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.