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How Should We Contextualize Pseudepigrapha? Imitation And Emulation In 4 Ezra

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Chapter Summary

Contextualization is an essential part of historical study. If the context in which the text was produced is identify, then the context can be used to draw conclusions about the text, and the text can be used to draw conclusions about the context. "Ezra" in 4 Ezra is associated with a renewed presentation of the Law to the returnees from Babylon, and is also linked to the re-establishment of temple worship. This chapter focuses on 4 Ezra, a post-70 c.e. text that pseudepigraphically attributes itself to Ezra, who is said to have just experienced the destruction of the First Temple. It explains the pseudepigraphic claims of 4 Ezra by situating it within the context of practices of the emulation and imitation of the sage and the struggle to overcome destruction by recovering a perfect, holy and idealized past.

Keywords: 4 Ezra; contextualization; destruction; emulation; First Temple; imitation; pseudepigraphic



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