This chapter examines the methodologies, new approaches, and challenges in the use of rabbinic literature to study the history of Judaism in late antiquity. It provides some examples that demonstrate some of the issues concerning the applicability of rabbinic literature to the study of Judaism in late-Roman Palestine. It concludes that rabbinic literature can serve as a historical source, especially when read indirectly and through the lens of well-defined theoretical frameworks, and when perceived as a rabbinic cultural product that reflects delicate, sophisticated and hardly recoverable relationships between text and reality.
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Reprint years 2012
DOI 10.5871/bacad/9780197264744.003.0019
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