Does the subject of Israel, confused you?
In his 2021 book “The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism” Dr. Jason A. Staples does a masterful job of taking us back to first century via documents of many types, all of which were having impact at that time and place. Dr. Staples breaks down both existing biblical and extra biblical texts. As well as documents that were being written in that era such as Josephus’ writings and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Dr Staples’ writing style is easily understandable for the average reader; however, you may find terms that you will need to look up since some of the subject matter is not well known, the book is also very well documented. His findings, eye opening!
1930’s Germany has a suspicious role in our modern understanding
Not wanting to give away his total conclusion, simply know that by the end of Chapter 1, Dr Staples has made the case that our modern understanding of Israel and Jews is more influenced by the German Nazis of the 1930’s than the written record of 2,000 years ago. As a bare minimum read, the Introduction, Chapter 1 and the last chapter, Chapter 12 of, “The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism”. Questions never asked will be answered.
As a result of reading this book you will never read your bible quite the same again. I also expect you will want to read the other 10 chapters as well. I was mesmerized and so very happy to have all the footnotes and documentation which Dr Staples spent 20 years accumulating before he published. Frankly we all owe Dr Staples a debt of Gratitude for this amazing work!
Here is an Amazon link to the book; https://www.amazon.com/Idea-Israel-Second-Temple-Judaism/dp/1108842860/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1JS6OQAX14UM0&keywords=jason+staples+idea+of+israel&qid=1682684433&sprefix=%2Caps%2C398&sr=8-1