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The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Expansions of the "Old Testament" and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms and ... Works v. 2 (Anchor Bible Reference) [Hardcover]

J Charlesworth

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Book Description

3 Dec 2007 Anchor Bible Reference
This book contains expansions of the "Old Testament" and legends, wisdom and philosophical literature, prayers, psalms and odes, and fragments of lost Judeo-Hellenistic works.Western culture has been shaped largely by the Bible. In attempting to understand the Scriptures, scholars of the last three hundred years have intensively studied both these sacred texts and other related ancient writings. A cursory examination reveals that their authors depended on other sources, some of which are lost and some of which have recently come to light. Part of these extant sources are the pseudepigrapha. Though the meaning of the word can be disputed by scholars, "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha" is a collection of those writings which are, for the most part, Jewish or Christian and are often attributed to ideal figures in Israel's past.The publication of Volume 2 now completes this landmark work. Together with "Volume 1, Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments", these new translations present important documents, many for the first time in English, for all those "People of the Book" to study, contemplate, and understand.This second volume contains: expansions of the "Old Testament" and Legends Clarifications, enrichments, expansions, and retellings of biblical narratives. The primary focus is upon God's story in history, the ongoing drama in which the author claims to participate."Wisdom and Philosophical Literature" includes various collections of wise sayings and philosophical maxims of the Israelites. "Prayers, Psalms and Odes" - Until recently, the Davidic psalms were considered to be the only significant group of psalms known by the Jews. This is no longer true. This section presents other collections of hymns, expressions of praise, songs of joy and sorrow, and prayers of petition that were important in the period 100 b.c. to a.d. 200. "Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works" - After the Babylonian exile, Judaism increasingly began to reflect ideas associated with the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, often filtered through the cultures of Syria and Egypt. These fragments are examples of how this mix of cultures influenced Jewish writings.Together, both volumes of "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha" present literature that shows the ongoing development of Judaism and the roots from which the Christian religion took its beliefs. Using the very latest techniques in biblical scholarship, this international team of recognized scholars has put together a monumental work that will enhance the study of Western religious heritage for years to come.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 57 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1 edition (3 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140200
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 16.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,167,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Resource 15 May 2009
By The Dragon Reborn - Published on Amazon.com
I love this book. I am a fundamentalist pentecostal Christian who loves to research extra-biblical writings. I believe the true word of God is the Bible - the apocrypha but still find so much value in reading these historical documents.

This book is great because there is about 4 to 6 pages of information presented about each collection of writings. This would include a full detailed synopsis so you don't actually have to read the actual writings to get all the details covered in them, It mentions the Title of the writing and where it came from, the texts in existence from where the translations come from, where they were found, and the languages they are in, The original languages the writings were written in, the date which they were written and evidences that points to certain dates, the provenance of the writing (Provenance, from the French provenir, "to come from", means the origin, or the source, of something, or the history of the ownership or location of an object), the theological importance of the document, The relation to Canonized books and other apocryphal books, the cultural importance of the book, and a bibliography of all the sources he uses to presume the above.

The book then contains the full text of each of the writings. I will list the titles of the works included as it is important to know these things when picking up collections like this to ensure you are not duplicating anything you may already have in your library.

Volume 1:


1 (Ethiopic Apocalypse of) Enoch
2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch
3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch
Sibylline Oracles
Treatise of Shem
Apocryphon of Ezekiel
Apocalypse of Zephaniah
The Fourth Book of Ezra (4 Ezra)
Greek Apocalypse of Ezra
Vision of Ezra
Questions of Ezra
Revelation of Ezra
Apocalypse of Sedrach
2 (Syriac Apocalypse of) Baruch
3 (Greek Apocalypse of) Baruch
Apocalypse of Abraham
Apocalypse of Adam
Apocalypse of Elijah
Apocalypse of Daniel


Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
Testament of Job
Testaments of the Three Patriarchs
Testament of Abraham
Testament of Isaac
Testament of Jacob
Testament of Moses
Testament of Solomon
Testament of Adam

This is for the second book, which is a separate book and purchase, this is a two volume series sold separately.

Volume 2:


Letter of Aristeas
Maryrdom and Ascension of Isaiah
Joseph and Aseneth
Life of Adam and Eve
The Lives of the Prophets
Ladder of Jacob
4 Baruch
James and Jambres
History of the Rechabites
Eldad and Modad
History of Joseph


3 Maccabees
4 Maccabees
The Sentences of the Syriac Menander


More Psalms of David
Prayer of Manasseh
Psalms of Solomon
Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers
Prayer of Joseph
Prayer of Jacob
Odes of Solomon


