NT841 Jewish Backgrounds to the New Testament
Robert C. Newman
Professor of New Testament
Copyright 1991, 1995
This syllabus or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form without permission from the author. Permission will granted to reviewers, authors, teachers and others engaged in the promotion of biblical studies.
Biblical Theological Seminary
200 N. Main Street
Hatfield, PA 19440
REVIEW OF RELEVANT JEWISH HISTORY 750 BC - AD 550
A. Exile by Assyrians and Babylonians
1. Assyrians destroy Northern Kingdom, 722 BC
2. Babylonians destroy Southern Kingdom, 587 BC
Both involved deportation of surviving population, starting a dispersion which continues to present.
Also led to important language changes.
Importation of pagans in northern region led to beginning of Samaritans (Cuthians).
B. Return under Persians, 537 BC
1. Reestablishes a minority of Jews back in homeland; very small beginning, but gradually augmented, esp. in Hasmonean period.
2. Temple rebuilt, 515 BC, so Jerusalem regains centrality for Jews; in fact, Jews call I.T. period "2nd temple" period; high priesthood again functioning.
3. Walls rebuilt, 445 BC, so Jerus. able to defend self more successfully from surrounding enemies.
4. Work of Ezra during this period signif. in keeping Jews from assimilating to pagans round about (since exile Jews more resistant to idolatry, paganism).
C. Alexander & the Greeks
1. Alexander the Great, 333 BC
Takes control of Near East away from Persians
Introduces Gk lang & culture into area (not absolutely, but in far stronger way than ever before) by establishing empire, incl. Hellenistic cities.
Alexandria becomes major city of E Med; Jews there granted some sort of "citizen" rights; becomes largest Jewish center outside Pal.
2. The Ptolemies, 301 BC
Grab control of Pal in struggle for succession among Alex's generals
Control of Pal lasts to 198 BC, Ptol dynasty to 30 BC
Gradual Hellenization (in contrast to Antiochus 4, below)
Origin of LXX
3. The Seleucids, 198 BC
Got control of Mesopot, Asia Minor in breakup of Alex's empire
Finally took Pal from Ptolemies in 198 BC
More problems in Seleucid enpire w/ diversity of subjects than in Ptolemaic:
‑‑ used Jews as citizens in Hellenistic cities of Asia M.
‑‑ Antiochus 4 tried to force Hellenism on Pal Jews when unsuccessful taking Egypt, 168 BC
D. The Hasmoneans, 168 BC
1. Maccabean revolt, 168 BC
Beyond all expectation (some very striking providences) Jews beat Seleucid armies in long series of campaigns
Concessions from Sel's restore religious liberty
Divisions begin w/in Sel empire, allowing Jews to become effectively independent
2. Hasmonean independence, c 140 BC
Large area comes under control of Jews, due to aggressive policies of John Hyrcanus, Alex Jannaeus
Many gentiles incorporated into country
‑‑ Idumeans forced to become Jews
‑‑ Samaritan temple destroyed
New areas settled by Jews:
E. The Jewish State under the Romans, 63 BC
1. The Herodians
Come to power as client kings under Romans
Antipater (procurator) 47 BC
Phasael & Herod (tetrarchs) 42 BC
Herod the Great (king) 40 BC
Archelaus (ethnarch), Antipas & Philip (tetrarchs) 4 BC Agrippa I (king) AD 37
Agrippa II (king, but not over Judea) AD 48
Herod Gt hated by Jews as Idumean, but loyal to Rome
Agrippa I loved by many Jews as also Hasmonean, more consistent Jew; ambivalence due to pressures, groups
2. The Roman Procurators, AD 6
Begin w/ replacement of Archelaus, deposed for misgovt at request of Jews; continue over Judea exc AD 41‑44
In general Romans did not understand Jews, freq antagonistic, aggravating conds (& so strengthening Zealots)
3. First Revolt, AD 66
Started by incident at Caesarea, spread & fanned by Rom procurator & Zealots to engulf whole country
Ended in destruction of Jerusalem (incl Temple) and Jewish state
F. Judaism after Fall of Jerusalem, AD 70
1. R. Johannan b Zakkai & Jamnia, AD 70
Rebuilding Judaism w/o state or temple along lines of Pharisaism
2. R. Akiba & Bar Kochba (2nd) Revolt, AD 132
Set off by Roman preparations to build a pagan city Aelia Capitolina on site of Jerusalem
Akiba recognizes Simeon b Koseba as Messiah & fulf of Num 24:17 (star = Kochba)
Revolt put down w/ substantial slaughter; Jews forbidden to come near Jerus (Aelia)
3. R. Judah & the Mishnah, c AD 200
Gradual compilation of Pharisaic oral tradition since Hillel & Shammai; now codified by subject‑matter as Mishnah
About same time collection of oral trad grouped around Pentateuchal passages, called Midrash
Both materials can also be subdivided into 2 types by content:
‑‑ halakah: legal pronouncments
‑‑ haggadah: other materials, interp, edification
4. The Rise of the Talmuds, AD 400‑550
Mishnah very concise, so rabbinical schools developed large addenda, both older material left out of Mishnah (baraita) & newer material explaining, discussing Mishnah
This additional material called Gemara
Talmud = Mishnah + Gemara
-- Pal or Jerus Talmud: Pal discussions thru c AD 400
-- Bab Talmud: Mesopot discussions thru c AD 550
former incomplete; tho earlier, less influential latter became official tradition of Judaism
II. THE TARGUMS
A. The Synagogue Service and Targumming
1. The Origin of the Synagogue Service
don't really know origin of synagogue, but generally thought to have arisen during Babylonian exile
certainly functioned as place of worship, prayer and Bible study in diaspora during late IT period
central feature of service in synagogue was pubic reading from Scripture (Pentateuch reading primary; some think reading of prophets arose when Antiochus 4 forbad reading Pentateuch)
2. Rise of Aramaic
had been major language of Syria for centuries
became important international language during great empires (Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian)
Jews in Babylonian diaspora prob moved from Heb to Aram in a couple of generations
Jews in Palestine may have changed over more slowly, but prob very substantial before end Pers period (330 BC)
from tirgem ‑ to translate, explain; general word for translating, but noun targum only for Heb to Aram
with majority of Jews not understanding Heb well, oral translaation added to reading of Heb in syn service
attested as custom in Mishnah, so long before AD 200; app common in last centuries BC (Rab traces it to Ezra, meforash in Neh 8:8)
rules for targumming in m. Meg 4:4‑10; b. Meg 23b‑25b; t. Meg 4:20‑41: (m= mishnah; b= bab talm; t = tosefta)
‑‑Pent after every v; prophets after every 3 vv
‑‑Bible reader could not prompt translator
‑‑some portions not to be translated, e.g., Gen 35:22 (Reuben & Bilhah); others not to be read in Heb either!, e.g., Num 6:24‑26 (priestly blessing); 2 Sam 11‑13 (David & Bathsheba, Amnon & Tamar)
‑‑not just literal trans, but often paraphrased (yet see R. Judah b. Ilai: whoever translates literally is a liar, he who makes additions is a blasphemer!)
4. Written Targums
already in existence by 1st cen AD (tJob mentioned in connection w/ Gamaliel I and found at Qumran), but app not official eds.; for private study only
Palestinian targs app in written form by 2nd cen AD, as Aram not vernacular thereafter
Bab targs app borrowed from Pal, edited; become official in 3rd cen
by 9th‑10th cen targumming disappears in Babylonia also;
today only done by Yemenite Jews
B. The Extant Written Targums
1. Targums to the Pentateuch
(references to Etheridge [e] are to vol 1 unless marked 2e)
a. Targum of Onkelos (Babylonian)
official Pent targum thru middle ages
nature of text, some external refs. suggest off. ed. made in Babylon 3rd cen AD
content suggests Pal origin in 2nd cen
name: tradition in b. Meg 3a; generally thought this is confusion with Gk trans of Aquila since parallel in y. Meg (y = jer talm) reads "Akylos" & def. refs. to Greek
‑‑most literal of targums very close to MT even in gramm structure
esp in poetic sections (e.g., Gen 49 e150‑4)
--halakah often read into legal sections (Ex 21:16 e393 "house of Israel")
--offensive material toned down (Gen 20:13 e75; Ex 24:11 e400)
--carefully removes anthropomorphisms (Ex 24:10 e400)
--figurative lang explained (Gen 49:25 e153; Ex 15:3,8,10 e379)
--geog names sometimes updated (Gen 10:10 e54 Babel for Shinar; Deut 3:17 2e480)
b. Palestinian Targum (sometimes called Jerusalem or Galilean)
app never a single authoritative version; several forms survive:
(1) Pseudo‑Jonathan (TY I)
prob a form of PT later influenced by Onkelos
some contents pre‑Xn: Gen 15:19 (e204), Num 24:21 (2e431, Salmeans assoc w/ Nabateans); Deut 33:11 (2e675) prob refers to John Hyrcanus
other contents quite late: Ex 26:9 (e530‑1): six orders of Mishnah; Gen 21:21 (e223): 2 wives of Ishmael given names of Muhammad's wife & daughter; Gen 49:26 (e334) & Deut 33:2 (2e674): Edom (RE) & Ishmael seen as 2 world powers
name: ascribed to Jonathan b. Uzziel (see prophets targum) in middle ages, prob due to misreading abbrev of targ yerushalmi
‑‑much more paraphrastic than Onkelos (each Pal targ has paraphrases peculiar to self)
‑‑also contains midrashim (comment, illustration more or less rel to text)
‑‑thus abundant info on Jewish views from talmudic period at least
‑‑some material very helpful in illustrating NT texts
(2) Fragmentary Targum materials (TY II)
two types of material here:
‑‑some materials known for centuries as collection app taken from margins of Onkelos mss (this is what is properly called the "fragment targum")
‑‑fragments of old mss of Pal targ found in cleaning of Cairo Geniza (properly CG fragments)
extent & date:
‑‑only about 850 vv extant, c3/4 historical, 1/4 legal ‑‑not all contemporary:
most older than targ Ps‑Jon
some quite late (e.g., ref to Turks taking Constantinople, 1453)
(3) Codex Neofiti I
importance: first complete ms of Pal Targ, discovered by A. Diez‑Macho in Vatican library in 1956; ms itself written 1504 (about same age as Onkelos mss)
‑‑much closer to Ps‑Jon & Frag than to Onkelos
‑‑lacks late refs. in Ps‑Jon
‑‑content prob pre‑Xn, w/ final ed. in 2nd cen AD
‑‑differs from Ps‑Jon in orthography, grammar, range of paraphrase
2. Targums to the Prophets
a. Targum of Jonathan (Babylonian)
official prophets targ thru middle ages
like Onkelos, thought to be Bab reworking of Pal orig
present form thought to date from 3rd‑7th cen (some disagreement)
trad on origin (b. Meg 3a):
‑‑written by Jonathan b. Uzziel (1st cen AD, student of Hillel) at dictation of Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi!
‑‑when published, earthquake, voice from heaven: "Who has revealed my secrets to men?"
‑‑Jon b. U. wanted to translate Writings also, but forbidden by voice from heaven
‑‑very uniform style throughout, sugg. off. ed.
