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The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Vol. 2: Expansions of the Old Testament and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic works 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
In this volume are such vital works as 1 Enoch. The apocalyptic literature which began, if scholars are correct, with Daniel (and traces in some of the Prophets) blossomed into an entire genre of literature which would greatly influence what would become Christianity. The book of Jude quotes from 1 Enoch expressly and Revelation and other New Testament books bear many commonalities wih 1 Enoch. This is just a taste of what is in store for the reader.
This volume and the second volume reveal just what was going on in the Judaism(s) of this period of time. There was lots going on and it is not so cut and dry as it is often traditionally taught. The variety of beliefs derived, no matter how loosely, on the Jewish Scriptures is endlessly diverse. This book does an excellent job of placing the actual writings in one book.
Charlesworth and those who have introduced/translated the works contained herein have done a great job tracing the history of the works and what is known about the communities in which they were written. Also included are margin notes that show the connection, directly or indirectly, to the Tanakh and the New Testament (including the Apocrypha).
This is a necessary resource for anyone interested in and open to understanding exactly how it was that Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism emerged from the tumult of the period between c. 200 BCE and 200 CE.
Whatever one's creed or intentions, if one approaches this volume in earnest, one will find much of interest including, but not limited to, strong, implied historical evidence of egregious tampering by the early Church fathers of certain non-canonical works. A good example in this collection is 1 Enoch, which had been in the canon for centuries before being finally removed and, in the West, abandoned. In other instances, copies were, on Church orders, simply destroyed. Fortunately, complete copies of Enoch (or Henok) were preserved in Ethopic texts. In fact, the version of 1 Enoch presented in this volume (translated by E. Isaac) is largely structured on the Ethiopic texts, though the Aramaic fragments found among the Dead Sea Scrolls have been consulted along with Greek and Hebrew renditions. Charlesworth has also included many other fine renditions of apocalyptic works, including selections from the Syriac and Slavonian. Even more is to be had in the many non-canonical Testaments presented here, many with apocalyptic passages.
Matters of whether these "rebel" and "outcast" books appeared to be divinely inspired by the various communities that embraced them is a matter of conjecture, though there are strong hints here and there from the various communities of seekers that preserved these texts around the Mediterranean world. Of greater interest to me was the thoroughness with which each non-canonical text has been researched and translated.Read more ›
Charlesworth's introductions and notes are invaluable covering themes, dates, authorships rescensions, translations notes and variants.
The documents in this Volume II are all considered to have been written over a period of about five hundred years from the beginning of the 3rd Century BC to the beginning of the 3rd Century AD. They are grouped into 4 sections, each of which has a short introduction describing the nature of the contents, and a list of documents included within the section. The documents within each section are in date order, and each is introduced by a discussion of the contents, the original language of the text, the probable date, and where it was written, its historical, theological, and cultural importance, the earliest translations, relationship to other books, and a select bibliography. The texts themselves contain cross references to other biblical texts as well as copious detailed notes on the text itself.
I found it was as important to read the introductory section and the detailed notes as it was to read the texts themselves.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha is the inimitable name of a motley array of texts not included in the main stream canonical editions of the Bible. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ashtar Command
books were received as scheduled for delivery; the packaging was real nice; the books are a great addition to my hebrew library and spiritual improvement of the history of my... Read morePublished 20 months ago by TehillahYaa'el
My son ordered this book. He just loves it. It completes the set of 2 for him
He is into reading ancient historical documents
I appreciate the work the author did on this monumental book. I know both volumes will live forever. Any serious Bible student should have a copy of both Vol 1 and Vol 2Published on February 1, 2014 by Lloyd Stancliff
This is a great book for everyone to read and use as a reference. This book helps me understand the Bible better.Published on May 26, 2013 by Roger Semple
I love this book and it has been a challenge to read it in it's entirety! I am thankful for and appreciate all the research this author has done, for it is very extensive!Published on February 5, 2013 by LW
This and vol 1 give the serious student of the bible insight into the experience and thinking of the old testament community through writings which though not recognized as being... Read morePublished on February 15, 2011 by Rev. H. Louis Engle