By Erkki Koskenniemi

ISBN-10: 3161486048

ISBN-13: 9783161486043

Erkki Koskenniemi analyzes crucial early Jewish texts, which characteristic miracles to humans pointed out within the outdated testomony. He investigates the miracles of Moses, Elijah and Elisha, but additionally, for instance, the extra-biblical deeds of fellows like Abraham, David and Solomon. the writer appears to be like on the improvement of the conventional components of the miracle tales and the theological intentions of each author who bargains with those tales. The Jewish culture of miracle-workers is wealthy and multifaceted. there has been no rule that the biblical tales will be retold as they have been written. Miracles may perhaps hence be hooked up with forms of historiography or maybe, in a single case, with a tragedy, which used to be an imitation of Aeschylus' nice paintings. It did not take lengthy for the becoming culture to strengthen new colors and hues for the previous tales: for instance, the fight with evil powers is excited about the retold tales. numerous authors additionally was hoping for the repetition of the saving miracles of the previous, in particular of the Exodus, God's assist in the desolate tract and the nice deeds of Elijah. The research of this wealthy culture is helping us to higher comprehend the early Jewish trust in addition to the early Christian international.

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The pattern works well but is not used mechanically. As far as I know, the role of the biblical miracles in Laus patrum has never been thoroughly in­ vestigated, although von Rad, and subsequently Stadelmann noted impor­ tant details. Eve deals with miracles in Ben Sira and makes many impor­ tant observations, but he writes quite briefly and without reference to sev­ eral important works. 15 16 17 18 b. Moses 19 Ben Sira is not the first early Jewish writer to write about Moses, but the first known to us to discuss the role of Moses' miracles.

On the history of research see Marbock 1997, 42-43. On his own view see Marbock 1999, 170-173. See Becker 2002,211. Stadelmann 1980, 191. 6 8 6 9 7 0 71 7 2 30 2. Miracles and the Glorious Past: The Wisdom of Ben Sira ditions nor alterations to the biblical original were needed; the picture is now radically changed. The biblical material opens the door for a reinterpretation, but only after a careful selection of the material. Miracles and politics are combined in an aggressive way. With the exception of Laus patrum the work admittedly contains very few verses showing Ben Sira's political activity.

This question, a sub­ ject of vivid discussion in the last 30 years, needs to be asked again. It is a wide issue that also has consequences for an interpretation of the miracles in the work. In 1972, Th. Middendorp published a book on the Wisdom of Ben Sira. He defended the view already presented long before, that the original work was not at all anti-Hellenistic. On the contrary, he identified some one hundred alleged quotations from Greek literature, about half of them from Theognis. Although the work was originally written in Hebrew, Mid­ dendorp assumed that Ben Sira had used a Greek florilegium and that his work was intended to be a schoolbook in the Greek manner.

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Old Testament Miracle-workers in Early Judaism by Erkki Koskenniemi

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