In this book, Shaye J.D. Cohen explores the formation and transformation of Jewish identity between Hellenistic times and the Roman era. Cohen, a renowned scholar in Jewish history, addresses complex issues related to ethnicity, religion, and cultural identity. He investigates how Jewish identity was defined and perceived both internally by Jews and externally by non-Jews. Cohen delves into various factors such as conversion, intermarriage, and the use of the terms "Jew" and "Judaism." He argues that Jewish identity was fluid and multifaceted, influenced by social, political, and religious contexts. The book examines primary sources, including literary, epigraphic, and legal texts, to understand the boundaries and uncertainties surrounding Jewish identity during this period.

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