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This Book Appears to be a Forgery !
on 26 February 2012
This Alcuinus version is often called a forgery and is sometimes known as Pseudo-Jasher. As such it has very considerable historical value, but has no religious merit. I'm glad it's in print, and I'm glad I bought it, but that's about all.
One way of distinguishing the versions is by comparing the opening verses of Chapter 1. This Alcuinus version begins as follows:-
1. Whilst it was the beginning, darkness overspread the face of nature. 2. And the ether moved upon the surface of the chaos. 3. And it came to pass, that a great light shone forth from the firmanent, and enlightened the abyss.
Other versions, such as the seminal Authentic Annals version by Wayne Simpson, which I recommend, and the version published by Acrophyle Press, which I find hard to follow, begin as follows:-
1. And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness, and God created man in his own image. 2. And God formed man from the ground, and he blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul endowed with speech (Genesis 1.26a, 2.7 and 2.18 ).
Another way of distinguishing this Alcuinus version as a forgery is that it was published in 1829, whereas the real version in English was only published in 1840.
A third fault of this Alcuinus version is that it wrongly states that the word "Jasher" was the name of a man. In Hebrew, for reasons only a Hebrew speaker can fully understand, this is not a man's name. The word "Jasher" in Hebrew means "Righteous" and the Righteous in this book were the Patriarchs ! To put it another way "Jasher" means "the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob". This fact is also stated in a book called the Midrash Habiur where it states "Let me die the death of the Righteous" (Numbers 23.10).