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.
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, led by James H. Charlesworth, has put together a monumental work that will enhance the study of Western religious heritage for years to come.
Save more when you purchase this title as part of the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library (29 vols.)!
Volume 1 of this work contains two sections. The first is Apocalyptic Literature and Related Works. An apocalypse, from the Greek meaning revelation or disclosure, is a certain type of literature which was a special feature of religions in late antiquity. In the past, the definition was derived from the study of only some of the extant apocalypses, especially the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation. This has changed, and the present edition of the pseudepigrapha includes nineteen documents that are apocalypses or related literature. It will now be easier to perceive the richness of apocalyptic literature and the extent of early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic ideas and apocalyptic religion.
These new translations present these important documents, many for the first time in modern English, for all "People of the Book" to study, contemplate, and understand.
The publication of Volume 2 of Charlesworth's Pseudepigrapha completes his landmark work. Together with Volume 1, Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments, these new translations present important documents, many for the first time in English.
The second volume contains Expansions of the "Old Testament" and Legends, Wisdom and Philosophical Literature, Prayers, Psalms and Odes, Fragments of lost Judeo-Hellenistic Works. The section on the Old Testament contains 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. Charlesworth's discussion of Wisdom literature contains various collections of wise sayings and philosophical maxims of the Israelites. In his discussion of Psalms, prayers, and odes, Charlesworth presents collection 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. The section of fragments of lost Judeo-Hellenistic works 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.
James H. Charlesworth is George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, and a world-renowned translator, particularly of pseudepigraphical material.
Dr. André Villeneuve