Biblical Literature: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
Biblical Literature: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha
BIBLICAL LITERATURE: APOCRYPHA AND PSEUDEPIGRAPHA
Well known are the documents canonized as the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) and dated from approximately 950 to 165/4 bce. Less well known are the bodies of writings cognate to the Hebrew scriptures, called the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha, and written by Jews during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Closely related to the thirty-nine Old Testament books canonized by Jews and Christians and sometimes related to the twenty-seven New Testament books canonized by Christians, these documents were very influential and were frequently considered inspired by many Jewish and Christian communities. When the canons of scripture were closed, first by Jewish and then by Christian authorities, these writings were not included, and they quickly began to lose their influence and importance. Consequently, these documents are usually preserved only in late manuscripts that are translations of lost originals. Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the renewed appreciation of the diversities of thought at the time, scholars have agreed that the history of Early Judaism (250 bce–200 ce) and Early Christianity (first–fourth centuries) cannot be written without consulting these bodies of so-called extracanonical writings, the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha.
The Apocrypha has been variously defined, for there is, of course, no set canon of either the Apocrypha or the Pseudepigrapha. The word apokrypha is a transliteration of a Greek neuter plural that means "hidden." By the fourth century ce the term apocrypha no longer denoted hidden esoteric secrets (cf. Daniel 12:9–10 and 4 Ezra 14:44–48), but it was often used to name a category of discarded, heretical books. Jerome (c. 342–420), however, used the term to denote extracanonical, not heretical, documents. This position is the one adopted by Protestants today; Roman Catholics, since the Council of Trent (during session 4 on April 8, 1546), consider these works "deuterocanonical" and inspired, as do most Eastern Christians. These books are in the official Catholic canon because they are in the Vulgate (of the thirteen works in the Apocrypha, 2 Ezra, which is 3 Esdras in the Vulgate, is not included in the Catholic canon).
Since the first century ce, Jews and Christians have had widely divergent opinions regarding the Hellenistic literature collected into the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Hebrew scriptures. It is essential now, while appreciating the varying status of each work in different religious denominations, to establish a set list of books in each collection, without delving into normative value judgments. It is best to limit the documents included in the Apocrypha to those contained in the fourth-century Greek codices of the Hebrew scriptures (these codices of the Septuagint contain more documents than the Hebrew scriptures) and to include documents occasionally found in some expanded collections of the Apocrypha under the larger collection called the Pseudepigrapha. The Apocrypha, then, contains thirteen writings, and the Pseudepigrapha contains fifty-two documents. In the following discussion, these writings will be arranged according to loosely defined genres and then presented according to the most probable chronological order.
The thirteen works in the Apocrypha have been dated by experts over a wide period, from the fourth century bce to the late first century ce; most scholars today correctly date all of them from circa 300 bce to 70 ce, when the Temple was burned by the Romans. Almost all were written in a Semitic language, except the Wisdom of Solomon and 2 Maccabees, which were probably written in Greek. There probably is a consensus that none was written in Babylon, that all but two were written in Palestine, and that these two, the Wisdom of Solomon and 2 Maccabees, were written in Egypt. In contrast to the Pseudepigrapha, the Apocrypha contains no examples of three literary genres—namely, apocalypses, testaments, and prayers, psalms, and odes. (The expanded Apocrypha, however, does include an apocalypse, 4 Ezra, a prayer, the Prayer of Manasseh, and a psalm, Psalm 151.)
Legends, romantic stories, and expansions of the Hebrew scriptures
Nine documents of the Apocrypha can be regarded as forming a group of legends, romantic stories, and expansions of the Hebrew scriptures: the Letter of Jeremiah, Tobit, Judith, 2 Ezra, the additions to Esther, the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, and 1 Baruch.
Letter of Jeremiah
The Letter of Jeremiah, probably composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, is the oldest writing in the Apocrypha. A Greek fragment dating from around 100 bce was found in Qumran Cave VII, and this discovery only disproves conjectures regarding a late date, such as Edgar J. Goodspeed's claim in The Story of the Apocrypha (Chicago, 1939, p. 105) that the Letter of Jeremiah was written late in the first century ce. Carey A. Moore (1977, pp. 327–329) concludes that the Letter of Jeremiah reflects the social setting of Palestine in the late fourth century bce. A date between 323 and 100 bce seems possible; perhaps around 300 is most likely (see Antonius H. J. Gunneweg, Der Brief Jeremias, Gütersloh, 1975, p. 186). A Palestinian provenience is relatively certain (not Alexandrian, as Goodspeed contends in The Story of the Apocrypha, p. 105).
The document is "a letter" (epistole ) pseudonymously attributed to Jeremiah (verse 1); it contains seventy-two or seventy-three verses. The work is not a letter but a passionate sermon or plea to fellow Jews not to fear or worship idols; it is inspired by Jeremiah 10:1–16 (cf. Isaiah 44:9–21 and Psalms 115:3–8, 135:15–18), which is also a polemic against idolatry. The literary facade may have been stimulated by Jeremiah's letter to the exiles in Babylon (Jer. 29:1–23).
Written in a Semitic language, probably Aramaic, around 180 bce, and in Palestine—not in Egypt (pace D. C. Simpson, in Charles, 1913, p. 185)—Tobit is not a historical book, as some earlier critics claimed. It is a romantic story that attempts to edify the reader and to illustrate that God is efficacious and helps the righteous. The author fills the text with striking anachronisms: the tribe of Naphtali was exiled by Tiglath-pileser, not Shalmaneser (Tb. 1:2); Shalmaneser's successor was Sargon, not Sennacherib (Tb. 1:15); Nineveh was captured by Nabopolassar and Cyaxares, not Nebuchadrezzar and Ahasuerus (Tb. 14:15). These errors may have served to warn the attentive reader that the work is intended to be taken not as a history but as a folktale, or fictional short story. Likewise, the angel Raphael's declaration that he appears before men not corporally but in a vision (Tb. 12:19) may indicate the author's refusal to play on the credulity of the simple, or it may perhaps reflect a theology that is against belief in angels. The author is learned, borrowing from the Hebrew scriptures (the Pentateuch and the Prophets especially), from the Pseudepigrapha (notably from Ahiqar, who is mentioned explicitly in Tobit 1:21–22, 2:10, 11:18, and 14:10), and perhaps from the fable of the Grateful Dead (Simpson, in Charles, 1913, p. 188; Pfeiffer, 1949, pp. 269–271).
