In order to facilitate discussion in the Toronto PSCO panel on
"Parabiblical Literature"  (this Friday, 8-10 pm, Royal York Hotel,
Quebec Room), we have gathered short descriptions from some of the
participants (James Davila, Ingrid Hjelm, Andrew Jacobs, Robert Kraft,
Annette Reed, John Reeves), which are attached below.

We are now in the process of gathering brief introductory statements
from others with interests in the topic -- including those who are
unable to join us in Toronto. These summaries, together with the
summaries of our panelists' interests, will be posted shortly on the
PSCO website ( If you would like to
submit a self-description to add to our list, please e-mail either Bob
[[Apologies again for cross-posting!!!]] 

James Davila (University of St. Andrews in Scotland)

My name is Jim Davila and I am a lecturer in early Jewish studies at the
University of St. Andrews in Scotland.  My major area of research is
traditions in the Second Temple period and late antiquity and the
of those traditions with early Christianity.  My interests in the
parabiblical literature go back to my dissertation work at Harvard in
late 1980s.  The Dead Sea Scrolls that I editied under the supervision
Frank Cross were canonical texts (Genesis and Exodus) but working with
and trying to place them (if only for my own peace of mind) into the
world of the Qumran library gave me my first taste of the problems that
arise when we try to understand the ancient views about scripture.
that time I have published a commentary on the Qumran liturgical works
and a
monograph on the Hekhalot literature as well as two conference volumes
aspects the relationship between early Judaism and early Christianity.
St. Andrews I regularly teach a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls and
on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, both of which have periodically
generated international discussion lists and extensive web pages (see for more information).
otpseud course has focused especially on the problem of deciding whether
given pseudepigraphon is a Jewish composition or a Christian composition
that set out to look authentically "Old Testament" (or something else).
am currently writing a monograph on this question.

Turning to the topic of the panel discussion, "parabiblical" literature,
note that many of the terminology problems that beset the "Old Testament
Pseudepigrapha," "New Testament Apocrypha," and "noncanonical"
literature in
general is that biblicists working with (explicit or implicit) canonical
assumptions have framed the terms of the discussion and coined the
terminology we use.  The terms "Bible," "Apocrypha," "Pseudepigrapha,"
are all historical artifacts conditioned by a set of assumptions that
exist in the second temple period and were only starting to be
formulated in
late antiquity.  Indeed, some of them did not arise until the Protestant


Ingrid Hjelm (University of Copenhagen)

My name is Ingrid Hjelm. In July, I finished my Ph.D. dissertation on
Jerusalem's Rise to Sovereignty in Ancient Tradition and History: Zion
Gerizim in Competition (forthcoming, Sheffield Academic Press, 2003),
will be defended this December at the Theology Faculty in the University
Copenhagen. The dissertation represents continued research on Jewish and
Samaritan relationship, which I began in 1996. Its first major result
my Samaritans and Early Judaism: A Literary Analysis (published in the
Copenhagen International Series with Sheffield Academic Press, 2000).

Whether one places the origin of Samaritanism in representations of an
eight-century Assyrian policy of deportation, based on a story of 2
17, of a fifth-century expulsion of a priest serving at the temple in
Jerusalem, based on a remark in Nehemiah 13, of a fourth-century deceit
the Persian King Darius at the advance of Alexander the Great, based on
Josephus' "Alexander-legend", or of a second-century quarrel among
in Jerusalem's temple based on Josephus' Antiochus IV story and the
Books of
Maccabees, all scholarly resolutions have agreed on the validity of one
other 'Jewish' story about Samaritan origin and the Samaritan
departure from a Jerusalem centred Judaism. This alleged departure was
followed by a final schism, usually dated to the second century BCE,
on Josephus' John Hyrcanus story and scholarship's claim for a
of the Samaritan script and Pentateuch at the time. The assumption of
formation of a distinct Samaritanism at such a late date has moved the
general area of interest in Samaritanology away from the biblical texts
studies in Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, DSS and other writings from at
the 3rd century BCE until well into early rabbinic times, as one can
find in
the selections of sources in my 2000 book.

