Becoming the People of the Book
DOI link for Becoming the People of the Book
Becoming the People of the Book book
This chapter focuses on several events that appear in retrospect to have been crucial in the development of Jewish culture out of Judahite culture. It seeks to introduce the transitional period in the formation of Jewish culture, a period that is poorly documented but is nonetheless important for understanding how Jewish culture would develop in subsequent centuries. The chapter also focuses on two developments in particular, which may be interconnected. The first is the onset of Persian rule in the sixth century BCE, which brought an end to the Neo-Babylonian Empire that had wrought so much destruction on the Kingdom of Judah. The second event is the emergence of the Bible as a sacred scripture. Babylonian rule was relatively brief ending in 539 BCE when the Neo-Babylonian Empire was itself defeated by the Persian king Cyrus II, founder of the Achaemenid dynasty that would dominate the Near East.