Books for Christmas: Round 1?

My mother-in-law gifted me with an Amazon Gift Card for Christmas. I've spent it already and the books have arrived. Here are my purchases:

Shaye J.D. Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah, 3rd Ed. (Louisville: WJKP, 2014). (Amazon.com)

The blurb: 

This is the third edition of Shaye J. D. Cohen’s important and seminal work on the history and development of Judaism between 164 BCE to 300 CE. Cohen’s synthesis of religion, literature, and history offers deep insight into the nature of Judaism at this key period, including the relationship between Jews and Gentiles, the function of Jewish religion in the larger community, and the development of normative Judaism and other Jewish sects. Cohen offers students more than just history, but an understanding of the social and cultural context of Judaism as it developed into the formative period of rabbinic Judaism. This new edition includes a brand-new chapter on the parting of ways between Jews and Christians in the second century CE. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah remains the clearest introduction to the era that shaped Judaism and provided the context for early Christianity.

The Galilean Economy in the Time of Jesus edited by David A. Fiensy and Ralph K. Hawkins (Early Christianity and Its Literature 11; Atlanta: SBL, 2013). (Amazon.com)

The blurb:

In order to provide an up-to-date report and analysis of the economic conditions of first-century C.E. Galilee, this collection surveys recent archaeological excavations (Sepphoris, Yodefat, Magdala, and Khirbet Qana) and reviews results from older excavations (Capernaum). It also offers both interpretation of the excavations for economic questions and lays out the parameters of the current debate on the standard of living of the ancient Galileans. The essays included, by archaeologists as well as biblical scholars, have been drawn from the perspective of archaeology or the social sciences. The volume thus represents a broad spectrum of views on this timely and often hotly debated issue. The contributors are Mordechai Aviam, David A. Fiensy, Ralph K. Hawkins, Sharon Lea Mattila, Tom McCollough, and Douglas Oakman.

Yoram Hazony, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (Cambridge: CUP, 2012). Kindle Edition.

The blurb:

What if the Hebrew Bible wasn’t meant to be read as ‘revelation’? What if it’s not really about miracles or the afterlife - but about how to lead our lives in this world? The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture proposes a new framework for reading the Bible. It shows how biblical authors used narrative and prophetic oratory to advance universal arguments about ethics, political philosophy and metaphysics. It offers bold new studies of biblical narratives and prophetic poetry, transforming forever our understanding of what the stories of Abel, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David and the speeches of Isaiah and Jeremiah, were meant to teach. The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture assumes no belief in God or other religious commitment. It assumes no previous background in Bible. It is free of disciplinary jargon. Open the door to a book you never knew existed. You’ll never read the Bible the same way again.

Harold W. Hoehner, Herod Antipas: A Contemporary of Jesus Christ (1972; reprint, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999). (Amazon.com)

The blurb:

Originally published by Cambridge University Press in the Monograph Series of the Society for New Testament Studies, Dr. Hoehner’s work has been widely acclaimed for its scholarly reconstruction of Herod Antipas’ political career.