‑‑close to Onkelos, esp. in historical parts, but somewhat more paraphrase (rather drastic in poetry, difficult vv)
‑‑occasional reading not in MT (e.g., Josh 8:12)
‑‑proper names sometimes transformed by guessing (e.g., Jer 46:25: No = Alexandria)
‑‑interesting Messianic interpretations in Isa (see Levey in bibliography)
b. Palestinian Targum
extant only in scattered quotations, mostly from Rashi & Kimchi
extracts show influence of b. Talmud, so represent later ed. at least
3. Targums to the Writings
individual targs covering all OT but Ezra, Nehemiah,
Daniel not official, not used in synagogues nor (prob) schools
seem to be basically Pal from Talmudic period or later
a. Job & Psalms
two seem to have same author
tJob not same as found at Qumran
some early elements, but basically after split RE (c 385) & before fall RE (476)
very close to Syriac Peshitta, 1/3 to 1/2 word‑for‑word
c. Megilloth (Ruth, Eccl, SongS, Lam, Est)
paraphrastic, haggadic, midrashic
prob mostly post‑Talmudic, tho Est tannaitic
SS: allegory of God & Israel
so little known as to miss getting in early printed eds. of Targums
close contacts with Pal targ Pentateuch in style, paraphrase, but infl by b. Talmud
C. Modern Reference Sources for the Targum
1. Aramaic Text Only
Alexander Sperber, The Bible in Aramaic. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1959‑68.
22 pp intro in vol I; very brief in other vols
has different vocalization system than MT
vol I: The Pentateuch acc to Targum Onkelos
vol II: The Former Prophets acc to Targ Jonathan
vol III: The Latter Prophets acc to T. Jonathan
vol IV A: The Hagiographa
2. Bilingual Text
Aberbach & Grossfeld, Targum Onkelos to Genesis. N.Y.: Ktav, 1982.
18 pp intro; Sperber text (more or less) w/ English on facing pages and explanatory footnotes
bibliography and indices
3. English Text Only
a. J.W. Etheridge, The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan ben Uzziel on the Pentateuch with Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum. 2 vols, 1862‑65; reprinted in one vol: New York: Ktav, 1968.
34 pp intro
for each book, gives Onkelos 1st, Ps‑Jon 2nd
b. M. McNamara, The Aramaic Bible: The Targums. Wilmington: M. Glazier, 1987‑
vols ready listed below:
20 pp intro
texts in English with notes
1a: Neofiti on Genesis
1b: Ps-Jonathan on Genesis
10: T. Jonathan of Former Prophets
11: Isaiah Targum
12: Targum of Jeremiah
13: Targum of Ezekiel
14: Minor Prophets
15: Job, Proverbs, Qoheleth
18: Esther (two targums)
D. Value of Targums for NT Background
many terms & idioms like those in NT, often not found elsewhere in Jewish lit (incl OT)
strongest similarities in Pal targ (esp. Neofiti),
least in Onkelos: e.g.,
"before God": Lk 12:6; 15:10,18,21
Gen 20:6: Pal (e219) & Onk (e274) have "sinning before me" where MT has "sinning against me"
Ex 3:4: Pal (e449) has "it was seen before the Lord" where Onk has "Lord saw"
(McNamara, Targ & Test, 93‑95, gives numerous examples) "answered & said": freq in Gospels
Dalman claimed this not authentic, but from Gk writers using LXX
McNamara (110) shows this common in Pal targ, even when Heb not followed
"Jannes & Jambres": 2 Tim 3:8
Ex 7:11: Pal (e461) has same names; Onk follows MT
Num 22:22: two servants of Balaam so named (Pal 2e419) "sign" for miracle: esp in John
Gen 28:10: Pal (e252‑3): 5 signs done for Jacob
"second death": cp Ps‑Jn Deut 33:6 (2e674) w/ Rev 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8
see popular understanding of various OT passages acc to anc synagogue (not always = Talmud later)
Gen 6:1ff: "sons of God"
Ps‑Jon (e176‑7): "sons of great" angelic in context
Onk: "sons of mighty" ambiguous
Neof: "sons of judges" not angelic in text, but angelic in margin
Gen 14:18: Pal (e199) identifies Melchizedek as Shem
Gen 15:12: Pal (e202) explains "terror, darkness, great & falling" as 4 kingdoms to oppress Israel: Babylon, Medes, Greeks, & (app) Parthians; v 17 explained as "Gehinnom"
Num 21:8‑9: bronze serpent: cp Ps‑Jn (2e411) w/ Jn 3:14‑15
likewise gives popular theol of ancient synagogue, explaining, removing difficulties
legalism: see remarks to serpent in Pal Targ Gen 3 (e166); cp Onk, Ps‑Jon & Pal on Noah (e47,177)
avoidance of anthropomorphism:
note incident of God & Abraham, Gen 18, esp Pal (e209‑14)
Ex 24:10: vision of God: Onk (e400), Pal (e526)
Messiah: see Levey, Edersheim (app IX)
e.g., Levey (63) on Isa 52:13: note what targumist does to atonement
Levey (7‑11) on Gen 49:10ff: seems to support understanding of "Shiloh" as "him to whom it belongs"
"Memra" ‑ word; regularly used in place of God; Gen 15:6 (e63,201); Num 24:23 (2e432); debate continues today whether anc Jews saw multiplicity in Godhead; liberals & mod Jews deny it (see Strack‑Billerbeck), but Etheridge thinks something to it (14‑25); McNamara (102‑03) doesn't go as far as Eth, but thinks targ usage influenced John in choice of words in Jn 1:1ff
III. THE SEPTUAGINT
A. History of the Septuagint
1. Its Origin
a. According to the Letter of Aristeas
(1) letter by Gentile Aristeas, influential courtier of Ptolemy 2, to friend Philocrates
(2) Ptol 2 building greatest library in world; librarian Demetrius mentions Jewish Law (presumably Pentateuch), which will need to be translated
(3) Ptol gets Jewish high priest Eleazar to send 6 elders from each tribe (72) to Alexandria to make translation
(4) translators work together, finish in 72 days; work approved by Alex Jews
b. Later Additions to Story
(1) Philo (Life of Moses 2:25‑44)
translators inspired; agree tho separated
(2) Justin (Apol 1.31; Dialogue 68,71)
Herod (!) involved; translation more than Pentateuch
(3) Epiphanius (Weights & Measures 3,6)
36 pairs in different rooms; trans incls Apocrypha
c. Evaluation of Story
(1) Date (1st ½ of 3rd cen BC), place (Alexandria) and extent of trans (Pentateuch) usually accepted from Aristeas; trans prob also official, done by committee; many doubt Ptol 2 involved; mss may have been from Jerus; Greek dialect looks Alexandrian
(2) Rest of OT translated at various times by various unknown persons, but prob complete by 125 BC (see Prologue to Ecclesiasticus); still uncertain whether only one translation or more in several books: Daniel, Judges, Samuel‑Kings
2. Use of Septuagint
a. Among Jews
(1) Initially very favorable to LXX
see Aristeas, Philo, Josephus
(2) Become unfavorable as Xns use LXX against them
Dialogue 68, 71‑73: argument over Jewish or Xn tampering with text of LXX ; Talmud: trans of LXX sin 2nd only to golden calf
(3) Eventually abandon LXX
first for other Gk translations (esp Aquila, see below)
then abandon Gk altogether in Byz period
b. Among Christians
(1) Adopted both use & attitudes from Jews in 1st cen as few Gentile Xns knew Hebrew
(2) LXX became basis of trans into Latin, Syriac, Coptic, tho L & S trans may be pre‑Xn
(3) LXX continues to present as OT of Gk Orthodox Ch
3. Other Versions of OT in Greek
(prob some early competition for LXX, but explicit information for other versions from 2nd cen AD)
a. Aquila (c 130 AD)
Jewish proselyte; super‑literal; to replace LXX for Jews
b. Theodotion (c 180 AD)
Jewish proselyte or Ebionite; revision of LXX in direction of MT; but evid of proto‑Theod in Revelation
c. Symmachus (late 2nd‑early 3rd cen)
Ebionite; meaning of Heb in good Gk style; poss revision of Aquila using LXX & Theo
d. Other Versions
fragments and references to 3 others (Origen called these Quinta, Sexta, Septima); some evid that something like Theo's version pre‑Xn; also some think a proto‑Lucian existed
4. Text of the LXX
due to restoration attempts of Origen, Lucian & Hesychius, now very difficult to restore, as most mss postdate them (225‑300)
have a few frags from Pal, Egypt which are pre‑Xn or at least pre‑Origen
B. Modern Reference Sources for the Septuagint
1. Greek Text Only
a. Alfred Rahlfs, ed. Septuaginta 8th ed. 2 vols. Stuttgart: Wuerttembergische Bibelanstalt, 1965.
48 pp of intro in German, English, Latin
eclectic text, with notes only for major uncials
Apocrypha included with biblical text
Vol 1: Law & history:
incl 1 Esdras, Judith, Tobit, 1‑4 Maccabees
Vol 2: Books of Poetry & Prophecy:
incl Odes, Sirach, Pss Solomon, Baruch, Ep Jer, Susanna, Bel & Dragon
b. Alan E. Brooke and Norman Mclean, eds., The Old Testament in Greek. Cambridge: University Press, 1906‑40.
so‑called "Cambridge" edition
massive textual notes
follows text of Vaticanus supplemented w/ other uncials
incomplete in 3 vols of multiple parts:
Vol 1: Genesis thru Ruth
Vol 2: Sam, Kings, Chron, Esdras, Ezr‑Neh
Vol 3: Est, Jud, Tob
c. Goettingen Literary Society, Septuaginta. Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1931‑
so‑called "Goettingen" edition
massive textual notes
moving closer to completion in 16 vols of multiple parts
Vols 1‑3: Pentateuch (ready)
Vols 5‑7: History (not ready)
Vol 8: Esdras, Esther, Judith, Tobit (partly done)
Vols 9‑12: Pss, Job, Wisd Sol, Sirach (partly done)
Vols 13‑16: Prophets (w/ adds to Jer and Dan)
Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton, ed. The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1986. Reprint of 1851 Bagster edition.
only 6 pp introduction
obviously not very up‑to‑date on text questions
Apocrypha separate at end
3. English Translation Only
Charles Thomson and C. A. Muses, eds. The Septuagint Bible. Indian Hills, CO: Falcon's Wing Press, 1954.
