A keen student of theology, August Friedrich Gfr rer (1803-61) became professor of history at the University of Freiburg and also sat as a representative in the Frankfurt parliament, agitating for the reunification of Protestantism and Catholicism. This three-volume work, published in 1838, may be regarded as marking the modern period in the Christian study of Judaism. Gfr rer was the first scholar who attempted to recount the history of Palestinian Judaism at the time of Jesus by using primary source material and without pursuing an obvious apologetic or polemic agenda. More than 2,000 pages in length, the work is a formidable scholarly achievement of lasting value in the field of religious studies. Volume 1 accounts for first-century Jewish education and scholarship, and discusses the doctrine of revelation. The author also addresses the Jewish understanding of God and of spirits, angels and demons.