Philo the Epic Poet
Ezekiel the Tragedian
Fragments of Pseudo-Greek Poets
Demetrius the Chronographer
Aristeas ten Exegete
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 2: 21 Dec 2009
By Yaken Willis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love to read what the so called Teachers don't want you to read. These books are powerful and everyone needs to have a copy for there research. I feel that it lines up with the Bible. There are maybe a few books that do not but if you are a bible reader you will know these books that don't. These books to me are the hidden books that now the heavenly Father wants to be revealed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally 14 Jan 2010
By Jamie B Biermann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
At last, a book unbiased and as complete as the information currently available. This, along with volume 1 is a must have. Interesting how us "Christians" like to twist things around from what actually is truth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diverse Collection of Noncanonical Jewish Literature with Helpful Supplementary Material. 19 Nov 2009
By mirasreviews - Published on Amazon.com
"The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 2: Expansions of the Old Testament and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms, and Odes, Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works" includes 38 works or fragments of works, 13 of which are expansions of stories from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, 5 wisdom literature, 7 prayers or psalms, plus pieces of 13 fragmentary Judeo-Hellenistic works. They are dated from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD, with the exception of "Ahiqar", which may be Assyrian 6th or 7th century BC. Thirty-two translators contributed to this volume, and each provides an informative introduction to his work, including discussion of the source texts, original languages, date, provenance, historical importance, theological importance, relation to canonical and noncanonical works, cultural importance, about the translation, and a selective bibliography.

The introductions to each text are important analyses in themselves, packed with interesting information and context that is essential for reading the texts. It is also helpful to read the "Introduction for the General Reader" by the editor James H. Charlesworth at the beginning of the book to get a broad idea of its contents and how they are significant. This is the same introduction as is in Volume 1. Charlesworth also introduces each section with suggestions of other canonical and noncanonical works of the same genre for comparison and further reading. The texts have footnotes and marginal references. The footnotes are extensive, sometimes occupying most of the page, and typically compare different source documents, offer alternative translations, and explain references in the text. Marginal references draw the reader's attention to "significant parallels" in other biblical and apocryphal works.

The literature in Volume 2 represents a variety of styles in Jewish literature, with one exception: "The Odes of Solomon" are Christian. "Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah" is a Jewish/Christian composite. And "The Lives of the Prophets", "4 Baruch", and "Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers" include some later Christian interpolations. But the bulk of these works are Jewish, and, unlike many of the works in Volume 1, did not contribute in any direct way to New Testament texts, though 3 and 4 Maccabees and the "Prayer of Manasseh" are deuterocanonical in some Christian denominations. The style of the literature ranges from a Greek romance novel (Joseph and Asaneth) to hymns, poetry, and historical works. They also represent great variety in politicoreligious perspective, from legalist and Messianic (Jubilees, Psalms of Solomon) to the Hellenist Judaism common to Egypt. This volume tends more toward the latter and is especially useful for comparing Jewish thought in Egypt to that of Palestine.

The "Fragments of Lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works" constitute a relatively small section of this book, but, to be clear, all but one (Pseudo-Hecataeus) are works by Jewish authors writing in Greek literary forms, and most are not literally pseudepigraphic. Unfortunately, none of these works is extant in its entirety. They come to us only in fragments quoted by the Greek historian Alexander Polyhistor, Eusebius, Clement of Alexandria, or Josephus. The works tend to advance the idea that the Greek ideals admired by their authors have some basis in Judaism. These two volumes of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha are impressive in their scope and in the quality of the commentary. Keep in mind that some theories are out of date, most conspicuously the idea that the authors or owners of the Dead Sea Scrolls were the Essenes. An Index at the back of Volume 2 is for both Volumes 1 & 2.

The texts in Volume 2 are: Letter of Aristeas, Jubilees, Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah, Joseph and Asaneth, Life of Adam and Eve (two parallel versions), Pseudo-Philo, The Lives of the Prophets, Ladder of Jacob, 4 Baruch, Jannes and Jambres (fragments), History of the Rechabites, Eldad and Modad (fragments), History of Joseph (fragments), Ahiqar, 3 Maccabees, 4 Maccabees, Pseudo-Phocylides, The Sentences of the Syriac Menander, More Psalms of David, Prayer of Manasseh, Psalms of Solomon, Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers, Prayer of Joseph, Prayer of Jacob, Odes of Solomon. The Judeo-Hellenistic fragments are: Philo the Epic Poet, Theodotus, Orphica, Ezekiel the Tragedian, Fragments of Pseudo-Greek Poets, Aristobulus, Demetrius the Chronographer, Aristeas the Exegete, Eupolemus, Pseudo-Eupolemus, Cleodemus Malchus, Artapanus, Pseudo-Hecataeus.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Part of Charlesworth Translation 17 Jun 2008
By Kenneth A. Schwab - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Charlesworth is highly respected by his contempories as well he should be. He tackled some impossible scrolls and did it right. This read, the 2nd book of pseudepigrapha, is remarkable to say the least.
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