24 pp introduction
students at Nyack helped Muses in revision
C. Value of Septuagint for NT Background
1. Exegetical, Theological
general attempt in LXX to be closely literal, except in Isaiah, Daniel, Job, Proverbs
a. Changes to avoid anthropomorphisms (see Swete, 327)
e.g., Ex 24:10: "they saw place where God of Israel stood";
Josh 4:24: "power" of LORD for "hand"
b. Changes to agree with halakah (327)
Gen 2:2: God finishes on 6th day, not 7th
Lev 24:7: salt added with incense
c. Freedom with metaphors (329)
Gen 6:2: "angels" of God
Num 24:17: "a man" will arise instead of "sceptre"
d. Many erroneous translations, esp outside Pent
e.g., "eis to telos" for "lamaneseach" in Ps titles
e. Midrash (interpretive paraphrase)
in general LXX like more literal targums, but Daniel contains much paraphrase (poss why LXX Dan replaced by Theodotion in almost all mss)
f. Some interpretations of interest
Gen 6:4: "gigantes" for "nephilim"
Isa 7:14: "parthenos" for "almah"
Ps 40:7 (LXX 39): "soma" for "ozanayim" (cp Heb 10:5)
LXX in existence for 200‑300 yr before writing of NT;
substantially influenced meaning of many Gk words:
about 150 words in NT vocab only found elsewhere in LXX (Swete, 452);
for many others found elsewhere, NT meaning closer to LXX than other usages; examples:
pagan Gk: political assembly
LXX: congregation of Israel
pagan Gk: will, treaty, agreement
pagan Gk: rare word
LXX: common, prob due to desire to avoid pagan connotations of love, poss because of linguistic resemblance to Heb "ahevah"
IV. THE APOCRYPHA AND PSEUDEPIGRAPHA
A. Description of the Writings
some confusion due to two distinct meanings for each term "apocrypha" and "pseudeipgrapha"; we are interested in (1) under each:
(1) anc Jewish books which do not appear in Heb Bible but were commonly copied w/ OT in Gk and Lat Bibles; later officially accepted by RC (1546) and GO (1672) Churches;
(2) broader def: non‑canonical books
(1) other anc Jewish books not found in Heb, Gk or Lat Bibles but accepted among some oriental churches (e.g., Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopic)
(2) books of false authorship
2. The Apocrypha
some disagreement on exact content:
Eissfeldt & Charles include 3 Macc; KJV & NEB do not
KJV & NEB incl 4 Ezra; Eiss & Chas do not
will follow Charles for groupings below:
a. Historical Books
(1) 1 Esdras (3 Ezra)
an aggravating name situation here:
ENGLISH GREEK LATIN
Ezra Esdras "2" Esdras I
Nehemiah Esdras "3" Esdras II
3 Ezra Esdras "1" Esdras III
4 Ezra Esdras apoc Esdras IV
1 Esd (3 Ezr) is a trans of the end of 2 Chron, Ezra and a little of Neh with one large addition and two very small ones:
long add: a contest between 3 pages at court before Darius to answer Q: what is most powerful thing in world? won by Zerubbabel w/ double answer: women & truth; reward is permission to rebuild temple
Date: Eissfeldt (E): 2nd cen BC; ZPEB (Z): 150‑50 BC
(2) 1 Maccabees
history of period from Alexander (333) to Jn Hyrcanus (134‑103), concentrating on Macc period 175‑134
highly regarded historically
Date: E: late 2nd BC; Z: same
(3) 2 Maccabees
epitome of 5‑book history by Jason of Cyrene
covers similar period to 1 Macc, c 180‑160
miraculous punishment of Heliodorus in ch 3 usually viewed w/ suspicion
more emphasis on individuals persecuted by Antiochus
considered of historical value but not = 1 Macc
Date: Jason of Cyrene: E: late 2nd BC; Z: mid‑2nd
2 Macc: E: 1st BC; Z: before 50 BC
(4) 3 Maccabees
bad title, since events covered earlier than Macc period
attempt of Ptol 4 to enter Temple c 217, stopped by miraculous punishment; how he tried to force Egyptian Jews to worship idols, tried to kill them when they resisted, but 3x mirac. delivered; Ptol 4 repents
Date: E: late 1st BC; Z: 1st BC
b. Books Quasi‑Historical with Moral Purpose
rather complex historical novel of how Tobias restores his father Tobit's eyesight and fortune, rescues a damsel Sarah from a demon & marries her, all w/ aid of angel Raphael; set in Nineveh & Media
Date: E: prob pre‑Macc; Z: 4th‑3rd cen BC, prob c 200
virtuous widow Judith saves town of Bethulia from Assyrian army by winning confidence of Gen Holofernes & cutting off his head
some serious historical blunders: Nebuchadnezzar, Nineveh, post‑exile; yet poss some hist basis
Date: E: 2nd BC; Z: same
c. Wisdom Literature
(1) Wisdom of Jesus ben Sirach (ben Sirach, Ecclesiasticus)
proverbial wisdom & poems, incl exhortations & passages in praise of the forefathers, the scribes & high priest Simon
more specifically Jewish than OT wisdom lit
Date: E: prob written by Pal Jew c 190 BC, trans by own grandson in Egypt c 120; Z: same
(2) Wisdom of Solomon
prose & poetry in praise of wise, pious & wisdom;
miracles of wisdom in sacred history from Adam to Joshua;
foolishness of ungodly & idolatry
more Hellenistic infl than in Sirach
Date: E: 1st BC; Z: same; Nickelsburg (N): early 1st AD
d. Additions to and Completions of Canonical Books
(1) Additions to Esther
mostly to add piety to canonical Esther, which never mentions God explicitly
incl dream of Morecai & its interp, two prayers, two edicts & a little add narrative
Date: E: mid‑2nd BC; Z: c 100 BC
(2) Additions to Daniel
(a) Prayer of Azariah (Abednego)
song of lament inserted as prayer in fiery furnace
Date: Z: time of Ant 4?
(b) Song of Three Young Men (or 3 Holy Children)
hymn of praise inserted as praise in fiery furnace
Date: no guesses
pious wife of Bab Jew charged w/ adultery by two men whose advances she had refused; Daniel convicts them of false witness
Date: Z: 2nd or 1st BC
(d) Bel and Dragon:
actually two "detective" stories:
 Daniel proves to king that idol Bel is not eating his sacrifices
 Daniel kills dragon worshiped by Babylonians, so is thrown to lions; Dan preserved w/ aid from Habakkuk
Date: Z: 2nd BC
(3) Book of Baruch (1 Baruch)
prayer of confession, poems of exhortation to return to law, lamentation, consolation
Date: E: early 1st BC; Z: 2nd BC‑1st AD; N: 164‑116 BC
(4) Letter of Jeremiah
often given as 6th chap of Baruch
superscription claims it is letter sent by Jer to Bab exiles
warning against idolatry; idols not gods, but man‑made Date: E: no later than 2nd BC; Z: 3rd BC‑1st AD
(5) Prayer of Manasseh
based on 2 Chron 33:12‑13
prayer of confession & forgiveness
E: prob 1st AD; Z: 2nd BC‑1st AD, prob Macc
3. The Pseudepigrapha
a. Primitive History Rewritten from Standpoint of Law
(1) Book of Jubilees
retelling of Gen 1 ‑ Ex 12, providing a chronology in terms of 364‑day years, sabbath‑cycles & jubilees;
reads much of Mosaic law back into Patriarchal period Date: E: c 100 BC; Z: c 150 BC; N: 175‑100 BC
b. Sacred Legends
(1) Letter of Aristeas
story of trans of Heb Pent into Gk at time of Ptol 2
author represents self as pagan, but prob Alex Jew
some features historical, not sure how much
Date: E: end 2nd BC; Z: same
(2) Life of Adam and Eve; Apocalypse of Moses
two related works of haggadah on Adam & Eve
filling in materials not in Scripture, incl events leading up to death & burial of each
Date: E: Xn modifications of Jew work from time of Herod's temple; Z: similar
(3) Martyrdom of Isaiah (incl in Ascension of Isa)
Isa sawn in two at command of Manasseh; [sees vision of Jesus Christ; visionary asc of Isa to heaven, hearing commands re/ Christ's ministry]
Date: E: martyrdom prob 1st BC; rest is Xn, prob 2nd AD
(1) 1 Enoch (Bk of Enoch, Ethiopic Enoch)
visionary journeys of En thru world & underworld;
angelology; Messianic prediction; astronomical &
calendric lore; vision of world history in symbols;
admonitions to righteousness
generally agreed to be composite of several works
Date: E: oldest parts prob pre‑Macc, latest 2nd AD
(2) 2 Enoch (Secrets of Enoch, Slavonic Enoch)
visionary journey of En thru heavens; revelations re/
creation & world history to flood; admonitions to sons
Date: complex history: E: a late Xn work (7th AD), but app dep on Jew work before AD 70; Charlesworth (C): late 1st cen pre‑Xn to late medieval
(3) Testaments of 12 Patriarchs
dying admonitions & predictions of Jacob's 12 sons based on a characteristic deed of each
disagreement at present on whether
(a) basically Xn using some Jewish material
(b) basically Jew w/ some Xn editing
latter now favored as T Levi and T Naph at Qumran
Date: Z: parts 2nd BC; final form 2nd AD
(4) Testament (Assumption) of Moses
Moses reveals to Joshua hist of Israel from conquest thru dawn of golden age
some reason to believe that allusion in Jude 9 to Michael disputing w/ Satan over Moses' body once in this work, tho not now
Date: C,E,Z : early 1st AD
(5) 2 Baruch (Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch)
preview of world history to time of Messiah in form of symbolic visions; problem of Jerusalem's destruction answered; exhortation to faithfulness to law
Date: C: early 2nd AD; E: 2nd AD; Z: 70‑150 AD
(6) 3 Baruch (Greek Apocalypse of Baruch)
complaint on fate of Jerusalem leads to visit to different heavens (thru #5)
nature: some Xn influence? Xn reworking of Jewish tradition?
Date: C: uncertain: 1st or 2nd AD? E: mid 2nd AD
(7) 4 Ezra (2 Esdras)
seven visions of Ezra in 30th yr after fall Jerusalem answering his Qs re/ destruction of city, # of saved, picturing Messiah
Ezra is commissioned to restore destroyed Scriptures (incl 70 hidden books)
Date: C,E: commonly AD 100, 30 yrs after 2nd fall; but four chapters later Xn (say 3rd AD)
(8) Sibylline Oracles
collection of oracles in style of pagan Sibyl (viewed as dau‑in‑law of Noah) written by Jews and Xns, later collected w/ pagan ones c 6th AD [orig Sib Oracles app destroyed in Roman fire 82 BC]
12 books survive, mostly Xn or Jewish material
(1) Psalms of Solomon
18 psalms, w/ parallels to canonical; somewhat greater reflective element; freq contasts betw righteous & wicked; no claim to be by Solomon
outlook closest to Pharisees
Date: E: hist allusions sugg 1st BC; Z: 1st or 2nd BC
e. Ethics and Wisdom Literature
(1) 4 Maccabees
philosophical treatise/speech on reason as ruler of passions; examples from OT, but mostly from Macc martyrs
Date: E: 1st BC or AD; Z: 50 BC‑38 AD; N: c 40 AD
[This covers all works in Charles & Eissfeldt, except that Charles includes (1) "Story of Ahikar," not Jewish; (2) "Frag of Zadokite Work," from Qumran; and (3) "Pirke Aboth," rabbinic; a much more extensive list is given in Grudem (see bibl.); Charlesworth has c 63 works, many much later: 27 in vol 1; 36 in vol 2]
B. Modern Reference Sources for Apoc/Pseud
1. Original Languages
App no single work has all in original languages, which vary from Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, to Ethiopic
Bibliography of sources in Charles, Charlesworth (below) and Grudem (bibliography)
2. English Translations:
a. Charles, R. H., ed. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1913.
Vol I: Apocrypha
13 works, including 3 Maccabees
Vol II: Pseudepigrapha
17 works, including 3 not considered Pseud today
Each book has extensive introduction, bibliography (rather old by now) and text notes
b. Charlesworth, James H., ed. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2 vols. New York: Doubleday, 1983‑85.
Vol 1: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments
27 works (some much later date than in Charles)
Vol 2: Expansions of the "O.T." and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo‑Hellenistic Works
36 works (some much later)
Each book has introduction, (up‑to‑date) bibliography and text notes, generally less extensive than Charles
c. Ginzburg, Louis. The Legends of the Jews. 7 vols. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Soc., 1909‑38.
