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Second Temple Judaism

Jewish World Around the New Testament: Collected Essays I (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen Zum Neuen Testament) by Richard Bauckham (Mohr Siebeck) This is a collection of twenty-four essays first published by Richard Bauckham between 1976 and 2008, some of which have been updated for this volume. Many aspects of the literature and thought of early Judaism are covered. There are discussions of 'the parting of the ways' between early Judaism and early Christianity and of the relevance of early Jewish literature for the study of the New Testament. Other essays throw light on specific aspects or texts of early Christianity by relating them to their early Jewish context. These include studies of the delay of the parousia, the restoration of Israel in Luke-Acts, and the use of Latin names by Paul and other Jews in the early Christian movement. The essays in this volume result from the author's conviction, throughout his career, that the New Testament texts can only be under-stood adequately through wide-ranging and detailed study of the Judaism of the late Second Temple period.

Most New Testament scholars would now agree that the New Testament writings belong wholly within the Jewish world of their time. However much some may be in serious conflict with other Jewish groups, these disagreements take place within the Jewish world. Even New Testament works authored by and / or addressed to non-Torah-observant Gentile Christians still move within the Jewish world of ideas. Their God is unequivocally the God of Israel and of the Jewish Scriptures that they treat as self-evidently their own. Jesus for them is the Messiah of Israel and the Messiah also for the nations only because he is the Messiah of Israel. This is not to deny the obvious influence of the non-Jewish Greco-Roman world in which the New Testament writings also belong, but that influence was felt right across the Jewish world in varying ways and to varying degrees. The most profound influence of Hellenistic thought in the Jewish world of the first century CE is to be found, not in the New Testament, but in Philo of Alexandria, such that it was Philo, more than any of the New Testament writers, who prepared the way for the kind of profound engagement with Hellenistic philosophy that later Christian scholars, such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen, pursued.

The essays collected in this volume were written over the course of thirty years of study of the New Testament and early Judaism, and their topics are quite diverse, but they all share that basic perspective on the historical place of the New Testament writings within late Second Temple Judaism. In an essay I wrote to introduce students and beginning scholars to the relevance of extra-canonical Jewish literature to the study of the New Testament (chapter 14 in this volume) I said: 'The NT student and scholar must use the Jewish literature in the first place to understand Judaism. Only someone who understands early Judaism for its own sake will be able to use Jewish texts appropriately and accurately in the interpretation of the NT.' Accordingly the present volume includes some essays that make no or only passing reference to the New Testament but are intended as contributions to the understanding of Second Temple Judaism and its literature: these include chapters 15 (on Josephus), 16 (on Jewish beliefs about death and afterlife), 18 (on the Jewish apocalypses), and 23 (on the book of Tobit). Most of the essays in this volume relate some part or feature of the New Testament to the literature, religion or life of Jews in that period.

The main literary sources for late Second Temple Judaism are the Apocrypha, Old Testament pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the works of Josephus and Philo. Rabbinic literature, though of much later date, can be relevant when used with caution, and we should not forget that the New Testament itself is evidence of the Judaism of its period, not only in the sense that the early Christian movement from which it comes was itself Jewish, but also in the sense that it refers to other forms and aspects of the Judaism of its period. As well as the literary sources, there is also documentary and epigraphic material, both from Palestine and from the Diaspora. Among these sources, these essays make most use (besides the New Testament) of the Apocrypha and pseudepigrapha, which have long been my special inter-est, though many of the essays do also refer to and discuss other sources. Among the sources, the most problematic as evidence for late Second Temple Judaism are the rabbinic literature, because of its date, and the so-called Old Testament pseudepigrapha. I do not say 'the Pseudepigrapha' because, unlike the Apocrypha, these are not a defined body of literature with even approximately agreed boundaries, but an indefinite category. While some of these writings can be conclusively shown to be early Jewish writings, the fact that most of them are known only from manuscripts of Christian provenance means that, not only is their date often hard to determine, but also whether they are of Christian or Jewish origin may be more debatable than some scholars have assumed. It is interesting that this issue of the Jewish or Christian provenance, either of Old Testament pseudepigrapha themselves or of traditions they transmit, is common to both the first and the last of the essays in this collection, showing that this is an issue of which I have long been aware. In chapter 21 I provide new arguments for the Jewish provenance of a text generally thought to be most likely of Christian origin.

The essays appear in the chronological order of their original publication, except that chapter 3 belongs so obviously with chapter 2 that I thought it best to place it out of chronological order. There is not much in these essays on which I have significantly changed my mind. Chapter 4 covers a large topic on which much has been written since I wrote it, but the most important point that would be different if I were to write it now is that I would not use the term 'apocalyptic' to refer to a kind of eschatology or a set of ideas, but only in a literary sense with reference to the literary genre apocalypse. To chapters 2 and 20 I have added appendices updating my treatments with reference to subsequently published information and discussion, but it would have been impractical to do this in other cases.

1. Introduction
2. The Martyrdom of Enoch and Elijah: Jewish or Christian)
3. Enoch and Elijah in the Coptic Apocalypse of Elijah
4. The Rise of Apocalyptic
5. The Delay of the Parousia
6. A Note on a Problem in the Greek Version of 1 Enoch 1. 9
7. The Son of Man: 'A Man in my Position' or 'Someone')
8. The Apocalypses in the New Pseudepigrapha
9. Pseudo-Apostolic Letters
10. Kainam the Son of Arpachshad in Luke's Genealogy
11. The List of the Tribes of Israel in Revelation 7
12. The Parting of the Ways: What Happened and Why
13. The Messianic Interpretation of Isaiah 10:34
14. The Relevance of Extra-Canonical Jewish Texts to New Testament Study
15. Josephus' Account of the Temple in Contra Apionem 2.102-109
16. Life, Death, and the Afterlife in Second Temple Judaism
17. What if Paul had Travelled East rather than West?
18. Covenant, Law and Salvation in the Jewish Apocalypses
19. The Restoration of Israel in Luke-Acts
20. Paul and Other Jews with Latin Names in the New Testament
21. The Horarium of Adam and the Chronology of the Passion
22. The Spirit of God in us Loathes Envy (James 4:5)
23. Tobit as a Parable for the Exiles of Northern Israel
24. The Continuing Quest for the Provenance of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

Particulars of First Publication
Index of Scriptures and Other Ancient Writings
Index of Ancient Persons
Index of Modern Authors
Index of Place Names



Special Contents

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