Combining two ancient folk legends, those of the Grateful Dead and the Dangerous Bride, the author, in fourteen chapters, weaves a deeply religious story. Tobit, a righteous man in exile in Nineveh, risks the king's wrath and certain death by collecting the corpses of fellow Israelites and giving them an honorable burial. Forced to sleep outside, because of his impurity one night, he is blinded by sparrows' dung. After an altercation with Anna, his wife, he prays to God to die. Also praying to die on that same day is Sarah, whose seven bridegrooms had perished on their wedding night, slain by Asmodeus, a demon (his name means "destroyer").
Remembering ten talents of silver (a wealthy sum) he had left in Media with a certain Gabael, Tobit sends his son Tobias to Gabael. In words reminiscent of a "testament," Tobit instructs his son regarding his duties to his parents and to the Law and avows practical wisdom regarding daily life. Tobias sets off on his journey accompanied by Raphael (whose name means "God heals"), God's angel disguised as an Israelite. He captures a fish and removes its gall, heart, and liver. With these magical potents and Raphael's advice and help, Tobias successfully defeats Asmodeus. He then marries Sarah, at whose home they rested. Raphael collects Tobit's money. Tobias and Sarah return to Nineveh, with Tobit's talents and half of Sarah's father's wealth. Tobias heals his father's eyesight with the gall of the fish. Offered half the riches, Raphael respectfully declines, affirming that prayer and alms are superior to riches, and reports that God had sent him, one of the seven angels, to heal Tobit and Sarah (Tb. 3:17). Raphael ascends; Tobit and Anna live a full life and are honorably buried by their son, who moves from (wicked) Nineveh to Ecbatana, Sarah's hometown.
The dramatic and didactic story of Judith was written in Hebrew around 150 bce in Palestine, not in the Diaspora (not Antioch, pace Solomon Zeitlin in The Book of Judith, Leiden, 1972, p. 32). The sixteen chapters can be divided into a description of the attack upon the Jews by Holofernes, the general of the Assyrian king Nebuchadrezzar (chaps. 1–7), and then the deliverance of the nation by God through Judith, who decapitates Holofernes (chaps. 8–16). Judith is reminiscent of numerous biblical heroines, notably Jael (Jgs. 4:17–22, 5:2–31), Deborah (Jgs. 4:4–5:31), and Esther (esp. Est. 2:15–8:17).
This literary masterpiece—a classic example of an ancient short story—was written in order to encourage fellow Jews to resist the evil enemy, and to exhort them to obey the Law strictly (see especially Achior's prophecy and celebration of the people "in the hill country," Jdt. 5:5–21). God's efficaciousness depends upon observance of the Law. Since the story circulated shortly after the beginning of the Maccabean revolution, which began in 167 bce, it would have served to encourage the Jews who not only faced superior military forces but were weakened internally by the bewitching attractiveness of Greek culture. God is proclaimed in Judith's song as "the Lord who shatters wars" (Jdt. 16:2). During the early decades of the Maccabean revolution this thought characterized those zealous and faithful to the Law; they would have been encouraged also by Judith's victorious shout: "With us still is God, our God, to effect power in Israel and strength against our enemies" (Jdt. 13:11).
2 Ezra (1 Esdras in the Septuagint, 3 Esdras in the Vulgate)
Probably written in Hebrew or Aramaic, this work is a reproduction and rewriting of parts of the Hebrew scriptures, especially 2 Chronicles 35:1–36:23, all of Ezra, and Nehemiah 7:38–8:12. Although very difficult to date, the work may derive from the late second century, or around 150–100 bce. It certainly must predate 100 ce; Josephus Flavius used it, and not the Septuagint parallels, as his source for the period 621–398 bce in his Jewish Antiquities (esp. 11.1.1–11.5.5).
Although this document is, of all the apocryphal writings, the one most closely connected to the Hebrew scriptures, it contains one section that is without parallel therein. This passage, chapters 3:1–5:6, is not dependent on any biblical book, and it may be a rewriting and adaptation of an earlier Babylonian tale. It describes a great feast after which three young guardsmen attempt to ascertain which of three potents is strongest: wine, the king, or women. To these answers a fourth is appended at the end of the chapter (4:33–41; plus 4:13b); it shifts the answer from "women" to "truth" and has all the earmarks of being a Jewish editorial addition in order to bring the climax of the account to an acceptable Jewish affirmation: "Great is truth, and strongest of all" (cf. Vulgate: "Magna est veritas et praevalet").
While the purpose of the nine chapters in the document is unclear, some characteristics are notable. The author elevates Ezra and refers to him as "high priest" ("Esdras ho archiereus," 9:40; cf. 9:49). He puts considerable emphasis on the Temple and its cult, which is reflected in the numerous references to the Temple and in the magnification of Zerubabel, the winner of the contest, who is the only guardsman identified (4:13; 4:13b is an editorial addition). Zerubabel is linked closely with King Darius, who commends him as "the wisest" (sophoteros, 4:42) and rewards him by providing for the rebuilding of the Temple (see Myers, 1974, pp. 8–15).
Additions to Esther
The additions to Esther are not a separate book; they are six extensive expansions to the Greek version of the Book of Esther:
A. Mordecai's dream and his exposure of a conspiracy against King Artaxerxes (1:1a–1r or 11:2–12:6),
B. a letter by Artaxerxes, who orders the extermination of the Jews (3:13a–13g or 13:1–7),
C. prayers by Mordecai and Esther (4:17a–17z and 5:2a–2b or 13:8–15:16),
D. Esther's radiant and successful audience before the king (5:1a–1f., 5:2a–2b or 15:1–16),
E. a second letter by Artaxerxes, who rescinds his former edict and praises the Jews (8:12a–12x or 16:1–24), and
F. the interpretation of Mordecai's dream (10:3a–3l or 10:4–11:1).
These additions amount to 107 verses not found in the Hebrew scriptures.
