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In the treatise On the Change of Names (part of his magnum opus, the Allegorical Commentary), Philo of Alexandria brings his figurative exegesis of the Abraham cycle to its fruition. Taking a cue from Platonist interpreters of Homer’s Odyssey, Philo reads Moses’s story of Abraham as an account of the soul’s progress and perfection. Responding to contemporary critics, who mocked Genesis 17 as uninspired, Philo finds instead a hidden philosophical reflection on the ineffability of the transcendent God, the transformation of souls which recognize their mortal nothingness, the possibility of human faith enabled by peerless faithfulness of God, and the fruit of moral perfection: joy divine, prefigured in the birth of Isaac.
In this volume, Rey and Reymond offer a new critical edition of all the Hebrew manuscripts of Ben Sira from the Cairo Genizah and Dead Sea Scrolls (including the so-called "Rhyming" Paraphrase). Manuscripts are presented independently to preserve their unique qualities and to emphasize the text’s pluriformity. Readers will discover numerous new readings and restorations, explained in detailed notes, that illustrate Ben Sira’s complex textual composition. French and English translations together with a philological commentary help elucidate the sometimes obscure sense of the Hebrew. This edition will form the foundation for future work on the book of Ben Sira.
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Marqus ibn Qunbar's Master and Disciple offers the critical edition and translation of a theological treatise that is published here for the first time. Marqus (+1208), a Coptic priest, was a controversial figure who challenged the Coptic hierarchs and eventually joined the Melkites. He argued that auricular confession is indispensible for salvation, but his superiors considered such teaching foreign to the Coptic heritage and incompatible with the Bible and Didascalia. For them, forgiveness is granted through repentance, the liturgy, and general absolution. The contentious disagreement sparked by Marqus among the Coptic community remains a subject of ongoing debate among Christians.