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Did Jews Reshape The Tale Of The Exodus?

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Chapter Summary

Erich Gruen's essay, "The Use and Abuse of the Exodus Story," is truly a fresh and challenging approach. The most controversial aspect of Gruen's thesis is his suggestion that the Diaspora Jews might have had a hand in molding the non-traditional parts of the story of Exodus. But, to judge from the inscriptions and papyri, they knew the Bible only in the Greek translation. According to the Letter of Aristeas, when the translation was completed, the leaders of the community declared that since it was "in every respect accurate, it is right that it should remain in its present form and that no revision of any sort take place". A curse was pronounced upon anyone who should add to or subtract from the translation. If the Jews in the Diaspora held the LXX in such high regard, they would hardly have invented stories about the desecration of other peoples' religion.

Keywords: Bible; Diaspora; Erich Gruen; Exodus; Greek translation; Jews; LXX; reshape; The Use and Abuse of the Exodus Story



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