Early Slavonic writings have preserved a unique corpus of compositions that develop biblical themes. These extracanonical, parabiblical narratives are known as pseudepigrapha, and they preserve many ancient traditions neglected by the canonical scriptures. They feature tales of paradise and hell, angels and Satan, the antediluvian fathers and biblical patriarchs, kings, and prophets. These writings address diverse questions ranging from artistically presented questions of theology and morals to esoteric subjects such as cosmology, demonology, messianic expectations, and eschatology. Although these Slavonic texts themselves date from a relatively late period, they are translations or reworkings of far earlier texts and traditions, many of them arguably going back to late biblical or early postbiblical times. The material in these works can contribute significantly to a better understanding of the roots of postbiblical mysticism, rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity, ancient and medieval dualistic movements, as well as the beginnings of the Slavonic literary tradition. The volume provides a collection of the minor biblical pseudepigrapha preserved solely in Slavonic; at the same time, it is also the first collection of Slavonic pseudepigrapha translated into a western European language. It includes the original texts, their translations, and commentaries focusing on the history of motifs and based on the study of parallel material in ancient and medieval Jewish and Christian literature. The aim of the volume is to to bridge the gap between the textual study of this corpus and its contextualization in early Jewish, early Christian, rabbinic, Byzantine, and other traditions, as well as to introduce these texts into the interdisciplinary discussion of the intercultural transmission of ideas and motifs.
This is the first English-language conference volume on the Bible tradition in medieval Slavdom. It covers the translation of the canonical, apocryphal and pseudepigraphical books of the Old and New Testaments, and issues relating to the activity of Cyril and Methodius.
The first systematic attempt to apply retroversion to Slavonic pseudepigrapha, this study provides a new translation of the Apocalypse of Abraham. For scholars of Second Temple literature, early Christianity, medieval Slavonic literature and linguistics, and ancient and medieval translation techniques.
This volume explores the formative theophanic patterns found in pseudepigraphical writings as 2 Enoch, Apocalypse of Abraham, and the Ladder of Jacob where the visual tradition of the divine Form and the aural tradition of the divine Name undergo their creative conflation and thus provide the rich conceptual soil for the subsequent elaborations prominent in later patristic and rabbinic traditions. The visionary and aural traditions found in the Slavonic pseudepigrapha are especially important for understanding the evolution of the theophanic trends inside the eastern Christian environment where these Jewish apocalyptic materials were copied and transmitted by generations of monks.
The Jewish culture of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods established a basis for all monotheistic religions, but its main sources have been preserved to a great degree through Christian transmission. This Guide is devoted to problems of preservation, reception, and transformation of Jewish texts and traditions of the Second Temple period in the many Christian milieus from the ancient world to the late medieval era. It approaches this corpus not as an artificial collection of reconstructed texts--a body of hypothetical originals--but rather from the perspective of the preserved materials, examined in their religious, social, and political contexts. It also considers the other, non-Christian, channels of the survival of early Jewish materials, including Rabbinic, Gnostic, Manichaean, and Islamic. This unique project brings together scholars from many different fields in order to map the trajectories of early Jewish texts and traditions among diverse later cultures. It also provides a comprehensive and comparative introduction to this new field of study while bridging the gap between scholars of early Judaism and of medieval Christianity.
A history of research that changed scholarly perceptions of early Judaism This collection of essays by some of the most important scholars in the fields of early Judaism and Christianity celebrates fifty years of the study of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at the Society of Biblical Literature and the pioneering scholars who introduced the Pseudepigrapha to the Society. Since its early days as a breakfast meeting in 1969, the Pseudepigrapha Section has provided a forum for a rigorous discussion of these understudied texts and their relevance for Judaism and Christianity. Contributors recount the history of the section's beginnings, critically examine the vivid debates that shaped the discipline, and challenge future generations to expand the field in new interdisciplinary directions. Features: Reflections from early members of the Pseudepigrapha Group Essays that examine a methodological shift from capturing and preserving traditions to exploring the intellectual and social world of Jewish antiquity Evaluations of past interactions with adjacent fields and the larger academic world
Andrei Orlov examines early Christological developments in the light of rabbinic references to the “two powers” in heaven, tracing the impact of this concept through both canonical and non-canonical material. Orlov begins by looking at imagery of the “two powers” in early Jewish literature, in particular the book of Daniel, and in pseudepigraphical writings. He then traces the concept through rabbinic literature and applies this directly to understanding of Christological debates. Orlov finally carries out a close examination of the “two powers” traditions in Christian literature, in particular accounts of the Transfiguration and the Baptism of Jesus. Including a comprehensive bibliography listing texts and translations, and secondary literature, this volume is a key resource in researching the development of Christology.
