Exile and Return: The Birth and Defining Moments of Ancient Judaism

Exile and Return: The Birth and Defining Moments of Ancient Judaism

February 26, 2023
7:30 PM

Exile and Return: The Birth and Defining Moments of Ancient Judaism
Sunday, February 26, 2023 | 7:30 PM

John Ahn
Co-Hosted by BAF, BASONOVA, B’nai Israel Congregation and the Haberman Institute for Jewish Studies

What was the impact of involuntary and voluntary forced migration on Judaism, a diaspora religion? Without the historical experience of the exile and return, Judaism would not exist.

In the midst of political collapse and the annexation of the Southern Kingdom of Judah during the sixth century BCE, how did a kingless and kingdom-less people maintain authority and coherence? With the return of exiled Judahites from Babylon and those who fled to Egypt, plus others from smaller satellite nations like Moab, complications arose in articulating a post-exilic, “normative” Judaism.

A compromise was reached through the formulation of the final form of the Hebrew Bible. The text became the doctrinal constitution of a new state: defining laws, stipulations, and narratives with poems and other writings on post-exilic citizenship. Two seminal, opposing views dominated the conversation and redaction process: the orthodox/conservative (Persian Jews) and liberals (Egyptian Jews).

John Ahn is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible, Howard University School of Divinity

This lecture will begin at 7:30 pm at B’nai Israel Congregation: 6301 Montrose Rd Rockville, MD 20852

The Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) begins its thirty-eighth year this autumn. This season we will welcome presentations from evolutionary biologist Ellen Gretak on ancient DNA, Johns Hopkins Egyptologist Betsy Bryan on the 100th anniversary of King Tut’s Tomb discovery, John Ahn of the Howard University Divinity School on the Return from the Babylonian Exile, and several more events which will be listed here as the dates approach

So, please join us for a series of eight scholarly lectures on the latest archaeological research findings and related fields such as history, art, and texts of ancient times in the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean. No reservations.

Fees per lecture are (cash or check only):free – High school students;$5 – Residents of CES Life Communities, college students, and co-sponsors;$8 – BASONOVA & Bender JCC members$10 – General public.

To subscribe to the entire 8-session lecture series for $48, or for more information, please contact BAF.JCCGW@gmail.com.