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The Pseudepigrapha And Christianity, Revisited: Setting The Stage And Framing Some Central Questions

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Chapter Summary

With reference to sources preserved and used by the Christian traditions, the "default" position is that they must first be understood within their Christian contexts as the starting point for attempting to use them responsibly for purposes of determining their possible contributions to the knowledge of earlier Jewish contexts. Many of the pre- or non-Christian Jewish sources were copied and transmitted for centuries in Christian contexts without significant modification. This can be easily verified with regard to Jewish scriptural writings and to many other works such as most of the "apocrypha" and some of the "pseudepigrapha," notably those attested among the Dead Sea Scrolls. What are we to do with Epiphanius' bold claims about the Jewish convert to Christianity, "count" Joseph, and the Jerusalem Hebrew archives he allegedly accessed? This and other such questions are posed in the chapter.

Keywords: Christian traditions; Dead Sea Scrolls; Jewish contexts; pseudepigrapha

10.1163/ej.9789004170100.i-314.13
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