By Etienne Nodet
Translated through J. Edward Crowley. This radical reconstruction of the origins of Judaism starts off by way of looking at that Josephus's assets at the early background of Israel don't accept as true with the Bible and that the oldest rabbinic traditions exhibit no signal of a biblical starting place. one other attention-grabbing query is raised by means of the Samaritan declare, on the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, they had only in the near past obtained the Sabbath from the Jews. From such info, Nodet creates a entire line of argument that unearths significant assets of Judaism, as symbolized within the subtitle of his paintings: Joshua was once the one that demonstrated in the community in writing a statute and a legislations on the Shechem meeting, whereas the Mishnah was once the last word metamorphosis of traditions introduced from Babylon and mixed with Judaean influences.
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Additional info for A Search for the Origins of Judaism: From Joshua to the Mishnah
The exclusivism of the Jews in Judaea, set up by Ezra and Nehemiah—the foundation of Judaism—left Samaria in an antecedent religious condition: the Samaritan religion would have been a more traditional and conservative, perhaps more popular religion. As a matter of fact, later Samaritan tradition vilified Ezra, but not Nehemiah. These are the main lines of the nuanced synthesis of Widengren, who incorporates numerous earlier studies. He concludes that the date of the construction of the Gerizim temple 'probably falls outside the Persian period, since the Persians obviously favoured the temple of Jerusalem over Samaritan cult-places'.
Josephus refers to this account from The Jewish War and has it in front of him, but this new presentation has two peculiarities, useful for our purposes: on the one hand, the Sadducees have become very dignified scholars, but are inactive and practically obedient to the Pharisees; on the other hand, the followers of Judas the Galilean (say, the Zealots), close to the Pharisees in doctrines, are raised to the rank of 'fourth party', even though Josephus cannot refrain assistant) passively transcribed the opinion of the latter.
The same could be said of the relationship between the statute granted by Alexander to Judaea and the charter of Antiochus HI. The successor of Antiochus III, Seleucus IV Philopator (187-175), at first followed the policies of his father, but financial difficulties led him to covet the treasures of the Jerusalem Temple. According to 2 Mace. 140, which opens the account with a marvellous presentation of this incident, Seleucus, who had contacts in Jerusalem, instructed Heliodorus, his administrator, to confiscate these funds, but the latter was prevented from doing so by the high priest, Onias III; the ostensible religious reason given for this refusal was probably hiding a pro-Lagide tendency through ties with Hyrcanus the Tobiad.