Traditionally, “hellenistic judaism” was a designation for judaism in the greek-speaking world, including those jews who spoke greek and adopted (to some extent) a greek way of life it has been argued, however, that all judaism after the conquests of alexander was hellenistic judaism. Hellenistic judaism was a movement which existed in the jewish diaspora before the siege of jerusalem in 70 ce, that sought to establish a hebraic-jewish religious tradition within the culture and language of hellenism the major literary product of the contact of judaism and hellenistic culture is the septuagint.
Hasmonean kings attempted to revive the judah described in the bible: a jewish monarchy ruled from jerusalem and including all territories once ruled by david and solomon in order to carry out this project, the hasmoneans forcibly converted one-time moabites, edomites, and ammonites to judaism, as well as the lost kingdom of israel. In any event, the history of judaism can be divided into the following major periods: biblical judaism (c 20th–4th century bce), hellenistic judaism (4th century bce –2nd century ce), rabbinic judaism (2nd–18th century ce), and modern judaism (c 1750 to the present.
In acts, it talks about a division in judaism that i had not heard of before: acts 6:1 (niv) in those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the hellenistic jews among them complained. The words hellenism and hellenistic have a long history in which the text of the acts of the apostles 6:1 plays a central part because it opposes hebraioi to hellenistai at least from the 16 th century onward (j scaliger) this text was interpreted to imply a contrast between jews who used hebrew and jews who used greek in the synagogue service. Books i, ii, and iii of maccabees are invaluable for jewish history and must be supplemented by the relevant sections of josephus' jewish antiquities strabo, pliny the elder, pausanias, galen, athenaeus, and diogenes laertius, though all writing in the roman empire, provide essential information on hellenistic science, social life, and customs.
As hellenism penetrated each new region, an amalgamation of the hellenistic with the native took place, and this phenomenon resulted in the many different manifestations of hellenistic culture observable in the near east over many centuries. Hellenistic judaism was a form of judaism in the ancient world that combined jewish religious tradition with elements of greek culture.
The following article is reprinted with permission from from text to tradition: a history of second temple and rabbinic judaism (ktav) the cultural phenomenon that we call hellenism had a lasting impact on judaism and the jewish people hellenism was a synthesis of greek (hellenic) culture with the native cultures of the near east.
The second of four volumes covering the history of judaism from 540 bce to 250 ce, this book deals with the encounter of judaism with the hellenistic culture spread throughout the mediterranean world and beyond by alexander the great and his successors. The hellenistic jewish literature is the best evidence of the influence exercised by greek thought upon the people of the book the first urgent need of the hellenistic jews in alexandria was a greek translation of the hebrew bible.
In acts, it talks about a division in judaism that i had not heard of before: acts 6:1 (niv) in those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the hellenistic jews among them complained against the hebraic jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.