Thursday, January 22, 2015

Martin Hengel v. Louis H. Feldman

Some here might enjoy reading Louis H. Feldman's article in JBL 96/3(1977): 371-382 entitled "Hengel's Judaism and Hellenism in Retrospect."

Martin Hengel was the author of Judentum und Hellenismus, Studien zu ihrer Begegnung unter besonderer Berucksichtigung Palastinas bis zur Mitte des 2 Jh.s v. Chr. translated as Judaism and Hellenism: Studies in Their Encounter in Palestine during the Early Hellenistic Period (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1974).

Hengel has essayed an influential historical account of how ancient Judaism (more specifically, Judaism from 330 B.C.E. onward) was cross-fertilized notionally by means of the "inroads of Hellenism." He consequently argues that scholars should not make a sharp differentiation between Hellenistic and Palestinian Judaism. Secondly, Hengel maintains that the Greek influence on Judaism was much more pervasive (and significantly earlier) than has been previously thought. The upshot of his suggestions is that "the background of the NT in Palestine was a Judaism that had been hellenized for the preceding 360 years." Feldman, however, attempts to refute 22 points put forward by Hengel; his retorts are worthy of consideration. Some may even conclude that he has successfully confuted the arguments posited by Hengel.

In any event, Feldman maintains:

"There is actually very little in Hengel that has not been said before. It is, however, the sheer accumulation and evaluation of evidence that is impressive" (Feldman, page 371).




Duncan said...

I wonder what he means by "Palestinian Judaism" ?

This is a very cloudy concept. Not to mention the Essenes. To argue in favour of Hellenised branches seems reasonable but as a wide ranging idea?"Hengel%27s+Judaism+and+Hellenism+in+Retrospect."&source=bl&ots=vJ_2f2rHlD&sig=PFB31f-8EdrXGYZ64_-DX1-bmnY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fdbCVMa2AYL1UqKhg-gL&ved=0CC4Q6AEwBQ

Duncan said...

Philip Fletcher said...

Hi Edgar; since we are talking about German Scholars. I think you might like the December 15th, 1985 WT, on the article the Word was... Considering the German scholar Ernst Haenchen.

Your brother

Duncan said...

Haenchen ruffled a few feathers:-