Date Started: July 9, 2021
Date Finished: July 15, 2021
What did the terms Israel and Jew mean during the Second Temple period (500 BCE – 70 CE)? Were they interchangeable or did they have different meanings? Modern scholarship has assumed an equal use of these terms distinguished by an insider/outsider paradigm. In this book, Dr. Staples argues that the insider/outsider paradigm is incorrect. He scours the ancient texts of this time period to see how the Biblical writers, Josephus, Philo, and many other writers used these terms. His findings not only have significant ramifications for how we understand the terms Hebrews, Jews, Israelites, and Samaritans during the Second Temple period, but how they inform our understanding of these ideas today. A fascinating book.