Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Joseph and Aseneth: questions of provenance

READING ACTS: Joseph and Aseneth (Phil Long). I discuss Joseph and Aseneth in my book, The Provenance of the Pseudepigrapha (Brill, 2005), pp. 190-195.

It should be mentioned that Joseph and Aseneth survives in Greek in several different recensions, two of which could be argued to be more original.

It is widely thought to be an Egyptian Jewish work, although it has also been read as a late-antique work by a Christian, a God-fearing gentile, or a Samaritan. It does read plausibly as a defense of gentile conversion to Judaism, but it could also be read as a Christian warning to avoid being "unequally yoked with unbelievers" (2 Cor 6:14).

I do not find credible the suggestion that the book was composed in Syriac and is a covert allegory about the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. (Phil does not suggest this!)

See my book for more comments on the provenance of Joseph and Aseneth.

For notice of previous posts in Phil's ongoing series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, start here and follow the many links.

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