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  • Anna Turton
    Senior Commissioning Editor, Theology (UK)
  • Dominic Mattos
    Editorial Director, Biblical Studies (UK)

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August 13, 2012


Stephen C. Carlson

I continue to use Schürer, but I think a revision is necessary, particularly after the important work on Judaism by E. P. Sanders.

Dominic Mattos

Thanks Stephen. What would you say the most important things to revise are?

Steve Walton

Delighted to hear you're thinking of a paperback edition. I'd be inclined to reprint 'as is', since this important book has been out of print for a number of years, and a revision will take some time.

What you'll probably need to do the revision is a cluster of colleagues to work together, since the subject area has become controversial post-Ed Sanders and there are now a number of areas which need further reflection. Could you persuade Steve Mason, Tessa Rajak and Philip Alexander to collaborate in organising a team to do the revision? They'd also be well placed to advise you on what needs revising.

Dominic Mattos

Thanks for this, Steve. Helpful as ever.

Dave Lincicum

Excellent to hear about this possibility! A few thoughts, most of them probably exceedingly obvious:

1) one of the best things about the new Schürer (now will it have to be called the 'old new Schürer'?) is the bibliographies. These will naturally need a careful sifting to keep the best of the old while bringing discussion up to date.

2) since this was last published, much has been done to integrate the NT into the study of 2TJudaism, and it would be great to see the NT more integrated into a new edition. As the great Martin Hengel once suggested, "Next to Josephus, Philo, Qumran, and the early rabbinic tradition, the New Testament could become the most important source for Judaism of the first century CE."

3) the new edition would want to take into account new manuscript discoveries, including the full publication of the DSS and, e.g., the Coptic fragments of 2 Enoch

4) Lots could be added or updated in individual sections. E.g., in vol. III.2, one wouldn't want to speak of 'biblical midrash' any longer, I think, but take advantage of the considerable studies of contemporary exegesis that have been done over the past thirty years. Likewise, with more of an emphasis on Philo's Jewishness, the section on Philo could be revised as well to reflect this; the section on various Jewish writings would want perhaps to be slightly more cautious about Jewish vs. Christian provenance; more on the LXX etc., etc.

5) Could Martin Goodman be prevailed upon to continue with the revision? And what about Peter Schäfer and David T. Runia as well (to add some non-UK names to the list)?

James F. McGrath

I suppose that this could become an interesting experiment, in an age when technology makes revising and editing very different than it was when the original work was composed. Perhaps a couple of centuries from now scholars will still be revising and updating Schuerer, even though perhaps by then very little of what the original author wrote will remain visible on the palimpsest. Perhaps it will even be WikiSchuerer by that stage... :)

I have few specific suggestions. I agree with the need for updating that reflects Sanders and post-Sanders work, It is also important to make sure that any revision reflects the increased historical-critical caution with respect to Rabbinic material that is increasingly becoming the rule rather than the exception. It may be a given that that would be reflected in the revision, but since it still does not characterize all use of Rabbinic sources equally, and one will still occasionally find reference to what a first-century rabbi is recorded in the Babylonian Talmud treated without discussion as evidence of first-century views, I thought I should at least mention this.

Having commented, is it necessary to say explicitly that I consider this a valuable resource and would expect a further revision to make it all the more so? :)

Philip Ryan

A paperback edition would provide an opportunity to purchase Schurer. The only copies I can ever find are the five volume originals put out by Hendrickson. Since I have been in seminary, I have used Schurer for most of my New Testament classes. The frequency would justify purchasing the set, but I can never find a good price for the Vermes/Millar copy.

I have no suggestions on whom or what should be revised. I would happily purchase Schurer as it is if it was in paperback.


Dominic Mattos

This is all great stuff. Keep 'em coming - and please do share the discussion elsewhere.

I'm really interested to hear the Schurer's being used on courses. Do we think a 'digest' volume could be useful as well? A sort of best of? Or is that probably not worth while?



Jim West

A fine idea. I use Schurer regularly and find it, still even now, useful. Naturally an update is needed, particularly I would think in terms of more recent 1 Enoch research.

As to a digest, please, no. Digests tend to leave out the very things I'm always looking for: those obscure and apparently irrelevant bits that are hard enough to track down and which disappear utterly in a digest.

John R. Gentry

Yes, I still use Schürer and recommend that others do the same.

I'm not qualified to speak as to the need of a revision. However, I would suggest that if a revision were to take place that it be made available in electronic form, perhaps with Logos.

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