Homeric Rewriting in Greek Sirach

in Vetus Testamentum
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Abstract

It has been recognized in recent scholarship that the Greek translation of Sirach is subtle in its use of word-play and inner-Greek allusion. One such case, the story of the wandering man in Sir (31)34:9-13, can be shown to be a narration of two types of person, the one who wanders for positive learning and the one who errs and is in danger of death. It is thus not the personal experience of the author who has the freedom to travel in the new Hellenistic empires, but a moral tale modelled upon the two types of Odysseus that developed in the Greek tradition. This demonstrates the crafting of the source by the translator on the discourse level and hints at his educational background. It also has consequences for the larger structure of the unit in Sirach and further undermines the idea of a personal biography of Ben Sira.

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