Vols I‑IV: text
Vols V‑VI: reference notes
Vol VII: index
A readable narrative text of the various extra‑Biblical stories arranged by periods in OT biblical history, with detailed scholarly references and comments put in separate volumes.
Important source for locating Jewish legendary material.
C. Value of Apoc/Pseud for N.T. Background
1. Geographical & Linguistic Background
doubtless some value here, but not one of its stronger areas
2. Cultural Background
many examples of popular views among Jews, valuable for comparison & contrast with NT (and OT): e.g.,
a. Tobit 2: burial of dead, piety, uncleanness
b. Judith 8: widowhood, mourning, sackcloth, fasting
c. 1 Enoch 72: sun a chariot coming thru gates
(more of same in 2 Enoch 12‑14)
d. 2 Macc 7: martyrdom for law
e. Asc Isa 2:7‑11: mourning prophets (cp Jn Baptist)
3. Historical Background
a. 1 Enoch 1:9 quoted in Jude 14‑15
real tradition? ad hominem against heretics?
b. Asc Isa 3:1‑12; 5:1‑14: martyrdom of Isa
more likely to include real hist information
prob referred to in Heb 11:37
c. 1 Macc 4:36‑59: rededication of profaned temple
cp Jn 10:22; origin of festival of lights, Hannukah
d. 1 Macc 4:44‑46; 9:23‑27; 14:41
no prophets then coming, tho not ruling out future prophets
4. Exegetical Background
a. Gen 1:6; 11:1ff: cp 3 Bar 3
tower of Babel to bore thru heaven to see if made of clay, brass or iron (but God didn't let them!)
b. Gen 6:1ff: cp Jub 5; 1 Enoch 6‑7
fall of angels; giants 3000 ells high (over a mile!); C gives 300 cubits, but still about 500 ft
c. Dan 7:9‑14: cp 1 Enoch 46:1ff
Son of Man = Elect One
5. Theological Background
a. Demons: Tobit 6:1‑8; 8:1‑8
(to finish story: 11:6‑15, recovery of father)
b. Idolatry: Apoc Abr 5
how Abr discovers folly of idolatry
c. Messiah: much in many places
1 En 45‑54; 61‑62; 71; 90; T Levi 18; T Judah 24; Sib Or 3,5; 2 Bar 27‑30; 72‑74; 4 Ezra 7, 12‑13; etc. considerable variety; likewise consid. var. in eschatology
d. Prayer for dead: 2 Macc 12:38‑45
contrast 1 Jn 5:16‑17
e. Canon & pseudepigrapha: 4 Ezra 14
concedes that 24 books of Scripture known publicly since Ezra's time; tries to explain (70) pseudepigrapha as equally old but secret
A. Discovery and Authenticity of the Dead Sea Scrolls
1. First Finds
Bedouin boy (Muhammad adh‑Dhib) looking for lost goat finds 8 scrolls in cave (Feb or Mar 1947)
Bethlehem antiquities dealer refuses to buy for £20
Later 5 of them bought by Mar Samuel, archbp of Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem; other 3 by E. Sukenik of Heb Univ
Eventually Sukenik's son Y. Yadin bought the 5 for $ ¼ million in 1954, so all these now owned by Israel
2. Later Finds
Cave from which 1st DSS discovered located by archeologists in 1949 (now labeled cave 1)
Between 1952‑56, ten more caves discovered, some by archeology teams, but most important two (4 & 11) by Bedouin
Total finds: 10 complete scrolls, 1000s of fragments, representing perhaps 600 mss:
Biblical works: all of OT but Esther
Apoc/Pseud: frags in Heb/Aram from Sirach, Tobit, Judith, Enoch (pts I,III‑V), Jub, T Levi, Zadok Frag, plus others prev unknown (Qumran prob source of some)
Bible‑related: retelling of Biblical narrative w/ elaborations; commentaries; collections of texts
Sectarian: Man Disc, War Scroll, Hymns, liturgical mss
Mss: language closer to OT than to Mishnah; script close to Nash papyrus (2nd BC)
Linen wrappings: radiocarbon date AD 30, give or take 200 yr
Pottery: late Hellenistic
Ink: matches that found in inkpots at Khirbet Qumran, where major coin finds dated c125 BC ‑ AD 68
Archeology: many ms frags found in situ at all 11 caves
History: picture of sect from DSS mss very close to picture of Essenes in Philo, Josephus, Pliny the Elder
B. Description of the Writings
Here concerned with new finds (plus Zad frag), not OT nor prev known Apoc/Pseud
Some variety in naming of mss causes confusion; we give common name first with some variants in parentheses (C = Charles; G = Gaster; V = Vermes) std. abbrev for mss in brackets [ ]
1. Rules of the Sect
a. Manual of Discipline [1QS, S = Serek, rule]
(V: Community Rule)
regulations for entry (1‑3); two ways (3‑4); rules for members (5‑9); rules for leader (9‑10); closing hymn (10‑11)
b. Damascus Document [CD; 4QD; 6QD]
(C: Frag of Zad Work; G: Zad Doc; V: Damascus Rule)
exhortation (1‑8): incl hist of group & some strange exegesis; rules for sect (9‑16): incl interp of various Biblical regulations
c. Rule of the Congregation [1QSa]
(G: Man Disc for Fut Cong Israel; V: Messianic Rule)
rules for all Israel when they join sect in Messianic period
d. War of Sons of Light against Sons of Darkness [1QM]
(V: War Rule)
rules for 40‑year war of Israel vs Gentiles (esp Kittim) at end of age; incl detailed info on standards, trumpets, troop movements and liturgy
2. "Liturgical" Materials
a. Thanksgiving Psalms [1QH]
(G: Bk of Hymns; V: Hymns)
c25 hymns, all of thanksgiving, all individual; many themes: 2 most pervasive: salvation & knowledge; most are general enough to apply to any member of group but ##1,2,7‑11 thought esp appropriate to Teacher of Righteousness (founder? persec by enemies, abandoned by friends)
b. Words of Heavenly Lights [4Q504]
prayers & hymns, app for each day of week
very fragmented, 7 columns
c. Scroll of Prayers [1Q34]
(V: Liturgical Prayer)
prob part of covenant renewal liturgy (on Pentecost)
small frag of 2 columns
d. The Benedictions [1QSb]
(G: Formulary of Blessings; V: The Blessings)
blessings which Master gives to congregation, high priest (priest Messiah?), priests & prince (king Messiah?)
e. The Book of Mysteries [1Q27]
(G: Coming Doom; V: Triumph of Righteousness)
less than one column, poss from sermon or apocalypse
f. Songs for the Sabbath Sacrifice [4Q400-407, 11Q5-6]
The Angelic Blessings: 7 archangels bless righteous (poss in worship service before God in heaven)
The Divine Throne‑Chariot: worship of various angelic beings before God's throne
3. Biblical Interpretation
a. Genesis Apocryphon [1QapGen]
(formerly Lamech Scroll)
a retelling of Gen somewhat similar to Jubilees, w/ much legendary elaboration; 22 columns, but only 5 published due to poor condition; starts w/ Lamech, runs just past Melchizedek
b. Commentary on Gen 49 [4QPBless]
(V: Blessings of Jacob)
Shiloh passage, understood as Messianic & Davidic
c. Words of Moses [1Q22]
(G: Oration of Moses)
a presentation of Moses' farewell address based on Deut but unusual in emphasis on special teachers of law
d. Commentaries on Isaiah [4Q161-164]
several frags dealing with various passages
e. Prayer of Nabonidus [4QprNab]
frag concerning thanksgiving offered by Nab after being healed by Jewish exorcist
f. Comm on Hosea [4Q166-167]
few vv in chap 2
g. Comm on Micah [1Q14]
few vv in chap 1
h. Comm on Nahum [4Q169]
parts of 4 columns on 2:11‑3:12
i. Comm on Habakkuk [1QpHab]
parts of 12 columns on chaps 1‑2
j. Comm on Psalms [4Q171, 173]
mostly on Psalm 37, applied to struggle between sect & enemies, esp Teacher of Righteousness vs Wicked Priest
k. The Florilegium [4Q174]
(V: Midrash of Last Days)
interp of passages from 2 Sam 7, Pss 1‑2 re/ coming of Messiahs & identification of sect as Temple
l. The Testimonia [4Q175]
(V: A Messianic Anthology)
quotations from Deut 18, "prophet like Moses"; Num 24, "star from Jacob"; Deut 33, "blessing of Levites"; and Josh 6 "curse on builder of Jericho," w/ comm on last
m. Comm on Biblical Laws [4Q159, 513-14]
short frags dealing w/ gleaning and half‑shekel tax
4. Other Materials
a. The Copper Scroll [3Q15]
a large copper scroll listing fabulous treasures hidden in various locations (c1300 tal gold, 3000 tal silver) imaginary? treasury of sect? temple treasury? so far locations not discoverable
b. The Temple Scroll [11QT]
largest of DSS, 28' long, 67 cols, seized by Israelis in 1967 from Arab dealer description of temple, starting inside & working outward, with digressions to give relevant laws; much is straight out of OT but changed to 1st person as though God speaking
descrip of temple fits neither Solomon's, Ezekiel's nor Herod's temples
much info on halakah different from Pharisees
C. Modern Reference Sources for Qumran Literature
not as good as for literature discussed in previous sections; see Fitzmyer (1977) in bibliography for details; see also Vermes bibliography, V313-316
1. Original Language
No collection with all texts; best is
Lohse, E. Die Texte aus Qumran. Muenchen: Koesel Verlag, 1964.
2. Bilingual with English
a. Bartelhemy, D. et al. Discoveries in the Judean Desert (of Jordan). 6 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955‑77.
(some of this is in French rather than English)
some (but not all) material from caves 1‑11 plus Murabbaat plates, Hebrew text, translations and notes
b. Yadin, Yigael. The Temple Scroll. 3 vols. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1983.
introduction, text, commentary, plates
3. English Translations
a. Gaster, Theodore. The Dead Sea Scriptures. rev. ed. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964.
b. Vermes, Geza. The Dead Sea Scrolls in English. 3rd rev. and aug. ed. Baltimore: Penguin, 1987.
D. Value of Qumran for N.T. Background
1. Geographical Background
though sect located in Pal of IT‑NT period, DSS give very little information of this sort
2. Cultural and Historical Background
relatively few clear historical references, but vivid 1st‑hand picture of a Jewish sect of period
a. Secret Doctrines
1QS 8: "interpreter shall not conceal" [from leaders?]
