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  1. BBL 450 New Testament Backgrounds CLASS IX: Non-Canonical literature of the Jews; Jewish Belief and Practice Dr. Esa Autero

  2. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief 1.1 Introduction • What is the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha? • How are they related to canonical writings? • What is the benefit of studying them? • What were the most important aspects of Jewish • Practice & belief • How do the following beliefs and practices feature in early Christian-Jewish disputes? • Circumcision • Sabbath • Food laws • Purity

  3. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief 2.1 The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha • Apocrypha – Gk. apokrypha = “hidden” • In LXX and NT of things kept out of sight or invisible* • Origins for collection of Apocrypha obscure • First used by Jerome for books in Greek (not HB) codices • Books of the Apocrypha vary according to list and codex • Different books considered variously canonical by different groups • See further slide 18

  4. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • List of Apocrypha per ancient codices • Variety of genres and styles • Most dated to inter- Testamental period

  5. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Sample highlights of the content of the Apocrypha (pp. 293-295) • Wisdom of Solomon – Jew from Alexandria b/w 250BC and 50AD • Invocation of Wisdom and total rejection of idolatry • Situation of anti-Judaism in Alexandria likely (5:16-23; cf. 38AD) • Central teachings • Immortality and pre-existence of soul (8:19) & rejection of idolatry (14:27) • Wisdom (Gk. Sophia; also Gk. logos) as guiding principle for godly life • Wisdom - eternal emanation of God’s power & glory (7:25-30) • Purpose: to appreciate Jewish belief and identity [27] For the worship of idols not to be named is the beginning and cause and end of every evil. (Wisd 14:27) [3] For to know thee is complete righteousness, and to know thy power is the root of immortality. (15:3) [26] For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. (7:26)

  6. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Pseudepigrapha – “falsely attributed writing” • Title first found in Serapion (c. AD 191-211)* • Title not found in Second Temple sources • Body of literature related to Jewish writings per Johann A. Fabricius (1713) • Category a modern invention (e.g. OTP by J. Charlesworth)  Jewish & Christian literature not found in Apocrypha or other collections • Many have Jewish origin (Jub. & 1 En) – some Christian (Sib.Or 6-8; Vis of Ezra) • Some Jewish documents w/ Christian interpolations (3 Bar & Test of 12 Patriarch) • Mostly preserved by Christian communities • Difficult to approximate date and provenance

  7. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Pseudonymity (under false name) – deliberate deception? • Ancient response to pseudonymity& these books varied • Josephus – accepted Additions to Daniel as Scripture (Ant. 10.210) • 1 Enoch as authentic AND Scripture (Barn 4.3; 16.5-6) • 1 En in high esteem regardless of origin (Adv. Haer. 4.16) • Why pseudonymity? • Use of past figure to gain hearing (cf. Alexandrian library) • Writing under someone else’s name – honor to ancient hero • Indebtedness to figurehead of tradition

  8. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Basic categories of Pseudepigrapha • Apocalypses • E.g. 1-3 Enoch; Sibylline Oracles; Revelation of Ezra; Apocalypse of Adam; Apocalypse of Daniel; Treatise of Shem • Testaments • E.g. Testament of 12 Patriarchs; Testament of Job, Moses, Adam • Expansions of OT and Legends • Letter of Aristeas; 4 Baruch; Jubilees; Martyrdom of Isaiah • Wisdom and Philosophical literature • 3-4 Maccabees; Ahiqar; Sentences of Syriac Menander • Prayers, Psalms and Odes • Psalms of Solomon; Odes of Solomon; Prayer of Mansseh • Fragments of Judeo-Hellenistic Works • Ezekiel the Tragedian; Aristeas the Exegete; Philo on the Epic Poet

  9. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Sample highlights of Pseudepigrapha (see pp. 299-302) • 1 Enoch – Five distinct compositions, from 300BC to c. 1st century AD • Enoch tradition – Genesis tradition & Sumerian* and Babylonian* legends • “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Gen 5:24) • Enoch speculation of Second Temple period – 1 En most important • Originally composed in Aramaic – DSS fragments • Extant fully only in Ethiopic – Greek fragments • Five compositions of 1 Enoch • The Book of Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36) • The Similitudes (37-71) • The Astronomical Book (72-82) • The Book of Dreams (83-90) • The Epistle of Enoch (91-105)

  10. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • The Book of Watchers (1-36) – composed in 200sBC* • Elaboration of Gen 6 and fallen angels (= Watchers) • Primary sin – improper revelation & marriage w/ humans & angels • Spread of Hellenism & evil as product of demonic forces  11. And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. 12. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them. (1 En 15:11-12) • Flood and destruction of the earth • Enoch the righteous scribe ascends to heaven (chs. 17-36) • Angels thrown out of heaven and Enoch welcomed to live w/ angels • Tour of heaven and its secrets (location of spirits of the dead; Gehenna; garden of Eden

