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Maccoby, Hyam


MACCOBY, HYAM (1924–2004), British scholar of ancient Judaism. Born in 1924 in Sunderland, the son of a mathematics tutor and the grandson of the Maggid of Kamenets (see *Maccoby, Ḥayyim Zundel), Poland, Hyam Maccoby was educated at Oxford. He became a schoolteacher and was then the librarian of Leo Baeck College, London. In 1998 he was made research professor at the Centre for Jewish Studies at Leeds University. Maccoby was widely known for his writings on Jesus, the founder of Christianity, and his milieu in Roman Judea. In such works as Judea: Jesus and the Jewish Resistance (1980), Maccoby argued that Jesus should be viewed as a liberal but Torah-observant Pharisee, who opposed the Romans but not other Jews. Maccoby also saw the origins of Christian antisemitism as beginning with the foundations of Christianity as a separate religion, a view he put forward in such works as Judas Iscariot and the Myth of Jewish Evil (1992) and in Paul and Hellenism (1991). Maccoby was widely known through his many appearances on television; he was frequently attacked by both Christians and Orthodox Jews.

[William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]

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