Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

A Guide to the Study of Greco-Roman and Jewish and Christian History and Literature

Academic journal article Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

A Guide to the Study of Greco-Roman and Jewish and Christian History and Literature

Article excerpt

A Guide to the Study of Greco-Roman and Jewish and Christian History and Literature. By Philip Walker Jacobs. Lanham: University Press of America, 1994, xi + 119 pp., $24.50 paper.

Have you ever been in the middle of study and wondered about the dates for Epictetus or Melito of Sardis? If you want a simple chronology outlining a few pertinent facts about important persons and authors between Ben Sira and the emperor Valerian (200 BC to AD 259), this volume may be for you. The chronology's format is consistent throughout: Pages on the left contain entries under "Jewish and Christian History and Literature." People and authors from "Greco-Roman History and Literature" are on the right. This distinction sometimes appears more geographic (Palestine versus Rome) than religious or cultural.

A concise presentation of such a massive and diverse amount of material inevitably comes at the expense of certain oversimplifications. Examples include the sequence of events leading up to the Maccabean revolt, the founding of the Qumran community in 160 Bc by Essenes and the order and dates of Paul's letters. It is disappointing to find neither some indication of controversial areas nor a footnote acknowledging which scholars Jacobs follows on these and other points. …

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