Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea  -     By: Samuel L. Adams
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Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea

Westminster John Knox Press / 2014 / Paperback

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This book looks at the socioeconomic landscape of Second Temple Judea (532 BCE - 70 CE) with close attention to the daily life of ordinary people. Adams uses the Hebrew Bible and other historical resources to examine work and economic exchange, marriage and the complexities of family life--including the roles of women and children--and the burdensome taxation policies under imperial Rome. He culminates with a rich analysis of the ethics of wealth and poverty found in various texts, including the Hebrew Bible, pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Q, and the New Testament. This study of socioeconomic and theological issues provides students with a helpful context for understanding religious beliefs and practices in the time of early Judaism and emerging Christianity.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0664237037
ISBN-13: 9780664237035
Availability: In Stock

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Author Bio

Samuel L. Adams is Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Adams is a regular blogger for Huffington Post and currently serves as coeditor of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), he is the author of Wisdom in Transition: Act and Consequence in Second Temple Instructions.

Editorial Reviews

"This well-researched and innovative study is an essential resource for both researchers and religious leaders. Adams adeptly illustrates how the social and economic context of the ancient world helped to shape people's beliefs about God, justice, and fair balance. There are strong implications for our contemporary context as we witness a dramatic acceleration of wealth inequalities in the United States and around the world. The significance of Adams's work extends beyond a historical study and invites readers to seek the wisdom and alternative vision of ancient traditions of faith as we confront one of the most pressing problems of our own time."
—Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Chair, Department of Theology, Bellarmine University


"Sam Adams's exciting and timely book brings to life the social and economic world of Second Temple Judea. Adams masterfully balances attention to micro- and macroeconomic structures, giving equal space to the spheres of family and empire. Informed by critical gender studies and postcolonial theory, Adams examines old and new evidence with a keen and judicious eye. Accessible, well-organized, and fresh, this book will be a vital resource for students and scholars alike."
—Anathea Portier-Young, Duke Divinity School


"Social and Economic Life in Second Temple Judea serves as a major advance for the study of biblical economies. With a broad knowledge of early Judaism, Professor Adams deftly works through biblical and extrabiblical texts to present a balanced portrayal of the social currents of the Second Temple period. Beginning students will find this book accessible and engaging, while scholars will appreciate its thorough research and nuanced discussion."
—Roger S. Nam, George Fox University


"Adams's groundbreaking work provides a long overdue survey of the realities of economic life in Second Temple Judaism. Grounded in detailed knowledge of the literature, this book provides a solid and realistic basis for future work on social justice in early Judaism and the nascent Christian movement."
—John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale Divinity School

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