From the eminent historian of religion, Philip Jenkins, comes this very interesting looking new work about the origins of the Judeo-Christian tradition as we know it today--the period just before the time of Christ. The publisher is Basic Books and the description is below.
In Crucible of Faith, Philip Jenkins argues that much of the Judeo-Christian tradition we know today was born between 250–50 BCE, during a turbulent “Crucible Era.” It was during these years that Judaism grappled with Hellenizing forces and produced new religious ideas that reflected and responded to a changing world. By the time of the fall of the Temple in 70 CE, concepts that might once have seemed bizarre became normalized—and thus passed on to Christianity and later Islam. Drawing widely on contemporary sources from outside the canonical Old and New Testaments, Jenkins reveals an era of political violence and social upheaval that ultimately gave birth to entirely new ideas about religion, the afterlife, Creation and the Fall, and the nature of God and Satan.