This move of interests, however, rested on false assumptions about the
closure of biblical traditions at a much earlier date. These could,
therefore, not be reflective of Jewish-Samaritan discussions. With DSS,
however, we have been reminded that the Jewish canonisation of scripture
text belong to the Common Era and that diversity rather than unity was
is) the norm for text traditions. This knowledge questions the validity
an alleged second century distinctive Samaritanism as derived from a
'Jewish' matrix, as much as it challenges assumptions of the existence
of a
tribal Israel, stemming from one eponym in ancient time and sharing a
history down to the establishment of the cult in Shiloh or Jeroboam's
division of the Davidic kingdom, as claimed in both Samaritan (1) and
traditions. Within this literary paradigm groups can be either rejected
they can begin and take on independent identities. While Jewish
maintains that the 10 (11) tribes of Israel disappeared and that the
of Judah became the sole heir to Abraham's promise, Samaritan tradition
maintains that also the Samaritans returned from exile (from Haran) and
continued their life in the Shechem area with Gerizim as their holy
mountain. When the Samaritans invite the Judaeans to participate in a
return, they refuse, arguing that the 'Books of David' says that
is the cult place'. The Samaritan argumentation for Gerizim is based
on Deuteronomy 12 and 27 and Joshua 8's narrative of the blessing on Mt.

While discussions about the 12 tribes, and of the status of Judah and
Joseph, the Patriarchs and Moses, and the cult place are well recognised
central themes in much parabiblical literature, it is less recognised
much of our biblical material implicitly partakes in similar
advocating a sovereignty of Jerusalem/Zion in spite of Jerusalem's
at the close of the Deuteronomistic History. Comparative analyses of
biblical (MT and LXX), parabiblical, DSS, Josephus and Samaritan text
traditions (SP, The Samaritan Book of Joshua, Genealogies, Chronicles),
revealed that the traditions and the text of the MT should not be given
priority - a priori - against these other traditions, since the MT
a final, rather than a formative product. Several of its implicit
discussions are reflected more explicitly in other traditions, some of
agree with the MT, some which don't.

Within the canonical tradition, the Deuteronomistic History's marked
supersessionism and competitive character in its Jerusalem-oriented
replacement of 'Pentateuch' traditions, is not shared in the Yahwist's
support of multiple cult places, none of which are placed in Jerusalem.
While both these traditions are assumed to belong to a remote pre-exilic
exilic past and essentially to stem from groups with shared
Jerusalem-oriented interests, extra-biblical writings from the 3rd
BCE onward testify to the viability of their implicit discussions at a
when other cult places were a challenge to the idea about a centralised
(in Jerusalem). It is within this tension of an alleged 7-6th century
'biblical' and a 3rd -1st century BCE 'extra-biblical' discussion that
Samaritan history and tradition (albeit its manuscripts date to a much
time) can add to our knowledge of hidden motives and themes in
which we call Jewish or Jewish-Christian. The silencing of Samaritan
which our scholarly tradition has inherited from Josephus's diminishment
the Samaritan existence at a time, when, in fact, these numbered as many
the Jews themselves, with whom they shared the traditions about the
Patriarchs, Moses, Exodus, Joshua and land, has been crucial  to

 1. E.g. T.W.J. Juynboll, Chronicon samaritanum, arabice conscriptum,
titulus est Liber Josuae. Ex unico cod. Scalegieri nunc primum edidit,
Latine vertit (Leiden: S. & J. Luchtmans, 1848; Eng. Trans., O.T. Crane,
Samaritan Chronicle, or the Book of Joshua the Son of Nun [New York:
John B.
Alden 1890]). J. Macdonald, Samaritan Chronicle No. II (or: Sepher
>From Joshua to Nebuchadnezzar (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1969). P.
The Kitab al Tarikh of Abu'l-Fath (Sydney: The Mandelbaum Trust,
of Sydney, 1985; Arabic version: E. Vilmar, Abulfathi Annales Samaritani
[Gothae, 1865]).


Andrew Jacobs (University of California, Riverside)

