New Ideas in the Hasmonean Period (160 - 37 BCE)

1. Final compilation of the Bible

a. Translation into Greek; loss of Hebrew as a spoken language

2. New cosmology emphasizing G-d in the highest heavens, remote from human realm

a. angels and demons

b. an afterlife

c. resurrection of the "righteous dead"

d. final judgment

e. messianic beliefs about inauguration of a golden age on earth

3. The end of prophecy: new possibilities for religious change

a. reinterpretation of prophets: prophets spoke words even they didn't understand about future events

b. otherworldy visions wherein visionary granted heavenly ascent (G-d no longer comes down to human realm)

c. pseudoepigraphy: writing new books but attributing them to Biblical authors

--Testament of Levi, the Enoch books

d. example of changes introduced by these mechanisms: solar calendar, bodily resurrections, last judgment

e. the Apocalypse ("to uncover"): visions of the end of time and overthrow of the present world order

--a kind of spiritual code

--cosmic battle of good and evil in which evil will be defeated

4. Competing Judaisms

a. Diaspora / Israel (Greek / Aramaic)

b. Literalist vs. ongoing tradition

--Sadducees value only written Torah

--Pharisees preserve oral Torah in addition to the written

c. Apocalyptic: adding new books

d. New worship spaces: the synagogue in addition to the Temple

e. Arguments over the Jerusalem priesthood

--Qumran sectarians withdrew entirely from Temple worship