This brief survey text tells the story of Judaism. Through the lens of modern biblical scholarship, Christine Hayes explores the shifting cultural contexts - the Babylonian exile, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine period, the rise of Christianity - that affected Jewish thought and practice, and laid the groundwork for the Talmudic era and its modern legacy. Thematic chapters explore the evolution of Judaism through its beginnings in biblical monotheism, the Second Temple Period in Palestine, the interaction of Hellenism and Judaism, the spread of rabbinic authority, and the essence of ethno-religious Jewish identity. Biographical sketches of key figures from patriarchs to prophets, and primary selections from the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Talmud, and others, allow for a greater understanding of an ancient movement, and provide a solid introduction to the origins of one of the world's most influential religions.
The text's chapters will integrate key pedagogy, including introductions, study questions, textboxes, photos, maps, suggested readings, and a glossary and timeline.