Friday, November 30, 2018

Review of Mirguet, An Early History of Compassion

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Françoise Mirguet, An Early History of Compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Pp. viii, 271. ISBN 9781107146266. $99.99. Reviewed by Andrew R. Krause, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (

This sounds like a very interesting book. But, and I keep saying this, the Greek Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs is a second-century Christian work. True, in some cases it is based on Jewish material, verifiably mainly in the Testament of Levi and the Testament of Naphtali. But it is poor methodology to use the whole thing as testimony to Hellenistic Judaism.

Similarly, the Testament of Job is often assumed to be a Hellenistic Jewish work. But I have explained here why this assumption is methodologically weak.

But most of the material covered in this book is relevant to the topic, and the topic is certainly worthwhile.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.