Encyclopaedia of Judaism

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Politics, Judaism and, I: The Normative Statement in Scripture and the Talmud
(5,068 words)

The political theory of Judaism emerges in the Hebrew Scriptures of ancient Israel as these writings are interpreted by the rabbis of the first six centuries c.e. in the Talmud of Babylonia and related documents. The Pentateuch portrays Israel as “a kingdom of priests and a holy people” and further takes for granted that this “kingdom” or “people” forms a political entity, exercising legitimate violence. Scripture therefore understands Israel not merely as a church or a volunta…

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Neusner, Jacob, “Politics, Judaism and, I: The Normative Statement in Scripture and the Talmud”, in: Encyclopaedia of Judaism. Consulted online on 17 June 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-9029_EJ_COM_0145>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004141001, 20040701



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