Friday, May 19, 2017

Old Testament Pseudepigrapha a century and more ago

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Alternative Scriptures: Which Old Testament? Philip Jenkins continues his blog series on the discovery of "alternative scriptures" a century and more ago. This time he focuses on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. He has a good review of literature, with many works by R. H. Charles mentioned. He also notes the important work of M. R. James, on whom more here, here, here, and here.

Interest in alternative scriptures actually goes back much more than a century. Johann Albert Fabricius published the first scholarly edition of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha in 1713, exactly two centuries before Charles published his famous two-volume collection of Old Testament Apocrypha and Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

The twenty-first century is looking pretty good for alternative scriptures as well. The two-volume edition of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha edited by James Charlesworth in the 1980s was a massive contribution to the field. Then the first volume of texts for the More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project (Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, volume 1, Eerdmans, ed. Bauckham, Davila, and Panayotov) was published in 2013, exactly three centuries after the edition of Fabricius and exactly a century after Charles's edition.

And we're not done! Volume 2 is in the works.