# Sunday, April 13, 2014

Previous post: Epistle to Diognetus (Part I)

The previous post was on the introduction, which takes over 120 pages of the book. This post is on the edition Jefford supplies of the Greek text, the apparatus, and the translation.

Suffice it to say, Jefford has the most extensive look at the Greek text for Diognetus that I’ve ever seen. We have only ever known one manuscript of the Epistle to Diognetus, dated to the 13th-14th centuries, and it is lost. There are some transcriptions that date back to the late 16th century, and Jefford has examined all of those. Further, it appears that he has evaluated and transcribed almost every edition ever printed — by my count 41 editions. Jefford’s lists these editions in his apparatus, which is extensive. If you want to know the textual history from the editio princeps to modern time, then you need to evaluate Jefford’s work. I mean really — take a look at the apparatus:

 

1394425391414

Each two-letter abbreviation represents a different edition. The apparatus brings out emendations suggested by editors over the years, and even notes where editors have a preferred reading (using <<notation>>) that is not found in the early transcriptions. The <single bracket> readings are where the early transcriptions prefer a reading not in agreement with the original exemplar.

This is an immense amount of work, both in the actual collation but also in the tracking down of all of these editions. In thanks and gratitude, we all should buy Jefford an adult beverage of his choice the next time we see him.

The translation is serviceable. The major attraction here is the Greek text and apparatus. The translation is what it is. On the literal-dynamic scale — which isn’t really fair for Diognetus because if you translate it word-for-word literal, you end up with yoda-speak on drugs — it tends toward the dynamic, but not nearly so much as Ehrman’s translation. That said, the translation is readable and adequately reflects his Greek text.

Next up: Thoughts on the commentary proper, if I can ever get the gumption to finish it.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, April 13, 2014 10:02:14 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00) 

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# Sunday, March 16, 2014

As I mentioned previously, providence supplied me with a copy of this book from Oxford University Press, so I have been reading it. I’m through the introductory material, the edition (with extensive editional apparatus) and translation, and the notes. It seemed like a good time to write a post about the material I’ve read thus far. This post will be about the introduction. A subsequent post will be about the text, apparatus, translation, and textual notes. I have the commentary proper left to read, and will have a final post on that at some point in the future.

Here is some information about the book:

  • Title: The Epistle to Diognetus (with the Fragment of Quadratus): Introduction, Text, and Commentary
  • Author/Editor: Clayton N. Jefford
  • Series: Oxford Apostolic Fathers
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Pages: ix, 281
  • Indices: Ancient Sources, pp. 265–278; Modern Authors Cited, pp. 279–281
  • Bibliography: pp. 257–264

The introduction is in eight parts and spans 120+ pages. The eight parts are as follows:

  1. General Background
  2. Authorship, Date, and Provenance
  3. Structural Elements
  4. Integrity and Purpose
  5. Theology and Themes
  6. Relationship to Scripture
  7. Analysis of Historical Trajectory
  8. Conclusions

1. General Background

Jefford sets the context for his discussion well. There has only ever been one manuscript that contained this material, and it was subsequently lost in a fire. Thus we are constrained to three early transcriptions of the text and subsequent editions based on that material. Further — and anyone who has spent time with the text of Epistle to Diognetus will agree — the Greek isn’t easy. Apparently the manuscript itself was even harder to read and decipher, and was more lacunose than notes in modern editions lead one to believe. Jefford tracks the publication history of transcriptions and editions of the text. This is valuable information that has not, to my knowledge, been so deeply delved to this date.

2. Authorship, Date, and Provenance

Perhaps more so with Diognetus, it is difficult to speak of authorship, date, and provenance. There is no manuscript anymore, there is little known about where it came from, and only qualified guessing can be done on any of these topics. There have been several possible authors suggested, all of them supposition. Intelligently argued, many of them, but all constrained to the incredibly small pool of names we actually know and settings we actually understand. Jefford does a good job navigating this tension and reviewing the options and the cases for and against them. I was happy to see some extended interaction with Hill’s thesis of authorship, which points to Polycarp, and which I’m sympathetic to. I think Hill provides some good insight on the setting from which the work may have come, though I’m hesitant to tie a specific name to the writing. Jefford, always cautious (at least in my reading of other books he’s written), seems to share this hesitancy to point to specific, named people as the author of this work.

