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370-121-MS: Judaism, Christianity & Islam (Sasson): Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

This guide contains the resources you will need to use for the Judaism, Christianity & Islam course. These are very specialized resources for interpretive scriptural research, so we've also included information to help you get the most out of each resourc

The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

Old Testament Pseudepigrapha are ancient books that read like Biblical texts, but are uncanonized (they are not officially recognized as part of the Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant Biblical canons). For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls or the works of Pseudo-Philo are Pseudepigrapha. The Library has two collections of Pseudepigrapha. The first is The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha by James H. Charlesworth, which is a two-volume collection. The second collection is Old Testament Pseudepigrapha by Richard Bauckham, James R. Davila, and Alexander Panayotov., which is currently one volume with a second volume planned for the near future. These two collections do not overlap, so you may use both for your research. For ease of reference here, we're just going to call them "Charlesworth" and "Bauckham."

Both Charlesworth and Bauckham are accompanied by a Scriptural Index. For Charlesworth, this index is a separate book. For Bauckham, it is available at the back of the volume. These indexes are going to be particularly useful to your research, as they cross-reference specific Book/Chapter/Verse selections from the Bible with their corresponding segments in the Pseudepigrapha.

To use Scriptural Index for Charlesworth, look up the book of the Bible that you are researching, then read along the left column until you find reference to the specific chapter and verses that you are researching. In the right column, you will find a series of letters and chapter/verse numbers. The letters are abbreviations for different books in the Pseudepigrapha, and the chapter/verse numbers refer to the specific chapters and verses that reference the chapters and verses from the Bible that you are researching. There is a short glossary near the beginning of the first volume of the Pseudepigrapha that explains the abbreviations, on pages xlv to xlvii. Use the glossary to figure out which book the abbreviations are referencing, go to that book in the Pseudepigrapha, then look up the chapter and verse numbers referenced with the book. Here's what is looks like:

A sample image from the Charlesworth Scriptural Index. Left column labelled with Book, Chapter, and Verse from teh Bible, Right Column labelled with abbreviations for the corresponding Book, Chapter, and Verse in the Pseudepigrapha.

In the above example, if you are looking for a reference to Genesis Chapter 3, Verses 1-6, They you need to look at SibOr Chapter 1, Verse 40. If you look at the glossary of abbreviations (pages xlv to xlvii in Charlesworth), you can find out that "SibOr" stands for Siballine Oracles, so you need to look at the Pseudepigraphic book, Siballine Oracles, Chapter 1, Verse 40.

The Scriptural Index in Bauckham is similar, but much easier for you to use. You also read along the left column of the index until you find reference to the specific book, chapter and verses that you are researching (that part looks identical to the Charlesworth index, pictured above). However, instead of an abbreviation for the Pseudepigraphic book that references the chapter and verses you are looking for, this index gives you the page number in the volume that has the reference. When you go to that page, there will also often be a small note in the margin stating what book, chapter and verses of the Bible are being referenced. Generally, this makes the section you are looking for much easier to find than in Charlesworth.

Charlesworth also contains an index of names and thematic keywords. This index can be found at the end of the second volume of Charlesworth. It is arranged alphabetically and will give you the volume number (in bold) and the page number for the specific name or keywords referenced. For example, a reference to "Abaya, Rabbi" can be found in 2:857, which is volume 2, page 857. Unlike the scriptural index, this index will not point you toward a specific reference to a specific verse or verses from the Bible. However, it can be useful for finding thematic connections between your verses and segments of the Pseudepigrapha. Unfortunately, Baukham doesn't have a name and thematic keyword index.

The Two-Volume Charlesworth Pseudepigrapha, the Charlesworth Scriptural Index, and the first volume of the Bauckham Pseudepigrapha are all available on Reserve in the Library. Ask for them at the Circulation Desk.

The Other Bible

The Other Bible contains translations of the Gnostic Gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Visionary Wisdom Texts, the Christian Apocrypha, the Jewish Pseudepigrapha, and the Kabbalah. It includes extensive commentary for each, as well as an index for names, places, and events as mentioned in the various texts. It does not include a line-by-line scriptural index.

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