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CLASS IX: Non-Canonical literature of the Jews; Jewish Belief and Practice. Dr. Esa Autero. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief. 1.1 Introduction. What is the . A. pocrypha and . P. ID: 678574 Download Presentation

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BBL 450 New Testament Backgrounds

CLASS IX: Non-Canonical literature of the Jews; Jewish Belief and Practice

Dr. Esa Autero


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

1.1 Introduction

What is the

Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha?How are they related to canonical writings?What is the benefit of studying them? What were the most important aspects of JewishPractice & beliefHow do the following beliefs and practices feature in early Christian-Jewish disputes?Circumcision Sabbath Food laws Purity


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

2.1 The


pocrypha and PseudepigraphaApocrypha – Gk. apokrypha = “hidden”In LXX and NT of things kept out of sight or invisible*Origins for collection of Apocrypha obscureFirst used by Jerome for books in Greek (not HB) codicesBooks of the Apocrypha vary according to list and codexDifferent books considered variously canonical by different groupsSee further slide 18


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

List of


pocryphaper ancient codicesVariety of genresand stylesMost dated to inter-Testamental periodSinaiticus**Vaticanus**



Gk. Esther

Gk. Esther

Gk. Esther







1 Maccabees


1 Maccabees




2-4 Maccabees


. of Solomon


. of Solomon


. of Solomon






of Solomon

1 Baruch

1 Baruch


Letter of Jer.

Letter of Jer.

Letter of Jer.




Bel & the Dragon

Bel & the Dragon

Prayer of



Add. Psalms/odes


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Sample highlights of the content of the Apocrypha (pp. 293-295)

Wisdom of Solomon

– Jew from Alexandria b/w 250BC and 50ADInvocation of Wisdom and total rejection of idolatrySituation of anti-Judaism in Alexandria likely (5:16-23; cf. 38AD)Central teachingsImmortality and pre-existence of soul (8:19) & rejection of idolatry (14:27)Wisdom (Gk. Sophia; also Gk. logos) as guiding principle for godly lifeWisdom - eternal emanation of God’s power & glory (7:25-30)Purpose: to appreciate Jewish belief and identity



] For the worship of idols not to be named is the beginning and cause and end of every evil. 






] For to know thee is complete righteousness, and to know thy power is the root of immortality. (15:3)[26] For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. (7:26)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief


– “falsely attributed writing”

Title first found in Serapion (c. AD 191-211)*Title not found in Second Temple sourcesBody of literature related to Jewish writings per Johann A. Fabricius (1713)Category a modern invention (e.g. OTP by J. Charlesworth) Jewish & Christian literature not found in Apocrypha or other collections Many have Jewish origin (


. & 1



– some Christian



6-8; Vis of Ezra)

Some Jewish documents w/ Christian interpolations (3 Bar & Test of 12 Patriarch)Mostly preserved by Christian communitiesDifficult to approximate date and provenance


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief


(under false name) – deliberate deception?

Ancient response to pseudonymity & these books variedJosephus – accepted Additions to Daniel as Scripture (Ant. 10.210)1 Enoch as authentic AND Scripture (Barn 4.3; 16.5-6)1 En in high esteem regardless of origin (Adv. Haer. 4.16)




Use of past figure to gain hearing (cf. Alexandrian library)

Writing under someone else’s name – honor to ancient hero

Indebtedness to figurehead of tradition


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Basic categories of


Apocalypses E.g. 1-3 Enoch; Sibylline Oracles; Revelation of Ezra; Apocalypse of Adam; Apocalypse of Daniel; Treatise of ShemTestamentsE.g. Testament of 12 Patriarchs; Testament of Job, Moses, AdamExpansions of OT and LegendsLetter of Aristeas; 4 Baruch; Jubilees; Martyrdom of IsaiahWisdom and Philosophical literature3-4 Maccabees; Ahiqar; Sentences of Syriac MenanderPrayers, Psalms and Odes

Psalms of Solomon; Odes of Solomon; Prayer of


Fragments of Judeo-Hellenistic Works

Ezekiel the Tragedian;


the Exegete; Philo on the Epic Poet


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Sample highlights of


(see pp. 299-302)1 Enoch – Five distinct compositions, from 300BC to c. 1st century AD Enoch tradition – Genesis tradition & Sumerian* and Babylonian* legends“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Gen 5:24)Enoch speculation of Second Temple period – 1 En most importantOriginally composed in Aramaic – DSS fragmentsExtant fully only in Ethiopic – Greek fragments Five compositions of 1 EnochThe Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36)

The Similitudes (37-71)