  11. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • The Similitudes (1 En 37-71) – c. 100BC-100AD [b/f AD 70*] • Only section not found in DSS • Angelic visions and heavenly journey to the throne room of God • Son of Man & “Chosen One” the main figure (cf. Dan 7; cf. Mt 19:28; 25:31) • The main theme – divine judgment 1. And there I saw One who had a head of days, And His head was white like wool, And with Him was another being whose countenance had the appearance of a man,And his face was full of graciousness, like one of the holy angels. 2. And I asked the angel who went with me and showed me all the hidden things, concerning that Son of Man, who he was, and whence he was, (and) why he went with the Head of Days? 3. And he answered and said unto me: This is the son of Man who hath righteousness, With whom dwellethrighteousness, And who revealeth all the treasures of that which is hidden. Because the Lord of Spirits hath chosen him, And whose lot hath the pre-eminence before the Lord of Spirits in uprightness for ever. (1 En 46:1-3) • Enoch not the Son of Man who has not appeared on earth (70:1; but see 71:14)

  12. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • The Astronomical Book (1 En 72-82) – 3rd century BC • Movement of the starts and heavenly tour guided by Uriel “the year amounts to exactly three hundred and sixty-four days” (72:32)  To support the sacred calendar (opposed to 354d. calendar) • Ends with judgment And in those days the angel Uriel answered and said to me: ' Behold, I have shown thee everything, Enoch, and I have revealed everything to thee that thou shouldst see this sun and this moon, and the leaders of the stars of the heaven and all those who turn them, their tasks and times and departures.2. And in the days of the sinners the years shall be shortened, And their seed shall be tardy on their lands and fields, And all things on the earth shall alter, And shall not appear in their time: And the rain shall be kept back;And the heaven shall withhold (it). 3. And in those times the fruits of the earth shall be backward, And shall not grow in their time, And the fruits of the trees shall be withheld in their time. 4. And the moon shall alter her order, And not appear at her time. (1 En 80:1-4)

  13. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • The Book of Dreams (1 Enoch 83-90) – Maccabean period • Vision of cosmic destruction per flood and prayer (1 En 83-84) • Animal Apocalypse (85-90) – allegory of judgment • People represented by animals – angels represented by humans • The Apocalypse of Weeks (1 Enoch 91:11-17; 93:1-10) - as above • Order of text disrupted in Ethiopic (preserved in Aramaic, DSS) • Enoch’s vision of the heavenly tablets – course of human history • Divided into 10 Weeks (cf. Dan 9) • Appearance of righteous figures during various Weeks (Abraham etc) • 7th Week characterized by the apostates but ends w/ chosen righteous • 8th Week sinners destroyed and 9th Week judgment of whole world • 10th Week judgment of the Watchers (=Angels) & renewal of all things

  14. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • The Epistle of Enoch (1 Enoch 91-105/8) – 1st century BC • Apocalypse of Weeks sometimes subsumed under the Epistle • Exhortation for the righteous and woes to the wicked – theodicy • Woe to the wicked rich for oppressing the righteous • Socio-economic oppression justified per covenant faithfulness Woe unto you, ye sinners, for your riches make you appear like the righteous, But your hearts convict you of being sinners, And this fact shall be a testimony against you for a memorial of (your) evil eeds.5. Woe to you who devour the finest of the wheat, And drink wine in large bowls, And tread under foot the lowly with your might. (96:4-5) • Encouragement for righteous to remain faithful • Rewards of the righteous other-worldly Fear ye not, ye souls of the righteous, And be hopeful ye that have died in righteousness. 5. And grieve not if your soul into Sheol has descended in grief, And that in your life your body fared not according to your goodness, But wait for the day of the judgment of sinners And for the day of cursing and chastisement. (102:4-5)

  15. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Apocrypha and Pseudepigraphaamong Jews and Christians • Authoritative books, “forbidden books”, “polluting” books per Jews • Contradictory statements of the rabbis (mSanh 10.1; bSanh 100b; yBer 11b) • Josephus – 22 authoritative books and “other books” (Ag.Ap. 1.38) • NT - no clear quotes from Apocrypha and only one from Pseudepigrapha • Quote of Pseudepigrapha (see next slide) • Allusions to Apocrypha in the New Testament • “they were sawn in two” (Heb 11:37) and the fate of Isaiah (Mart. of Isa. 5.1-4, 11-14) For thou canst not take (from me) aught save the skin of my body.' And they 12 seized and sawed in sunder Isaiah, the son of Amoz, with a wood-saw. And Manasseh and13 Balchlra and the false prophets and the princes and the people [and] all stood looking on. And to the prophets who were with him he said before he had been sawn in sunder: 'Go ye to the region14 of Tyre and Sidon; for for me only hath God mingled the cup.' And when Isaiah was being sawn in sunder, he neither cried aloud nor wept, but his lips spake with the Holy Spirit until he was sawn in twain. (Mart. Isa. 5.11-14)

