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Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

Patriarchs and Prophets in Early Judaism

Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

Patriarchs and Prophets in Early Judaism

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334022299
Published: 01/05/1987

A marked characteristic of Judaism in the centuries surrounding the time of Jesus was its 'pseudepigraphical' writing, books which did not bear the name of their actual author but were attributed to figures from the past, particularly patriarchs and prophets.

In this book Dr Russell shows the developments in the understanding of the character and function of these figures as they appear from the pseudepigrapha.

He begins by looking at developments related to his theme in Philo and Josephus, the rabbinic literature and the Dead Sea scrolls. He then goes on to consider Adam, Enoch and Noah, Daniel, Job, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the twelve patriarchs, Moses and Ezra, and then the 'lives' of the prophets and the eschatological prophets.

Now that the importance of Jewish literature of this period is increasingly understood and texts are more easily accessible, this new study will be found particularly useful for seeing familiar figures of the Old Testament not just through perspectives shaped by Christian tradition or modern historical criticism, but as they were seen by Jews at the time when they were written. 

D. S. Russell

D. S. Russell was formerly General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland. He has specialized in studies of this period.