The Astronomical Book (72-82)

The Book of Dreams (83-90)

The Epistle of Enoch (91-105)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

The Book of Watchers (1-36)

– composed in 200sBC

*Elaboration of Gen 6 and fallen angels (= Watchers)Primary sin – improper revelation & marriage w/ humans & angelsSpread of Hellenism & evil as product of demonic forces 11. And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. 12. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them. (1 En 15:11-12) Flood and destruction of the earth Enoch the righteous scribe ascends to heaven (chs. 17-36)Angels thrown out of heaven and Enoch welcomed to live w/ angelsTour of heaven and its secrets (location of spirits of the dead;


; garden of Eden


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

The Similitudes (1


37-71) – c. 100BC-100AD [b/f AD 70*]Only section not found in DSSAngelic visions and heavenly journey to the throne room of GodSon of Man & “Chosen One” the main figure (cf. Dan 7; cf. Mt 19:28; 25:31) The main theme – divine judgment 1. And there I saw One who had a head of days, And His head was white like wool, And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man,And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels. 


. And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he went with the Head of Days? 3. And he


and said unto

me: This

is the son of Man who hath

righteousness, With


dwelleth righteousness, And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden. Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him, And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever

. (1



Enoch not the Son of Man who has not appeared on earth

(70:1; but see 71:14)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

The Astronomical Book (1


72-82) – 3rd century BCMovement of the starts and heavenly tour guided by Uriel“the year amounts to exactly three hundred and sixty-four days” (72:32) To support the sacred calendar (opposed to 354d. calendar)Ends with judgment And in those days the angel Uriel answered and said to me: ' Behold, I have shown thee everything, Enoch, and I have revealed everything to thee that thou shouldst see this sun and this moon, and the leaders of the stars of the heaven and all those who turn them, their tasks and times and departures.2. And in the days of the sinners the years shall be shortened, And

their seed shall be tardy on their lands and

fields, And

all things on the earth shall

alter, And

shall not appear in their time: 


the rain shall be kept


 And the heaven shall withhold (it). 3. And in those times the fruits of the earth shall be backward, And shall not grow in their time, And the fruits of the trees shall be withheld in their time. 4

. And the moon shall alter her order, 


not appear at her time. 





Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

The Book of Dreams (1 Enoch 83-90)

– Maccabean period

Vision of cosmic destruction per flood and prayer (1 En 83-84)Animal Apocalypse (85-90) – allegory of judgment People represented by animals – angels represented by humansThe Apocalypse of Weeks (1 Enoch 91:11-17; 93:1-10) - as aboveOrder of text disrupted in Ethiopic (preserved in Aramaic, DSS)Enoch’s vision of the heavenly tablets – course of human history Divided into 10 Weeks (cf. Dan 9)Appearance of righteous figures during various Weeks (Abraham etc)7th

Week characterized by the apostates but ends w/ chosen righteous



Week sinners destroyed and 9


Week judgment of whole world



Week judgment of the Watchers (=Angels) & renewal of all things


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

The Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91-105/8)

– 1

st century BCApocalypse of Weeks sometimes subsumed under the EpistleExhortation for the righteous and woes to the wicked – theodicy Woe to the wicked rich for oppressing the righteousSocio-economic oppression justified per covenant faithfulnessWoe unto you, ye sinners, for your riches make you appear like the righteous, But your hearts convict you of being sinners, And this fact shall be a testimony against you for a memorial of (your) evil eeds.5. Woe to you who devour the finest of the wheat, And

drink wine in large bowls, 


tread under foot the lowly with your might

. (96:4-5)

Encouragement for righteous to remain faithful

Rewards of the righteous other-worldly


ye not, ye souls of the righteous, 

And be hopeful ye that have died in righteousness. 5. And grieve not if your soul into Sheol has descended in grief, And that in your life your body fared not according to your goodness, But

wait for the day of the


of sinners 


for the day of cursing and chastisement

. (102:4-5)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Apocrypha and


among Jews and ChristiansAuthoritative books, “forbidden books”, “polluting” books per JewsContradictory statements of the rabbis (mSanh 10.1; bSanh 100b; yBer 11b) Josephus – 22 authoritative books and “other books” (Ag.Ap. 1.38)NT - no clear quotes from Apocrypha and only one from


Quote of


(see next slide)

Allusions to Apocrypha in the New Testament

“they were sawn in two” (


11:37) and the fate of Isaiah (Mart. of Isa. 5.1-4, 11-14)

For thou canst not take (from me) aught save the skin of my body.' And they 12 seized and sawed in sunder Isaiah, the son of Amoz, with a wood-saw. And Manasseh and13 Balchlra and the false prophets and the princes and the people [and] all stood looking on. And to the prophets who were with him he said before he had been sawn in sunder: 'Go ye to the




and Sidon; for


me only hath God mingled the cup.' And when Isaiah was being sawn in sunder, he neither cried aloud nor wept, but his lips


with the Holy Spirit until he was sawn in twain

. (Mart. Isa. 5.11-14)



and New Testament

Jude 14-15

14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 14-15)1 Enoch 1:99 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all


hard things

which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.


