Emil Schürer.

A history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) online

. (page 13 of 51)
Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 13 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


above all tried to demonstrate the existence of a tolerably
large number of such interpolations. But even in his case
the matter is dealt with only incidentally, to enable him to
maintain the view as to the Jewish-Christian character of the
writing. It was reserved for Schnapp to enter in a systematic
manner into the question as to whether the wdiole work
had not been reconstructed from beginning to end. He
endeavoured to show, that to the book in its original form
belonged only the parts mentioned under Nos. 1 and 2 above,
i.e. merely the biographical narratives and their accompanying
exhortations. But he seeks to prove that all those portions
in which the future fortunes of the tribes are predicted, with

^* Simeon vi. : Kvptog 6 Qtog f^iyocc rot/ ^I'jpx'/j'A, (potivo/neuog, iT^l y^j ug
oiudpwTTog. Ibid. : Qeo; aa^» T^ccficuu x«J avviaSlniu dvSpu'n-otg 'iausiv oii).
dpu-KOvg. Issachar vii. : lyfivc-g y.'-.ff kxvruv t6i> Qscv rov ovpuvoi>, avf^Tro-
piv6fcii/ov rol; civ6puvoi; iv ocTrXoTYiri Kccp'^iag. Zebulon \X. Ji7i. : 6\psa6i &i-6v
iv a%ril^ix.Ti dv6pu7:ov. Dan v. fin. : Kvpiog surxt tfif^i(T(j ctOrii;, roi; oLvdfu-
voig avvxuccaTpi(p6i^iiiog. Naphtali viii. : d(i)dyiaSTCii &sog kxtoikZv Iv dydpu-
•TTQig iTrl T^f yiis. Asher vii. : sag ov 6 vipiarcg i'Triax.Ly^Yrrot.t Tsjv yv^v, kkI
»vrog i'KSuv ug xvSpUTrog furoi du&pa-Truv iadt'uv x.oil -tvii/uv. Beujamia X. :
•!r»pci'/iv6i/.iiiou (diou iv cctpKt tT^-ivdepuTViv oOk irnriarBvaxv.



118 § 32. THE PALESTINIAN JEWISH LITERATURE,

some other things of a kindred nature (visions in particular),
are to be regarded as later interpolations, though he dis-
tinguishes at the same time between Jewish and Christian
interpolations. He thinks that the bulk of these interpolations
would be made by a Jewish hand, but that into these again
numerous references to the redemption through Christ had
been afterwards inserted by a Christian hand. He considers
therefore that the original work itself must also have been of
Jewish origin. It appears to me that the latter part of this
hypothesis, in so far, that is, as the Christian revision is con-
cerned, has at all events hit the mark. It would be vain to
attempt to reduce the heterogeneous utterances in our Testa-
ments to a common Jewish-Christian standpoint, all of them
that bear a specifically Christian stamp being without excep-
tion of a Gentile-Christian and universalist character. The
salvation is destined et? irdvra ra eOvrj. The Christology is
the patripassian Christology that so largely prevailed in many
quarters in the Christian Church during the second and third
centuries. There is nothing here that can be said to indicate
a " Jewish-Christian " standpoint. Again it is impossible to
reconcile with the Christian passages in question that series
of utterances characterized above which can only have
emanated from a Jewish author. How is it ever to be
supposed that a Christian, ay, or even a Jewish-Christian,
author should think of characterizing the tribes of Levi and
Juclali as those to whom God had committed the guidance of
Israel. Then what could we conceive such an author to mean
by exhorting the rest of the tribes to join themselves to the
two just mentioned and to submit themselves to their
authority ? Why, it was precisely the tribes of Levi and
Judah, i.e. the official Judaism of Palestine, that distinguished
themselves above all tlie otliers in the way of rejecting the
gospel. We can hardly imagine therefore that even a
Jewish-Christian author would be likely to represent them
as occupying the leading position above referred to. Nor
does he so represent them as one who is merely taking a



§ 32. THE PALESTINIAN JEWISH LITERATURE. 119

theoretical survey of history, and as though he meant to
censure the defection from the tribes of Levi and Judah
merely as a thing of the past. But he also urges a loyal
adherence to those tribes as a present duty. Nor can we
liere suppose that Levi is intended to represent the Christian
clergy. For what in that case would Judah be supposed to
represent ? ®** Then there is the further circumstance, that
many of the Christian passages obviously disturb the connec-
tion and thus proclaim themselves to be interpolations at the
very outset. What is more, the much canvassed passage
regarding Paul in the Testament of Benjamin (xi.) is wanting in
the case of two independent testimonies among the manuscripts
and versions as at present known to us, .namely in the Eoman
manuscript and the Armenian version.** From all this it
may be regarded as tolerably certain, that all the Christian
passages are to be ascribed to soine interpolator who, with a
Jewish original before him, introduced modifications here and
there to adapt it to the purposes and needs of the Christian
Church. This assumption will also enable us to explain
how it comes to be stated in our Testaments that Christ was
a descendant of the tribes of Levi and Judah alike.^* How it

3** That the various utterances regarding the tribes of Levi and Judali
are of a strictly Jewish character, may be further seen from others of a
precisely similar nature in the Book of Jubilees, chap. xxxi. (Ewald's
Jahrhucher, iii. 39 sq.).

