Crucible of Faith by Philip Jenkins

Crucible of Faith

Heaven and hell, angels and demons, Satan and the Messiah. All of these seem fundamental to the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Yet these figures are largely, and conspicuously, absent from the Biblical Old Testament. Philip Jenkins, one of America's foremost scholars of religion, argues that much of the Judeo-Christian tradition we know today was born between 250-50 BCE, during a turbulent "Crucible Era." It was during these years that Juda...

Details Crucible of Faith

TitleCrucible of Faith
Release DateSep 19th, 2017
PublisherBasic Books
GenreHistory, Religion, Nonfiction, Faith, Ancient History

Reviews Crucible of Faith

  • Peter Mcloughlin
    The rise of empire caused political and religious upheaval and forged for better worse the forms of the major Abrahamic religion have taken ever since. The fixation on the kingdom of God, End Times, and Universalism in Christianity is to be found in movements in second temple Judaism. The bible was coming into a recognizable form and the mold for the next two thousand years was being cast. Such is this pivotal period is known as the axial age. Fa...
  • Alex
    Without a doubt, this is one of the most accessible histories on the Second Temple Judaism. Jenkins threads the needle on numerous pertinent subjects that are crucial for any student of Biblical history to comprehend; to include, Enochic literature, apocalyptic literature, Platonism, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and a thorough history of the Maccabean War and subsequent Hasmonean dynasty. My *only* complaint would be that I wish Jenkins had provided in-...
  • Lynn
    Absolutely fascinating. Jenkins explains that (despite the conviction of most Christians), Jesus and Paul of Tarsus are not reflective of the Hebrew religion of what they call the ‘Old Testament’. But, he adds, neither is rabbinic Judaism as known today. In fact, both of these modern religions, as well as Islam and numerous sects that have disappeared over time, grow out of the political and philosophical turmoil of what he calls the ‘Cruci...
  • John
    Philip Jenkins' subject is what he describes as the Crucible years, or what Christians might call the period of time between the Old and New testaments. It was far from a time of silence, as Jenkins clearly illustrates, and he argues that the thinking of the time -- influenced by the dominant Greek culture -- laid the groundwork for the Christian themes that would follow.This is not a densely written, scholars-only treatise by any means. In fact,...
  • Lin
    A fascinating dive into a time period that is too frequently over looked.
  • Tony Jones
    An absolutely fantastic 'splainer on the intertestamental period.
  • Ben McFarland
    This is a detailed, interesting history of an overlooked period time: roughly the period between Malachi and Matthew, which I had described to me as the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments. Yet it was a time of political turmoil and theological innovation as ideas were developed that led to Christianity. What's fascinating to me is how many ideas that look like abrupt innovations were more gradual changes in thought in respons...
  • Kelby Carlson
    This book is almost entirely hampered by the author’s naturalistic method, which affects his dating of many of the important texts and thus his historical conclusions by necessary consequence. So: Israel wasn’t originally monotheistic, all of the prophecies were retroactive, second temple commentary was essentially revisionist, and Greek innfluence on Judaism fundamentally changed the character of the religion. Aside from that huge problem, t...
  • Terence
    Good, readable introduction to the topic.