Additions B and E to LXX Esther have been variously dated from the second century BCE to the first century CE. This study links the two Greek Additions, on the one hand, with Philo’s writings through the concept of the “evil-hating justice” and, on the other hand, with the historical persons and events related to the Jewish-Alexandrian conflict of 38-41 CE, and dates their composition or final redaction to the early forties of the first century CE.
This essay is concerned with the meaning of torah and its relationship with wisdom in late Second Temple Judaism. It has been previously argued that, as the Mosaic torah had gained dominance, the wisdom school absorbed and accommodated the Mosaic torah tradition, and yet maintained all the essential elements of the sapiential tradition. Through a study of two Jewish apocalypses, 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch, the essay discovers not only the sapientialization of the Mosaic torah, but also the total submission of the wisdom tradition under the authority of the Mosaic torah tradition to gain legitimacy. It argues that this is done through a submission of sapiential revelations to the Mosaic revelation received at Sinai, and a portrayal of wisdom recipients and apocalyptic visionaries as types of Moses. This process reflects religious innovation under the disguise of compliance with established, older traditions.
In his recounting of the Exodus narrative of the making of the priestly vestments in Judean Antiquities 3.151-180, 184-187, Josephus provides a vivid description of the high priest’s wardrobe, including its cosmological connotations. This article shows that Josephus uses cosmological motifs in his recounting of the high priestly attire in order to convey a message to his intended audience in Rome. Josephus adds his own accents to the biblical narrative to convince his public that the high priest’s fine clothing functions as a statement that the Judean God is not a national deity with restricted power, but the Highest God, who is the only creator, maintainer, and supreme ruler of the universe. Seen from this perspective, we observe Josephus in dialogue with a well-established Greco-Roman clothing imagery tradition that portrays gods and mortals in symbolic garments to enhance their far-reaching power or authority.
Gregory Thaumaturgus has only occasionally been discussed in relation to early Christian apologetics. The paper provides a new step in this direction by exploring the points of contact between Gregory’s Address to Origen and previous apologetic literature. As the analysis below will indicate, the Address shows parallels with several apologetic texts from the second and early third century, both in terms of content and style. By discussing the apologetic topics and strategies found in the Address, I will argue that Gregory intended to respond, at least indirectly, to some of the main charges raised against Christians by their pagan opponents. Such an approach not only sheds light on the content and purposes of the Address, but also illuminates the historical and literary background against which Gregory wrote his text.