3. Structural Elements

Jefford breaks the text of Diognetus into seven sections:

  • Prologue (1.1–2)
  • On Greeks (2.1–10)
  • On Jews (3.1–4.6)
  • On Christians (5.1–6.10)
  • About God’s Power (7.1–9.6)
  • About God’s Plan (10.1–8)
  • The Witness of the Word (11.1–12.9)

It is in this chapter that Jefford begins to lay the groundwork for his view of the development of Diognetus. It begins by isolating areas that seem too good to be normal prose, so must reflect existing tradition. These are poetic and confessional materials that add to the text but may not be strictly necessary. He will come back to these later in §8, where he establishes his view of the composition and development of the text.

4. Integrity and Purpose

The majority of scholars of early Christianity see Diognetus as two parts: §§1–10, and §§11–12. It is well known that the manuscript had a large lacuna with a marginal note from a scribe about this break. The lacuna has led several to argue that the latter sections were not written by the same author as the previous sections, that they were appended either through happenstance or through later editorial work. Hill has recently and somewhat persuasively argued that these two sections, despite the lacuna, are of the same author and they should be considered as a whole. Jefford upholds the consensus that the two parts are not directly related, using the standard sorts of arguments (genre, subject matter, and vocabulary, largely) that Hill has largely anticipated in his work asserting their unity. Regarding integrity, though, Jefford hints at the end again about his development theory, noting that while the latter portion is an edition, he does allow for extensive editorial action to conform the first section with the last section more seamlessly.

5. Theology and Themes

This was the least interesting section to me, personally. So, on to the next.

6. Relationship to Scripture

Jefford dutifully searches for and finds an amazing number of places where Diognetus may have some relationship to canonical material. I’m familiar with the text of Diognetus, and much of these possible ties (particularly to specific OT passages/authors) were news to me. Sometimes, depending on one’s criteria, you can find what you’re looking for. I applaud Jefford for the work he’s done here, but it is a bit over the top. Kudos to him for his interaction with Mike Bird’s material on the use of Paul in Diognetus in Paul and the Second Century. Also, the well-known reflection of Johannine language, particularly in §§11–12, is handled well by Jefford.

7. Analysis of Historical Trajectory

Because we only ever had one manuscript of Diognetus, and because we have no citations of it in the known historical record, this section is largely an examination of where other apologists said things that are similar to what Diognetus says. Further, it is a review of where others have posited conceptual or parallel relationships between Diognetus and other authors/historical works. As such, it is all very tenuous and built on little foundation — not out of any fault of Jefford, but simply because there is no foundation to put it on.

8. Conclusions

This is the part where Jefford moves from review of scholarship and development into positing his own ideas on Diognetus. Jefford posits an original ‘core’ to the material that was probably original and delivered in oral form, and then posits layers of editorial development to the text over time.

Jefford, though his examination of structure, development, integrity, and relation to Scripture in the introduction, identifies material that he sees as largely secondary and not necessary for the core of the work. He isolates and removes this material, leaving just the core, which he considers “the rough form of what may once have been oral performance” (117). That rough form includes:

  • 1.1a
  • 3.1–5.2, 4, 16–17
  • 6.1–2, 5–10
  • 7.1–2b, 2d–4a; 8.1–2a, 2c–9.4, 5b–6c
  • 10.1–2a, 4–8

Jefford has well defended his reasons for this, but I think suggestions like this prompt more questions than they solve. There are the obvious questions about any revision/edit and who might have made it (if, in fact, these things happened). If oral, did the original author expand the edition for written publication? When did these editorial expansions happen, and why? What source did they come from? The most poetic/prosaic of the material would be great for oral presentation, so why cut it? If we don’t know anything about the author, how can we conclude with any certainty what he would or wouldn’t have said? If this much revision and development took place over time, where is the manuscript evidence or citation evidence for it?

As a disclaimer, I’m much more of an analyze-what-we-have kind of guy. The rest is guesswork, particularly with no manuscripts at all to deal with. So I’m predisposed to not like proposals like this. Again I’ll say that I understand how Jeffords gets here and appreciate the discussion his notions of its development of the text from the oral stage into the written stage. And he does well to say that this proposal is not a certainty, and that he is largely more convinced of the generalities of it than any specifics he may elucidate in the discussion. But that sort of language is my problem. It seems more like a thought exercise than anything that could be certainly posited and used to help understand more definitely the text itself — an interesting aside, but not overly or directly helpful for understanding the text we actually have.

