Issues of identity---national, ethnic, racial and sexual---preoccupy much contemporary discourse. Perhaps this is why the past decades have seen extensive scholarship on identity in antiquity, including Jewish identity. On the other hand, some specialists doubt the validity of this approach, questioning the creation of “quasi-ethnic” categories for the ancient world. Less radically, some scholars have denied the continuity of Jewish identity from Second Temple times through the early centuries of the common era. What follows summarizes my own view while also surveying some of the scholarship on the issue.I argued for what I think is a similar position here. But Professor Goodblatt's discussion is much more thorough, with lots of detailed evidence.
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