This World and the World to Come

Daniel M. Gurtner, ed., This World and the World to Come. Soteriology in Early Judaism. Library of Second Temple Studies 74; London:T & T Clark International A Continuum imprint, 2011. xix+364 pages. ISBN 978-0-567-02838-9. Price £ 70.

“Did authors of Second Temple texts concern themselves with ‘salvation’? If so, on what terms? What does one need ‘salvation’ from? Are the parameters of who is included in or excluded from ‘salvation’ defined?” What is the ‘content’ of salvation? These are some of the questions the various contributors in this book deal with.
The volume consists of a total of 17 contributions; each dealing with some selected works and authors from Second Temple Judaism. With the exception of the Book of Daniel, no texts from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament are dealt with. However, the Book of Judith and the Psalms of Salomon, present in the Septuagint, are included. Not only single books, but also a range of books from a particular author (Philo), or from specific milieus and/or traditions (Dead Sea Scrolls; Rabbinics) are investigated. The books/authors dealt with are divided into six groups: I) Narratives (Judith,3 Maccabees, Pseudo-Philo’s Biblical Antiquities); II) Apocalypses (Book of Daniel; Apocalypse of Abraham; 4 Ezra; 2 Baruch; 2 Enoch); III) A set of some Psalms (Psalms of Solomon); IV) Philosophical texts (Philo of Alexandria; Wisdom of Solomon); V) Dead Sea Scrolls (Pescharim; Jubilee; 1QS/4QS), and VI) Rabbinic texts.
I will have a review out on this book in the upcoming volume of Studia Philonica (Nov 2012.)