Four of these additions reflect a Hebrew original, but additions B and E, the two letters, were probably composed in Greek (see Moore, 1977, p. 155). Modern scholars tend to accept the authenticity of the ending of the additions, which dates them before 114 bce and situates them in Jerusalem ("In the fourth year of Ptolemy and Cleopatra's reign … the preceding Letter of Purim … had been translated by Lysimachus, son of Ptolemy, [who is among those Egyptians living] in Jerusalem," 31 or 11:1). Moore (1977, pp. 161, 165–167) argues (unconvincingly) that the letters, additions B and E, postdate 114 and may have originated in Alexandria. The date of the Hebrew sections (A, C, D, and F) is now an open issue: do they appreciably predate 114 bce? Hans Bardtke in Historische und legendarische Erzählungen: Zusätze zu Esther (Gütersloh, 1973, p. 27), argues that the date of the additions to Esther is between 167 and 161 bce, because 2 Maccabees 15:36, which refers to "Mordecai's day," probably postdates these additions, and the celebration on this day was for the defeat and death of Nicanor in 161.
The purposes of these imaginative additions seem clear. First and foremost, they supply the religious dimension so singularly lacking in Esther. Second, they provide color and detail to the story. Third, they contain a strong apologetic for Judaism (see especially E and F): "We find the Jews are not evildoers, but they are governed by the most just laws.… Permit the Jews to live by their own laws."
Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men
Three additions to Daniel are collected into the Apocrypha. Two of these, the story of Susanna and the story of Bel and the dragon, are separate, self-contained works in the Daniel cycle; the third, the Prayer of Azariah, like the additions to Esther, should be read as an insertion of sixty-eight verses into the Book of Daniel ; in the Septuagint these verses are numbered from 3:24 to 3:90 (hence, the addition begins after 3:23).
All three additions were probably written originally in Hebrew, or possibly in Aramaic, and not in Greek as many early scholars concluded. The date of the additions is difficult to discern; in their present form all, of course, must postdate 164/5, the date of the Book of Daniel. A date between 164/5 and 100 bce is a reasonable guess for all three additions, provided we acknowledge the possibility that one or more, especially Bel and the Dragon, could have been added in the early decades of the first century bce. The three additions are probably from different times. It is possible that all three, or portions of them, originally reflected a setting different from their present place in the Septuagint. In the second century bce there probably existed two rival versions of Daniel in Hebrew, one that is represented in the present Hebrew Bible (Masoretic text), and the other a later Hebrew recension, which was translated into Greek (of which today there are two recensions, the Septuagint and the The-odotion).
Two caveats are necessary. First, these additions may originally have been composed without Daniel in mind; Moore (1977, pp. 26–29) argues that parts of the Prayer of Azariah come from the liturgy of the Temple or the synagogue, and that Susanna and Bel and the Dragon originally had "nothing at all to do with the prophet Daniel" (esp. pp. 26, 109). Second, while this possibility deserves careful examination, these three additions are now clearly related to Daniel and should be studied in light of the Danielic cycle, represented by previously unknown documents found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the Prayer of Nabonidus (4QPsDan ar a–c; cf. 4QPsDan Aa, 4QPrNab ar). A Palestinian provenience seems most likely for the additions.
The Prayer of Azariah, clearly composed in Hebrew (see Otto Plöger, Züsatze zu Daniel, Gütersloh, 1973, p. 68), emphasizes that there is only one God and that he is always just. This addition to Daniel shifts the focus from the evil king and his golden idol to three potential martyrs and their faithfulness in prayer.
The colorful tale of Susanna, told in only sixty-four verses (in the Theodotion), may originally have been independent of the Danielic cycle and is perhaps considerably earlier than the Book of Daniel. It describes how a beautiful woman, Susanna, is brought to court, because she refuses to submit to two aroused influential men (elders, presbuteroi, and judges, kritai ), who approached her while she was bathing. Her scream and the men's lies land her in court. There her fate is sealed; the people and judges condemn her without hearing her. As she is being led to be stoned, the Lord hears her cry (verse 44) and arouses a youth, Daniel, who asks the judge to cross-examine the accusors. The story illustrates how God hears and helps the faithful and virtuous woman, and it demonstrates the wisdom of God in Daniel. This story, however, does not permit us to claim unequivocally either that witnesses were privately cross-examined in court in the second century bce or that the worth of the individual—even women—was accorded first priority in courts in Hellenistic Judaism.
Bel and the Dragon (Bel and the Snake)
This story of forty-two verses contains two separate tales. The first, one of our earliest examples of a detective story, describes how Daniel, by pointing out footprints in the ashes he had strewn on the floor of a temple, reveals to the king that the priests, their wives, and children had been eating the food offered to Bel, the Babylonian idol. The king recognizes he has been duped, becomes enraged, sees the secret doors used by the priests, and orders their deaths. Daniel is told to destroy the idol and its temple. The second story tells how Daniel destroys an idol, which is shaped like a great dragon (drakōn, v. 23), and is subsequently thrown into a lions' den. He survives, and Habakkuk, with angelic aid, zooms to Babylon and feeds Daniel. The king releases Daniel and casts his enemies into the pit. The shout of the king is significant for the purpose of these two stories: "You are great, O Lord God of Daniel, and there is no other but you" (v. 41). These stories lack the polish and brilliance of Tobit and Judith; their purpose is to ridicule idolatry and affirm the importance of worshiping God alone.
O. C. Whitehouse (in Charles, 1913, pp. 572–573) argued that 1 Baruch had been written in Greek; but his editor, R. H. Charles, appended a significant footnote (pp. 573–574) in which he claimed it had been composed in Hebrew. Modern scholars have concluded that at least parts of this document were composed in Hebrew, others in Hebrew or perhaps Greek. Although the precise date of the document in its present form is unknown, there is wide agreement that it dates from the second or first centuries bce. W. O. E. Oesterley (An Introduction to the Books of the Apocrypha, New York, 1935, p. 260) and Whitehouse (in Charles, 1913, p. 575) were certainly wrong to have dated 1 Baruch after 70 ce. The provenience may be Palestinian.