Next: At some future point I’ll have a post where I look at Jefford’s edition of the text of Diognetus, the apparatus he provides, his translation, and his textual notes.

Post Author: rico
Sunday, March 16, 2014 1:44:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Friday, February 21, 2014

Someone is watching out for me. Indirectly, someone who had received a review copy of this book from Oxford contacted me and asked if I would instead review the book on my blog. I am only too happy to do so. You know who you are, and I am grateful for your generosity.

This book is one of three volumes published thus far in the Oxford Apostolic Fathers series, the other two volumes being Second Clement and Polycarp to the Philippians with the Martrydom of Polycarp. I have read and devoured the volume on Second Clement, and it is impressive. I have not yet had the opportunity of reading the volume on Polycarp’s works.

I have read a large portion of the introduction already, and it is stellar. Jefford provides a detailed history of the single (now lost) manuscript and its transcriptions and editions. I don’t know how many posts I’ll write on this one; it may only be one post. But the edition is stellar (thus far, anyway) and will be the volume to consult for those who work with the text of Diognetus in the future.

Here is some information about the book:

  • Title: The Epistle to Diognetus (with the Fragment of Quadratus): Introduction, Text, and Commentary
  • Author/Editor: Clayton N. Jefford
  • Series: Oxford Apostolic Fathers
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Pages: ix, 281
  • Indices: Ancient Sources, pp. 265–278; Modern Authors Cited, pp. 279–281
  • Bibliography: pp. 257–264

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

This volume is the first major English-language commentary on the Epistle to Diognetus since that of Henry G. Meecham in 1949. Its purpose is twofold: to provide careful consideration to the essential introductory issues of authorship and setting, structure and integrity, theology, relationship to scripture, and historical trajectory as they apply to the transmission of the text; and to offer commentary focused on the movement of the author's argument and objectives in construction of the narrative, taking advantage of critical considerations of the apology within recent scholarship. In the final analysis the volume arrives at the premise that the core materials of Diognetus were likely delivered first in an oral context whose setting remains unknown and were thereafter recorded by a later hand as the framework of chapters 1-10. A subsequent editor (perhaps Clement of Alexandria) added the concluding materials of chapters 11-12 together with the insertion of numerous hymnic segments and theological phrases throughout chapters 1-10. These additions were inspired by Johannine tradition and reflect the setting of a living faith community. The text of Diognetus thus reflects an evolutionary process that moves from oral performance to literary record, from moral teaching to theological homily. The format of the volume is designed to welcome the non-specialist to the text of Diognetus while exposing the reader to the best of both earlier and more recent critical comments on the writing and its tradition.

Table of Contents

  • I: Introduction
    • 1. General Background
    • 2. Authorship, Date, and Provenance
    • 3. Structural Elements
    • 4. Integrity and Purpose
    • 5. Theology and Themes
    • 6. Relationship to Scripture
    • 7. Analysis of Historical Trajectory
    • 8. Conclusions
  • II: Texts and Translations
    • 9. Introduction
    • 10. Epistle to Diognetus
    • 11. Fragment of Quadratus
  • III: Commentary

Other material: A few years back, I worked through the Epistle to Diognetus on the blog. You can find links to the necessary posts here:

When I worked through the text, I was more likely to think that Diog 11-12 were a separate document. After reading Hill’s defense of their unity, however, I’m not so sure.

Also note, I have read the previous critical edition of Diognetus in English, the work of H.G. Meecham. I blogged about the story behind how I acquired that volume, nearly 10 years ago now. 

Post Author: rico
Friday, February 21, 2014 8:51:42 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Wednesday, February 19, 2014

[Note: I tweeted summaries of all the pseudepigrapha in this book (using the #MoreOTP hashtag) while reading it. To see them all, check the posts here and here. When I received the book from Eerdmans (thanks again for the review copy), I mentioned it here with a short introduction.]

As a reader of Jim Davila’s blog PaleoJudaica for years, I’ve known of this book as he’s mentioned it frequently during its development. And I have been itching to read it. I was not disappointed. What Bauckham, Davila, and Panayotov have accomplished is no small feat: Modern, readable translations of some important yet difficult to find works that have some relation to the Bible. Further, each of these works have introductions that provide the proper context and setting for reading the material. As the pseudepigrapha themselves are diverse, this short review will focus instead on the introductions and the indexes.

Each work is capably introduced. The plan of the volumes includes discussion of standard material where possible — some pseudepigrapha are small and therefore, where appropriate, sections are skipped.

