"No generation in the history of Jewry has been so roundly, universally condemned by posterity as that of Yohanan ben Zakkai." A crisis was taking place in Palestine - a conflict between the Romans' need for expanding their empire, trade, and strategic locale, and the Jews' need for continuing to serve God with their laws and their holy land. Beginning with the destruction by the Romans of the second temple in A.D. 70, we have a continuing picture of Pharisee Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, leader of Jewish reconstruction and founder of contemporary Judaism as we know it today: how the Torah affected Yohanan's education, war activities, social problems, and theological issues. Especially important to Jews and Christians alike is the picture of Pharisees and Pharisaism that emerges and the enlightening story of what happened to the many Jews of this first-century who did not become Christians. First-Century Judaism in Crisis is a popularized version of the author's prize-winning biography of Yohanan ben Zakkai (Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1970).
Jacob Neusner is Research Professor of Religion and Theology at Bard College and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Theology at Bard. He has published more than 900 books and unnumbered articles, both scholarly and academic, popular and journalistic, and is the most published humanities scholar in the world. He has been awarded nine honorary degrees, including seven US and European honorary doctorates. He received his A.B. from Harvard College in 1953, his Ph.D. from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in 1961, and Rabbinical Ordination and the degree of Master of Hebrew Letters from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1960.
Neusner is editor of the 'Encyclopedia of Judaism' (Brill, 1999. I-III) and its Supplements; Chair of the Editorial Board of 'The Review of Rabbinic Judaism,' and Editor in Chief of 'The Brill Reference Library of Judaism', both published by E. J. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands. He is editor of 'Studies in Judaism', University Press of America.
Neusner resides with his wife in Rhinebeck, New York. They have a daughter, three sons and three daughters-in-law, six granddaughters and two grandsons.