Judaism in late antiquity

Topics: Torah, Judaism, Halakha, Israel / Pages: 6 (1273 words) / Published: Sep 23rd, 2013
Judaism in Late Antiquity by Jacob Neusner

‘Judaism in late antiquity’ by Jacob Neusner is a brief look back on the history of Judaism. Judaism is the official religion for the Jewish state of Israel. The sacred Hebrew scripture called the Torah serves as a model for an ethical lifestyle. Late antiquity applies to the beginning of the Common Era, specifically the start of the first six centuries. The history of Judaism in late antiquity first started with the Mishnah, the first important written scripture in Rabbinic Judaism that formed throughout the first and second centuries CE. As years went on, around four hundred years later, the Mishnah was changed completely into something new. This was called the “last Mishnah”, which is a revised version of the first Mishnah. The Mishnah was reconstructed by the rabbis who were seen as masters or even as ‘gods’ after the great messianic wars against Rome in (66-73) and (132-135). The first Mishnah and the last Mishnah were formed together into a rabbinic synthesis, which is now known as messianic Judaism and is used for worship to this day. Rabbinic Judaism had two different sides to one religion. Rabbinic Judaism created a mixture of two massive antithetical phenomenas in the people of Israel’s religion. There is only one document for Rabbinic Judaism in Late Antiquity, and that is The Mishnah, which is the foundation of Rabbinic Judaism that stands on its own, the Mishnah ignored scriptures and texts with proof. In his article Jacob Neusner stated that the conflicts between the religions in Israel in Late Antiquity had to do with the rabbinic successors of both the scriptures and the Mishnah which associated both of these two back into relation. They combined the scriptures and the Mishnah into a messianic and legal synthesis which is the Torah, with their rabbi being Moses. The Mishnah was written in Mishnaic Hebrew, and is the first book of Judaism in the first and second centuries CE. The



Cited: Entry Title: “Rabbinic Judaism in Late Antiquity” (pp. 7583-7590) Bibliographic Entry: Neusner, Jacob. "Rabbinic Judaism in Late Antiquity." Encyclopedia of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. 2nd ed. Vol. 11. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 7583-7590.

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