Saturday, April 22, 2006

Must Have Primary Sources

Stern, Menahem. Editor. Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism: Edited with Introductions, Translations and Commentary. 3 vols. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1974.

An exhaustive compilation of Greco-Roman authors who mention Jews.

J.B. Frey. Editor. Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaicarum. 2 vols. New York: Ktav Publishing, 1975 [1936-52].

A list of extent insciptions relating to Jews in the Mediterranean.

These are excellent, albeit underused sources, that can aid in understanding Jewish communities (and thus by implication Christian communities) in the ancient world. An obvious benefit is looking at the attitudes of Greco-Roman authors to sabbath keeping, abstaining from pork, and circumcision. The number of proselyte inscriptions in Rome women (mainly) is equally illuminating.

I would urge all students of Christian Origins to read through these two books (rare and hard to find) at least once in the course of their research.

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