Introduction sections include:

  • Content
  • Manuscripts, Versions, Editions, etc.
  • Relation to Other/Earlier Literature
  • Genre, Structure, Prosody, etc.
  • Date and Provenance
  • Literary Context
  • Bibliography

The above listing is not comprehensive, but covers most major sections. Authors were free to provide any other material they felt relevant to the subject matter.

The pseudepigrapha themselves are, of course, valuable; but without a good introduction to set the proper context for evaluating the material, they are of dubious value. The introductions interact with the latest literature, but they often dig into older sources to trace the development of scholarship around the pseudepigraphon. In many cases, the most recent literature is one hundred years old, or older — proving yet again the need for a volume like this.

The indexes to this volume are also valuable, spanning nearly 60 pages. At around 750 pages of main body text, with 60 pages of index, that’s around 12.5 pages for each index page — not bad. There are two indices:

  • Index of Modern Authors
  • Index of Scripture and Other Ancient Texts

If you’re like me, it is that last index that will get the most mileage. Indexes are the unsung heroes of volumes like this. Tedious to put together, hugely difficult to error check, and the necessary point of entry for most folks to actually use the work. While many will no doubt read through the material, this is a reference work. Without an index, it would be useless in the long run. With a poor index, it would be frustrating to use. But a well-assembled index is a thing of beauty, and this volume appears to deliver in this regard.

I can’t recommend this volume enough. Buy it and use it, and you should find it useful for years to come.

Post Author: rico
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 8:23:42 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Thursday, January 30, 2014

Things are hopping at Logos Bible Software. The other day I announced on the Twitter and on Facebook that I’m looking for a few interns this summer to help with analysis of Greek texts:

Then this morning Steve Runge blogged that he’s looking for summer interns as well, to help him with some Greek Discourse Grammar projects.

We have a lot of higher-than-word-level analysis to do on Greek texts, and need some help. My projects will focus on the Greek of the Septuagint, starting with the deuterocanonical/apocryphal texts. Seriously — how much fun is this? And you could get paid for it? And a great item to list on your CV?

I’m still working on getting something official on the Logos jobs page about the summer internships on my team. Until then, here is some more information on them. If this sounds at all interesting to you, and you’re willing to spend the summer in Bellingham, then …

  1. Email me (rick at logos dot com) a CV and tell me about yourself and your experience with Greek
  2. Do it by March 15, 2014. The earlier the better.

If it all sounds interesting, but you’re still not sure, then read the bottom of Steve’s blog post again, the paragraph after “Application Process.”


Greek Data Curation Intern

Logos Bible Software is looking for people who know their Greek and want to use it in an environment focused on creating data-oriented products for professors, teachers, students, and laypeople. As a Greek Data Curation Intern, you will work with the Logos Content Innovation team to provide the linguistic foundation for the next generation of tools to help people infuse the Greek of the Bible in their everyday studies and research.

For more information on the kind of stuff we work on, see this recent overview of Greek Linguistic Databases that have been developed and implemented by Logos Bible Software.

Responsibilities

  • Analysis of Greek text at multiple levels (syntactic, referential, morphological, etc.)

Requirements

  • Summer relocation to Bellingham
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Ability to make quick, informed decisions about analysis
  • Two Years of Greek or demonstrated ability and aptitude
  • Desire to stretch your Greek muscles to the limit, and get paid for it

The ideal candidate

  • Is familiar with Logos Bible Software and existing Greek linguistic databases
  • Has some familiarity with Greek outside of the New Testament
  • Unknowingly chunks Greek into clauses and clause components while reading and studying
Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:15:58 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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At the end of December, I posted a summary of Bauckham/Davila/Panayotov’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (amazon.com). Using the Twitter (@RickBrannan) I posted a short summary of each pseudepigraphon after I read the intro and the document.

I’ve finished reading the book, so now it’s time to finish the summaries. In the I hope to write a review later; it will likely focus more on the introductions in general and not the content of each pseudepigraphon. In the meantime, do check out Jim West’s review.

So, on with the summaries!

