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6 The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha

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Chapter Summary

In its literary setting, Baruch was composed by Jeremiah's scribe during the Babylonian captivity. By reading Deuteronomy 30:1-10 through the bifocals of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, Baruch has assured us that God's act of reconstitution happens 'in exile' and prior to any calling, praise, or reform on the people's part. Deuteronomy's emphasis on human law-keeping becomes an emphasis on Torah-possession. The book of Jubilees, usually classified as 'rewritten Bible', presents itself as dictated to Moses by an 'angel of presence' on Mount Sinai. 2 Baruch is a text that utilises the fictive setting of the aftermath of the first temple's destruction to explain a post-70 C.E. world. 4 Ezra is another piece of apocalyptic literature composed in the aftermath of the Temple-destruction. The study of the Apocrypha and Pseudopigrapha gives further testimony to how Deuteronomy 30:1-10 informs various Jewish understandings of the solution to human failure.

Keywords: apocalyptic literature; apocrypha; book of Jubilees; Deuteronomy; Ezekiel; Ezra; Jeremiah; pseudepigrapha; Torah-possession

10.1163/9789004277328_007
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