The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 1: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments

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Overview

Western culture has been shaped largely by the Bible. In attempting to understand the Scriptures, scholars of the last three hundred years have intensively studied both these sacred texts and other related ancient writings. A cursory examination reveals that their authors depended on other sources, some of which are lost and some of which have recently come to light. Part of these extant sources are the pseudepigrapha. Though the meaning of the word can be disputed by scholars, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha is a collection of those writings which are, for the most part, Jewish or Christian and are often attributed to ideal figures in Israel's past. Volume 1 of this work contains two sections. The first is Apocalyptic Literature and Related Works. An apocalypse, from the Greek meaning revelation or disclosure, is a certain type of literature which was a special feature of religions in late antiquity. In the past, the definition was derived from the study of only some of the extant apocalypses, especially the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation. This has changed and the present edition of the pseudepigrapha includes nineteen documents that are apocalypses or related literature. It will now be easier to perceive the richness of apocalyptic literature and the extent of early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic ideas and apocalyptic religion.

The second section of Volume 1 is Testaments (Often with Apocalyptic Sections). These eight testaments represent a type of writing that was presaged in the Old Testament but which did not reach maturity until the time of the Second Temple (c. 500 B.C. to A.D. 70). Just as the Old Testament contains for Jews and Christians a record of God's covenant, testament, and will, so these works reputedly preserve the solemn last words and wills of model figures, all designed to instruct the heirs in the way of righteousness. Often a model figure illustrates his words with a feature common to apocalyptic literature -- the description of the future as it has been revealed to him in a dream or vision. Here, then, is the first volume of this landmark work. These new translations present these important documents, many for the first time, in modern English, for all those "People of the Book" to study, contemplate, and understand.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword ix
Foreword for Christians x
Foreword for Jews xi
Editor's Preface xv
Board of Advisors xviii
Contributors xviii
Introduction for the General Reader xxi
Explanation of Typographical and Reference Systems xxxv
List of Abbreviations xxxvii
Documents
Apocalyptic literature and Related Works
Introduction 3
1 (Ethiopic Apocalypse of) Enoch (Second Century B.C.- First Century A.D.) 5
2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch (Late First Century A.D.) with Appendix: 2 Enoch in Merilo Pravednoe 91
3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch (Fifth to Sixth Century A.D.) 223
Sibylline Oracles (Second Century B.C.-Seventh Century A.D.) 317
Treatise of Shem (First Century B.C.) 473
Apocryphon of Ezekiel (First Century B.C.-First Century A.D.) 487
Apocalypse of Zephaniah (First Century B.C.-First Century A.D.) 497
The Fourth Book of Ezra (Late First Century A.D.) 517
Greek Apocalypse of Ezra (Second to Ninth Century A.D.) 561
Vision of Ezra (Fourth to Seventh Century A.D.) 581
Questions of Ezra (Date Unknown) 591
Revelation of Ezra (prior to Ninth Century A.D.) 601
Apocalypse of Sedrach (Second to Fifth Century A.D.) 605
2 (Syriac Apocalypse of) Baruch (early Second Century A.D.) 615
3 (Greek Apocalypse of) Baruch (First to Third Century A.D.) 653
Apocalypse of Abraham (First to Second Century A.D.) 681
Apocalypse of Adam (First to Fourth Century A.D.) 707
Apocalypse of Elijah (First to Fourth Century A.D.) 721
Apocalypse of Daniel (Ninth Century A.D.) 755
Testaments (Often with Apocalyptic Sections)
Introduction 773
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (Second Century B.C.) 775
Testament of Job (First Century B.C.-First Century A.D.) 829
Testaments of the Three Patriarchs
Introduction 869
Testament of Abraham (First to Second Century A.D.) 871
Testament of Isaac (Second Century A.D.) 903
Testament of Jacob (Second to Third Century A.D.?) 913
Testament of Moses (First Century A.D.) 919
Testament of Solomon (First to Third Century A.D.) 935
Testament of Adam (Second to Fifth Century A.D.) 989
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