays are thematically grouped to cover the problem of the Canon in Second Temple Judaism and deal with apocalypticism, the Book of Daniel, the Sibylline Oracles, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also analyzed is the relationship between Wisdom and the Apocalypticism. This volume brings together over two decades of research by a leading authority in the field of Judaism. This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details."


During the talks which led to the decision to initiate the Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, I was trying to draw the profile of the “ideal” book which readers of JSJ would immediately recognize as representative of their field. As models of such a book, I mentioned a monograph on the Book of Jubilees, and a collection of articles on Apocalypticism by John J. Collins. The reason for mentioning Jubilees is obvious, and equally obvious to me were the reasons for suggesting a collection of articles by Collins as a model for the books of the Series.

Collins has done basic groundwork on complex theoretical issues such as the genre of Apocalypticism, but has also produced detailed case analyses of discrete units of texts; he has dealt with Jewish literature in Hebrew and Aramaic as well as with Jewish literature in Greek; his research spans practically the whole period covered by JSJ with an emphasis on the general Hellenistic an Roman Periods, and in it literary, socio-historical, religio-historical or theological themes are equally important.

Writing a monograph in the Book of Jubilees is not an easy task, nor one which can be done at short notice. Preparing a collection of John J. Collins' essays for publication seemed feasible, and once he agreed to become the editor of the new Series I did not hesitate to put forth my request. He graciously agreed to prepare such a collection and selected the 23 articles which form the present book.

These articles are thematically grouped in an Introduction, which discusses the problem of the Canon in Second Temple Judaism, and five parts. The first part contains seven articles dealing with Apocalypticism, and includes a previously unpublished study on “The Christian Adaptation of the Apocalyptic Genre”; the second part comprises four studies on the Book of Daniel; the third part offers three papers on the Sibylline Oracles, including a previously unpublished study on “The Jewish Adaptation of Sibylline Oracles”; the fourth part is formed by four studies on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the fifth part analyzes in five articles the relationship between Wisdom and Apocalypticism.

Each article demonstrates Collins' rigorous methodology and the breadth of his curiosity. He analyzes with the same interest the Jewish literature in Hebrew or in Aramaic as he does the literature . . .

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