Enoch 1:9



Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief


ater Christian authors and the sacred books

Epistle of Barnabas (16.5) cites 1 En 89:56-66 as Scripture 1 Clement quotes Wisd 12:12 alongside a Ps 19:1-3Polycarp (Phil 10.2) quotes Tobit 4:10; 12:9 in conjunction w/ ScriptureDisputed books in the process of canonizationWest: Hebrews; James; 2 Pet; 3 John; Jude East: James; 2 Pet; 2-3 John; Jude; RevelationDoubtful: Wisd; Acts of Paul; Shepherd of Hermas

; Epist. Barn etc.

Spurious books: Gospel of Thomas; Gospel of Truth; 3 Corinthians etc.

Final closing of the


AD 363 (Council of Laodicea), 393 (Hippo), 397 (Carthage)

Athanasius – Easter letter AD 367



and Philonexian revision (c. AD 500)



Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

What is the benefit of


pocrypha and Pseudepigrapha for NT student?Historical context and continuityConcepts, thought patterns, practice, and beliefsNot all OTP is pre-NT or Jewish backgroundEach document needs to be treated separately Relatively easy access through internet and written materialsE.g.


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

2.2 Jewish Identity, Practice, and Belief

Theological debates concerning identity markers

Circumcision, Sabbath, food laws, ritual purityInternal debates among the Jewish sects contra Temple “mainstream”As a response to Hellenism, persecution & successful revolt of 164BCHasmonean rulers succumbed to Hellenism & corruption  Life of purity needed to regain God’s blessing and freedomCircumcision – sign of the covenant (Gen 17:12-17)Originally non-Israelite practice sanctified into covenant sign*Ritual meaning – inclusion into the covenant communityMetaphorical meaning – uncircumcised heart as non-repentantEthical meaning – uncircumcised heart as unfaithful to God


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Challenge of Hellenism

Antiochus IV outlawed Jewish way of life (1

Macc 1:44-49, 60-63)Socio-cultural pressure – e.g. epispasm (1 Macc 1:14-15)[14] So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, [15] and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil. (1:14-15; cf.



As a response mandatory circumcision (



2:46; Ant 12.278; 13.257)



ews apostates (Jub 15.22-34; 4Q458 frg. 2 2.4)Discussion in the Early church – circumcision necessary for salvation?

Acts 15:1-11; 21:25; Rom 2:25-5:5; Gal 5:1-15; 6:11-18

Can baptism be thought of as replacement of circumcision?

(Col 2:11-12)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Food laws

– Lev 11:1-47;

Deut 14:2-20Lists of clean and unclean animalsCooking practices to safeguard purity “you shall be holy for I am holy” (Lev 11:45)To what extent were the food laws practiced?Diligent observation (3 macc 3:4; Philo, Migr. 89-93)Co-eating w/ gentiles allowed if…Host was a Jew or Jew brought own food (Jdt 12:1-4;


14:17; Life 14)



] Then he commanded them to bring her in where his silver dishes were kept, and ordered them to set a table for her with some of his own food and to serve her with his own wine. 



] But Judith said, "I cannot eat it, lest it be an offense; but I will be provided from the things I have brought with me." 

[3] Holofernes said to her, "If your supply runs out, where can we get more like it for you? For none of your people is here with us." [4] Judith replied, "As your soul lives, my lord, your servant will not use up the things I have with me before the Lord carries out by my hand what he has determined to do." 





Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Problems w/ religious practices associated w/ meals

Prayers and libations (Let.