My interest in issues of canon and apocrypha comes out of my focus on
cultural studies of fourth and fifth century Christianity. To study
"culture" (for me) is to study how ideas about "the world" become
naturalized: what some theorists call "ideology," how ideas (especially
ideas about imbalance and difference) become "common knowledge." To
Christian culture in late antiquity is (for me) to study the crafting of
certain ideas about religion, society, power, and resistance that became
normative, that redefined these categories, and that still marks us
My major research (to date) has looked at  the creation of an idea of
Christian Empire, focused particularly on the construction of images of
Jews. But other aspects of Christian culture have grabbed my attention
the way--notions of class, family, asceticism and sexuality, and
interpretation. I came to focus on two naturalized discourses of late
antiquity that intersected: the distinction between "canon" and
and the distinction between "orthodoxy" and "heresy." The work of late
ancient Christian authors was not just one of making distinctions--this
is canonical, that group is heretical--but of naturalizing the very
of those distinctions, so that Christians did not even question that
such a
division must be made. An author such as Athanasius must work to
his followers (without seeming to do so) that it is "natural" to align
noncanonical texts--apocrypha--with the deviance of heresy. Texts become
"naturally" the product of orthodoxy belief, or rejection of orthodoxy.
truth, both discourses are being simultaneously constructed by
his authority to impose regimes of truth vanishes in the process,

Several figures from late antiquity, I have found, disrupt this
discourse of canon-orthodoxy/apocrypha-heresy. Jerome, for instance,
attempts to introduce a new system of "canonical texts" based on Jewish
Scriptures--without drawing upon himself the heretical label of
Himself implicated in a series of neverending heretical strugglges
throughout his career, Jerome somehow manages to maintain his place in
ideological hierarchy of Christianity. Less successful was Priscillian
Avila. This fourth-century Bishop of Avila made a sustained case for the
orthodox study of noncanonical texts: thus demonstrating that a
discourse of
orthodoxy did not always map directly onto a discourse of canonicity.
Priscillian did not reject a notion of orthodoxy--based on apostolic
tradition and creedal confession--nor did he reject a notion of
canonicity--that some books were "in the Bible" while others were not
is laid out in his "Book of Faith and Apocrypha"). Priscillian has the
singular distinction of being the only heretic condemned to death in
antiquity (through the mechanisms of a secular charge of sorcery), thus
allowing students of Christian history to (perhaps) blithely dismiss his
claims about orthodoxy and apocrypha as (at best) idiosyncratic or (at
worst) "really" heretical.

In rethinking the naturalization of these cultural discourses--the
of canon and orthodoxy, if you will--I'm not trying to "rehabilitate"
Priscillian or open up the canon for revision. I am, however, trying to
unmask the naturalization of ideas that authors such as Athanasius
worked so
hard to cover over, in order to try to understand how regimes of culture
be instituted, and how they have historically been resisted.


Robert Kraft (University of Pennsylvania)

 My name is Bob Kraft and I'm co-chairing this year's PSCO topic with
 Annette Reed on "Parabiblical Literature." I teach in the Religious
 Studies programs at the University of Pennsylvania, and have
 the PSCO since its inception in 1963, when I arrived at Penn and got a
 call from John Reumann at the Philadelphia Lutheran Seminary to discuss
 the possibility of just such a seminar, similar to the one run by
 C.F.D.Moule at Cambridge in England. We developed a plan, gathered a
 constituency, and it has been going (strong) ever since.

 My own interest in the fringes of "canonical" Jewish and Christian
 literature goes back to my graduate student days first at Wheaton
 College in Illinois, where issues of "canon" and "inspiration" were
 paramount (I did a MA thesis on Jesus' attitudes to authoritative
 scripture), but expecially at Harvard where I worked with Krister
 Stendahl and Helmut Koester, among others, and wrote my dissertation on
 the use of Jewish Sources in the Epistle of Barnabas (1961) -- thus
 dealing with the use of biblical and parabiblical materials in a work
 that for some early Christians apparently was itself also parabiblical!

 Back in 1976, at the invitation of Jim Charlesworth, I presented at the
 SNTS Congress a major survey of the use of "pseudepigrapha" in (early)
 Christianity -- an essay that was available for years in electronic
 until John Reeves footnoted it and brought it into hardcopy publication
 in the volume he co-edited on Tracing the Threads (1994). Subsequently,
 I've played a bit with questions of "scriptural consciousness" in
 comparison to "canonical consciousness" in a couple of publications,
 did some updating of the older "pseudepigrapha" essay for the SNTS
 at Tel Aviv in 2000, which subsequently appeared with other essays from
 that group in the Journal for the Study of Judaism last year.

 Meanwhile, when DSS research (and the English edition by Florentino
 Garcia Martinez in 1994) brought the term "parabiblical" into some
 prominence, my former student Jay Treat and I plotted to put this topic
 area on the queue for a future PSCO year. As things worked out, the
 topic was accepted as appropriate in this the 40th, celebratory, year
 PSCO, and Annette (having just finished her dissertation on the Enochic
 Watchers tradition) was willing to co-chair. At the same time, my
 advanced graduate students and I are exploring the subject week by week
 in more depth, as some of you hopefully will have noticed through our
 class website.

