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Who is the ‘I’ of 4Ezra?

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Chapter Summary

Who is the 'I' of 4Ezra? The question of narrative perspective of the book is inseparable from the issue of its form and function. In her recent monograph, Theologies in Conflict in 4Ezra: Wisdom Debate and Apocalyptic Solution, Karina Martin Hogan proposes that Ezra's dialogues with angel Uriel reflect a theological debate between two "schools of wisdom" that were active in late Second Temple Judaism. The purpose of 4Ezra is to address a crisis of faith among its audience brought about by Israel's subjugation to Rome. Hogan's thesis clearly presents valuable insights into multiple aspects of 4Ezra. It recognizes that the author of 4Ezra and figure of Ezra are not identical. It presumes that the form and function of 4Ezra are integrally related, and that the primary function of the book is to identify appropriate epistemological basis by which its audience can resolve the crisis induced by the historical situation.

Keywords: 4Ezra; angel Uriel; crisis of faith; Israel; Karina Martin Hogan; Second Temple Judaism

10.1163/9789004258815_007
/content/books/b9789004258815_007
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