^^ See Sinker, Testamenta XII. PatriarcJiarmn, Appendix (1879), pp. 27
and 69 ; and Harnack's notice in Theol. Litei-aturztg. 1879, p. 615. The
Eoman manuscript has the original text in still another passage (perhaps in
more?), where the others show that passage to have undergone a Christian
revision. Simeon vii. according to the Eoman MS. runs thus: Kxl i/iiv,
TiKvioc finv, lx»y,(iva*Ti Tov Aivi X.CX.I Toil Io(/Bfl£, as wlthout doubt it was
originally written, whereas the (Jambridge MS. reads: Kul viv, zacviot, f.(,ov,

C-TZUKriViTi A.ivl Kdl iU \ciVOCt "hVT p U d 7^0 iO 9 S.

^" Simeon vii. : Avot.. gischen Wissenschaften, edited by Reuss and
Cuuitz, 3 vols. (1851) pp. 107-140. Vorstman, Disquisitio dc Tcsla-
mentnrum Patriarcharum XII. origine etprctio, Kotterd. 1857. Hilgenfeld,
Zeitschr. fiir tcisscnscha/tl. Theol. 1858, p. 395 sqq.; 1871, p. 302 tqq.
Van Hengel, " De Testamenten der twaalf Patriarchen op nieuw ter sprake
gebragt" {Godgdeerde Bijdragen, 1860). Ewald, Gesch. des Volkes Israel,
vii. 363-369. Langen, Das Juilenthum in Paldstina (1866), pp. 140-157.
Sinker in his edition. Geiger, Jiidische Z^iL-^chr. fiir Wissensch. und Lehen,
1869, pp. 116-135 ; 1871, pp. 123-125. Friedr. Nitzsch, Grundriss der
christi. Dogmevgeschichte, vol. i. 1870, pp. 109-111. Renan, Ve'glise
chretienne (1879), pp. 2G8-271. An article in The Presbyterian Review for
January 1880 (mentioned by Bissell, The Apocrypha, p. 671). Dillmaun,
art. " Pseudepigraphen," in Herzog's lleal-Enc. 2nd ed. vol. xii. p. 361 sq.
Schnapp, Die Testamente der zwljlf Patriarchen untersucht, Halle 1884 (and
notice of this work in the Theolog. Liter aturzeitunj, 1885, p. 203).



7. The Lost Fseudepif/raphic Prophecies.

Besides the pseudepigraphic propliccics that have come
down to us, many others of a similar description were in



§ 32. THE PALESTINIAN JEWISH LITERATURE. 125

circulation in the early Church, as we learn partly from the
lists of the canon and partly from quotations found in the
Fathers. In the case of most of them it is of course no
longer possible to determine with any certainty whether they
were of Jewish or of Christian origin. But, considering that
in the earliest days of the Christian Church this was a
species of literary activity that flourished chiefly among the
heretical sects, and that it was not till a somewhat later period
that it began to be cultivated in Catholic circles as well, it
may be assumed with some degree of probability tliat those
Old Testament pseudepigrapJiic writings which are mentioned in
terms of high respect hy the earliest of the Fathers, dotvn say to
Origen inclusive, are to he regarded generally as being of Jewish
and not of Christian origin. "With the criterion thus obtained
we may combine still another. We happen to have several
lists of the canon in which the Old Testament Apocrypha
are enumerated with great completeness. Now, among the
writings thus enumerated, oc^.ur those which have come down
to us (Enoch, the Twelve Patriarchs, the Assumptio Mosis, the
Psalms of Solomon), and which are undoubtedly of Jewish
origin. This then must surely be regarded as sufficiently
justifying the conjecture that the others would also be of
similar origin. The lists in question are the following : —

1. The so-called Stichometry of Nieephorus, i.e. a list of the
canonical and apocryphal books of the Old and New Testa-
ments along with the number of verses in each book, and
which list is given as an appendix to the Chronographia
compendiaria of Nicephorus Constantinopolitanus (about
800 A.D.), though it is, without doubt, of a considerably
earlier origin (printed in the appendix to Dindorf's edition of
George Syncellus, further in a critically amended text given
by Credner in two programmes for the University of Giessen
1832-1838, and also reproduced in Credner's Zur Geschichte
dcs Kanons, 1847, pp. 117-122, but best of all in de Boor's
Niccphori opnscula, Lips. 1880). Here tlie list of the Old
Testament a-rroKpv^a runs thus (ed. de Boor, p. 134 sq.) : —



12G § 32. THE PALESTINIAN JEWISH LITERATURE.

a *Eva)')(^ GTL^wv Sco' (4800).

JJarpidp'^aL cttl'^uiv ep (5100).

7 npoaev^T) 'Icoarjcp cttI'^cov ap (1100).

8' AiaQriKT] M(ovaeo)



Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 13 of 51)