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 (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/psco). If you would like to submit a self-description to add to our list, please e-mail either Bob ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) or Annette ([EMAIL PROTECTED]). [[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 Jewish traditions in the Second Temple period and late antiquity and the interface of those traditions with early Christianity. My interests in the so-called parabiblical literature go back to my dissertation work at Harvard in the late 1980s. The Dead Sea Scrolls that I editied under the supervision of Frank Cross were canonical texts (Genesis and Exodus) but working with them and trying to place them (if only for my own peace of mind) into the thought 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. Since 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 on aspects the relationship between early Judaism and early Christianity. At St. Andrews I regularly teach a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls and another on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, both of which have periodically generated international discussion lists and extensive web pages (see http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/%7ewww_sd/jrd4.html for more information). The otpseud course has focused especially on the problem of deciding whether a given pseudepigraphon is a Jewish composition or a Christian composition that set out to look authentically "Old Testament" (or something else). I am currently writing a monograph on this question. Turning to the topic of the panel discussion, "parabiblical" literature, I 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," etc., are all historical artifacts conditioned by a set of assumptions that didn't 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 Reformation. _________________________________________________________________ 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 and Gerizim in Competition (forthcoming, Sheffield Academic Press, 2003), which will be defended this December at the Theology Faculty in the University of Copenhagen. The dissertation represents continued research on Jewish and Samaritan relationship, which I began in 1996. Its first major result was 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 Kings 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 of the Persian King Darius at the advance of Alexander the Great, based on Josephus' "Alexander-legend", or of a second-century quarrel among priests 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 or other 'Jewish' story about Samaritan origin and the Samaritan community's departure from a Jerusalem centred Judaism. This alleged departure was followed by a final schism, usually dated to the second century BCE, based on Josephus' John Hyrcanus story and scholarship's claim for a development of the Samaritan script and Pentateuch at the time. The assumption of the formation of a distinct Samaritanism at such a late date has moved the general area of interest in Samaritanology away from the biblical texts to studies in Pseudepigrapha, Apocrypha, DSS and other writings from at least 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 and text belong to the Common Era and that diversity rather than unity was (and is) the norm for text traditions. This knowledge questions the validity of an alleged second century distinctive Samaritanism as derived from a common '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 common 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 Jewish traditions. Within this literary paradigm groups can be either rejected or they can begin and take on independent identities. While Jewish tradition maintains that the 10 (11) tribes of Israel disappeared and that the tribe 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 common return, they refuse, arguing that the 'Books of David' says that 'Jerusalem is the cult place'. The Samaritan argumentation for Gerizim is based mainly on Deuteronomy 12 and 27 and Joshua 8's narrative of the blessing on Mt. Gerizim. 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 as central themes in much parabiblical literature, it is less recognised that much of our biblical material implicitly partakes in similar discussions, advocating a sovereignty of Jerusalem/Zion in spite of Jerusalem's rejection 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), have revealed that the traditions and the text of the MT should not be given priority - a priori - against these other traditions, since the MT represent a final, rather than a formative product. Several of its implicit discussions are reflected more explicitly in other traditions, some of which 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 century BCE onward testify to the viability of their implicit discussions at a time when other cult places were a challenge to the idea about a centralised cult (in Jerusalem). It is within this tension of an alleged 7-6th century BCE 'biblical' and a 3rd -1st century BCE 'extra-biblical' discussion that Samaritan history and tradition (albeit its manuscripts date to a much later time) can add to our knowledge of hidden motives and themes in traditions, which we call Jewish or Jewish-Christian. The silencing of Samaritan voices, which our scholarly tradition has inherited from Josephus's diminishment of the Samaritan existence at a time, when, in fact, these numbered as many as the Jews themselves, with whom they shared the traditions about the Patriarchs, Moses, Exodus, Joshua and land, has been crucial to scholarly research. 1. E.g. T.W.J. Juynboll, Chronicon samaritanum, arabice conscriptum, cui titulus est Liber Josuae. Ex unico cod. Scalegieri nunc primum edidit, Latine vertit (Leiden: S. & J. Luchtmans, 1848; Eng. Trans., O.T. Crane, The 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 Ha-Yamim) >From Joshua to Nebuchadnezzar (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1969). P. Stenhouse, The Kitab al Tarikh of Abu'l-Fath (Sydney: The Mandelbaum Trust, University 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 study 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 today. 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 along the way--notions of class, family, asceticism and sexuality, and biblical interpretation. I came to focus on two naturalized discourses of late antiquity that intersected: the distinction between "canon" and "apocrypha" and the distinction between "orthodoxy" and "heresy." The work of late ancient Christian authors was not just one of making distinctions--this text is canonical, that group is heretical--but of naturalizing the very notion 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 convince 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. In truth, both discourses are being simultaneously constructed by Athanasius; his authority to impose regimes of truth vanishes in the process, however. Several figures from late antiquity, I have found, disrupt this "natural" 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 "Judaizer." Himself implicated in a series of neverending heretical strugglges throughout his career, Jerome somehow manages to maintain his place in the ideological hierarchy of Christianity. Less successful was Priscillian of 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 (this is laid out in his "Book of Faith and Apocrypha"). Priscillian has the singular distinction of being the only heretic condemned to death in late 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 ideology 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 can 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 coordinated 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 form 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, and did some updating of the older "pseudepigrapha" essay for the SNTS group 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 of 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 data: (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 year 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 and 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," and 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 the 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 the 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 likely 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 simultaneously 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 "biblical retelling," and it would be anachronistic to imagine its authors and redactors as self-consciously transgressing the boundaries of any closed "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 more 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 dare 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 of 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 collection 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 very 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 department 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 currents that utilize the concept of 'prophet' and 'scripture' in the construction of their ideologies-for the purposes of tonight's discussion, my brief covers 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 community's authority within the scriptures of 'others' while simultaneously re-reading and appropriating them as one's own. At the same time, I am also interested in the possible preservation and manipulation of what appear to be 'ancient 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 types of investigations, it has become increasingly clear to me that much of the conceptual framework (notions of canon, etc.) and the vocabulary we customarily employ when engaged in the study of Bible and its penumbra of 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 development of Bible and other Near Eastern scriptures. For private reply, e-mail to "Annette Yoshiko Reed" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> ---------------------------------------------------------------- To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to [EMAIL PROTECTED] with the message: "unsubscribe Orion." Archives are on the Orion Web site, http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il. (PLEASE REMOVE THIS TRAILOR BEFORE REPLYING TO THE MESSAGE)