  16. Pseudepigrapha and New Testament Jude 14-15 1 Enoch 1:9 9 And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: Andto convict all flesh of all the worksof their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodlysinners have spoken against Him. (1 Enoch 1:9) • 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant wordsungodlysinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 14-15)

  17. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Later Christian authors and the sacred books • Epistle of Barnabas (16.5) cites 1 En 89:56-66 as Scripture • 1 Clement quotes Wisd 12:12 alongside a Ps 19:1-3 • Polycarp (Phil 10.2) quotes Tobit 4:10; 12:9 in conjunction w/ Scripture • Disputed books in the process of canonization • West: Hebrews; James; 2 Pet; 3 John; Jude • East: James; 2 Pet; 2-3 John; Jude; Revelation • Doubtful: Wisd; Acts of Paul; Shepherd of Hermas; Epist. Barn etc. • Spurious books: Gospel of Thomas; Gospel of Truth; 3 Corinthians etc. • Final closing of the canon • AD 363 (Council of Laodicea), 393 (Hippo), 397 (Carthage) • Athanasius – Easter letter AD 367 • Syrian Peshitta and Philonexian revision (c. AD 500)

  18. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • What is the benefit of Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha for NT student? • Historical context and continuity • Concepts, thought patterns, practice, and beliefs • Not all OTP is pre-NT or Jewish background • Each document needs to be treated separately • Relatively easy access through internet and written materials • E.g.

  19. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief 2.2 Jewish Identity, Practice, and Belief • Theological debates concerning identity markers • Circumcision, Sabbath, food laws, ritual purity • Internal debates among the Jewish sects contra Temple “mainstream” • As a response to Hellenism, persecution & successful revolt of 164BC • Hasmonean rulers succumbed to Hellenism & corruption  Life of purity needed to regain God’s blessing and freedom • Circumcision – sign of the covenant (Gen 17:12-17) • Originally non-Israelite practice sanctified into covenant sign* • Ritual meaning – inclusion into the covenant community • Metaphorical meaning – uncircumcised heart as non-repentant • Ethical meaning – uncircumcised heart as unfaithful to God

  20. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Challenge of Hellenism • Antiochus IV outlawed Jewish way of life (1 Macc 1:44-49, 60-63) • Socio-cultural pressure – e.g. epispasm (1 Macc 1:14-15) [14] So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, according to Gentile custom, [15] and removed the marks of circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant. They joined with the Gentiles and sold themselves to do evil. (1:14-15; cf. Ant. 12.241) • As a response mandatory circumcision (1 Macc 2:46; Ant 12.278; 13.257) • Uncircumcised Jews apostates (Jub 15.22-34; 4Q458 frg. 2 2.4) • Discussion in the Early church – circumcision necessary for salvation? • Acts 15:1-11; 21:25; Rom 2:25-5:5; Gal 5:1-15; 6:11-18 • Can baptism be thought of as replacement of circumcision? (Col 2:11-12)

  21. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Food laws – Lev 11:1-47; Deut 14:2-20 • Lists of clean and unclean animals • Cooking practices to safeguard purity • “you shall be holy for I am holy” (Lev 11:45) • To what extent were the food laws practiced? • Diligent observation (3 macc 3:4; Philo, Migr. 89-93) • Co-eating w/ gentiles allowed if… • Host was a Jew or Jew brought own food (Jdt 12:1-4; Add.Esth 14:17; Life 14) [1] Then he commanded them to bring her in where his silver dishes were kept, and ordered them to set a table for her with some of his own food and to serve her with his own wine. [2] But Judith said, "I cannot eat it, lest it be an offense; but I will be provided from the things I have brought with me." [3] Holofernes said to her, "If your supply runs out, where can we get more like it for you? For none of your people is here with us." [4] Judith replied, "As your soul lives, my lord, your servant will not use up the things I have with me before the Lord carries out by my hand what he has determined to do." (Jdt 14:1-4)

  22. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Problems w/ religious practices associated w/ meals • Prayers and libations (Let. Aris. 184-185) • Jews exempted themselves from these when possible • Gentiles saw Jewish reluctance as antisocial (cf. 3 Macc 3:4) [3] The Jews, however, continued to maintain good will and unswerving loyalty toward the dynasty; [4] but because they worshiped God and conducted themselves by his law, they kept their separateness with respect to foods. For this reason they appeared hateful to some; (3 Macc 3:4) • Food laws and the response of the Early Church • Eating together & clean and unclean foods (Gal 2:11-16; Acts 10-11; Mark 7:14-22;1 Cor 5:9-13)

