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Is the prayer of Manasseh a jewish work?

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Chapter Summary

The Prayer of Manasseh is a brief penitential prayer of fifteen verses attributed to the repentant Judean king Manasseh. The Prayer of Manasseh is universally agreed to be a late pseudepigraph. In a recent monograph, the author have developed Robert A. Kraft's proposal by spelling out the range of possible authorships of ancient Old Testament pseudepigrapha; proposed a detailed methodology for deciding what features in ancient works constitute positive evidence in favor of Jewish authorship; and shown on empirical grounds that it is entirely possible for a pseudepigraphon to be composed by a Christian but to contain no indubitable Christian "signature features" and that redaction criticism can give misleading results in that Christian compositions sometimes include Christian signature features that give the appearance of being secondary additions. This chapter reconsiders the origins of the Prayer of Manasseh from the perspective of this methodology.

Keywords: Christian liturgy; Jewish authorship; Old Testament; Prayer of Manasseh; redaction criticism; Robert A. Kraft



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