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date: 21 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The third and final section of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Writings, is a crucial part of the biblical canon and a key turning point in the history of Israelite religion. The Writings were written and shaped during the time of Persian imperial rule as well as Hellenistic influence, perhaps 450–300 bce. The city of Jerusalem and the province of Yehud existed as a part of the continent-spanning Persian Empire, in which increased scribalism and communications supported the long-term purposes of imperial order, but which also accepted a higher level of pluralism than earlier empires and monarchies. The Writings of this time, expressed in diverse genres and with great variations of affect and theology, formed nascent Judaism in ways that would maximize its relevance to a new imperial, multicultural, and pluralistic world situation as well as enhance the opportunities for Judaism to survive and thrive in future centuries.

Keywords: Persian, Hellenistic, Writings, scribes, canon, nascent Judaism, early Judaism, history of religions, Israelite religions, Yehud

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