REVIEW OF BOOKS Albert I. BAUMGARTEN, The Flourishing of Jewish Sects in the Maccabean Era: An Interpretation (Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 55), F. J. Brill, Leiden 1997, xiii and 240 pp., cloth, ISBN 90 04 10751 7. Albert Baumgarten's study needs no justification (even though he in fact attempts to supply one on p. 2) since the various sects of the period before 70 are clearly an integral aspect of the religious scene. Sometimes they are given too much prominence, but this does not affect the usefulness nor the importance of a study such as the one here. B. wants, first, to show that the period following the Maccabean revolt and the early years of the Hasmonean kingdom was a good time for the major religious sects to form and, secondly, to explore the reasons for sect formation at this time. The main sects included in the study are the Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes, and Qumran. For the sake of the study he rightly treats Qumran and the Essenes separately (even though he thinks there is ultimately a connection). The many sects attested around the turn of the era are not generally discussed because
Journal for the Study of Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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