Esteemed scholar of the Hebrew Bible Joseph Blenkinsopp in his latest work Judaism the First Phase brings us the story of The Place of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Origins of Judaism. Blenkinsopp's strategy in this work is to tell the history of this era through the lens of the two biblical books. In doing so, he argues that Jewish sectarianism (like Qumran) can be traced back to the work of Ezra and Nehemiah. The author, in support of his thesis, demonstrates a wide spectrum of learning and familiarity with the primary sources of Second Temple Judaism both a religious and historical. As such this book is a fresh, unique, insightful, and quite possibly--revolutionary look--at Jewish origins and the legacy of Ezra and Nehemiah.
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