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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.
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.
What does it mean for a group to speak of its identity and, in contrast, to speak about the “other”? As with all groups, early Christian communities underwent a process of identity formation, and in this process, intertextuality played a role. The choice of biblical texts and imageries, their reception and adaptation, affected how early Christian communities perceived themselves. Conversely, how they perceived themselves affected which texts they were drawn to and how they read and received them. The contributors to this volume examine how early Christian authors used Scripture and related texts and, in turn, how those texts shaped the identity of their communities.