This volume describes that part of the rich literary production of ancient Judaism which was not contained in the Hebrew Bible nor in rabbinic literature. These writings originated in the Second Temple period, a period which proved highly creative in the midst of strong external influences and internal movements. Prime example are the Dead Sea scrolls, documents of an extremely separatist sect. Their discovery in 1947 revolutionized our understanding of Second Temple Judaism and its literature. Yet another group are the Apocrypha, closely related to later biblical writings and incorporated within the Greek Old Testament. Finally, the encounter with Greek culture is documented by Jewish authors writing in Greek, notably Philo and Josephus. After a historical outline which sets the stage, the chapters of this book describe and analyse these documents. Selective bibliographies for further reading conclude the chapters. Includes indexes of sources, names, and subjects. This is an analysis of the early documents and does not contain the actual writings of the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran sectarian writings, Philo or Josephus.
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