The document is a composite: 1:1–3:8 is a prose composition and contains a confession of sins and a plea for God's compassion after the destruction of Jerusalem (cf. Deuteronomy 28–32 and Daniel 9:4–19); 3:9–4:4, by another writer, is in poetry and praises wisdom (cf. Ben Sira 24 and Job 28:12–28); 4:5–5:9, probably by the second writer, describes how Jerusalem's lament was heard. In The Poetry of Baruch: A Reconstruction and Analysis of the Original Hebrew Text of Baruch 3:9–5:9 (Chico, Calif., 1982), David G. Burke argues that the second section, the poem on wisdom, is the earliest portion of the work and that the compilation dates somewhere from 180 to 100 bce; he also attempts to reconstruct the original Hebrew of 3:9–4:4. This document is an example of Hellenistic Jewish theology, but noticeably absent are references to a messiah, eschatological or apocalyptic ideas, beliefs in a resurrection, and any signs of a dualism.
Wisdom and philosophical literature
Two books in the Apocrypha are from the wisdom school of Hellenistic Judaism, but while each is written by a single author, they are very different. Ben Sira, written in Hebrew, is by a conservative traditionalist from Palestine, perhaps even Jerusalem. The Wisdom of Solomon, written in Greek, is by a liberal thinker, thoroughly open to and influenced by non-Jewish ideas and philosophy—reminiscent to a certain extent of Philo Judaeus of Alexandria and 4 Maccabees; it comes from Egypt, probably Alexandria.
Ben Sira (Sirach, Ecclesiasticus)
The author addressed his work to fellow Jews and wrote it probably around 180 bce. Fragments of the Hebrew original of 39:27–43:30 were discovered in 1964 in an eastern casemate wall at Masada. These twenty-six leather fragments must predate 74 ce, the date of the destruction of Masada, and paleographically they are from circa 125–25 bce; they are middle or late Hasmonean (see the facsimiles in Yigael Yadin, The Ben Sira Scroll from Masada, Jerusalem, 1965, pls. 1–9 and pp. 2–11). The Qumran fragments of Ben Sira (2QSir) are also approximately of the same date; they are late Hasmonean or early Herodian (see M. Baillet in Les "Petites Grottes" de Qumrân, Oxford, 1962, p. 75 and pl. 15). Also, the Hebrew text of Ben Sira 51 (11QPsaSirach; see J. A. Sanders, ed., The Psalms Scroll of Qumrân Cave 11, Oxford, 1965, pp. 79–85, cols. 21 and 22) has been found in a Qumran manuscript dating from the first half of the first century ce. It is now certain that Ben Sira predates the first century bce. Moreover, the Hebrew original must antedate the Greek translation (in the Septuagint) made by Ben Sira's grandson in Egypt not long after 132 bce (see the prologue to Ben Sira in the Septuagint by the grandson, who refers to "the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Euergetes"). Finally, most scholars date the work to around 180, which seems reasonable, because in 50:1–24 the author refers to Shimʿon (i.e., Simon II, 219–196 bce) as if he had died recently (note the Hebrew of 50:24, yeʾamen ʿim Shimʿon ḥasdo; see the text in Moses H. Segal, Sefer ben Siraʾ ha-shalem, Jerusalem, 1958, ad loc.).
A work of fifty-one chapters, Ben Sira is an apology for Judaism and is directed against the encroachments from Greek religion and culture. In particular, note the claim that Wisdom found a home in Israel and not in other nations (24:1–12). Some characteristic ideas in this long and major work are the following. The author believes in one God (explicit monotheism in 36:1–5) who is all-knowing (42:18), eternal (18:1), holy (23:9), just (35:12–13), and merciful (2:11, 48:20, 50:19). Ben Sira does not advocate an afterlife (17:27–28); immortality is through a son (30:4). Sin began with a woman (me-ishshah teḥillat ʿavon, 25:24) and death then appeared; but the author is not affirming the concept of original sin or predestination. He rather affirms man's essential freedom to obey the Law because of the inclination (be-yad yitsro, 15:14) given to man by God (see the brilliant discussion "Sin and Death" by E. E. Urbach in The Sages: Their Concepts and Beliefs, 2 vols., Jerusalem, 1979, vol. 1, pp. 420–422). He reveres the Temple and the priests (45:6–25) and elevates the Law (viz. 9:15). Wisdom is both personified and divine (viz. 24:3–5). Noticeably absent are beliefs in angels and the coming of a messiah.
G. H. Box and W. O. E. Oesterley (in Charles, 1913, p. 283) argued that this document "in its original form, represented the Sadducean standpoint." Today, scholars are far more reluctant to assign the text, in any form, to the Sadducees. It is certain that many ideas in Ben Sira are similar to those attributed by Josephus to the Sadducees (Antiquities 18.1), but does that factor indicate that the document comes from the Sadducees? Would a Sadducean document have been accepted at Qumran, and at Masada?
Wisdom of Solomon
Addressed to non-Jews, to whom the author often accommodates his thought, and written probably in the first half of the first century ce (Winston, 1979, pp. 20–25) or conceivably as early as 100 bce (Pfeiffer, 1949, p. 327; Metzger, 1957, p. 67), this document reflects the intriguing blend of ancient Israelite and Jewish wisdom traditions with earlier and contemporary Greek philosophy and Egyptian reflective thought. The influence of non-Jewish ideas often replaces earlier Jewish perspectives; for example, many scholars, notably Metzger (1957, p. 75) and Chrysostome Larcher (Études sur le livre de la Sagesse, Paris, 1969, pp. 43, 91, 104), correctly claim that the Platonic conception of the soul's immortality, and not the Jewish idea of the resurrection of the body (see esp. 2 Maccabees 14:37–46) is presented in Wisdom of Solomon 3:1–19 (viz., verses 1 and 4: "But the souls of the righteous … their hope [is] full of immortality"; cf. also 1:15, 5:15, 8:13–20). As in Ben Sira, Wisdom has now become personified in Jewish thought; she even appears to be hypostatic (see 7:21–8:21). Winston (1979, p. 4) divides the document into three sections (1:1–6:21, Wisdom's Gift of Immortality; 6:22–10:21, Wisdom's Nature and Power and Solomon's Quest for Her; and 11:1–19:22, Wisdom in the Exodus) and distinguishes two "excursuses" (11:15–12:22, On Divine Mercy, and 13:1–15:19, On Idolatry).