 For me, "parabiblical" covers two somewhat distinguishable sets of
 (1) What we used to call "rewritten bible," where there seems to be a
 consciousness by the author/editors that authoritative scriptural
 materials are being repurposed, sometimes even resulting in a new
 "scriptural" work; and (2) materials considered authoritative in some
 socio-religious contexts (functionally "scripture") that may or may not
 resemble what later came to be considered "biblical" by the surviving
 traditions, but did not itself become "biblical." I'm hoping that a
 of close study of the materials and the problems of definition may lead
 to more clarity of terminology and of analysis of these fascinating
 texts, traditions, and perspectives.


Annette Yoshiko Reed (Princeton University)

 My name is Annette Reed. I am presently a postdoc at Princeton
 University, and I am the other co-chair of this year's PSCO. The topic
 of "Parabiblical Literature" lies at the intersection of three of my
 major research interests: first is a specific concern for the
composition, redaction,
 and reception of Enochic literature, both in the Second Temple period
 and beyond. Second is a focus on the history of biblical interpretation
 -- broadly construed to include the emergence of the very concept of
 "Scripture" as a privileged site of interpretation and the formation of
 biblical canons in Judaism and Christianity. Third is a broader
 methodological interest in moving beyond our own modern notions about
 authors, books, and readers, in order to explore the nature of literary
 production, collection, and reception in early Judaism and early
 Christianity -- an issue that proves most pertinent for the study of
 biblical and parabiblical literature, due to the large gap between
 ancient notions of textual authority, which varied widely with time and
 place, and their modern counterparts, which have been shaped by our
 encounters with "the Bible" as a single volume, clearly distinct from
 volumes with names like "OT Pseudepigrapha" and "NT Apocrypha."

 I combined these interests in my (recently completed) dissertation on
 the reception-history of the Book of the Watchers in Judaism and
 Christianity. By focusing on the Nachleben of its traditions about
 teachings of the fallen angels and correlating the influence of these
 traditions with explicit comments about Enochic books in Jewish and
 Christian writings, I there sought to chart the changing status of this
 early Jewish apocalypse and its influence on the interpretation of
 Genesis 6:1-4 in Second Temple, Rabbinic, and early medieval Judaism
 early, late antique, and Byzantine Christianity. At the very outset of
 the project, Bob pushed me to explore its potential for exposing the
 "tyranny of canonical assumptions" that still shapes modern scholarship
 about so-called "OT pseudepigrapha." I must confess that I was not, at
 first, convinced of the pressing need to tackle such issues; indeed, my
 own interest lay in using the afterlife of this early Jewish text as a
 lens through which to explore the continued interactions between Jewish
 and Christian communities after the so-called "Parting of the Ways,"
 I thus feared that my proverbial plate was already too full with
 methodological challenges to deep-seated scholarly beliefs. Throughout
 the course of research and writing, however, I encountered again and
 again troublesome cases in which scholarly treatments of the Book of
 Watchers and its reception-history were shaped more by these "canonical
 assumptions" than by the textual evidence at hand -- so much so in fact
 that, in the end, my dissertation integrates an extended critique of
 scholarly tendency to impose modern concepts of "the Bible,"
 "Apocrypha," and "Pseudepigrapha" anachronistically on ancient authors,
 tradents, and readers.