  23. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief 11But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men fromJames, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearingthe party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were notstraightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?15“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. (Gal 2:11-16)

  24. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Sabbath – the clearest identity marker of the Jews • Origins in Gen 2:2-3; Ex 20:8-11; 31:14-17; 35:2-3: Lev 16:31; 23-26 • Violation of Sabbath – e.g. business ventures (Isa 55; Neh 10) • What exactly constituted “work” on Sabbath was debated • Importance of calendar – debate on lunar/luni-solar (Jub.; DSS; 1 En) • Strict observance among Qumran (CD 10.14-11.18; Jub 50.8; mk 3:1-6; John 5:1-18; war 2.145-49) Six days shalt thou labor, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it ye shall do no manner of work, ye and your sons, and your men- servants and your maid-servants, and all your cattle and the sojourner also who is with you. And the man that does any work on it shall die: whoever desecrates that day, whoever lies with (his) wife, or whoever says he will do something on it, that he will set out on a journey thereon in regard to any buying or selling: and whoever draws water thereon which he had not prepared for himself on the sixth day, and whoever takes up any burden to carry it out of his tent or out of his house shall die. (Jub 50.8)

  25. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Sabbath & war (1Macc 2:29-41) • Religious exceptions granted to Jews for Sabbath (Ant 13.52; 14.226-27, 242-246; 256-58, 262-64; 16.162-63, 167-68) 256 The decree of those of Halicarnassus. "When Memnon, the son of Orestidas by descent, but by adoption of Euonymus, was priest, on the day of the month Aristerion, the decree of the people, upon the representation of Marcus Alexander, was this: Since we have ever a great regard to piety towards God, and to holiness; and since we aim to follow the people of the Romans, who are the benefactors of all men, and what they have written to us about a league of friendship and mutual assistance between the Jews and our city, and that their sacred offices and accustomed festivals and assemblies may be observed by them; we have decreed, that as many men and women of the Jews as are willing so to do, may celebrate their Sabbaths, and perform their holy offices, according to Jewish laws; and may make their proseuchae at the sea-side, according to the customs of their forefathers; and if any one, whether he be a magistrate or private person, hindereth them from so doing, he shall be liable to a fine, to be applied to the uses of the city.“ (Ant. 14.256-58)

  26. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Sabbath and early Christianity – response of Christians to Sabbath? • Did the early Christians practice Sabbath? How? • Jewish-Christians probably did as did Jesus • Redefinition of Sabbath (Col 2:16-17; Heb 4; Rom 14:5-9) • What about the Lord’s Day? (Rev 1:10)  Seems like the gentile believers did not place emphasis on Sabbath observance according to NT – it was interpreted as “shadow” of the ultimate rest in Christ

  27. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Purity rules – Lev; Deut; Ezek • Canaanites expelled b/c violation of purity of the land (Lev 18:24-30) • Purity rules various interpreted by Second Temple groups • Qumran, the most stringent – maintaining priestly purity at all times • Isolation, pure meals, boundaries, ritual baths • Ritual bath after touching anything impure thing or less pure person • Avoidance of sex and wine (CD 10.10-13; 12.1) Anyone who refuses to enter the society of God…ceremonies of atonement cannot restore his innocence, neither cultic waters his purity. He cannot be sanctified by baptisms in the oceans and rivers, nor purified by mere ritual bating. (1QS 2.25-3.5) No man who suffers from a single uncleanness that affect humanity shall enter the assembly…no man with physical handicap- crippled in both legs or hands, lame, blind, deaf, dumb…visible blemish in his flesh…doddering old man unable to do his share- may enter…in the congregation…For holy angels are part of their congregation. (1QSa 2.2-9)

  28. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Sin and impurity • Ritual and moral impurity not distinguished • Menstruating woman and arrogant man equally impure • Same “cure” for both – ritual immersion (1QS 3.6-11; 5.13-14) & sometimes washing/changing clothes (CD 11.3-4; Num 31:20) • However, impure were not necessarily “sinners” – e.g. contact w/ corpse due to burial not sin but made one unclean • Impurity that is not sin – purified by immersion • Metaphorical use of purity – sexual immorality, idolatry, evil • Impurity for Jews – realm of death; keep away from sacred • Holiness – realm of blessing and life

  29. Non-Canonical Writings & Jewish Practice and Belief • Purity in Jesus’ teachings and Early church • Radical reinterpretation of purity in Jesus’ ministry • Jesus associated w/ “sinners”, impure, demoniacs, the disabled • E.g. Luke 5:27-31; 7:33-50; 8:26-56; 14:12-14 • Early church reinterpreted purity in ethical terms • Heb 13:9-16; 1 Cor 5:6-8; 6:9-11, 13-20; Eph 5:3-5 • Church as the community of the sanctified • 1 Cor 5:6-8