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Andrew B. Perrin

Abstract

It is widely recognized that the authors of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls often shrouded their tales in first person voices and exhibited a perennial interest in the production and transmission of ancestral booklore. The present study explores the literary convention of the incipit in light of these interrelated methods of pseudepigraphy. Throughout the Aramaic Scrolls incipits introduce entire compositions and putative texts within narratives. Comparative philological analysis reveals that these incipits feature strikingly similar literary-linguistic idioms. However, it is equally apparent that that these common elements were uniquely patterned by individual authors. It is suggested that these commonalities should inform how we conceive of the scribal milieu(s) from which the Aramaic Scrolls emerged and our understanding of pseudepigraphy in early Judaism. The article concludes with a fresh proposal for the function of the title “A Copy of the Writing of the Words of Noah” in 1QapGen 5:29.

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Andrew B. Perrin

In light of the growing consensus that the book of Tobit was originally penned in Aramaic, the fragmentary Hebrew copy 4QTobe is a singularly unique literary artifact of Second Temple Judaism. While a cluster of other Aramaic works were read and received as authoritative literature by at least some Jews at this time (e.g., Daniel 2-7, the booklets of 1 Enoch, and Aramaic Levi Document), Tobit alone was translated from the common language of the ancient Near East into the traditional Israelite mother tongue. This study explores how the shift from Aramaic to Hebrew should inform our conception of the status and reception of Tobit in ancient Judaism. By virtue of the new linguistic overlay given to 4QTobe, this manuscript should be considered a literary edition in its own right, with an ostensibly higher level or different degree of authority than its Aramaic language counterparts.

Flint, Peter and Perrin, Andrew B.