PBB - Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Milestones

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 23 2019 2:09 PM

Perhaps http://earlywritings.com/forum/ due to the parallel http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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H. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jan 23 2019 7:09 PM

Thanks.

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H. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 13 2019 11:59 AM

M.J.,

One of the curious things about the apocryphal book of the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra is what period it was written in. It was written apparently based on 4 Esdras (written in the first century or later), and apparently listed in the canon of Pat. Nicephorus (in c. 850 AD), but it's harder to be more specific.

For example, it appears either a re-writing of the Latin Vision of Ezra, or a re-writing of a Greek text that the Latin Vision itself used. And the Church started taking up Latin as a major literary language in Jerome's time (4th century). Plus, the Greek text has elements of Late Greek, which was used in the late 2nd- late 7th centuries AD. But they could have been introduced in the re-writing process and could be lacking in the potential original Greek version. I made a thread about this question here: https://www.christianforums.com/threads/when-do-you-think-the-apocalypse-of-ezra-was-written.8117315/

Let me know if you have ideas about that.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 13 2019 4:06 PM

It's been a while since I explored the issue ... my notes which are several years old:

1.1.1      Ezra material

The two Hebrew books of Ezra and Nehemiah are frequently treated as a single volume called variously Ezra, Ezra-Nehemiah, 1 Esdras or 2 Esdras. Additional Ezra materials considered canonical or pseudepigraphical include:

  • Greek Ezra which includes s paraphrase of 2 Chronicles 35-36; Hebrew Ezra, Nehemiah 7:38-8:12, and additional tale of Darius’ bodyguards.
  • Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra (Apocalyptic Esdras) written c. 100 A.D. was highly influential in Jewish theology at the end of the first century.
  • Greek Apocalypse of Ezra (The Word and Revelation of Esdras) which was influenced by the preceding. It is a Christian work.
  • Questions of Ezra is a late work known from an Armenian manuscript.
  • Revelation of Ezra is a kalandologion[1] and may be among the books condemned by Nicephorus.
  • Vision of Ezra is another Christian apocalypse influenced by the Ezra Apocalypse.

The composition and titles of the four books most frequently in canons are shown in the following chart. The scholarly titles are used in the canon comparison tool often with a note to remind the user of the precise content.

Masoretic Hebrew

NRSV

Latin Vulgate

Greek Septuagint

Slavonic tradition

Scholarly alternative

Ezra

Ezra

1 Esdras

Esdras B

1 Esdras

Ezra-Nehemiah

Nehemiah

2 Esdras (Nehemias)

Nehemiah

 

1 Esdras

3 Esdras

Esdras A (Greek Esdras)

2 Esdras

Greek Ezra

2 Esdras

4 Esdras (Latin Esdras)

 

3 Esdras

4 Esdras (Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra, Apocalyptic Esdras)

 

5 Esdras

6 Esdras

 

4 Esdras is chapters 3-14 of the Latin Esdras

5 Esdras is chapters 1-2 of the Latin Esdras

6 Esdras is chapters 15-16 of the Latin Esdras



[1] "... kalandologion, or document that describes the characteristics of a year according to which day of the week it begins on ..." James H. Charlesworth, “Pseudepigrapha,” ed. Erwin Fahlbusch et al., The Encyclopedia of Christianity (Grand Rapids, Mich.;  Leiden, Netherlands: Wm. B. Eerdmans;  Brill, 2005), 412.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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H. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 14 2019 9:25 AM

Dear M.J.,

My main question about this was what group of centuries do you believe that the Greek Apocalypse of Ezra was written in. The reason is because I want to see if it is an early Christian text or not.

You helpfully sorted out the Ezra books, including:

  • Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra (Apocalyptic Esdras) written c. 100 A.D. was highly influential in Jewish theology at the end of the first century.
  • Greek Apocalypse of Ezra (The Word and Revelation of Esdras) which was influenced by the preceding. It is a Christian work.

The Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra (c. 100 AD) is the same as 4-6 Esdras in your rectangular table of 1-6 Esdras.
The Greek Apocalypse of Ezra is not among the 6 books of Ezra in your rectangular table, but rather was written after them.

I made a post with some more information about my question here:

When do you think the Apocalypse of Ezra was written?
https://www.christianforums.com/threads/when-do-you-think-the-apocalypse-of-ezra-was-written.8117315/

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