Written by an international group of expert scholars, the essays in this volume are devoted to the topic of biblical apocrypha, particularly the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, within the compass of the Slavonic tradition. The authors examine ancient texts, such as 2 Enoch and the Apocalypse of Abraham, which have been preserved (sometimes uniquely) in Slavonic witnesses and versions, as well as apocryphal literature that was composed within the rich Slavonic tradition from the early Byzantine period onwards. The volume's focus is textual, historical, and literary. Many of its contributions present editions and commentaries of important texts, or discuss aspects pertaining to the manuscript evidence.
A wide-ranging analysis of heavenly twin imagery in early Jewish extrabiblical texts. The idea of a heavenly double—an angelic twin of an earthbound human—can be found in Christian, Manichaean, Islamic, and Kabbalistic traditions. Scholars have long traced the lineage of these ideas to Greco-Roman and Iranian sources. In The Greatest Mirror, Andrei A. Orlov shows that heavenly twin imagery drew in large part from early Jewish writings. The Jewish pseudepigrapha—books from the Second Temple period that were attributed to biblical figures but excluded from the Hebrew Bible—contain accounts of heavenly twins in the form of spirits, images, faces, children, mirrors, and angels of the Presence. Orlov provides a comprehensive analysis of these traditions in their full historical and interpretive complexity. He focuses on heavenly alter egos of Enoch, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, and Aseneth in often neglected books, including Animal Apocalypse, Book of the Watchers, 2 Enoch, Ladder of Jacob, and Joseph and Aseneth, some of which are preserved solely in the Slavonic language. “This book is the first complete effort to show how some pseudepigraphical works develop several unique traditions about heavenly counterparts. It is particularly important for many scholars who do not have control of the Slavonic originals of the Ladder of Jacob and 2 Enoch. Orlov also draws on a broad range of unfamiliar sources, including Manichaean and Mandaean materials, which were often neglected by experts who previously investigated the heavenly counterpart imagery.” — Alexander Kulik, coauthor of Biblical Pseudepigrapha in Slavonic Tradition
This Festschrift contains original essays in honour of Michael E. Stone on Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, in its broadest sense: apocryphal texts, traditions, and themes from Second-Temple times to the High Middle Ages, in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
This volume is a study of two of the most important Slavonic apocalypses, the Apocalypse of Abraham and 2 Enoch, as crucial conceptual links between the symbolic universes of Second Temple apocalypticism and early Jewish mysticism. The study seeks to understand the mediating role of these Slavonic pseudepigraphical texts in the development of Jewish angelological and theophanic traditions from Second Temple apocalypticism to later Jewish Merkabah mysticism attested in the Hekhalot and Shi ur Qomah materials. The study shows that mediatorial traditions of the principal angels and the exalted patriarchs and prophets played an important role in facilitating the transition from apocalypticism to early Jewish mysticism.
This volume represents the first attempt to study Slavonic pseudepigrapha collectively as a unique group of texts that share common theophanic and mediatorial imagery crucial for the development of early Jewish mysticism.
This book presents a collection of papers from the fifth conference of the Enoch Seminar. The conference re-examined 2 Enoch, an early Jewish apocalyptic text previously known to scholars only in its Slavonic translation, in light of recently identified Coptic fragments.
This study addresses the chief critical issues in the interpretation of 3 Baruch including text, genre, setting, function, literary integrity, and original authorship and offers a reading of the document as both a Jewish and a Christian text.
Apocryphal books (Old Testament) by Lorenzo DiTommaso
From the Finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls to the latest on the gnostic writings, the Nag Hammadi codices, new information is unearthed practically every day to help us understand the lifestyles and beliefs of our religious ancestors. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha is the foremost example of this work. All the important documents (sixty-five in all, published in two separate volumes) from the period between the Old and the New Testaments have been collected in this landmark work. The foremost international authority on each book has been selected to contribute a new translation (sometimes for the first time), an introduction, and critical notes for each of the texts, with all work taking advantage of the very latest in scriptural scholarship. These texts are of great value to all people whose religious heritage focuses on the Bible for insight into the development of doctrine. By studying the pseudepigrapha, we can increase our knowledge of the beginnings of the Christian religion, as well as the development of Judaism after the close of the Hebrew Bible. Scholars, Bible students, professionals of all religious groups and denominations, and lay people---indeed, all those who can be signified as "People of the Book:" Christians, Jews, Mormons, Muslims---will be interested in these translations. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha is truly a work of international importance, and Hendrickson Publishers is pleased to offer it in this economical paperback edition.