(V73; V = Vermes)
1QS 9: "conceal teaching of Law from men of falsehood"
(V75); cp and contrast Mt 7:6; 10:27; Acts 26:26
1QS 1 (V62); 1QS 10 (V76); CD 6 (V87); CD 16 names Bk of Jubilees (V92); 1QH 12 (V197); 4QpHos (V276); cp Col 2:16 (and recall "worship of angels" in Col 2:18)
c. Hatred of Enemies
1QS 1 (V62): "love all sons of light . . . hate all sons of darkness"
1QS 9 (V75): "everlasting hatred in a spirit of secrecy for the men of perdition"
contrast Mt 5:43
d. Sabbath Activity
CD 11 (V95): can pull man out of pit, but not animal contrast Mt 12:11; Lk 14:5
CD 15 (V91-92);
cp and contrast Mt 23:16‑22
f. Vows of Corban
CD 16 (V93);
cp Mk 7:11ff
g. Angels in Congregation
1QSa 2 (V102): no unclean or blemished in congreg because of Angels of Holiness
1QM 7 (V112): no unclean because angels with their host
cp Deut 23:14, which prob applies to vv 8‑13, not just 12‑13;
note also 1 Cor 11:10 woman's head covered because of angels
h. No interruptions
1QS 6 (V69): "no one to interrupt companion before speech ended";
cp 1 Cor 14:30: "let 1st keep silence"
3. Linguistic Background
except for 7Q materials (poss not even Qumran), rest is in Hebrew or Aramaic, so most linguistic connections indirect
a. Abaddon, Abyss, Belial
1QH 3 (V172): "redeemed my soul from the pit & from the Hell of Abaddon"
1QH 3 (V174): "torrents of Belial shall break into Abaddon and deeps of the Abyss shall groan"
here "Abaddon" and "Belial" are transliterations, but "Abyss" is tehom, which LXX renders abyssos
cp "abaddon" Rev 9:11; "abyss" Lk 8:31; Rev 9:1‑3; 20:1‑3;
"Belial" 2 Cor 6:15
b. Chief Priests
1QM 2 (V106): 12 chief priests minister (app below H.P. and his vicar); cp usage in Gospels: e.g., Mt 26:47,59
CD 5 (V87): Satan raised up Jannes and his brother
cp 2 Tim 3:8
4. Exegetical Background
much material here, not just confined to commentaries
a. Gen 6:2,4: sons of God, Nephilim
CD 2 (V84): Heavenly Watchers, giants
b. Gen 49:10: until Shiloh comes
4QPBless (V260): messianic
c. Ps 41:9: lifted up heel against me
1QH 5 (V179): applied to writer (T of R?) re/ enemies
cp John 13:18: applied to Jesus re/ Judas
d. Isa 11:1‑3: rod from stem of Jesse
4Q161 (V268): applied to Davidic Messiah; note how interpreter handles "shall not judge by what eyes see"
e. Isa 28:16: God laying in Zion a precious corner stone
1QS 8 (V72): community is precious corner stone
cp Rom 9:33; 10:11; 1 Pet 2:6
f. Isa 40:3: prepare in wilderness way of Lord
1QS 8 (V73): applied to selves
cp Mt 3:3; Mk 1:3; Jn 1:23
[this is what is commonly known as "pesher" interp, i.e., applying OT prophecy to oneself or one's movement]
5. Theological Background
also important as sect very theologically‑minded
a. Holy Spirit as person
1QH 7 (V184); 1QH 17 (V206)
1QapGen 20 (V255) represents plague on Pharoah as caused by evil spirit
c. Grace: esp notable in hymn/psalm material
1QS 11 (V79); 1QH 1 (V167‑68); 1QH 3 (V173); 1QH 4
(V177); 1QH 7 (V185)
1QS 8 (V72): community atones by righteousness and suffering
1QS 9 (V74): 3 figures: prophet & messiahs of Aaron & Israel
4Q175 (V295‑96): 4 figures: 3 above + antagonist?
Deut 18:18‑19 (prophet); Num 24:15‑17 (star from Jacob) Deut 33:8‑11 (priest?); Josh 6:26 (curse on Jericho's rebuilder)
1QSb (V235‑37): blessings on faithful, priests, high priest and prince; last app messianic, hp may be also
not much, but 1QH 6 (V184) and 1QH 11 (V195) look like it was accepted by community
1QS 2 (V63): torture by Avengers, destruction, shadowy place of everlasting fire
1QS 4 (V66): multitude of plagues by hand of destroying angels, everlasting damnation, eternal torment, endless disgrace; shameful extinction; fire of dark regions; sorrowful mourning, bitter misery
4Q184 (V240): harlot figure (heresy?) has inheritance in everlasting fire
VI. PHILO JUDAEUS
A. Life of Philo (c 25 BC to c AD 45)
very little known: a few details in "Embassy to Gaius" 22, 28; "On Special Laws" 3:1; and Josephus, Antiquities 18.8.1 (see also 19.5.1 and 20.5.2); survey of known info and reasonable inference in Goodenough, Intro, 1‑8.
1. Family one of richest, most influential among Alexandrian Jews: connections w/ Herodian dynasty and Roman court; his (younger?) brother Alexander a high official in city and wealthy banker; his nephew Tiberius Julius Alexander apostasized, became Roman general, procurator of Judea AD 46‑48.
Only event we know of was his participation in a delegation of Alex. Jews to emperor Gaius (Caligula) in AD 40 seeking redress for antisemitic acts of Roman governor.
Allusions in books show strong familiarity with politics, sports, theater.
3. Training (deduced from his writings)
1st class Greek education, app from Greek schools: in classical literature, class & contemp philosophers, rhetoric, general science
Jewish knowledge more disputed (poss just from home, synagogue and consultation):
‑‑ very familiar with LXX Pentateuch (less of rest)
‑‑ uses Hebrew etymologies, but prob 2nd‑hand
‑‑ some knowledge of Jewish oral traditions:
* very much at home in haggadah
* not much on halakah (but reflects some views later rejected by rabbis)
B. His Writings
preserved by Christians rather than by Jews
mostly in original Greek, tho some only in Armenian
1. "Commentaries" on the Pentateuch
a. Catechetical ["Questions & Answers on the Pent."]
Q & A format
only partially preserved (pts of Gen & Ex) and only in Armenian
each Paragraph an exegetical question
gives short answer re/ literal sense of passage
then long allegorical explanation
b. Allegorical ["Allegories on the Sacred Laws"]
17 (poss 18) exegetical treatises on selected passages from 1st 17 chaps of Genesis
history of patriarchs seen as symbolic of religious and moral development of the individual human soul
poss a collection of sermons given by Philo in synagogue
c. Legal [no overall title]
"On the Creation": sometimes classed under b, above
biographies of patriarchs, incl Joseph, Moses:
e.g., "On Abraham," "On Joseph," "Moses"
"On Decalogue": 10 Commandments
"On Special Laws": precepts exemplifying each of 10 Commandments
"On the Virtues": OT laws seen as encouraging classical virtues
"On Rewards and Punishments"
2. Other Works
little Biblical connection; poss addressed to young Jewish intellectuals on verge of apostasy
"Every Good Man is Free"
"On the Eternity of the World"
"Hypothetica" or "Apology for the Jews"
only a frag extant in Eusebius, Preparation Gospel 8:6‑7
"On the Contemplative Life" ‑ decribes Theraputae
"Flaccus" ‑ pogroms in Alexandria (AD 38)
"On the Embassy to Gaius" ‑ resulting delegation (AD 40)
C. Modern Reference Sources for Philo
Finally, a (fairly) cheap edition of his works:
1. Yonge, C.D., ed. The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged. New updated ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993.
And the standard bilingual multi-volume edition:
2. Colson, F. H.; G. H. Whitaker and R. Marcus, eds. Philo. 12 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1929‑53.
D. Value for N.T. Background
1. Philo as a Prime Example of Hellenistic Judaism
don't know how characteristic, though
he refers to predecessors & contemporaries w/ similar views
a. Philosophy (eclectic, basically Stoic and Platonic)
sees Moses as source of all good in Gk phil systems
(1) Stoic Influence
borrows much terminology (4 passions, 7 body‑ functions, 4 levels of material things)
life based on reason rather than passion
live in harmony with nature
morally beautiful is the only good
(but Philo opposed to Stoic materialism & independence from God)
(2) Platonic Influence
theory of ideas: 2‑level world:
upper: rational/spiritual; ideas; allegory;
lower: material; history; literal interp;
body as prison for soul
(3) Other Influences
(a) Pythagorean: mystical significance of numbers (Goodenough sees more here)
(b) Aristotelian: virtues as means ("nothing in excess")
(c) Sceptic: strong sense of human weakness, ignorance
b. Theology (Hebrew w/ Platonic influence)
totally other, incomprehensible
but also close; mystical union possible via divine intermediaries
Divine Reason ‑ logos
Divine Powers ‑ goodness (God); sovereignty
(Lord), mercy, justice
[great debate over whether these are to be considered persons, emanations or attributes]
2 parts: soul (connecting w/ God)
body (connecting w/ matter)
man chooses own direction of life (uses Stoic ethics: control of passions by reason)
fall acc to Philo (LA 2:59):
Adam = reason; Eve = senses; snake = lust
A. leaves father (God) and mother (wisdom) to cleave to wife (sensuality)
"salvation": soul can ascend to God, attain mystical union (virtue) by 3 routes:
(a) erudition to virtue: exemplified by Abraham having children by Hagar, then Sarah
(b) perfect nature: exemplified by Isaac
(c) asceticism: exemplified by Jacob
c. Allegorical Exegesis
(1) Origin: following Stoics, who allegorized Homer to avoid problems & discover Stoicism in Homer
(2) Two Senses of Scripture:
‑‑literal: records ancient events
‑‑allegorical: contemporary experience of everyman
‑‑exclude literal if: unworthy, senseless, contradictory, inadmissable
‑‑signs of allegory: duplication, superfluity, peculiarities, omissions
‑‑techniques of interpretation: redivision of words, phrases; synonyms; slight changes; number symbolism
(4) Allegory & the Law
Philo allegorized law, but also felt it should be observed literally
some Hellenistic Jews rejected lit. observance
(5) Influence on Christianity
considerable on Alexandrian school of exegesis
(Clement, Origen, etc.)
