In most Bibles the period between the Old and the New Testaments is represented by a single blank page which, perhaps, has symbolic significance. ‘From Malachi to Matthew’ has for long remained vague and unfamiliar to many readers of the Scriptures. Many mysteries remain, but in recent times much light has been cast on this whole period. Exciting new insights have been provided by the writings of numbers of scholars and by some remarkable archaeological discoveries. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls caught the popular imagination and engaged the attention of worldwide scholarship. In this small volume an attempt is made to review these years in the light of recent study and discoveries and in particular to assess the religious contribution made by that rather strange company of men known as ‘the apocalyptists’. The purpose of this book is selective rather than exhaustive, indicating the part which the apocalyptists had to play within the religious development of Judaism and in the preparation of men’s minds for the coming of Christianity.
“It was here that the Septuagint translation of the Scriptures into the Greek tongue emerged for the use of Greek-speaking Jews in Egypt who were no longer able to read Hebrew and for whom the translations given in the synagogue services were proving inadequate. The translation of the ‘Torah’ or Pentateuch took place probably during the reign of Ptolemy II (285–247 b.c.), the name ‘Septuagint’ being extended later to cover other parts of the Old Testament as well.” (Page 15)
“Ptolemy II of Egypt who gave the task of translation into the hands of 72 ‘elders’. In later forms of the story the number is given as 70.” (Page 16)
“These communities and their method of government by democratic senate resembling the Athenian Boulē or Council, elected annually and comprising representatives of the people, would bring to the Jews an entirely new mental outlook and a hitherto unknown insight into the Hellenistic culture and civilization much of which, to the loyal Jew, would appear to be unedifying and even subversive of the faith of Israel.” (Page 18)
“In these lands, particularly in the East, would be many Jews who had been exiled from Palestine many years before and others who, even before the time of Alexander, had emigrated and settled in Greek cities further west. Jewish communities were soon to be found in such places as Syria, Antioch, Damascus, Asia Minor, Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus, Cyrene and Rome.” (Page 15)
“An important factor in spreading this ‘rival culture’ was undoubtedly the formation of gymnasiums which sprang up not only in Jerusalem but in many parts of the Dispersion, in Palestine and far beyond.” (Page 19)
A brief but very helpful discussion of the Judaism of the inter-testamental period, of the literature of the times that has survived, and of the message of the apocalyptic writers…
—Andover Newton Quarterly
This book will serve as a valuable text for students engaged in a study of Judaism in the Christian era. It includes a brief bibliography and useful indexes.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.