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8 Biblical Quotations in Judaeo-Greek Inscriptions

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Chapter Summary

A striking difference between ancient Jewish and early Christian inscriptions is that in the former one finds only very few biblical quotations, while in the latter they are abundant. This chapter presents a survey of the relevant material in Jewish epigraphical record and then compares it with the situation in Christian inscriptions. Biblical quotations appear almost exclusively in funerary inscriptions, hardly in other epigraphic material. Apart from some other isolated quotations, only two biblical verses seem to be highly favoured, 1 Sam 25:29 and Prov 10:7, the two verses which remained the most popular in epitaphs in medieval and modern times as well. What strikes one at first is the great predominance of quotations from Book of Psalms. Apart from the Psalms, Isaiah is the best represented book in Christian epigraphy. Through its prominent role in liturgy, the Psalter provided the believers with a rich resource of praise and prayer.

Keywords: biblical quotations; book of Psalms; Christian inscriptions; funerary inscriptions; Isaiah; Jewish epigraphical record



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