The seventeen essays on various aspects of “restoration” in the present volume provide a kind of sequel to those that were published in James M. Scott (ed.), Exile: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian Conceptions (Journal for the Study of Judaism Supplement Series 56; Leiden: Brill, 1997). Both volumes supply the reader with a broad cross section of the voluminous and variegated material on exile and restoration, respectively. Furthermore, both volumes contain incisive essays from a variety of perspectives by leading authorities in their respective fields of study. Taken together, therefore, Exile and Restoration should provide a useful point of departure for further interdisciplinary work on these two interrelated subjects which were fundamentally important for several traditions.
The restoration volume takes several approaches to the material on restoration. First, the book is divided into four major parts: (I) the Formative Period; (II) the Greco-Roman Period; (III) Formative Judaism; and (IV) Early Christianity. Secondly, within these parts, several different methods are employed. While all of the essays deal with history, tradition, and literature, some emphasize one aspect more than others. For instance, Shemarjahu Talmon (“'Exile' and 'Restoration' in the Conceptual World of Ancient Judaism”) provides a broad historical overview of the conception of restoration from its Old Testament roots to its various ramifications in the Second Temple period. Johannes Tromp (“The Davidic Messiah in Jewish Eschatology of the First Century BCE”) considers the development of messianic expectations in the context of “restoration” in the GrecoRoman world. And Sean Freyne (“The Geography of Restoration: Galilee-Jerusalem Relations in Early Jewish and Christian Experience”) handles the problem of the supposed rival centers of earliest Christianity from the perspective of “the geography of restoration.” In most cases, however, the authors survey the concept of “restoration” in a particular body of literature. Some of these literary corpora are well defined and readily accessible (e.g., Josephus), while others are beset by well-known problems of definition from the outset (e.g., “apocalyptic literature”). Since every text has its own intricacies and problems of interpretation, the authors