n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - Two perspectives on two apocrypha : reflections on the and the so-called

Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


Since the early days of Dead Scrolls research, a considerable number of theretofore unknown compositions have been labelled "apocryphon". Most of them still carry that name, despite important modifications in our understanding of "Scripture" within Second Temple Judaism. This paper seeks to explore some of the problems involved in the debate on so-called "rewritten Scripture" works on the basis of two "apocrypha" from Qumran, viz. the "Genesis Apocryphon" and the "Apocryphon/-a of Joshua". More specifically, it argues that, whereas the label "apocryphon" may still be a valid hermeneutical device for modern readers of the Bible, an accurate historical perspective on the Second Temple Scriptural texts entails their reassessment as further developments of a living and vibrant tradition.

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