  • Hebrew Visions of Hell and Paradise: Medieval traditions of Moses, Hell, Eden, &c. Some strikingly like Christian apocrypha #MoreOTP
  • Quotations from Lost Books in the Hebrew Bible: Ever notice how that book of books quotes some books we don't have anymore? #MoreOTP
  • Palaea Historica: More rewritten Bible, like Jubilees. Only with lots of extra traditions thrown in. #MoreOTP
  • Cave of Treasures: Adam stashes swag from Paradise, Magi present it to the baby Christ. Post-500 Syrian-flavored Christian History? #MoreOTP
  • Latin Vision of Ezra: Ezra descends to Tartarus then ascends to the Seventh Heaven. Then he literally refuses to give up the ghost. #MoreOTP
  • Public Service Announcement: 2 Esdras = 5 Ezra + 4 Ezra + 6 Ezra. In that order, in case you were wondering. #MoreOTP
  • Sixth Ezra: More prophecies of the end. Catastrophe. Tribulation. Judgment. Hope for the elect. #MoreOTP
  • Fifth Ezra: Ezra the scribe denounces Israel for sin, announces a new people — Christians — will take their place. #MoreOTP
  • Sefer Zerubbabel, Prophetic Vision of Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel: Eschatology, Messiah (not Jesus), and Michael = Metatron. Whoa. #MoreOTP
  • Relics of Zechariah & Boy Buried at His Feet: Divine revelation reveals Z's burial but why the boy? Research points to Joash's son. #MoreOTP
  • Danielic Pseudepigraphon Paraphrased by Papias: Wait, the Watchers were Michael's warriors, & they helped humans? Daniel said this? #MoreOTP
  • Seventh Vision of Daniel: An apocalyptic vision against Rome, warning of Antichrist, with OT & NT allusions. #MoreOTP
  • Treatise of the Vessels (Massekhet Kelim): Free prize inside: One Temple Rebuilding Kit — Messiah not included. #MoreOTP
  • Apocryphon of Ezekiel: Lots of folks through history attribute Bibleish Ezekiely-type stuff to Ezekiel. Here it is, collected. #MoreOTP
Post Author: rico
Thursday, January 30, 2014 8:37:58 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Monday, December 30, 2013

I’ve been slowly working my way through Bauckham/Davila/Panayotov’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (amazon.com). I mentioned this at the beginning of the month.

As I’ve been reading, I’ve been tweeting (from @RickBrannan, if you’re Twitterified) summaries of each document using the #MoreOTP hashtag to denote them. Unfortunately, Twitter’s search function “sucketh mightily” (to put it in the KJV tongue) and I had to actually go through my timeline to grab tweets older than a week or two. This means I may have missed one or two.

Anyway, I thought it would be useful to catalogue the summary tweets to date here. I’m about halfway through the book, page-wise. The list is in reverse order, that is, the first doc in the book is the last item on this list.

Here are the summaries:

