Christians believe the Jews' Old Testament narrative is God's means of introducing himself to humanity. However, a lengthy gap occurs in the Jews' biblical story, from the end of their Babylonian captivity in Ezra and Nehemiah's day until they resurface in the New Testament. This book offers an account of the Jews' history during this period--the silent years--giving attention to Hellenism's impact.
The silent years end with Herod's death, but leaving the story there would disregard the fact that Israel was then at the height of its splendor since David and Solomon's time. For completeness, the study continues into the first century CE, exploring how Israel fared under the Romans who governed Judea until the nation's collapse in the First Roman War.
Stouffer finds relevance for today's believers in the Jews' silent years experience. The challenge for Second Temple Jews was Hellenism. Contemporary Christians contend with Postmodernism. Knowing of the Jews' silent years history may be instructive for twenty-first-century believers.