Reading Acts

In the previous post I made a few comments on common problems confronting those who study the Pseudepigrapha. A serious problem is that even though a particular book originated among Jewish thinkers of the Second Temple period, most of this literature was preserved by Christians. It is therefore possible Christian scribes made additions or modifications as they copied to make them more appealing to Christians. One of the better examples of this is 4 Ezra, a Jewish apocalypse written at the end of the first century A.D. At some point an introduction and conclusion Hebrew-Textwas added to the book (sometimes called 2 Ezra and 5 Ezra). These additions include Christian elements (the messiah figure places crowns on the heads of the resurrected martyrs is “is the Son of God, whom they confessed in the world.” (4 Ezra 2:47).

In a recent essay, Robert Kraft gives us…

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