It has been customary to refer to 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees as historical works; R. H. Charles (1913) arranged them, along with 2 Ezra (3 Esdras in the Vulgate) and 3 Maccabees, under the heading "Historical Books"; he put Tobit and Judith under the heading "Quasi-historical Books Written with a Moral Purpose." Today we recognize that Tobit and Judith are romantic and didactic stories, and that 1 Maccabees and especially 2 Maccabees are far too tendentious and selective to be labeled anything more than "quasi-historical."
The sixteen chapters of 1 Maccabees were written in Hebrew, in Palestine, perhaps Jerusalem, shortly before the end of the second century bce. They recount the military exploits of the Maccabees and the history of Judaism from the incursions by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (176–165 bce) and the zealous rejection of paganism by Mattathias to the rule of John Hyrcanus I (135/4–105/4 bce). As Jonathan A. Goldstein (1976) has emphasized, the author of 1 Maccabees held strong theological views: he is fervently pro-Hasmonean and is impressively silent about—and probably rejected—beliefs in immortality and resurrection. In contrast to the author of 2 Maccabees, he apparently disavows the value of martyrdom in prompting God to action, and he clearly accepts the twelve-month Babylonian lunar calendar.
The fifteen chapters of 2 Maccabees, compiled by an unknown author, are an epitome (or abridgment) of a lost five-volume work (which is our only example of the "pathetic history" genre) by Jason of Cyrene (2 Mc. 2:19–32), of whom we otherwise know nothing. The epitomist probably wrote in Greek in Alexandria—or possibly in Jerusalem—shortly after 124 bce or early in the first century bce; he wrote for a sophisticated, informed Jewish audience.
This abridged history of Jason's tomes, which emphasizes the holiness of the Jerusalem Temple (see Elias Bickerman, The God of the Maccabees, Leiden, 1979, p. 21), is often fundamentally different from 1 Maccabees. It presents the clearest examples of the Jewish belief in the resurrection of the body (see esp. 7:1–42, 12:43–45, and 14:37–46). Martyrdom by faithful Jews is efficacious, moving God to act and ensuring military victories (7:37–38, 8:3–7). Miracles are employed to explain major events.
Perhaps the most significant difference between 1 Maccabees and Jason's work, according to 2 Maccabees, is that the former legitimizes the Hasmonean dynasty but the latter tends to disparage it (see 10:19–23, 12:39–43, and Goldstein, 1976, pp. 27–34). Robert Doran argues in Temple Propaganda: The Purpose and Character of 2 Maccabees (Washington, D.C., 1981) that the epitomist was anti-Hasmonean, because he rejected the late Hasmonean use of mercenary troops and attributed military success to God rather than to the Maccabees.
The larger part of 2 Maccabees, 3:1–15:36, is commonly called the Epitome. The Epitome covers Jewish history from circa 180; it gives prominence to the high priest Onias III (d. 170 bce) and to the defeat and death of Nicanor in 161. It thereby corresponds to 1 Maccabees 1:10–7:50.
Appreciably different from the Epitome are the two letters that begin 2 Maccabees. The first letter (1:1–10a) was probably written in Hebrew or Aramaic (the most likely language for official communications at that time), as both Charles Cutler Torrey (1945, pp. 78–79) and Jonathan A. Goldstein (1976, p. 35) have concluded. It appears to be an authentic letter from Jewish authorities in Jerusalem to Jews in Egypt (2 Mc. 1:1). While it dates from 124 bce, it also quotes in verses 7–8 an earlier letter of 143/2 bce. The purpose of the letter is to urge the proper celebration of Ḥanukkah (verse 9), and it may have been propaganda against Onias's temple at Leontopolis, as Goldstein (1976, p. 35) argues.
The character of the second letter (1:10b–2:18) continues to be debated among scholars. Probably no part of it is authentic (pace Arnaldo Momigliano, Prime linee di storia della tradizione Maccabaica , Amsterdam, 1968, pp. 81–94), and probably it was not written in Aramaic (pace Torrey, 1945, pp. 78–79). It was most likely written in Greek and is inauthentic (Goldstein, 1976, p. 36; Martin Hengel, Judaism and Hellenism, Philadelphia, 1974, vol. 1, p. 100, vol. 2, p. 69; Christian Habicht, Historische und legendarische Erzählungen: 2. Makkabäerbuch, Gütersloh, 1976, pp. 170, 199–207). The date assigned to this forged letter and its possible provenience are uncertain; it may be as early as 103 bce (Goldstein, 1976, p. 36) or as late as 60 bce (Bickerman, Studies in Jewish and Christian History, Leiden, 1980, pp. 136–158), and it may derive from Jews in either Jerusalem or Alexandria.
Goldstein (1976, p. 36) suggests that both letters are anti-Oniad propaganda and that they were prefaced to the Epitome shortly after 78 or 77 bce in order to create a liturgical text that would be proper for the celebration of Hanukkah and serve for that festival as Esther does for Purim.
It is difficult to identify or categorize the epitomist himself. Only 2:19–2:32 and 15:37–39, derived neither from letters nor from Jason of Cyrene, appear to have originated with him.
2 Maccabees is, therefore, a recital through prophetic perspectives of the highlights in Jewish history of the second century bce. This deliberate alteration of history by theology tends to cast 1 Maccabees as more reliable for a reconstruction of the paradigmatic and historic events by the Hasmoneans.
The Pseudepigrapha has been inadvertently defined incorrectly by the selections from this corpus published in German under the editorship of Emil Kautzsch in Die Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments, 2 vols. (Tübingen, 1900), and in English under the editorship of R. H. Charles in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1913). Charles's edition of the Pseudepigrapha contains all the documents in Kautzsch's collection plus four additional writings: 2 Enoch, Ahiqar, a Zadokite work, and Pirke Aboth (Pirqei avot ). The last two works belong, respectively, among the Dead Sea Scrolls and the rabbinic writings. All the others and many more, to a total of fifty-two writings plus a supplement that contains thirteen lost Jewish works quoted by the ancients, especially Alexander Polyhistor (c. 112–30s bce), are included in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 2 vols., edited by James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, N.Y., 1983–1984).
