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
Pages: xl, 808, including indexes
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Davila, and Alexander Panayotov's new two-volume collection of Old Testament pseudepigrapha contains many previously unpublished and newly translated texts, complementing James Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and other earlier collections.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.