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Pseudepigraphy, Authorship, And The Reception Of ‘The Bible’ In Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the practice and perception of biblical pseudepigraphy as it relates to biblical interpretation, on the one hand, and ancient views of authorship, on the other. It reflects upon the variety of ways that biblical pseudepigrapha influenced the reception and interpretation of older authoritative scriptures (esp. the Torah/Pentateuch). The chapter considers the rise of the practice of biblical pseudepigraphy in the Second Temple period and its influence on biblical interpretation in Late Antiquity. It examines how biblical pseudepigrapha may have contributed to the process whereby certain sets of scriptures came to be conceived as an omni-significant and self-contained whole (i.e., as ?the Bible?)?a process whose products have become so familiar in Western culture that one may often forget its significance for the late antique reception, interpretation, re-imagining, and representation of the biblical past.

Keywords: authoritative scriptures; biblical pseudepigraphy; late antiquity; second temple period



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