  • Jeremiah's Prophecy to Passhur: Mt 27.9–10 wrapped in Jewish apocryphon. #MoreOTP
  • Heartless Rich Man & Precious Stone: Rich man reads Pr 19.17, gives it all away, becomes bitter. Then God intervenes and blesses. #MoreOTP
  • Nine and a Half Tribes: A portion of Israel, saved, beyond the rivers. They return with Messiah. They're vegetarian and they're mad #MoreOTP
  • Questions of the Queen of Sheba and Answers by King Solomon: 12 (13?) questions. Some weird. What was going' thru her mind, anyway? #MoreOTP
  • Hygromancy of Solomon: Solomon gives Rehoboam the skinny on gods/angels/demons of each day and hour. Info on plants & potions too. #MoreOTP
  • Selenodromion of David and Solomon: 1 part lunar calendar, 1 part horoscope, 1 part patriarch names, 1 part fortune cookie. #MoreOTP
  • Exorcistic Psalms of David and Solomon: Psalm 91, with some twists. Demons OUT! #MoreOTP
  • Aramaic Song of the Lamb: Because you always wanted to know the trash-talk between David and Goliath. Oh D's stones had names, too #MoreOTP
  • Songs of David: Liturgical Psalms using Messiah-ish language. Plus MS poss. originated at Qumran, then Jer., to Cairo c. 790 AD/CE. #MoreOTP
  • Eldad & Modad: One likely citation (thanks, Hermas) and a lot of speculation, much of it fueled by J.B. Lightfoot. #MoreOTP
  • Balaam Text from Tell Deir 'Allā: Balaam sees the gods in their council, deciding to darken the world. Balaam fasts and weeps. #MoreOTP
  • Eighth Book of Moses: Um, yeah, weird. Author needed to pass himself off as Moses otherwise nobody would read it. Oh, and spells. #MoreOTP
  • Tiburtine Sibyl (Gk): 9 gens from creation to destruction; 4th = Messiah, then bad to worse. 9th = Apocalypse w/Danielic overtones. #MoreOTP
  • Testament of Job (Coptic Fragments): Mostly like Greek T.Job, but author named (Nereus) and other small differences. #MoreOTP
  • Midrash Vayissa'u: Jacob and his sons war against Ninevites, then Amorites, then Esau and his sons; with superhero-esque feats. #MoreOTP
  • Aramaic Levi: Likely source of T.Levi, also tells of Isaac instructing Levi how to sacrifice as priest #MoreOTP
  • Syriac History of Joseph: Overtones of Biblical account, but more detail of episodes in Egypt. #MoreOTP
  • Story of Melchizedek: Born a prince, finds God, almost sacrificed, wild man for 7 years, cleaned up by Abraham then blesses him. #MoreOTP
  • Inquiry of Abraham: Abraham sang with the animals and the animals sang with him, or so say some. #MoreOTP
  • Dispute over Abraham: Righteous and wicked angels dispute Abraham's salvation or damnation. (But it is only a sentence long) #MoreOTP
  • Apocryphon of Eber: Eber is in the Bible, alive for Tower of Babel but did not build. He must be the source of hEB(E)Rew language. #MoreOTP
  • Book of Noah: Post-flood sin sourced from the spirits of drowned nephilim; 90% throttled by angels, who also show Noah homeopathy #MoreOTP
  • Apocryphon of Seth: The Magi — generations who watched for the Messiah, and welcomed him. #MoreOTP
  • The Book of the Covenant: Didymus refers to it, but does not quote. Could it be Jubilees? Sources say "nope." #MoreOTP
  • Life of Adam & Eve (Coptic Frags): The fall, as told by Eve; and Adam's final day. #MoreOTP
  • Adam Octipartite: Adam, formed from eight ingredients, the first of men formed from elemental substances (and other stuff). #MoreOTP

Overall, the book is excellent. Some intros are better than others, but when you consider that many of these items are less than a page and extant in only one or two sources, there isn’t much you can do in an intro.

Post Author: rico
Monday, December 30, 2013 2:16:57 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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# Tuesday, December 03, 2013

With profuse thanks to the folks at Eerdmans for sending along a review copy.

I’ve been anxiously awaiting this volume since I heard Jim Davila mention that it was in the works years ago on his blog, Paleojudaica. Styled as a continuation/expansion of Charlesworth’s two-volume Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Bauckham/Davila/Panayotov provide introductions and translations to even more pseudepigraphal material, helping students and scholars everywhere understand more about the noncanonical literature of Judaism and Christianity.

The present volume is the first of two volumes, the second is forthcoming. It is huge, clocking in at over 800 pages with indices. I don’t know that I’ll be able to read it all to review it, but hope to read most of it in the coming weeks. I have read the introduction as well as the intros and translations to a few documents (The Apocryphon of Seth looks like fun this Christmas season, everyone should know what it has to say about the supposed back-story to the Magi — which sounds strangely like the “Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword” from the third Indiana Jones movie!) and am impressed, overall. The general introduction was a little too much of the introspective-academic genre for me (too much hand-wringing over what terminology to use to describe the corpus and not offend anyone), but I do understand why it had to be there, and it was an effective introduction to the material nonetheless.

Below is some further information and the blurb from the publisher. I’d give a TOC, but I find none online, and with 39 different pseudepigrapha provided, it is a little too much for me to type right now.

Title: Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures
Editors: Richard Bauckham, James R. Davila, Alexander Panayotov
Publisher: Eerdmans
Pages: xl, 808, including indexes

Publisher Description

A highly significant resource for biblical studies

This work stands among the most important publications in biblical studies over the past twenty-five years. Richard Bauckham, James Davila, and Alexander Panayotov's new two-volume collection of Old Testament pseudepigrapha contains many previously unpublished and newly translated texts, complementing James Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and other earlier collections.

Including virtually all known surviving pseudepigrapha written before the rise of Islam, this volume, among other things, presents the sacred legends and spiritual reflections of numerous long-dead authors whose works were lost, neglected, or suppressed for many centuries. Excellent English translations along with authoritative yet accessible introductions bring those ancient documents to life for readers today.

Note also a recent post on Eerdmans’ blog, Eerdword, from Jim Davila.

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, December 03, 2013 1:35:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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