Those who study the Bible are becoming increasingly attentive to the significance of economics when examining ancient texts and the cultures that produced them. This book looks at the socioeconomic landscape of Second Temple Judea, from the end of the Babylonian exile to the destruction of the temple by the Romans (532 BCE to 70 CE). Adams carefully examines key themes, paying special attention to family life, the status of women, and children, while engaging relevant textual and archaeological evidence. He looks at borrowing and lending and the burdensome taxation policies under a succession of colonial powers. In this pursuit, Adams offers an innovative analysis of economic life with fresh insights from biblical texts. No other study has specifically analyzed economics for this lengthy timeframe, especially in relation to these key themes. This important book provides readers with a helpful context for understanding religious beliefs and practices in the time of early Judaism and emerging Christianity. CLIC K HERE to view the Table of Contents and Introduction.
"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
"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 U.S. 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
"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 presents a suggestive, largely synchronic survey of salient themes, such as family roles, financial exchange, commercial interests, and occupations (farmers, merchants, potters, scribes), citing a wide range of references, from the prophets to rabbinic rulings and Hellenistic Jewish texts. The book is a model of scholarly research, with extensive references to recent as well as older secondary literature."—Richard Horsley, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and author of Covenant Economics
"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