The Beginnings of Jewishness: Boundaries, Varieties, Uncertainties
In modern times, various Jewish groups have argued whether Jewishness is a function of ethnicity, of nationality, of religion, or of all three. These fundamental conceptions were already in place in antiquity. The peculiar combination of ethnicity, nationality, and religion that would characterize Jewishness through the centuries first took shape in the second century B.C.E. This brilliantly argued, accessible book unravels one of the most complex issues of late antiquity by showing how these elements were understood and applied in the construction of Jewish identity—by Jews, by gentiles, and by the state.
Beginning with the intriguing case of Herod the Great's Jewishness, Cohen moves on to discuss what made or did not make Jewish identity during the period, the question of conversion, the prohibition of intermarriage, matrilineal descent, and the place of the convert in the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds. His superb study is unique in that it draws on a wide range of sources: Jewish literature written in Greek, classical sources, and rabbinic texts, both ancient and medieval. It also features a detailed discussion of many of the central rabbinic texts dealing with conversion to Judaism.
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JEWS AND OTHERS
Was Herod Jewish?
Ioudaios Iudaeus Judaean Jew
From Ethnos to Ethnoreligion
Ioudaizein to Judaize
The Rabbinic Conversion Ceremony
The Matrilineal Principle
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Abraham Ambrosiaster ancient antiquity argues Ashtor Authors Bavli become a Jew beraita biblical Canaanites chapter Christian circumcision cited citizens commandments commentary conversion ceremony convert to Judaism CSEL cumcision daeans Deut Deuteronomy diaspora discussion Egypt Egyptian ethnic ethnic-geographic ethnos exegesis explain Ezra follows gentile gentile father Gerim Greek Hasmonean Hebrew Hellenism Hellenistic Herod Idumaeans Idumaeans and Ituraeans immersion inscription intermarriage interpretation Ioudaios ioudaizein Israel Israelite Israelite mother Jerusalem Jewish community Jewish mother Jews Josephus Judaeans Judah Judaism judaizing Maccabees Maimonides mamzer marriage married Martial matrilineal principle meaning Mishnah nation native observe offspring origin parallels passage Paul Paul’s perhaps Philo phrase political priests prohibition proselyte Qiddushin rabbinic law refers ritual Roman sages says scholars Scripture second century C.E. Shabbat Sifra Sifrei Simeon slave status Stern story Strabo Talmud temple term Timothy tion Torah Tosafot Tosefta translation tzitzit verb verse woman women word Yerushalmi Yevamot