2. Philo's Parallels with the New Testament
generally thought due to common heritage & atmosphere rather than borrowing
a. Some Similar Ideas
similar to NT epistles re/ spirit, faith, sonship, immortality, conscience as judge (only last goes much beyond Stoics)
b. Some Overlap in OT Allegory
1:LA 2.79‑81 = self‑mastery (Legum Allegoriae)
3:Agr 95‑99 = stedfast endurance (Agricultura)
2:Det 118 (Quod Deterius) and 5:Fug 137‑39 (Fuga) = Divine Word (logos)
Melchizedek: 1:LA 3.79‑82
Melchizedek = righteous king
interps k of Salem = king of peace
says Melchizedek represents Reason (logos)
c. Some similar phraseology
e.g., logos, pleroma, some terms in Hebrews
3. Philo on History of the Period
few events narrated, as Philo not historically inclined
a. Jew‑Gentile Relations: see "Flaccus" and "Embassy to Gaius"
b. Essenes: see "Every Good Man is Free" and "Hypothetica"
c. Theraputae: see "On the Contemplative Life"
4. Background to Early Christian Heresies
see Sandmel, Philo, ch 12 "Philo & Christianity," pp 150, 161‑2
his preference for existential over historical similar to that in docetism and gnosticism
Excursis: Reading Philo: Goodenough's Suggested Order
A Good Introduction to Philo (items 1-13):
1. Against Flaccus
2. Embassy to Gaius
3. On the Contemplative Life
5. Apology (on the Essenes)
Aimed at Gentiles (evangelistic):
6. Life of Moses
7. On Creation
8. On Abraham [On Isaac & On Jacob lost]
9. On Joseph
10. On the Decalogue
11. On the Special Laws
12. On Virtues
13. On Rewards and Punishments
Philo's Deeper Thought (items 14-20):
For Ordinary Jews:
14. On Blessings and Curses
For Hellenistic Jews into Allegory, etc.:
15. Allegory on the Law (series)
16. Questions and Answers (series)
17. On the Eternality of the World
18. Every Good Man is Free
19. On Providence
VII. FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS
A. Life of Josephus
[from own accounts in Life and War]
1. Background and Early Life
born in Jerusalem in year of Caligula's accession (37/38 AD) to aristocratic, priestly family; mother descendant of Hasmoneans
J. app a child prodigy; claimed that Jewish leaders consulted him on law at age 14
studied 3 major Jewish sects beginning at age 16, then studied under ascetic Bannus in wilderness for 3 yrs., returning at 19 to become a Pharisee
at age 26 (AD 64) sent to Rome to obtain release of priests; sent there by Felix; successful thru introduction to empress Poppaea; much impressed by power & glory of Rome
2. The Roman War
on return J. found country headed for revolt, but unable to restrain partisans, so reluctantly went along
after destruction of Roman forces under Cestius Gallus (AD 66), J. sent to Galilee as commander to prepare defenses
motives, actions of J. attacked by several, incl. John of Gischala and Justus of Tiberias
when Vespasian invaded Galilee (67), J. besieged at Jotapata, which fell after 47 days; J. escaped w/ group to hide in cave; J. & another survived suicide pact to surrender
taken before Vespasian, J. predicted V. would become emperor; J. preserved alive to see if so, given freedom in 69 when prediction fulfilled
aided Romans as mediator & interpreter thru fall of Jerusalem (AD 70)
3. Later Life
settled in Rome, w/ Roman citizenship; lived in Vespasian's old palace as a client of V. & Titus
hated by Jews who tried to harm him on many occasions
turned to writing, becoming quite famous
family life not too good:
4 marriages: 1st wife died in siege; 2nd left him (a captive married at advice of Vespasian); 3rd divorced him
3 sons survived to maturity
died sometime after AD 100; statue erected in Rome, books placed in public library (see Eusebius HE 3.9)
B. His Writings
1. The Jewish War
published about 80
prob done at request of Vespasian (& Herod Agrippa 2?) to hold empire together
originally done in Aramaic, but this no longer extant
(some claim Slavonic version retains some original materials)
extant version is revision or new edition in Greek supervised by author
contents: 7 books
1: rapid survey of Jewish history in Hellenistic‑Roman period
(Nicholas of Damascus a main source)
2‑6: revolt against Rome to destruction of Jerusalem
7: final mopping up and aftermath
(main sources of 2‑7 are Js own experiences, reports from refugees, records of Roman commanders)
2. Jewish Antiquities
published about 93‑94
for cultivated Gk‑Rom pagans, to show Jewish achievements and antiquity of race
contents: 20 books, modeled on Dionysius' Roman Antiquities:
1‑10: creation to Babylonian captivity (digest of LXX, supplemented by homiletic, haggadic materials)
11‑20: return from Bab to outbreak of Roman war
(sources: Bible, apocrypha, haggadic traditions, handbooks of Gk historians, Nicholas of Damascus, Strabo, Roman historians)
comparison w/ War in overlapping materials:
Ant usually more complete, less favorable to Rome
appendix to Ant, published either 93/94 or as part of 2nd ed. sometime before 100
response to attacks by rival historian Justus of Tiberius (secretary to H. Agrippa 2) who claimed J. belonged to war party
only covers about 6 months, when J. commander in Galilee
4. Against Apion
published after death of Herod Agrippa (AD 100)
eloquent apology for Judaism against attacks of various anti‑Semites
contents: 2 books
1: answering anti‑Semites, contains lenghthy extracts (esp. from Egyptian priest Manetho) of works no longer extant
2: positive response: ethical superiority of Judaism to Hellenism
5. Other Works
some planned, but app never done, e.g., discussion of OT laws
other works sometimes ascribed to J. that are now thought to be spurious
C. Modern Reference Sources for Josephus
Thackeray, H. St. John; R. Marcus; W. Wikgren; and L. H. Feldman, eds. Josephus. 9 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1926‑65.
2. English Translations
Josephus, Flavius. Complete Works. 4 vol. hb, Grand Rapids: Baker, n.d.
Whiston, William, trans. Josephus: Complete Works. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1960 reprint of 1867.
Maier, Paul L., ed. Josephus: The Essential Writings. New translation and condensation of Antiquities and War.
D. Value for N.T. Background
[for convenience, I give pagination in Kregel ed.]
1. O.T. Interpretation of Period
a. General Characteristics
prob more Palestinian than Alexandrian
more haggadah than halakah (in contrast to rabbis)
more popular than exegetical
most occurs in use of OT narrative in Antiquities
b. Specific Characteristics
retelling Bible stories for cultured Greco‑Romans
good guys tend to be idealized, bad guys worse:
Abraham (32); David (133,156); old prophet (184‑5)
some materials omitted:
speckled rods (42), circumcision (44), Joseph's cup (51), killing Egyptian (58), golden calf (71), rebellion of Aaron & Miriam (89), Moses' death (105)
Moses (57), Moses' "death" (103), Hadad (153),
Moriah (167), Bronze sea (175)
Nabal (141), witch (144), Jehoshaphat (194),
Abraham to Isaac (37), Moses (66), God! (133)
Jadon (184), Michaiah (193‑4), Naaman (195)
2. History of Intertestament period
only extant ancient works covering entire period are J's Antiquities and War (latter mainly from 168 BC)
though not first‑hand (J born AD 37), contain materials from sources no longer extant (plus 1 Macc, Aristeas, etc.)
3. Palestine in New Testament Period
a. Events: both War and Ant cover period, former to AD 73, latter to AD 66
b. Groups: describes Pharisees, Sadducees (e.g., 274, 377, 478), Essenes, Zealots, etc.
c. Individuals: mentions Herods (e.g., death of HA1, 412‑13), Pilate (379), John the Baptist (382), Jesus (379), James his brother (423), Ananus (423), Jos. Caiaphas (377‑8, 381), Herodias (383), Salome (383), Bernice (485)
d. Places: Jerusalem, temple (335‑6), Caesarea, Galilee, Jericho, etc.
4. Illustrations of N.T. Usage
a. Historical Preface: Ant(23‑4), War(427‑9);
cp Luke 1:1‑4; Acts 1:1
b. Anticipatory Summary: Ant 2.16.6 (65);
cp Luke 24:51
c. Divorce laws: Ant 4.8.23 (99);
cp Matt 19
d. Priestly dress: Ant 3.7.2 (73);
cp Rev 1:13
e. Large sums of money: cp Matt 18:24
Ptolemy's taxes on Judea, Samaria, Phoenicia, Coele‑Syria were 8 to 16 thousand talents, app per year (253)
Archelaus' yearly tax receipts 600 talents (374)
f. Archelaus goes to Rome to receive kingdom & return (367, 372‑3);
cp Luke 19:11‑27 (parallel in War, 471,474)
g. Slain with their sacrifices
here by Archelaus (471);
cp Luke 13:1
h. When Jerusalem surrounded, then flee (Luke 21:20‑21)
Jerusalem surrounded, then army withdrew (495‑7)
i. Shaving head 30 days before vow offering
Bernice's vow (485); cp Acts 18:18,22
j. Shipwreck, size of ship
Josephus' own experience (2);
cp Acts 27 (esp v 37) and 2 Cor 11:25
k. Intention a sin? (262);
cp Matt 5;28; Rom 7:7
l. Exorcism (173);
cp Acts 19:13‑19
VIII. TALMUD AND MIDRASH
A. The Writings
oral tradition of the Phraisees and their successors written down
a. Material categorized by content
(1) halakah ‑ "walk" ‑ rules of conduct, legal pronouncments
(2) haggada ‑ "talk, meditation" ‑ non‑legal material:
theology, exhortation, illustration, edification
NOTE: these two categories are not names of works or even types of works, but are genres like "poetry" or "prose" of types of material within a work
b. Material categorized by structure
(1) textual (midrash)‑ organized by Scriptural passage;
all works with "midrash" in title, also Pesikta, Tanhuma
(2) topical (no Heb term for whole) ‑ by subject rather than Scriptural passage: Mishna, Tosefta and Talmud are all topical
2. The Topically Organized Materials
a. The Mishnah ‑ "repetition, oral lore"
topical organization of oral traditions completed by R. Judah the Prince (Rabbi) c AD 200, tho begun by R. Meir (c150), R. Akiba (c125) or poss earlier
consists of six orders containing 63 tractates
avail in English separately (ed. Danby) or as part of Babylonian Talmud (ed. Epstein)
b. The Tosefta ‑ "addition, supplement"
material from same period as Mishnah w/ same organization (6 orders, lacks 4 of the tractates)
prob the work of R. Hiyya bar Abba, student of Rabbi
app oral materials not incorporated into Mishnah
just recently ('86) avail in English
NOTE: rabbis whose teachings appear in Mishnah or Tosefta are called Tannaim ‑ "teachers"; so period before AD 200 called tannaitic period
c. The Talmuds ‑ "instruction"
compilations by rabbis of Mishnah plus later discussion
discussion called Gemara ‑ "completion"
Talmud = Mishnah + Gemara
(1) Palestinian (Jerusalem) Talmud
compiled about AD 400 in Palestine, consisting of Mishnah plus Gemara by Palestinian rabbis, following organizational scheme of Mishnah
only about 1/3 length of Babylonian Talmud (below)
not considered authoritative in later Judaism
more valuable for NT background as earlier & Palestinian
most of 2 orders missing & work is mostly halakah
no complete English ed. yet (Neusner in process)
(2) Babylonian Talmud
compiled about AD 550 in Mesopotamia, Mishnah w/ Gemara of Babylonian rabbis
authoritative source of teaching and practice for later orthodox Judaism
35 vol. ed. in English (Soncino ed. by Epstein) has extensive indices
CONTENTS OF MISHNAH/TALMUD/TOSEFTA
[acc to Strack, Intro to Talmud & Midrash]
First Order: Zera'im ‑ "seeds"
