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Religion General

The Oxford Handbook of the Apocrypha

edited by Gerbern S. Oegema

Oxford University Press
Initial publish date
May 2021
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
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The Oxford Handbook of the Apocrypha addresses the Old Testament Apocrypha, known to be important early Jewish texts that have become deutero-canonical for some Christian churches, non-canonical for other churches, and that are of lasting cultural significance. In addition to the place given to the classical literary, historical, and tradition-historical introductory questions, essays focus on the major social and theological themes of each individual book. With contributions from leading scholars from around the world, the Handbook acts as an authoritative reference work on the current state of Apocrypha research, and at the same time carves out future directions of study.

This Handbook offers an overview of the various Apocrypha and relevant topics related to them by presenting updated research on each individual apocryphal text in historical context, from the late Persian and early Hellenistic periods to the early Roman era. The essays provided here examine the place of the Apocrypha in the context of Early Judaism, the relationship between the Apocrypha and texts that came to be canonized, the relationship between the Apocrypha and the Septuagint, Qumran, the Pseudepigrapha, and the New Testament, as well as their reception history in the Western world. Several chapters address overarching themes, such as genre and historicity, Jewish practices and beliefs, theology and ethics, gender and the role of women, and sexual ethics.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Gerbern S. Oegema is Professor of Biblical Studies at McGill University. He studied Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, and Religious Studies at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Freie Universitat Berlin. He has been an Assistant Professor and Privatdozent at the Universitat Tubingen and a Scholar in Residence at the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton. In his teaching and research he focuses on Second Temple Judaism and Christian Origins. He is the author and co-editor of more than twenty books, as well as the co-editor of several book series.