The fifty-two main documents in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (OTP) —which is not a canon of sacred writings but a modern collection of Jewish and Christian writings from circa 200 bce to 200 ce—can be organized in five categories: (1) apocalyptic literature and related works; (2) testaments, which often include apocalyptic sections; (3) expansions of biblical stories and other legends; (4) wisdom and philosophical literature; and (5) prayers, psalms, and odes. (See The Pseudepigrapha, Arranged by Category, below.) To represent the corpus of the Pseudepigrapha within the confines of this relatively short article demands that comments on each category of writings be brief and sharply focused.
The Pseudepigrapha, Arranged by Category:
Apocalyptic Literature and Related Works
- Ethiopic Apocalypse of Enoch (1 Enoch )
- Slavonic Apocalypse of Enoch (2 Enoch )
- Hebrew Apocalypse of Enoch (3 Enoch )
- Sibylline Oracles
- Treatise of Shem
- Apocryphon of Ezekiel
- Apocalypse of Zephaniah
- Fourth Book of Ezra (4 Ezra )
- Apocalypse of Ezra
- Vision of Ezra
- Questions of Ezra
- Revelation of Ezra
- Apocalypse of Sedrach
- Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (2 Baruch )
- Greek Apocalypse of Baruch (3 Baruch )
- Apocalypse of Abraham
- Apocalypse of Adam
- Apocalypse of Elijah
- Apocalypse of Daniel
- Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
- Testament of Abraham
- Testament of Isaac
- Testament of Jacob
- Testament of Job
- Testament of Moses
- Testament of Solomon
- Testament of Adam
Expansions of Biblical Stories and Other Legends
- Letter of Aristeas
- Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah
- Joseph and Aseneth
- Life of Adam and Eve
- Lives of the Prophets
- Ladder of Jacob
- Fourth Book of Baruch (4 Baruch )
- Jannes and Jambres
- History of the Rechabites
- Eldad and Modad
- History of Joseph
Wisdom and Philosophical Literature
- Third Book of the Maccabees (3 Maccabees )
- Fourth Book of the Maccabees (4 Maccabees )
- Syriac Menander
Prayers, Psalms, and Odes
- Five More Psalms of David (Psalms 151–155)
- Prayer of Manasseh
- Psalms of Solomon
- Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers
- Prayer of Joseph
- Prayer of Jacob
- Odes of Solomon
Apocalyptic literature and related works
Nineteen pseudepigrapha can be grouped in the category of apocalyptic literature and related works (see The Pseudepigrapha, Arranged by Category ). These nineteen works cover three overlapping chronological periods.
- Antedating the burning of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 ce, the great watershed in the history of Early Judaism (250 bce–200 ce), are 1 Enoch, some of the Sibylline Oracles, the Apocrypha of Ezekiel, and perhaps the Treatise of Shem.
- After 70, the great varieties of religious thought in Judaism waned markedly as religious Jews, with great anxiety, lamented the loss of the Temple and pondered the cause of their defeat. 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, 3 Baruch, and the Apocalypse of Abraham are characterized by an intense interest in theodicy. 4 Ezra is very pessimistic; its author finds it difficult to see any hope in his remorse. 2 Baruch is much more optimistic than 4 Ezra; the Temple was destroyed by God's angels because of Israel's unfaithfulness (7:1–8:5), not by a superior culture or the might of the enemy.
- Later works are documents 3, some of 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18, and 19, ranging in date from the lost purported Jewish base of (or traditions in) the Apocalypse of Adam in the first or second century ce to the Apocalypse of Daniel in the ninth. These works are important for an understanding of Early Judaism only because they apparently preserve some edited works and record some early Jewish traditions.
The most important pseudepigraphon in this group is the composite book known as 1 Enoch. It is preserved in its entire, final form only in Ethiopic, although versions of early portions of it are preserved in other languages; of these the most important are the Greek and Aramaic. The Qumran Aramaic fragments, because of their paleographic age, prove that portions of 1 Enoch date from the third, second, and first centuries bce.
In The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford, 1976), J. T. Milik not only published the editio princeps of the Aramaic fragments of Enoch, but he also claimed that chapters 37–71 must be Christian and postdate 260 ce. He obtained this surprising conclusion because of the absence of these chapters at Qumran, the striking similarity to the New Testament concepts of the Son of man and the Messiah, and the author's imagined reference to the "events of the years 260 to 270 ce" (p. 96). These arguments are erroneous, and they have been rightly rejected by all specialists. The absence of fragments at Qumran is not so significant as Milik claims; the striking parallels to the New Testament are due either to a shared culture or to influences from 1 Enoch 37–71 upon Jesus or the New Testament authors; the historical events of the third century ce are not reflected in 1 Enoch. Moreover, all manuscripts of 1 Enoch attest that chapters 37–71 move climactically to the elevation of Enoch as son of man (in 71:14, the angel says to Enoch, "You are the son of man."). Hence, all of 1 Enoch is Jewish and predates 70.
1 Enoch consists of five works that were composed over three centuries. In chronological order they are Enoch's Astronomical Book (1 Enoch 72–82), from the third century bce; Enoch's Journeys (1 Enoch 1–36), from pre-160 bce; Enoch's Dream Visions (1 Enoch 83–90), from pre-160 bce), Enoch's Epistle (1 Enoch 91–105), from the second or first century bce; and Enoch's Parables (1 Enoch 37–71), from pre-70 ce. Addenda (1 Enoch 106–108) are of uncertain date.
Some of the chapters that begin and end the divisions in 1 Enoch were added or edited as the separate works were brought together into one document; this composite work circulated in Palestine before 70. While the precise dates for these sections of 1 Enoch, or Books of Enoch, are debated, it is clear that the ideas they contain, such as the advocation of a solar calendar, were characteristic of some Jews from the third century bce to the first century ce. 1 Enoch is one of our major sources for Hellenistic Jewish ideas on cosmology, angelology, astronomy, God, sin, and mankind.
Example: "Then an angel came to me [Enoch] and greeted me and said to me, 'You, son of man, who art born in righteousness and upon whom righteousness has dwelt, the righteousness of the Antecedent of Time will not forsake you'" (1 En. 71:14; trans. E. Isaac in OTP).