11 tractates; mainly agriculture
1. Berakoth ‑ "benedictions" ‑ and prayers
2. Pe'a ‑ "corner" ‑ duties to poor
3. Demai ‑ "dubious" ‑ fruits on which one uncertain whether tithe paid yet
4. Kil'aim ‑ "diverse seeds" ‑ unlawful mingling
5. Shabi'ith ‑ "seventh year" ‑ rest for land & release of debts 6. Terumoth ‑ "heave offerings"
7. Maasroth [Maaser Rishon] ‑ "tithes" ["first tithe"]
8. Maaser Sheni ‑ "second tithe"
9. Halla ‑ "heave for dough"
10. Orla ‑ "uncircumcision (of trees)"
11. Bikkurim ‑ "first fruits"
Second Order: Mo'ed ‑ "festivals"
1. Shabbath ‑ "sabbath"
2. Erubim ‑ "blendings" ‑ expedients for circumventing more irksome sabbath regulations
3. Pesahim ‑ "paschal lambs" ‑ passover
4. Shekalim ‑ "shekels" ‑ 1/2 shekel temple tax
5. Yoma ‑ "day (of atonement)" ‑ details on scapegoat
6. Sukka ‑ "booth" ‑ feast of tabernacles
7. Besa ‑ "egg" ‑ activities permitted on festivals
8. Rosh Ha‑shana ‑ "new year"
9. Taanith ‑ "fasting"
10. Megilla ‑ "the scroll (of Esther)" ‑ Purim
11. Moed Katan ‑ "little feast" ‑ days within week‑long festivals 12. Hagiga ‑ "festival offering"‑ observances during 3 pilgrim feasts
Third Order: Nashim ‑ "women"
1. Yebamoth ‑ "sisters in law" ‑ levirate marriage
2. Kethubboth ‑ "marriage contract"
3. Nedarim ‑ "vows" ‑ not just relevant to women
4. Nazir ‑ "Nazirite"
5. Gittin ‑ "writs of divorce"
6. Sota ‑ "woman suspected of adultery"
7. Kiddushin ‑ "marrying"
Fourth Order: Nezikin ‑ "damages"
10 tractates; mainly criminal & civil law
1. Baba Kamma ‑ "first gate" ‑ damages, theft, robbery, mayhem
2. Baba Mesi'a ‑ middle gate" ‑ personal property, trade, lease
3. Baba Bathra ‑ "last gate" ‑ real estate, inheritance
4. Sanhedrin ‑ judicial procedure, esp. criminal
5. Makkoth ‑ "lashes" ‑ punishment by scourging
6. Shebuoth ‑ "oaths"
7. Eduyyoth ‑ "testimonies" ‑ differences between disciples of Hillel and Shammai
8. Aboda Zara ‑ "idolatry"
9. Aboth ‑ "fathers" ‑ sayings of earliest fathers
10. Horayoth ‑ "decisions" ‑ erroneous halakah
Fifth Order: Kodashim ‑ "holy things"
1. Zebahim ‑ "animal offerings"
2. Menahoth ‑ "meal offerings"
3. Hullin ‑ "things profane" ‑ slaying animals not for sacrifice 4. Bekoroth ‑ "firstborn"
5. Arakim ‑ "estimations" ‑ monetary valuation of vows
6. Temura ‑ "changing" ‑ substitution of sacrificial animals
7. Kerithoth ‑ "cuttings off" ‑ from congregation
8. Me'ila ‑ "trespassing"
9. Tamid ‑ "daily (offering)"
10. Middoth ‑ "measures" ‑ measures, etc. of temple & sanctuary
11. Kinnim ‑ "bird nests" ‑ bird offerings
Sixth Order: Toharoth ‑ "purities"
1. Kelim ‑ "vessels" ‑ impurities re/ vessels
2. Ohaloth ‑ "tents" ‑ impurity spread by corpse
3. Nega'im ‑ "leprosy"
4. Para ‑ "red heifer"
5. Toharoth ‑ "purities" ‑ minor defilements
6. Mikvaoth ‑ "baptisms"
7. Nidda ‑ "(woman's) impurity"
8. Makshirin ‑ "what predisposes" ‑ to impurity
9. Zabim ‑ "those w/ unclean issue"
10. Tebel yom ‑ "immersed that day"
11. Yadaim ‑ "hands"
3. The Textually Organized Materials
a. The Tannaitic Midrashim
midrashic materials from the pre‑Mishnah period
(1) Mekilta (Exodus) ‑ "measure, form, [exegtical] rule"
from school of R. Ishmael, prob c AD 200
legal material & haggada from Ex 12:1‑23:19
Biblical Seminary library has Eng. translation
(2) Siphra (Leviticus) ‑ "the book"
from school of R. Akiba, complier Hiyya, c AD 225
name prob due to fact students started study of Scripture with Leviticus
almost all halakah
(3) Siphre on Numbers ‑ "the books"
from school of Ishmael
Numbers ch 5 on, mostly halakah
(4) Siphre on Deuteronomy
first part from school of Ishmael, mostly haggada
latter part (Dt 12‑26) from school of Akiba, mostly halakah
b. The Homiletic and Expositional Midrashim
just a few of many
(1) Pesikta de Rab Kahana
older than Bab. Talmud, younger than Mishnah, c 500?
homiletic exposition on Scripture selections read at festivals and certain special sabbaths
main emphasis on clever introduction (proem) to passage to be read publically, with exposition of only a few verses
much haggada, many parables
homiletic midrash on whole Pentateuch, now extant only in later collections (e.g., Yalkut Shimoni)
prob medieval (775‑900), but contents incl older stuff
one homily per sabbath lection:
halakic beginning, several proems, expositions of 1st verses of Pentateuch selection, messianic conclusion
(3) Midrash Rabba
collection of midrashim of varying dates and types on Pentateuch and five megilloth (Ruth, Esther, Eccl, Song, Lam)
oldest are Gen R, Lev R, Lam R (400‑500), then Ruth R and Song R (500‑640)
latest is Est R (1000‑1100)
whole avail in Engl from Soncino (BTS library)
(4) Midrash on Psalms
composition running over 8‑13th centuries
BTS library has Engl translation
4. Other Writings
a. Megillat Ta'anit ‑ "scroll of fasting" (see Zeitlin)
brief listing of 36 days on which fasting prohibited due to good events in Jewish history of 2nd temple period
Aramaic, very brief, prob from around AD 70
2 dates from before Hasmonean period
most dates from Hasmonean and Roman periods, incl
removal of "emblems" from Temple court (Pontius Pilate; IXa)
rescinding of Gaius' edict on image in Temple (AD 41; XIb)
some obscure incidents in contest between Pharisees & Sadducees
poss 2 dates from time of Trajan and Hadrian (XIIh?)
text in Hebrew Union College Annual, vols 8‑9; ET in Zeitlin, Rise & Fall of the Judean State, vol 2, 363‑65.
B. Modern Reference Sources for Rabbinic Literature
(original language sources not readily available)
Herbert Danby, ed. The Mishnah: Translated from the Hebrew with Brief Explanatory Notes. Oxford: University Press, 1933.
32 pp intro, extensive index and glossary of untranslated terms.
Jacob Neusner, ed. The Tosefta. 6 vols. New York: Ktav, 1977‑86.
3. The Talmuds
Isidore Epstein, ed. The Babylonian Talmud. 35 vols. London: Soncino, 1935‑52. One vol is index.
Jacob Neusner, ed. The Talmud of the Land of Israel. 35 vols planned. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982‑.
4. The Midrashim
J.Z. Lauterbach, ed. Mekilta de‑Rabbi Ishmael. 3 vols. Philadelphia: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1961.
H. Freedman and M. Simon, eds. The Midrash Rabbah. 5 vols. London: Soncino, 1977.
William G. Braude, ed. The Midrash on the Psalms. 2 vols. New Haven: Yale, 1959.
William G. Braude and I.J. Kapstein, eds. Pesikta de‑Rab Kahana. Philadelphia: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1975.
C. Value of Talmud & Midrash for N.T. Background
Numerous place names, forming important part of data on Biblical geography; see M. Avi‑Yonah, The Holy Land (Baker, 1977), where Mishnah, Tosefta and Talmuds frequently show up in footnotes
Greek apparently widely used by rabbis in 1st century
e.g., BT, B.K. 83a, attrib to R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: "the 1000 youths who were in my father's house: 500 of them learned Torah and the other 500 learned Grecian wisdom"
also numerous words of Greek derivation in Rabbinic lit.
[A = Auerbach, Selections from Talmud]
a. Oral Tradition
two Torahs: BT, Shab 31a (A71)
transmission oral law: M, Aboth 1.1‑12, 2.8 (A23‑25,28)
tradition vs. Torah: BT, Sanh 88b (A255); Mak 22b (A268);
cp Mark 7:8‑9
b. Sabbath Observance
39 prohibited labors: BT, Shab 73a (A76‑77)
cp Mark 2:23‑24
BT, Pes 62b: "R. Simlai came before R. Jochanan and requested him, Let the master teach me the Book of Genealogies..."; "Rami, son of Rab Judah said, Since the day that the Book of Genealogies was hidden, the strength of the Sages has been impaired and the light of their eyes has been dimmed. Mar Zutra said, Between Azel (1 Chr 8:38) and Azel (1 Chr 9:44) they were laden with 400 camels of exegetical interpretations"
cp 1 Tim 1:4
Biblical genealogy truncated for mnemonic purpose:
P de R.K. 5.12 (114); cp Matt 1:1‑17, w/ truncated genealogy (dropping Ahaziah, Joash, Amaziah between Joram and Uzziah, v 8; Jehoiakim after Josiah), poss based on consonants of David (3 letters with numerical value 14)
contrast Roman and Biblical, P de R.K. 2.2 (23)
cp Matt 22:15‑22 (Roman) and Matt 17:24‑27 (Biblical)
a. Jesus, etc.
see R. T. Hereford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash;
J. Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth;
F. F. Bruce, Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the N.T.
b. Hillel, Shammai
contrast: BT, Shab 31a (A71)
Hillel's patience: BT, Shab 30b‑31a (A70)
c. Bath Qol (“daughter of a voice,” i.e., a voice from heaven)
BT, Sanh 11a
cp various NT passages re/ Jesus' baptism, transfiguration, in temple (Jn 12:28)
intercalation of day in month: M, R.H. 2.5‑7; BT, R.H. 23b
intercalation of month in year: BT, Sanh 11a
e. The "Council" of Jamnia
see my article in Westminster Theological Journal 38 (1976) 319‑49; reprinted as IBRI Research Report #13
a. Hermeneutics of Rabbis
see H. Strack, Intro to Talmud and Midrash, 93ff;
R. Longenecker, Bibl Exegesis of the Apostolic Period
enormous number in Rabbinic lit
MacArthur and Johnston, They Also Taught in Parables find 325 from Tanaitic period, c 1500 later
c. Messianic Exegesis
see appendix IX in Edersheim, Life & Times of Jesus the Messiah for OT passages applied to Messiah by Rabbis, plus Rabbinic discussion of Messiah
d. God's Commandments to Gentiles
7 commandments to Noah: BT, Sanh 56a‑b (cp Acts 15:19‑21,29): "Our Rabbis taught: Seven precepts were the sons of Noah commanded: social laws, to refrain from blasphemy, idolatry, adultery, bloodshed, robbery and eating flesh cut from a living animal."
see Lichtenstein, The Seven Laws of Noah
proof from Scripture: BT, Sanh 90b (A256)
argument w/ Sadducees: BT, Sanh 90b (A257)
cp Matt 22:23‑33
cp w/ grain of wheat: BT, Sanh 90b (A258)
cp John 12:24; 1 Cor 15:37
Greatness: BT, Ned 31b: "R. Jose said, Circumcision is a great precept, for it overrides the Sabbath. R. Joshua b. Karha said, Great is circumcision, for which Moses did not have [his punishment] suspended even for a single hour... Rabbi said, Great is circumcision, for notwithstanding all the precepts which Abraham fulfilled, he was not designated perfect until he circumcised himself, as it is written, Walk before me and be thou perfect."
Saves from hell: Gen R 48: "In the world to come Abraham sits at the gate of Gehenna, permitting none to enter who bears the seal of circumcision."
c. Salvation by Works
(see discussion in Herford, Pharisees, section on merit)
"[Hillel] used to say, an uncultured person is not sin‑fearing, neither is an ignorant person pious." M, Aboth 2.5
"R. Meir said: Whoever occupies himself with the Torah for its own sake, acquires by merit many things, nay more, the whole of the world is worthwhile for his sake." M, Aboth 6.1
"Great is the Torah, for it gives life unto those who practice it, in this world and the world to come." M, Aboth 6.7
Simeon b. Yohai: "I have seen the children of the world to come and they are few. If there are three, I and my son are of their number; if there are two, I and my son are they" JT, Ber 13d
cp Gen R 35
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Grossfeld, Bernard. A Bibliography of Targum Literature. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1972-77.
