Summer Series: (More) Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

In the summer of 2016 I began a long series on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. I made about 75 points from May 18 through September 6 (when my fall teaching responsibilities required most of my attention). As it turned out, I only managed to post on the Enoch literature, the Sibylline Oracles, Fourth Ezra and 2 Baruch, and short posts on Treatise of Shem, The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, and Apocalypse of Zephaniah.

My original motivation for the series was preparation for teaching an intertestamental literature class in Spring 2017. I enjoyed teaching the class and I think most of the students liked the class and learned a great deal about the literature of the Second Temple Period. Evangelicals tend to shy away from this material, but I think it is essential to have a firm grasp on what was in the air in the Second Temple period in order to understand the New Testament, especially as more scholars recognized the apocalyptic nature of both Jesus and Paul.

Another benefit of an open publication like this blog is the feedback I get from readers. There were a number of comments which interacted with what I had posted and often gave me new insights or links to other material to supplement my posts. Most of the posts in the original series still generate hits every day, so I hope people are finding some value in this series.

I plan to pick up this series again, beginning with 3 (Greek Apocalypse of) Baruch. I will finish off the apocalypses as they appear in Charlesworth and then move on the Testament literature. If you missed the series last summer, here is an index for the previous posts on the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.


1 Enoch


2 Enoch


3 Enoch


Sibylline Oracles


The Treatise of Shem

The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, Fragment 1

The Apocryphon of Ezekiel, Fragments 2-5

What is the Apocalypse of Zephaniah?


Fourth Ezra


2 (Syriac Apocalypse of) Baruch



2 thoughts on “Summer Series: (More) Old Testament Pseudepigrapha

  1. I just received the JPS three volume Outside the Bible set (2013) to peruse which expands upon the above set (which I have) by over 1000 pages. It comes with a hefty price tag, but it’s a top quality production in terms of printing, paper and binding. The translations are from already published sources such as the one above, but features expanded introductions and commentaries on all the Second Temple Materials, including key documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls by the leading scholars in the field.

    I’m not sure if I’ll be keeping it, but for any serious student of the period and literature, if you can scrape together the cash, and have reinforced shelving, then this is the set to consider.

    • Another great suggestion which seems designed to bankrupt me (only $261 on Amazon!) I have several standard collections of the OTP and DSS, and quite a bit of the rabbinic literature – but yes I lust after than set.

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