From Joshua to Caiaphas High Priests After the Exile

James C. Vanderkam
  • Review
By – August 14, 2012
The Sec­ond Tem­ple peri­od was a sem­i­nal epoch in the devel­op­ment of Judaism as we know it today. This book is for both those inter­est­ed in the his­to­ry of the Sec­ond Tem­ple Peri­od and those inter­est­ed in the devel­op­ment of the High Priest­hood. The lengthy vol­ume is exhaus­tive and schol­ar­ly. The author begins with the return from exile and the role of prophet, priest, and prince in the rebuild­ing of Com­mu­ni­ty and Tem­ple. The work is divid­ed into time peri­ods, and for each there is first a his­tor­i­cal back­ground and then a care­ful exam­i­na­tion of the lit­er­ary sources for every High Priest. These divi­sions are the Per­sian Peri­od, Ear­ly Hel­lenis­tic Peri­od, Has­monean High Priests (152 – 37 BCE) and the Hero­di­an Age (37 BCE to 70 CE). The author reviews cur­rent the­o­ries about the sources, ana­lyz­ing them metic­u­lous­ly. He presents every view care­ful­ly and seri­ous­ly and then gives his own insights. The book is excel­lent and a delight, use­ful as a ref­er­ence either for a his­tor­i­cal era or for a par­tic­u­lar High Priest. There is an exten­sive bib­li­og­ra­phy and sev­er­al indices.
Martha Sparks is a Ph.D. stu­dent in clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gy. She lives and stud­ies in New Jersey.

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