Kasowski, C. J. A Concordance to the Targum of Onkelos. [in Hebrew]. 2 vols. Jerusalem: n.p., 1940.
LeDeaut, Roger. The Message of the New Testament and the Aramaic Bible (Targum). Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1982.
Levey, Samson H. The Messiah: An Aramaic Interpretation: The Messianic Exegesis of the Targum. Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College ‑ Jewish Institute of Religion, 1974.
McNamara, Martin. The New Testament and the Palestinian Targum to the Pentateuch. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1966.
________. Targum and Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972.
Nickels, Peter. Targum and New Testament: A Bibliography Together with a New Testament Index. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1967.
Sperber, Alexander, ed. The Bible in Aramaic. 4 vols. Leiden: Brill, 1959‑73.
Brock, S. P.; Fritsch, C. T.; and Jellicoe, S. A Classified Bibliography of the Septuagint. Leiden: Brill, 1973.
Brooke, A. E.; McLean, N.; and Thackeray, H. St. J., eds. The Old Testament in Greek. 9 vols. [incomplete]. Cambridge: University Press, 1906‑40.
Brown, Colin, ed. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. 3 vols. Exeter: Paternoster, 1975‑78.
Conybeare, F. C. and St. George Stock. A Grammar of Septuagint Greek. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980 reprint of 1905.
Dodd, Charles H. The Bible and the Greeks. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1954.
Goettingen Literary Society, ed. Septuaginta. Multivolume. Goettingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1931‑.
Hatch, E. and Redpath, H., eds. A Concordance to the Septuagint and the Other Greek Versions of the Old Testament. 3 vols. 1897‑1906; reprint (3 vols. in 2), Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck, 1954.
Jellicoe, S. The Septuagint and Modern Study. Oxford: Clarendon, 1968.
________. Studies in the Septuagint. New York: Ktav, 1974.
Kittel, G. and Friedrich, G., eds. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. 10 vols. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964‑76.
Liddell, H. G. and Scott, R., eds. A Greek‑English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1940.
Morrish, George, ed. A Concordance of the Septuagint. 1887; reprint, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.
Rahlfs, A., ed. Septuaginta. 8th ed. 2 vols. Stuttgart: Wuerttembergische Bibelanstalt, 1965.
Swete, H. B. An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek. Rev. ed., 1914; reprint, New York: Ktav, 1968.
APOCRYPHA AND PSEUDEPIGRAPHA:
Charles, R. H., ed. The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1913.
Charlesworth, J. H., ed. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2 vols. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983‑85.
________. The Pseudepigrapha & Modern Research. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1981.
Eissfeldt, Otto. The Old Testament: An Introduction. New York: Harper & Row, 1965.
Ginzberg, Louis. The Legends of the Jews. 7 vols. Philadelphia: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1937.
Grudem, Wayne. "Alphabetical Reference List for O.T. Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha," Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 19 (1976) 297‑313.
Kraft, Robert A., ed. Society of Biblical Literature. Texts & Translations. Pseudepigrapha Series. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1972‑.
Metzger, Bruce M. An Introduction to the Apocrypha. New York: Oxford, 1957.
Milik, J. T. The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumran Cave 4. Oxford: Clarendon, 1976.
Morris, Leon. Apocalyptic. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972.
Oesterley, W. O. E. and Box, G. H., eds. Translations of Early Documents. 1st Series: Palestinian‑Jewish & Cognate Texts (Pre‑Rabbinic); 2nd Series: Hellenistic‑Jewish Texts. London: SPCK, 1916‑20.
Pfeiffer, Robert H. A History of New Testament Times with an Introduction to the Apocrypha. New York: Harper & Row, 1949.
Russell, D. S. The Method and Message of Jewish Apocalyptic. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1964.
Sandmel, Samuel. Judaism and Christian Beginnings. New York: Oxford, 1978.
Torrey, C. C. The Apocryphal Literature: A Brief Introduction. New Haven: Yale, 1945.
Brownlee, W. H. The Midrash Pesher of Habakkuk. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1979.
Burrows, Millar. The Dead Sea Scrolls. New York: Viking, 1955.
________. More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls. New York: Viking, 1958.
Cross, Frank M., Jr. The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies. 2nd ed. Garden City: Doubleday, 1961.
Fitzmyer, Joseph A. The Dead Sea Scrolls; Major Publications & Tools for Study. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press, 1977.
________. The Genesis Apocryphon of Qumran Cave 1: A Commentary. Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1971.
Gaster, T. H., ed. The Dead Sea Scriptures. Rev. ed. Garden City: Doubleday, 1964.
Horgan, Maurya P. Pesharim: Qumran Interpretations of Biblical Books. Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Assoc., 1979.
Jongeling, B. A Classified Bibliography of the Finds in the Desert of Judah 1958‑69. Leiden: Brill, 1971.
Jordan Dept. of Antiquities, Ecole Biblique et Archeologique Francaise, and Palestine Archeological Museum. Discoveries in the Judean Desert. Oxford: Clarendon, 1955‑.
LaSor, William S. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972.
Van der Ploeg, J., ed. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah. Leiden: Brill, 1957‑.
Vermes, Geza. The Dead Sea Scrolls in English. 3rd ed. Baltimore: Penguin, 1968.
Wise, M. O. "Dead Sea Scrolls," in Dict. of Jesus & the Gospels (1992).
Belkin, S. Philo and the Oral Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1940.
Bigg, Charles. The Christian Platonists of Alexandria. Oxford: Clarendon, 1886.
Borgen, Peder J. Bread from Heaven: An Exegetical Study of the Concept of Manna in the Gospel of John and the Writings of Philo. Leiden: Brill, 1965.
Colson, F. H.; Whitaker, G. H.; and Marcus, R., eds. Philo. 12 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1929‑53.
Feldman, L. H. Scholarship on Philo and Josephus, 1937‑62. New York: Yeshiva, 1963.
Goodenough, E. R. An Introduction to Philo Judaeus. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 1962.
________. The Politics of Philo Judaeus. New Haven: Yale, 1938.
James, M. R., ed. The Biblical Antiquities of [Pseudo] Philo. 1917; reprint, New York: Ktav, 1971.
Sandmel, Samuel. Philo of Alexandria. New York: Oxford, 1979.
Williamson, Ronald. Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Leiden: Brill, 1970.
Wolfson, Harry A. Philo: Foundations of Religious Philosophy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1940.
Bentwich, N. Josephus. Philadelphia: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1914.
Bernstein, Leon. Flavius Josephus, His Time & His Critics. New York: Liveright, 1938.
Farmer, W. R. Maccabees, Zealots and Josephus. New York: Columbia, 1956.
Foakes‑Jackson, F J. Josephus and the Jews. New York: Harper, 1930.
Franxman, T. W. Genesis and the "Jewish Antiquities" of Flavius Josephus. Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1979.
Rajak, Tessa. Josephus: The Historian & His Society. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984.
Scott, J. J. "Josephus," in Dict. of Jesus & the Gospels (1992).
Shutt, R. J. H. Studies in Josephus. London: SPCK, 1961.
Thackeray, H. St. John. Josephus, the Man and the Historian. New York: Ktav, 1967 reprint of 1929 ed., with new introduction by Samuel Sandmel.
Thackeray, H. St. J.; Marcus, R.; Wikgren, A.; and Feldman, L. H., eds. Josephus. 9 vols. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1926‑65.
Whiston, William, ed. Josephus: Complete Works. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1960.
Williamson, G. A. The World of Josephus. London: Secker & Warburg, 1964.
TALMUD AND MIDRASH:
Berlin, Meyer. Encyclopedia Talmudica. Jerusalem: Talmudic Encyclopedia Institute, 1969‑.
Braude, William G., ed. The Midrash on the Psalms. 2 vols. New Haven: Yale, 1959.
________ and Kapstein, I. J., eds. Pesikta de‑Rab Kahana. Philadelphia: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1975.
Chilton, B. D. "Rabbinic Traditions and Writings," in Dict. of Jesus & the Gospels (1992).
Cohen, A. Everyman's Talmud. New York: Dutton, 1949.
Dalman, Gustaf H. Jesus Christ in the Talmud, Midrash, Zohar and the Liturgy of the Synagogue. New York: Arno Press, 1973.
Danby, H., ed. The Mishnah. Oxford: University Press, 1933.
Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of the Jesus the Messiah. 2 vols. 1899; reprint, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1967.
Epstein, I., ed. The Babylonian Talmud. 35 vols. London: Soncino Press, 1935‑52.
Freedman, H.; Simon, M., eds, The Midrash Rabbah. 5 vols. London: Soncino, 1977.
Goldin, Judah, ed. The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan. Yale Judaica Series, vol X. New Haven: Yale Univ, 1955.
Herford, R. T. Christianity in Talmud and Midrash. 1903; reprint, New York: Ktav, 1975.
________. The Ethics of the Talmud: The Sayings of the Fathers. Reprint, New York: Schocken, 1962.
Johnston, R. M., Parabolic Interpretations Attributed to Tannaim. PhD Dissertation, Hartford Seminary Foundation, 1977; reprint, 1990, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI.
Lauterbach, J. Z., ed. Mekilta de‑Rabbi Ishmael. 3 vols. Philadelphia: Jewish Publ. Soc., 1961.
Levertoff, Paul P., ed. Midrash Sifre on Numbers: Selections. London: SPCK, 1926.
Lichtenstein, Aaron. The Seven Laws of Noah. 2nd ed. New York: Rabbi Jacob Joseph School Press, 1981.
Lightfoot, John. A Commentary on the N.T. From the Talmud & Hebraica: Matthew ‑ I Corinthians. 4 vols. 1859; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979.
Lipman, Eugene J. The Mishnah: Oral Traditions of Judaism. New York: Schocken Books, 1974.
MacArthur, Harvey K. and Johnston. They Also Taught in Parables. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990.
Mielziner, Moses. Introduction to the Talmud. 3rd ed. New York: bloch, 1968 reprint of 1925 ed. With selected bibliography on Talmud and Midrash 1925‑67 by Alexander Guttmann.
Neusner, Jacob. Invitation to the Talmud. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.
________, ed. The Talmud of the Land of Israel. Vols 1-2, 6-7, 16‑35. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1982‑90.
________, ed. The Tosefta. 6 vols. New York: KTAV, 1977‑86.
Oesterley, W. O. E. and Box, G. H., eds. Translations of Early Documents. 3rd Series: Palestinian‑Jewish & Cognate Texts (Rabbinic). London: SPCK, 1916‑20.
Smith, Morton. Tannaitic Parallels to the Gospels. Philadelphia: Society of Biblical Literature, 1951.
Strack, H. L. Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash. 1945; reprint, New York: Atheneum, 1969.
Strack, H. L. and Billerbeck, P. Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch. 7 vols. Munich: Beck, 1922‑61.
Taylor, Charles. Sayings of the Jewish Fathers. 2nd ed. New York: KTAV, 1969 reprint of 1897, with new prolegomenon by Judah Goldin.
Urbach, E. E. The Sages. 2nd ed. 2 vols. Jerusalem: Magnes, 1979.