 For our present purposes, it suffices to note that the Book of the
 Watchers provides a parade example for our exploration of "Parabiblical
 Literature." Its redaction-history and its reception-history both shed
 doubt on common assumptions about the essentially derivative nature of
 the so-called "extrabiblical" literature of Second Temple times and the
 allegedly marginal status of the authors and audiences of so-called
 "pseudepigapha." Ever since the discovery of Aramaic fragments of the
 Book of the Watchers at Qumran, we have known that this Enochic
 apocalypse was written a number of decades before the only canonical
 Jewish apocalypse (i.e., the Book of Daniel) and, hence, predates the
 closing of the Jewish biblical canon at least half a century (and
 more). In its treatment of Enoch and the fallen angels, this apocalypse
 clearly exegetes Genesis and appeals to the authority of this older and
 more established scripture. Yet, the Book of the Watchers
 presents itself as revealed literature in its own right, as a source of
 knowledge about antediluvian history, heavenly secrets, and ethical
 truths that supplements Genesis even as it claims an equal degree of
 epistemological authority. Furthermore, as VanderKam and others have
 shown, some of its traditions about Enoch and the fallen angels may
 ultimately be no less ancient than those found in Genesis itself. As
 such, it is clearly inadequate to describe this text as only a
 retelling," and it would be anachronistic to imagine its authors and
 redactors as self-consciously transgressing the boundaries of any
 "canon," in the sense of a delineated group of scriptures with a unique
 level of authority granted to no other. Rather, this text attests a
 fluid conception of scriptural authority, and it thus highlights the
 dangers of conflating the "scripturalization" of certain texts in the
 Second Temple period with the establishment of a clearly delineated
 biblical "canon," a much later process that occurred first among
 Rabbinic Jews and later among different groups of Christians.

 When viewed from the perspective of our own modern concept of the
 "Bible," it might seem that only a radical or marginal author could
 to pen a text in the name of Enoch and that only a credulous reader
 would accept its claims to extreme antiquity and scriptural authority.
 This, however, speaks mainly to the inadequacy of our own concepts of
 authorship and reading for explaining the composition and reception of
 early Jewish "Parabiblical Literature." For instance, the Book of the
 Watchers and other Enochic books seem to have functioned as scripture
 within the Qumran community, and we find a number of references to this
 apocalypse in early patristic writings, many of which assume its
 authoritative status. The Enochic literature would, of course, be
 excluded from the Rabbinic Tanakh. In the fourth and fifth centuries,
 ecclesiarchs in the Roman Empire would similarly reject the authority
 these books, often citing them as paradigmatic examples of the category
 "apocrypha," against which the very notion of "canonicity" was defined
 and articulated at that time.

 This development resulted in the present status of these books, which
 are now deemed "Pseudepigrapha" because of their omission from the
 Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic canons. Yet, the fact that a
 of early Enochic literature (i.e., 1 Enoch) is still accepted as
 canonical within the Ethiopian church exposes the inadequacy of our
 modern categories of "the Bible," "Apocrypha," and "Pseudepigrapha" for
 explaining the relative status of texts, both in premodern times and in
 modern ones. In my view, this is precisely why our present project
 proves so pressing -- and potentially so fruitful. By adopting a more
 value-neutral term, such as "Parabiblical Literature," to speak about
 such texts and by exploring new terminology that is even more specific
 and descriptive, we may open the way for a fresh exploration of the
 wide range of ways in which now non-canonical texts were used in early
 Jewish and early Christian communities, thereby enriching our
 understanding of ancient writers and readers, even as we illumine the
 complex prehistory of modern concepts about "the Bible" itself.


John C. Reeves (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

My name is John C. Reeves, and I teach in the Religious Studies
at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  My primary field of
research is in the history of religions in the Near East during late
antiquity and the early medieval period, with an especial focus on the
social and literary interactions among those religions and social
that utilize the concept of 'prophet' and 'scripture' in the
construction of
their ideologies-for the purposes of tonight's discussion, my brief
primarily (but is certainly not limited to) Manichaeism and Islam.  I am
intensely interested in the discernible linkages between the originally
discrete phenomena of prophetism and scripturalism and their eventual
convergence slightly before and during this broad period, and in these
communities' transmission, exploitation, adaptation, and sometimes
condemnation of competing prophetic and scriptural paradigms.  I am
fascinated by the biblical textual basis of much of this enterprise and
intrigued by the seemingly continual need to ground one's own
authority within the scriptures of 'others' while simultaneously
and appropriating them as one's own.  At the same time, I am also
in the possible preservation and manipulation of what appear to be
formulations' of biblical and biblically-allied compositions among
chronologically later (sometimes much later) literary contexts and the
questions such 'fossils' provoke about our standard understandings of
biblical and wider Near Eastern literary history.  As I pursue these
of investigations, it has become increasingly clear to me that much  of
conceptual framework (notions of canon, etc.) and the vocabulary we
customarily employ when engaged in the study of Bible and its penumbra
allied literatures-apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, midrash, lives of the
prophets, folklore, et al.-during this and earlier periods requires a
radical overhaul and restructuring, one which suggests there may be
revolutionary consequences for our understanding of the textual
of Bible and other Near Eastern scriptures.

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