The Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient inscriptions, and Jewish books preserved within various Christian communities demonstrate that Jewish identity took a variety of forms in the period following that described in the Hebrew Bible. However, the teachings of only one of these groups – the rabbis – became normative. This was also the period during which prayer and synagogues emerged as a widespread practice. It was also at this time that the foundation for the eventual break with Christianity, which began as a form of Judaism, was laid. Remarkably, several of the features from this Second Temple period are shared with our modern times.