Aris. 184-185)Jews exempted themselves from these when possible Gentiles saw Jewish reluctance as antisocial (cf. 3 Macc 3:4) [3] The Jews, however, continued to maintain good will and unswerving loyalty toward the dynasty; [4] but because they worshiped God and conducted themselves by his law, they kept their separateness with respect to foods. For this reason they appeared hateful to some; (3 Macc 3:4)

Food laws and the response of the Early Church

Eating together & clean and unclean foods (Gal 2:11-16; Acts 10-11; Mark 7:14-22;1




Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief



But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 

But when I saw that they were




about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how 

is it that

 you compel the Gentiles to live like


15 “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of 


Law; since by the works of 


Law no 


will be justified

. (Gal 2:11-16)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief


– the clearest identity marker of the Jews

Origins in Gen 2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11; 31:14-17; 35:2-3: Lev 16:31; 23-26Violation of Sabbath – e.g. business ventures (Isa 55; Neh 10) What exactly constituted “work” on Sabbath was debatedImportance of calendar – debate on lunar/luni-solar (Jub.; DSS; 1 En)Strict observance among Qumran (CD 10.14-11.18; Jub 50.8; mk

3:1-6; John 5:1-18; war 2.145-49)

Six days shalt thou


, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it ye shall do no manner of work, ye and your sons, and your men- servants and your maid-servants, and all your cattle and the sojourner also who is with

you. And

the man that does any work on it

shall die

: whoever desecrates that day, whoever lies with (his) wife, or whoever says he will do something on it, that he will set out on a journey thereon in regard to any buying or selling: and whoever draws water thereon which he had not prepared for himself on the sixth day, and whoever takes up any burden to carry it out of his tent or out of his house

shall die. (Jub 50.8)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Sabbath & war (1Macc 2:29-41)

Religious exceptions granted to Jews for Sabbath (

Ant 13.52; 14.226-27, 242-246; 256-58, 262-64; 16.162-63, 167-68)256 The decree of those of Halicarnassus. "When Memnon, the son of Orestidas by descent, but by adoption of Euonymus, was priest, on the day of the month Aristerion, the decree of the people, upon the representation of Marcus Alexander, was this: Since we have ever a great regard to piety towards God, and to holiness; and since we aim to follow the people of the Romans, who are the benefactors of all men, and what they have written to us about a league of friendship and mutual assistance between the Jews and our city, and that their sacred offices and accustomed festivals and assemblies may be observed by them; we have decreed, that as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so to do, may celebrate their Sabbaths, and perform their holy offices, according to Jewish laws; and may make their proseuchae at the sea-side, according to the customs of their forefathers; and if any one, whether he be a magistrate or private person, hindereth them from so doing, he shall be liable to a fine, to be applied to the uses of the city.“ (




Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Sabbath and early Christianity – response of Christians to Sabbath?

Did the early Christians practice Sabbath? How?

Jewish-Christians probably did as did JesusRedefinition of Sabbath (Col 2:16-17; Heb 4; Rom 14:5-9)What about the Lord’s Day? (Rev 1:10)  Seems like the gentile believers did not place emphasis on Sabbath observance according to NT – it was interpreted as “shadow” of the ultimate rest in Christ


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Purity rules – Lev;


; EzekCanaanites expelled b/c violation of purity of the land (Lev 18:24-30)Purity rules various interpreted by Second Temple groupsQumran, the most stringent – maintaining priestly purity at all timesIsolation, pure meals, boundaries, ritual baths Ritual bath after touching anything impure thing or less pure personAvoidance of sex and wine (CD 10.10-13; 12.1)Anyone who refuses to enter the society of God…ceremonies of atonement cannot restore his innocence, neither cultic waters his purity. He cannot be sanctified by baptisms in the oceans and rivers, nor purified by mere ritual bating. (1QS 2.25-3.5)No man who suffers from a single uncleanness that affect humanity shall enter the assembly…no man with physical handicap- crippled in both legs or hands, lame, blind, deaf, dumb…visible blemish in his flesh…doddering old man unable to do his share- may enter…in the congregation…For holy angels are part of their congregation. (1QSa 2.2-9)


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Sin and impurity

Ritual and moral impurity not distinguished

Menstruating woman and arrogant man equally impureSame “cure” for both – ritual immersion (1QS 3.6-11; 5.13-14) & sometimes washing/changing clothes (CD 11.3-4; Num 31:20)However, impure were not necessarily “sinners” – e.g. contact w/ corpse due to burial not sin but made one uncleanImpurity that is not sin – purified by immersionMetaphorical use of purity – sexual immorality, idolatry, evil Impurity for Jews – realm of death; keep away from sacred Holiness – realm of blessing and life


Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief

Purity in Jesus’ teachings and Early church

Radical reinterpretation of purity in Jesus’ ministry

Jesus associated w/ “sinners”, impure, demoniacs, the disabledE.g. Luke 5:27-31; 7:33-50; 8:26-56; 14:12-14 Early church reinterpreted purity in ethical terms Heb 13:9-16; 1 Cor 5:6-8; 6:9-11, 13-20; Eph 5:3-5Church as the community of the sanctified1 Cor 5:6-8

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