Eight testaments, some of which include apocalyptic sections, make up a second group of pseudepigrapha (see The Pseudepigrapha, Arranged by Category ). Of these, only the Testament of Job and the Testament of Moses clearly predate 70 ce. The Testament of Adam, in its present form, may be as late as the fifth century ce. The Testament of Solomon is earlier, perhaps from the third centruy ce. The Testament of Isaac and the Testament of Jacob were possibly added in the second or third century to the Testament of Abraham, which in its earliest form probably dates from the end of the first century or the beginning of the second century ce.
The most important—and most controversial—document in this group is the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Marinus de Jonge (for bibliographic data, see Charlesworth, 1981) has argued that this document is a Christian composition that inherits much Jewish tradition, both oral and written. Most scholars have concluded that, while the extant document is Christian, the Christian passages are clearly interpolations and redactions added to a Jewish document that dates from the second or first century bce. This documents consists of twelve testaments, each attributed to a son of Jacob and containing ethical instruction often with apocalyptic visions.
Example: "A copy of the words of Levi: the things that he decreed to his sons concerning all they were to do, and the things that would happen to them until the day of judgment.… I, Levi, was born in Haran and came with my father to Shechem.… There I again saw the vision as formerly.… And now, my children, I know from the writings of Enoch that in the end time you will act impiously against the Lord … your brothers will be humiliated and among all the nations you shall become the occasion for scorn. For your father, Israel, is pure with respect to all the impieties of the chief priests [who laid their hands on the savior of the world (sōtēra tou kosmou.)], as heaven is pure above the earth; and you should be the lights of Israel as the sun and the moon" (T. Levi 1:1, 2:1, 8:1, 14:1–3; trans. H. C. Kee in OTP; brackets denote the Christian interpolation).
Expansions of biblical stories and legends
The documents in the Hebrew Bible, because of their recognized divine authority and revered antiquity, profoundly affected the daily and religious life of Jews in the Hellenistic world. The three divisions of the Hebrew Bible—the Torah (Law), Prophets, and the Writings—moved toward canonicity during the years from 300 bce to 200 ce. Almost all Jewish religious writings were categorically shaped on the literary norms, theological perspectives, and semiotic language already developed in the Hebrew Bible. Of the many ramifications caused by the normative force of the biblical books, one is singularly represented by the documents that expand upon the biblical stories, supplying details and providing answers—often through pictorially rich narratives—to questions aroused by careful and repeated readings of the sacred books. Thirteen documents fall into this category (see The Pseudepigrapha, Arranged by Category ).
These thirteen documents represent Jewish expansions of stories in the Hebrew scriptures over many centuries. The History of Joseph, in a class by itself, is late, and perhaps reached its final form in the sixth century ce. Five writings, documents 8–12, date from the late first century to the late second century. The History of the Rechabites, however, was extensively expanded and reworked by early Christians; its present form in Syriac, and perhaps in Greek, was not complete until around the sixth century.
In this group the most important writings for Hellenistic Judaism are documents 1–7. Almost all these predate the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. The Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah is a significant exception; it continued to be expanded and was redacted by Christians up until about the fourth century. Joseph and Aseneth has been a controversial writing; while it has been dated by some scholars as early as the second century bce, it probably dates from the early decades of the second century ce (see Charlesworth, 1981; Denis, 1970; and especially C. Burchard in OTP ). Jubilees was probably composed in the years between 163 and 140 bce.
Example: "And in the eleventh jubilee Jared took for himself a wife.… And she bore a son for him in the fifth week.… And he called him Enoch. This one was the first who learned writing and knowledge and wisdom.… And who wrote in a book the signs of the heaven according to the order of their months, so that the sons of man might know the (appointed) times of the years according to their order, with respect to each of their months" (Jub. 4:16–17; trans. Orval Wintermute in OTP ).
Wisdom and philosophical literature
Mankind's search for understanding and wisdom crosses all boundaries, including the fictitious divides of centuries and the fluctuating contours of nations. Five pseudepigrapha constitute a Hellenistic Jewish record of humankind's insights into wisdom and present practical ethical rules and aphorisms for enlightened actions (see The Pseudepigrapha, Arranged by Category ). Syriac Menander, as a collection, seems to date from the third century ce (see T. Baarda in OTP ), but Pseudo-Phocylides and 4 Maccabees date from the first century ce, and perhaps the former from even the first century bce (see P. W. van der Horst in OTP ). 3 Maccabees was clearly composed in the first century bce. Ahiqar is very early, dating from the fourth or even fifth century bce, but it influenced the author of Tobit around 180 bce.
Examples: "The love of money is the mother of all evil" (Ps-Phoc. 42; trans. van der Horst in OTP ). "Long hair is not fit for boys, but for voluptuous women" (Ps-Phoc. 212; trans. van der Horst in OTP ). "Do not laugh at old age, for that is where you shall arrive and remain" (Syr. Men. 11–12; trans. T. Baarda in OTP ). "For reason [logismos ] is the guide of the virtues and the supreme master of the passions" (4 Mc. 1:30; trans. H. Anderson in OTP ).
Prayers, psalms, and odes
The Davidic Psalter, the hymnbook of the Second Temple, was gradually considered closed during the centuries that preceded the destruction of the Temple. Other poetic compositions were completed during the years from the conquests of Alexander the Great in 336–323 bce until the final defeat of Shimʿon Bar Kokhba in 135 ce. Many of these were incorporated into various pseudepigrapha to accentuate or illustrate a point or to raise the confessional level of the narrative. Others were collected into "hymnbooks" or "prayer books" that may be grouped as a fifth, and final, category of pseudepigrapha (see The Pseudepigrapha, Arranged by Category ). The Odes of Solomon, the earliest Christian "hymnbook," is modeled on the poetic style of the Davidic Psalter; it dates from the late first century or the beginning of the second century ce. The Prayer of Joseph and the Prayer of Jacob are Jewish compositions from perhaps as early as the first century ce. The "Hellenistic Synagogal Prayers," preserved in books 7 and 8 of the Apostolic Constitutions, are Christian in their present form, but they may well be remnants of Jewish prayers that date from the early centuries ce. The Psalms of Solomon, which seems to represent the piety of a circle of Jews living in Jerusalem, was certainly composed in the second half of the second century bce. The Prayer of Manasseh is very difficult to date, but it probably comes from the turn of the eras. The Davidic Psalter itself was expanded with "Five More Psalms of David" (psalms 151–155), which date from various time periods, ranging from the third century (151) to the second or first century bce (152–155). The original language of Psalms 151, 154, and 155 is Hebrew; the others were composed in a Semitic language (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Syriac).
