Monday, July 10, 2017

If you like OT Pseudepigrapha, please help! (bumped)


Many of you have heard of the book I co-edited with Richard Bauckham and Alexander Panayotov:
Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, Volume 1 (Eerdmans, 2013).
If any of you have used the book for your research, teaching, or other creative projects, I would be grateful if you would give me a little information about how you used it.

Many of you have told me over the years that you have found my blogging at PaleoJudaica valuable. This is your chance to give me something back.

I have enabled comments on this post, so you can reply below.

Here's what I need:

1. If any academic colleague has cited the book in any publication, whether published or in press, would you please tell me what part of the book you cited and give me the full reference for your publication? I am interested both in scholarly and popular publications.

2. If any reader has used the book in teaching at any level — postgraduate, undergraduate, adult education, high school, etc. — would you please let me know what course or class you have used it in, the level of the class, and which specific part of the book you used? Any comments on how useful you found the material and how your students responded to it would be welcome as well.

3. If any reader has drawn on the book for a creative project other than academic research or teaching, would you please tell me about it? Has it influenced any literary work you have written, any artistic work you have produced, any theatrical production, any television or cinematic production, any musical production, etc.? I also would be grateful to know of any publications, exhibitions, performances, screenings, etc. which have resulted.

4. If have any friends who you know have used the book in any of the three ways above, please alert them to this post and encourage them to contact me.

Why do I want to know all this?

I am currently collecting information on the influence of this book in the years since it has been published. This is partly for an article on the More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project that I am writing. It is for the 50th anniversary of the SBL's Pseudepigrapha Section which comes in 2019. (But the article is due in 2017.)

Some of the information is also for a file I'm keeping on "impact," which involves the influence of academic research on people's lives. The British Government likes us to keep track of impact.

I will use the information for the two purposes given above.

In due course I will also give a general summary of what I learn in a PaleoJudaica post.

Many thanks for your help, which is very valuable to me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.


  1. I've used the book since it appeared in both OT intro and in courses on OT texts (for instance, Jeremiah). I've found it quite helpful and many of the introductions are so much more useful than their counterparts in older volumes.

    1. Thanks Jim. I'm glad you found it helpful. I would be interested in seeing any course syllabi you would willing to send me.

  2. Dave Lincicum2:21 PM

    In Oxford in Trinity Term 2014, Markus Bockmuehl and I led a four-session discussion of some of the texts for the 'Graduate Colloquium in Biblical and Early Christian Studies', a group comprised of postgraduates. We found it was excellent in that setting and allowed easy access to the primary texts with just enough framing to allow contextualization. We followed this schedule:

    Session 1: Pp. 1-159, with a focus on:
    64-84: The Story of Melchizedek
    121-42: Aramaic Levi
    236-43 Balaam Text from Deir Alla

    Session 2: Pp. 160-359, with a focus on:
    176-88 The Tiburtine Sibyl
    257-71: Songs of David

    Session 3: pp. 360-528, with a focus on:
    380-92: Apocryphon of Ezekiel
    448-66: Sefer Zerubbabel

    Session 4: pp. 530-753, with a focus on:
    531-84: Cave of Treasures

  3. I suppose you could loosely consider what I have done as "creative project", #3.

    I do my own teachings primarily on facebook and youtube. I run a small study group of apocryphal texts, with a special emphasis on the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is my position that most pseudepigraphic literature are actually not Pseudepigrapha, so I collect all kinds of Pseudepigrapha, from wherever I can find them, even nonbiblical ones I am interested in from other religions or nonreligions.

    In my quest for learning and studying especially the Biblical pseudepigrapha, I do what I can to get my hands on every resource essential for this purpose.

    When I bought your book, I was disappointed somewhat because I felt many of the entries were not justified for inclusion into the book (like how many of them didn't even exist as books, but was just one or two quotes)

    I did however value a few texts in their immensely, and the bibliography has benefited me, enabling me to create as best a bibliography of the Pseudepigrapha as I can. I will be posting a bibliography on Academia sometime soon which will include some of the entries I found while reading your book.

    I will tell you the texts that I found to be very valuable in your book. The Adam and Eve and Job coptic fragments were good to see. The Aramaic Levi and Midrash Vayissau'u were essential to the book, and really gave the book a key value it otherwise wouldn't have had. In addition, the Songs of David from Cairo Genizah was absolutely amazing, and I can tell you I would have paid hundreds of dollars if the book had only had those four cairo geniza psalms in it. So those psalms alone made the book worth it. I liked some of the other david psalms included.

    Also I found the different translations and footnotes for the Questions of the Queen and Answers by Solomon to be very helpful. Likewise the footnotes to the prophecy of Pashhur were good. It was good to have an updated presentation of the Ezekiel apocryphon as well.

    For the second volume, I'd say that I am greatly interested in 2 Enoch coptic fragments, Coptic Enoch apocryphon, Book of Giants (very important), Ladder of Jacob Hebrew fragment (very important), Apocryphon of Jacob and Joseph, Joseph and Aseneth origen quote, Oracle of Hystaspes quotes, Testament and Assumption of Moses (very important), Book of Gad (very important), Testament of Solomon vienna manuscript, apocalypse of elijah, adjuration of elijah, manasseh apocryphon, Jeremiah apocrypha (very important), Visions of Ezekiel (very important), Apocalypses of Daniel Greek, Apocalypse of Daniel Syriac (very important), 4 Ezra armenian, Revelation of Gabriel (very important), and the quotations of related Old Testament texts.

    In addition, I would recommend inclusion of 5 Baruch, updated Jannes and Jambres with ethiopian fragments, the various riddles of Solomon preserved in all the known sources, Armenian apocrypha jonah prophecy, the non-aramaic Ahikar versions, Ethiopic legend of Habakkuk, 1 Meqabyan, 2 Meqabyan, 3 Meqabyan, alternate versions of the Lives of the Prophets, Additions to Daniel from the Septuagint as preserving portions of a Habakkuk apocryphon, more of the Sibylline oracles, and some of the Dead Sea Scrolls I think deserve inclusion in a future volume of the Old Testament pseudepigrpaha collections, especially Genesis Apocryphon, Temple Scroll, extra psalms in the Psalms Scroll, Apocryphon of Ezekiel, the thanksgiving psalms, the Sabbath songs, and several other prophetic fragmentary texts.

    That's about it. Hopefully I helped with what you are looking for at least a small amount. I greatly look forward to your second volume.

    1. Thanks for your information and the feedback!