Professor James Davila, of the University of St Andrews, shared some recent news today, on his PaleoJudaica blog, regarding the monumental More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project that he is directing, together with Professor Emeritus Richard Bauckham, and with Dr. Alexander Panayotov as co-editor.  In his words:

I am very happy to announce that the first volume of texts edited for the More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project has been sent to the publisher (Eerdmans) and we anticipate its publication within the next year.

This is an epic undertaking that many have been waiting anxiously to see come to fruition.  This is a new collection of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha that goes beyond previous collections, such as the two-volume work of James Charlesworth (The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha).  This new collection includes about 100 documents, including texts most of us have never even heard of!  Some of those include:

  • The Apocryphon of Eber
  • The Dispute over Abraham
  • The Inquiry of Abraham
  • The Story of Melchizedek with the Melchizedek Legend from the Chronicon Paschale
  • The Syriac History of Joseph
  • The Eighth Book of Moses
  • The Balaam Text from Tell Deir ‘Allā
  • Songs of David
  • The Aramaic Song of the Lamb (Dialogue between David and Goliath)
  • Exorcistic Psalms of David and Solomon
  • The Selendromion of David and Solomon
  • Jeremiah’s Prophecy to Pashhur
  • The Apocryphon of Ezekiel
  • The Treatise of the Vessels (Massekhet Kelim)
  • The Seventh Vision of Daniel
  • Sefer Zerubbabel: The Prophetic Vision of Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel
  • Fifth Ezra
  • Sixth Ezra

And there are obviously many more. These are just some of the texts that are covered in the first volume!

These publications will open the way for a much wider appreciation and understanding of these texts. Professor Davila comments, regarding the importance of the publication of these documents:

“Some of these compositions provide us with fascinating background material to the New Testament. Others are a rich source of information on the reception history of the Hebrew Bible by Jews, Christians, and pagans through late antiquity. They frequently give us different perspectives from those found in writings of the same period which later acquired an authoritative status in Judaism (the rabbinic literature) and Christianity (the patristic literature). Together they present us with the sacred legends and spiritual reflections of numerous long-dead authors whose works were lost, neglected, or suppressed for many centuries. By making these documents available in excellent English translations and authoritative but accessible introductions we aim both to promote more scholarly study of them and to bring them to the attention of the vast lay audience who appreciate such treasures.”

Many thanks to Professors Davila, Bauckham, Dr. Panayotov, and their many associates on the project (including the Maxwell Institute’s Kristian Heal), for making these exciting texts available to us!

For the full flier (which will be handed out to participants of our grad conference tomorrow) and Table of Contents of Volume 1, see Jim Davila’s post at PaleoJudaica.

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