Jewish Writings not included in the OT or Apocrypha, published under assumed names. They give information which is important for understanding the background of the NT. Prophecy had ceased, and interpretations of the will of God were offered in apocalypses which tried to reconcile the prophetic hopes and promises with the realities of national sufferings. Some of these writings emerged from within Palestine: the Psalms of Solomon, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the book of Jubilees. These works contain legends and alleged revelations; the Martyrdom of Isaiah explains that the prophet was sawn in two (cf. Heb. 11:37); the book of Enoch is a vision of judgement and a prophecy of events down to the Messianic age (cf. Jude 6), and the Assumption of Moses (which is referred to in Jude 9) has a view of world history. The Apocalypse of Ezra and the Apocalypse of Baruch offer hope of future Messianic blessings to those suffering in the present. Writings from the Hellenistic environment commend the Law to Gentiles. The Letter of Aristeas (c.100 BCE) and the Sibylline Oracles, written in Alexandria (c.140 BCE), invite Gentiles to abandon their pagan worship; 4 Macc. is not concerned with the Maccabean war but with the sufferings of Jews and the use of reasoning. These works share a spirit of universalism different from the post-exilic nationalism which marks some of the literature of that epoch.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Pseudepigrapha — (from Ancient Greek ψευδής pseudes false , epigraphe = inscription ; see the related epigraphy ) are falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed authorship is unfounded; a work, simply, whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past.… …   Wikipedia

  • pseudepigrapha — [so͞o΄də pig′rə fə] pl.n. sing. pseudepigraphon [so͞o΄də pig′rəfän΄] [ModL < Gr, neut. pl. of pseudepigraphos, having a false title < pseudēs, false + epigraphein, to inscribe < epi, upon + graphein, to write: see GRAPHIC] [also P ] a… …   English World dictionary

  • pseudepigrapha — pseudepigraphic /sooh dep i graf ik/, pseudepigraphical, pseudepigraphous, pseudepigraphal, adj. /sooh deuh pig reuh feuh/, n. (used with a plural v.) certain writings (other than the canonical books and the Apocrypha) professing to be Biblical… …   Universalium

  • pseudepigrapha —   n. pl. spurious books supposed to be written by or about Biblical persons but not contained in Apocrypha.    ♦ pseudepigraphal, a.    ♦ pseudepigraphic, a. pertaining to pseudepigrapha or pseudepigraphy.    ♦ pseudepigraphous, a. bearing wrong… …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • pseudepigrapha — noun Writings falsely ascribed to biblical times, especially to 3rd century Judaic scripture …   Wiktionary

  • PSEUDEPIGRAPHA —    a written work attributed to a famous author as a means of endowing it with religious AUTHORITY when in fact it was written by someone else. Extra CANONICAL Biblical writings, such as Book of Enoch, fall into this category …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • pseudepigrapha — apocrypha; non canonical books of the Bible Ecclesiastical Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • pseudepigrapha — suːdɪ pɪgrÉ™fÉ™ / sju n. written works that are falsely attributed to Biblical characters …   English contemporary dictionary

  • pseudepigrapha — [ˌs(j)u:dɪ pɪgrəfə] plural noun spurious or pseudonymous writings, especially Jewish writings ascribed to various biblical patriarchs and prophets but composed c.200 BC–AD 200. Derivatives pseudepigraphal adjective pseudepigraphic adjective… …   English new terms dictionary

  • pseudepigrapha — pseud·epig·ra·pha …   English syllables

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