Example: "O Lord, do not condemn me according to my sins; /For no one living is righteous before you" (Psalm 155 [110Psa 155]; trans. Charlesworth in OTP ).
Apocalypse, overview article and article on Jewish Apocalypticism to the Rabbinic Period.
The best bibliographical guide to the Apocrypha is Gerhard Elling's Bibliographie zur jüdisch-hellenistischen und intertestamentarischen Literatur, 1900–1970, "Texte und Untersuchungen," no. 106, 2d ed. (Berlin, 1975). An important introduction to parts of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, with insightful comments regarding their sources and historical setting, is George W. E. Nickelsburg's Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah: A Historical and Literary Introduction (Philadelphia, 1981). See also Robert H. Pfeiffer's History of New Testament Times with an Introduction to the Apocrypha (New York, 1984). A careful, well-written, and authoritative introduction (but a little dated now) is Bruce M. Metzger's An Introduction to the Apocrypha (New York, 1957). An earlier work is Charles C. Torrey's The Apocryphal Literature: A Brief Introduction (1945; reprint, London, 1963). Reliable introductions to the Apocrypha, from Roman Catholics who consider these books deuterocanonical, can be found in The Jerome Bible Commentary, edited by Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 1968).
Critical Greek editions of the Apocrypha have been appearing in the Cambridge and Göttingen editions of the Septuagint. A handy Greek edition of the Apocrypha is Alfred Rahlfs's Septuaginta, 2 vols. (Stuttgart, 1935; reprint of 8th ed., 1965). A classic work on the Apocrypha is volume 1 of The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English: With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, edited by R. H. Charles (Oxford, 1913). More recent and excellent translations are those in The Jerusalem Bible (Garden City, N.Y., 1966), which is translated by Roman Catholics, and in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha: Revised Standard Version, exp. ed., edited by Herbert G. May and Bruce M. Metzger (New York, 1977).
The best current commentary series is the Anchor Bible. Volumes 41–44 (Garden City, N.Y., 1976–1983) include Jonathan A. Goldstein's I Maccabees (vol. 41, 1976) and II Maccabees (vol. 41A, 1983), Jacob M. Myers's I and II Esdras (vol. 42, 1974), David Winston's The Wisdom of Solomon (vol. 43, 1979; reprint, 1981), and Carey A. Moore's Daniel, Esther, and Jeremiah: The Additions (vol. 44, 1977). Also valuable, especially because the Greek text is printed opposite the English translation, is Jewish Apocryphal Literature, 7 vols., edited by Solomon Zeitlin (Leiden, 1950–1972). The fruit of the best German scholarship on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha has been appearing in fascicles in the series titled "Jüdische Schriften aus hellenistisch-römischer Zeit" (JSHRZ), edited by Werner Georg Kümmel (Gütersloh, 1973–). Valuable tools for those who know Greek are Christian Abraham Wahl's Clavis librorum veteris testamenti apocryphorum philologica (1853; reprint, Graz, 1972) and Edwin Hatch and Henry A. Redpath's A Concordance to the Septuagint and the Other Greek Versions of the Old Testament, including the Apocryphal Books, 2 vols. (1897–1906; reprint, Graz, 1972). A model computer-produced reference work is now available for the Apocrypha (and part of the Pseudepigrapha): Bruce M. Metzger et al., A Concordance to the Apocrypha-Deuterocanonical Books of the Revised Standard Version (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1983).
Charlesworth, James H. The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research with a Supplement. Chico, Calif., 1981. This book succinctly introduces the documents in the Pseudepigrapha and provides a bibliography of publications from 1960 until 1979. All publications mentioned in this article are cited with complete bibliographic data.
Charlesworth, James H., ed. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. 2 vols. Garden City, N.Y., 1983–1985. This massive collection contains introductions to and English translations of fifty-two writings classified as pseudepigrapha and of thirteen other documents included in a supplement. The introductions by the editor clarify the problems in defining "apocalypses," "testaments," "expansions of the 'Old Testament,'" "wisdom and philosophical literature," and "prayers, psalms, and odes."
Denis, Albert-Marie. Introduction aux pseudépigraphes grecs d'Ancien Testament. Leiden, 1970.
Nickelsburg, George W. E. Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah: A Historical and Literary Introduction. Philadelphia, 1981.
Sparks, H. F. D., ed. The Apocryphal Old Testament. Oxford, 1984. A selection of some documents usually placed in the Pseudepigrapha.
Anderson, Bernhard W., ed. The Books of the Bible. Vol. 2: The Apocrypha and the New Testament. New York, 1989.
Charlesworth, James H. Authentic Apocrypha. North Richland Hills, Tex., 1998.
Charlesworth, James H. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament. Harrisburg, Pa., 1998.
Collins, John J. Jewish Wisdom in the Hellenistic Age. Louisville, Ky., 1997.
DeSilva, David Arthur. Introducing the Apocrypha. Grand Rapids, Mich., 2002.
Jones, Ivor H. Apocrypha. London, 2003.
Mendels, Doron. Identity, Religion, and Historiography. Journal for the Study of Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series, 24. Sheffield, UK, 1998.
Meurer, Siegfried. The Apocrypha in Ecumenical Perspective. Translated by Paul Ellingworth. Reading, UK, 1991.
Russell, David Syme. The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. London, 1987.
Russell, David Syme. Divine Disclosure: An Introduction to Jewish Apocrypha. Minneapolis, 1992.
Scott, J. Julius. Jewish Backgrounds of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich., 2000.
Vanderkam, James C. and William Adler, eds. The Jewish Apocalyptic Heritage of Early Christianity. Assen, Netherlands and Minneapolis, 1996.
James H. Charlesworth (1987)